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Wednesday, 18 July

16:57

Why some people want a nuclear waste dump in Kimba or Hawker, South Australia Antinuclear

As Ive been going through 98 submissions to The Senate Inquiry  on Selection process for a national radioactive waste management facility in South Australia , Ive been able to learn some of the reasons why people support  the idea of the nuclear waste dump .   Almost every one of the the 40 supporting  submissions come from local residents,  several explaining that they have been very thoroughly informed by the Department of Industry, Innovation and Science, including tours of the Lucas Heights nuclear reactor.  4 submissions spent time praising DIIS and ANSTO  (Ashworth, P , and Baldock B , Baldock H and ANSTO itself)

These are some points that came up as they answered the Term of Reference, especially  (f) Any related matters.

Survival of the town as reason to have the dump:  (submissions from Carpenter I, Carpenter D, Clements, Joyce, J, McInnis, J, Name Withheld, no 91, Stewart)

Opposition to misleading information from anti-nuclear activists (Joyce, J, Koch, D, McInnis, J) 

Need for dump for nuclear medicine (DIIS, SA ARPS)

Dump will have no negative impact (Lienert, M and M, Schmidt)

Dump good for local business (Kemp, SACOME)

Dump important for necessary expansion of Lucas Heights, (Heard,B)

Dump as beneficial to Australi...

12:26

Lavene Ngatokorua Lifetime Achievement Award winner spoke out against nuclear waste dump plan Antinuclear

Tim Bickmore No Nuclear Waste Dump Anywhere in South Australia, 18 July 18

Lavene has spoken strongly against the nuke dump. Here is part of what she told the Senate Committee in Hawker earlier this month:

When they had those cultural monitors out thereI will talk really quickly of the cultural monitors that went out thereI wouldnt participate in it, but I was out there when the ground shook four times in that one week that we were there. I watched two of my cousins. They were at that meeting of the 20th saying, Yeah, go for it, but, when they came back after the ground shook, they were singing out to their great-grandparents for help because they thought that they had done something wrong, that they shouldnt have been out there, that the land was speaking to them. Its really hard to understand. People might think thats a whole lot of rubbish, but they were mentally and physically distraught because of what had taken place. That sound out there was like a road train coming through, and they felt that they had messed up just by being prese...

12:22

Australias nuclear testing before the 1956 Olympics in Melbourne should be a red flag for Fukushima in 2020 Antinuclear

 https://theconversation.com/australias-nuclear-testing-before-the-1956-olympics-in-melbourne-should-be-a-red-flag-for-fukushima-in-2020-85787 Sue Rabbitt Roff Part time tutor in Medical Education, University of Dundee October 19, 2017 

The scheduling of Tokyo 2020 Olympic events at Fukushima is being seen as a public relations exercise to dampen fears over continuing radioactivity from the reactor explosion that followed the massive earthquake six years ago.

It brings to mind the British atomic bomb tests in Australia that continued until a month before the opening of the 1956 Olympic Games in Melbourne  despite the known dangers of fallout travelling from the testing site at Maralinga to cities in the east. And it reminds us of the collusion between scientists and politicians British and Australian to cover up the flawed decision-making that led to continued testing until the eve of the Games.

Australias prime minister Robert Menzies agreed to atomic testing in December 1949. Ten months earlier, Melbourne had secured the 1956 Olympics even though the equestrian events would have to be held in Stockholm because of Australias strict horse quarantine regimes.

The equestrians were well out of it. Large areas of grazing land and therefore the food supplies of major cities such as Melbourne were covered with a light layer of radiation fallout from the...

10:51

Advance in medical diagnosis without need of nuclear reactors Antinuclear

NO RADIATION NEEDED: 3D TOOL CREATES MAPS OF PATIENTS HEARTS BEFORE PROCEDURES

by Danielle Prieur (WMFE)

A new mapping technology is helping doctors determine where to place life-saving catheters in patients with irregular heartbeats without the use of radiation. Its being used at Florida Hospital. One of these patients is 14-year-old Grayson Abraham who has a heart condition that can cause sudden cardiac death in young athletes. He credits the procedure with helping him get back on the field.

I could play sports again and my heart wouldnt do anything wrong anymore. It was just a week of not doing heavy lifting, it was an easy recovery.

Mayo Clinic says estimates young athletes account for 1 in every 50,000 sudden cardiac deaths a year.

To listen to the full story, please click on the clip above. (AUDIO on original) http://www.wmfe.org/no-radiation-needed-3d-tool-creates-maps-of-patients-hearts-before-procedures/89334

09:18

July 17 Energy News geoharvey Antinuclear

Opinion: As subsidies wane, market forces drive the growth of renewables For twenty years, Germany had a subsidy scheme for renewables. As that was replaced by an auction system, the market has proceeded along a bumpy road. Now, the declining costs of wind and solar power are increasingly competing on their own merits. []

via July 17 Energy News geoharvey

09:18

AEMO report shows only 6 coal-fired power stations will be left: Bandt RenewEconomy Antinuclear

Despite government spin, the electricity market operators plan released today shows a future with almost no coal-fired power is coming, Greens climate and energy spokesperson Adam Bandt MP said today.

via AEMO report shows only 6 coal-fired power stations will be left: Bandt RenewEconomy

09:17

Western Sydney Uni solar car wins first leg of American Solar Challenge RenewEconomy Antinuclear

Students from Western Sydney University Solar Car Team have won the first stage of the biannual American Solar Challenge race.

via Western Sydney Uni solar car wins first leg of American Solar Challenge RenewEconomy

09:17

Investment in nuclear power declined 45% last year Antinuclear

Investment in new nuclear declines to five-year low, WNN  17 July 2018  Global energy investment fell for the third consecutive year in 2017, according to the International Energy Agency (IEA). Investment in nuclear power declined by nearly 45% last year to USD17 billion. Although spending on new reactors reached the lowest level in five years, investment on upgrades of existing units increased

Of the four new reactors commissioned last year, three were in China. More than 5 GWe of nuclear generating capacity was retired, leading to a net reduction of about 2 GWe in total nuclear capacity worldwide. Capacity was still about 10 GW higher than in 2007. While around 60 GWe of nuclear power remains under construction worldwide, new construction starts totalled just over 3 GWe.

Modernisations and upgrades of existing reactors represented about half of total nuclear investment last year. Large investments have recently been made in OECD countries to extend lifetime operation and power uprates of the existing nuclear fleet, the IEA said. In general, spending on existing plants yields more output per dollar invested.

 Access to both direct and indirect government finance remains vital for investments in nuclear power, the report says. Most investment in new nuclear capacity has occurred in markets where the government retains full ownership or a majority stake in most of the utilities. Investment in nuclear power also remains highly dependent on government involvement in various areas, including market structure, price regulation and financing...

09:15

Concern over nuclear waste transport incident Antinuclear

Herald 16th July 2018 , AN INVESTIGATION has been launched after a freight train carrying nuclear
material ran a stop signal near to Kingussie on Friday night. The service
was carrying spent fuel from the Dounreay Power Station to the
decommissioning site at Sellafield, Cumbria. It came to a stop after
travelling p...

09:11

ACT wont back NEG in current form, despite intense pressure RenewEconomy Antinuclear

ACT energy minister Shane Rattenbury says Territory under enormous pressure to agree to NEG, but that wont be happening in the policys current form.

via ACT wont back NEG in current form, despite intense pressure RenewEconomy

09:11

ACT wont back NEG in current form, despite intense pressure RenewEconomy Antinuclear

ACT energy minister Shane Rattenbury says Territory under enormous pressure to agree to NEG, but that wont be happening in the policys current form.

via ACT wont back NEG in current form, despite intense pressure RenewEconomy

09:10

Bad news for coal-huggers: Renewables at 50% by 2030 RenewEconomy Antinuclear

King coal to rule? Murdoch media should read the AEMO report again it suggests that even under Coalition and state policies renewables will be around 50% by 2030. And thats without being serious about climate change.

via Bad news for coal-huggers: Renewables at 50% by 2030 RenewEconomy

09:09

Battery recycling could generate billion-dollar industry for Australia, push down prices RenewEconomy Antinuclear

CSIRO report says Australia could lead world in re-use and recycling of lithium-ion batteries, generating potential billion-dollar industry, and helping to push down costs of EVs and battery storage.

via Battery recycling could generate billion-dollar industry for Australia, push down prices RenewEconomy

09:08

AEMO: Cheapest way to replace coal is solar, wind, storage RenewEconomy Antinuclear

AEMO says 70TWh of coal is to retire by 2040, and the cheapest way to replace it is with solar, wind and storage, and just a tiny bit of gas. And no coal. But it wants more transmission lines and renewable zones to manage this transition.

via AEMO: Cheapest way to replace coal is solar, wind, storage RenewEconomy

08:18

Adani close to financing Qld mine rail line "IndyWatch Feed National"

Karan Adani. Photo Studycopter

BRISBANE, AAP Adani is close to locking in the finance for a rail line to service its $16.5 billion proposed Queensland coal mine, the son of the companys owner says.

Karan Adani, who is the CEO of the Indian groups ports business, made the revelation during a video interview with The Economic Times of India.

We have completed the financing of the mine, the port is already operational. Now we are just closing on the financing on the rail part, he said on Tuesday.

So once that is done we will start.

Mr Adani stressed the company had all of the necessary government and environmental approvals related to the Carmichael coal mine in the Galilee Basin in central Queensland.

The rail financing for the project was almost $US1 billion, he said.

The rail line is needed to move coal from the mine to Abbot Point port, which is being expanded.

There had been questions over the rail financing after Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk last year vetoed a $1 billion federal government loan to Adani for the project.

Previously, Australias big four banks refused to put up money for the mine, forcing the company to look for funding overseas.

The state Labor government has imposed more than 240 conditions on the Carmichael coal mine project, 132 of which relate to water conditions.

A month ago, the government also insisted Adani find the source of local groundwater before it signs off on the water management plan for the mine.

The post Adani close to financing Qld mine rail line appeared first on Echonetdaily.

06:45

Indigenous peoples control one-quarter of worlds land surface, two-thirds of that land is essentially natural "IndyWatch Feed Enviro"

A new study makes a significant contribution to the growing body of research showing that recognizing the land rights of and partnering with indigenous peoples can greatly benefit conservation efforts. The dearth of reliable data on Indigenous Peoples lands in many parts of the world has implications not only for securing their rights but also for the conservation and management of a significant proportion of terrestrial global biodiversity, the authors of the study, led by Professor Stephen Garnett of Charles Darwin University in Australia, write in the journal Nature Sustainability. Garnett and team sought to address this knowledge gap by producing a map of the terrestrial lands managed or owned by indigenous peoples across the globe, which in turn allowed them to assess the extent to which Indigenous Peoples stewardship and global conservation values intersect and provide a first estimation of the overlap between Indigenous Peoples terrestrial lands and protected areas. While recognizing the rights of indigenous peoples to their traditional lands and waters is increasingly coming to be seen as an ethical obligation, the authors of the study say their results provide evidence that it is also essential to meeting local and global conservation goals and that more collaborative partnerships between indigenous peoples and governments would yield substantial benefits for efforts to conserve high-priority landscapes, ecosystems, and biodiversity. An indigenous woman and baobabs in a dry forest near Morondava, Madagascar. Photo by Joan de la Malla. About 370 million people around the world define themselves as Indigenous, are descended

04:53

Woman Comes Home And Finds Stranger Getting Cozy On Her Couch "IndyWatch Feed Enviro"

Last Sunday night, Oregon resident Lauren Taylor entered her living room and was met with quite the unusual surprise.

A pair of yellow-brown eyes was staring up at her from behind the couch.  

It was a mountain lion.

Credit: Facebook/Lauren Taylor

Apparently, someone had left the back door open, and the curious cat had wandered right in after drinking from a fountain in the yard. Taylors housemate noticed the animal first and shrieked, causing the lion to retreat behind the couch.

Taylor, who has previously worked in wildlife rescue and also practices energy healing, knew theyd have to give the cat a lot of space and remain calm to encourage her to leave safely. Taylor saw the lion lie down, so she quietly went outside to keep watch through the window.

To her surprise, the lion was fast asleep.

Credit: Facebook/Lauren Taylor

[Originally] the lion was frightened, agitated and determined to exit through a closed window, Taylor wrote on Facebook. Once the energy shifted, she calmed down.

As the minutes passed on, and Taylor remained outside, the lion continued to sleep. Eventually she woke up and noticed the human staring in at her. Taylor began blinking slowly at her which in feline body language signifies that you pose no threat.

I gazed lovingly, then blinked hard and then she did it back, Taylor said. Then, she went back to sleep....

04:17

The ingredients of timely investigative journalism "IndyWatch Feed National"

Richard Keeble is one of Britains leading journalism academics and hes taught at the University of Lincoln for many years. Author of seminal books on reporting, his latest, just released work is co-edited with John Mair and its called, Investigative Journalism Today: Speaking Truth to Power. It features a range of writers exploring the importance of investigative work from the English and non-English speaking world:

Rumours of the death of investigative journalism have been greatly exaggerated. This book is proof enough of that. Examples from the corporate and alternative media across the globe highlight the many imaginative and courageous ways that reporters are still kicking at the right targets.

Im honoured that Keebles chapter positively interrogates my work, especially around disaster capitalism, and hes allowed me to post it here: keebleloewensteinchapter

From the introduction:

Antony Loewenstein is an Australian investigative reporter, freelance author, photographer, blogger and campaigner. He has written for a wide range of publications both mainstream and alternative such as the Guardian, New York Times, Washington Post, Green Left Weekly, New Matilda and Counterpunch. His books include My Israel Question (2006) and The Blogging Revolution (2008 and 2011). His 2010 ABC Radio National feature documentary, A Different Kind of Jew, was a finalist in the UN Media Peace Awards. And his book, Profits of Doom: How Vulture Capitalism Swallowing the World (2013) has been followed up with a documentary film, Disaster Capitalism, about aid, development and politics in Afghanistan, Haiti and Papua New Guinea.

Profits of Doom also serves as a useful case study to examine Loewensteins investigative strategy in more detail. As this chapter will argue, Loewenstein draws creatively from a wide range of genres peace journalism, investigative reporting, literary, long-form journalism, counter journalism and activist reporting making his reportage both important and original. In particular, the study will focus on his investigative techniques, his ideological/political attitude and his distinctive investigative writing style.

03:55

The importance of strong encryption "IndyWatch Feed National"

Today NGO Digital Rights Watch launched an important campaign that I was asked to support. Very happy to:

Today, a global coalition led by civil society and technology experts sent a letter asking the government of Australia to abandon plans to introduce legislation that would undermine strong encryption. The letter calls on government officials to become proponents of digital security and work collaboratively to help law enforcement adapt to the digital era.

In July 2017, Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull held a press conference to announce that the government was drafting legislation that would compel device manufacturers to assist law enforcement in accessing encrypted information. In May of this year, Minister for Law Enforcement and Cybersecurity Angus Taylor restated the governments priority to introduce legislation and traveled to the United States to speak with companies based there.

Todays letter (download here) signed by 76 organisations, companies, and individuals, asks leaders in the government not to pursue legislation that would undermine tools, policies, and technologies critical to protecting individual rights, safeguarding the economy, and providing security both in Australia and around the world.

This is a really important issue for anyone who uses the internet to shop, bank or communicate so basically everyone. Strong encryption is essential to the modern Australian economy, and it would be a mistake to deliberately weaken it, said Tim Singleton Norton, chair of Digital Rights Watch.

01:42

New species of venomous snake discovered by accident in Australia "IndyWatch Feed Enviro"

A team of biologists researching sea snakes in the mining town of Weipa in Australias remote Cape York Peninsula have accidentally discovered a venomous snake thats new to science. The black-and-white snake, now named Vermicella parscauda or the Cape York bandy-bandy, belongs to a group of snakes called bandy-bandies that live in burrows and feed on a specialized diet of blind snakes. So far, scientists know of only five species of bandy bandies, all found in Australia. The hoop snake (Vermicella annulata) is the most commonly encountered bandy-bandy, the researchers report in a study published in Zootaxa. Since bandy-bandies are burrowing snakes, the sight of a small one on a concrete block by the sea surprised Bryan Fry, an associate professor at the University of Queensland, and his colleague Freek Vonk from the Naturalis Biodiversity Center in the Netherlands. We later discovered that the snake had slithered over from a pile of bauxite rubble [that was] waiting to be loaded onto a ship, Fry said in a statement. Bryan Fry, an associate professor at the University of Queensland, searching for snakes near Weipa, Queensland. Image courtesy of Bryan Fry. Frys team found another snake of the same kind near Weipa, and spotted another dead individual that had been run over by a car near the bauxite mine. They found two more specimens of the snake in museum collections, resulting in five specimens from the same small area. On examination by my student, Chantelle Derez, the bandy-bandy turned out to be a new species, visually

Tuesday, 17 July

12:08

Exxons Papua New Guinea Gas Project Is Dead In The Water "IndyWatch Feed Enviro.pacific"

Tim Daiss | Oilprice | 16 July 2018

As liquefied natural gas (LNG) markets mature, trying to establish itself against decades of crude oil dominance, developments far removed from most of the action are taking unusual turns that could in time impact the entire LNG value chain.

Until recently, tiny Papua New Guinea (PNG) was the envy of the worlds LNG producers. Not only did its PNG LNG export project come online without much delay but it also avoided the quandary, affecting nearby Australia whose LNG development has been marred by budget over runs running into the billions, continual project start delays and industry troubling feuds between worker groups and project developers.

PNG LNG project loses its shine

The ExxonMobil-led $19 billion PNG project came online in mid-2014 and started shipping LNG to markets in the Asia-Pacific region, which accounts for 72 percent of all global LNG demand. By 2017, the project was producing some 8.3 million tonnes of LNG, an increase of 20 percent from the original design specification of 6.9 million tonnes per annum (mtpa).

By last year, ExxonMobils PNG p...

10:48

Pay more attention to forests to avert global water crisis, researchers urge "IndyWatch Feed Enviro"

Australias Murray Darling basin covers more than a million square kilometers, 14 percent of the countrys landmass. Its the site of tens of thousands of wetlands, but increasing demand for water has stretched its resources to the limit. Many of the basins wetlands and floodplain forests are declining several former wetlands and forests have even been consumed by bushfires, which are becoming more frequent every year. Yet when Australian officials sought to introduce strict water allocation rules, they met with fierce resistance from farmers in the region who depend on irrigation for their livelihood. This is just one example of the ongoing conflicts over ecological water allocations featured in a new report released by the Global Forest Expert Panel (GFEP) on Forests and Water, an initiative led by the International Union of Forest Research Organizations (IUFRO). More than seven-and-a-half billion humans currently occupy planet Earth together with an estimated three trillion trees, and both of these populations require water. According to the GFEP report, the growing human population and climate change are exacerbating a looming global water crisis that has already hit home in places like the Murray Darling basin but the crisis could potentially be averted if humans paid more attention to the links between forests and water. This international effort to highlight the interlinkages between forests, water, people and climate is very timely, given the pressures we now face on both human society and natural ecosystems, Caroline Sullivan, an environmental economist at Australias Southern Cross University

10:09

Australian miners in firing line of PNG law shake-up "IndyWatch Feed Enviro.pacific"

The streets of Sydney are paved with Papua New Guineas gold

Jewel Topsfield | Sydney Morning Herald | 17 July 2018

Major Australian mining companies face the prospect of higher royalties, tough restrictions on fly-in fly-out workers and the potential nationalisation of assets under reforms under consideration by the cash-strapped Papua New Guinea government.

The proposed law changes have sparked warnings from the countrys peak mining body that they would pose significant deterrents to investment in future projects and threaten the existing operations of current mines.

Several Australian Securities Exchange listed companies including Newcrest, Highlands Pacific and St Barbara Limited operate mines in Papua New Guinea, which has significant resources including gas, gold, copper, cobalt and nickel.

08:24

Fourth whale snaring prompts call to end Qld shark nets "IndyWatch Feed National"

Supplied photo of a ten meter humpback whale tangled in a shark net off Main Beach on the Gold Coast on Thursday, July 5, 2012. The Sea World rescue team, along with the DPI Boating and Fisheries Patrol, spent three hours cutting the sub adult female whale free from shark nets in rough seas. (AAP Image/Sea World)

A whale rescued from a shark net off the Gold Coast yesterday is the fourth humpback whale entangled in Queenslands shark nets this winter, prompting Humane Society International to call for their abolition.

Head of campaigns, Nicola Beynon, said the society was relieved to hear that the whale trapped on the Gold Coast has been freed, but extremely concerned by the distress it will have suffered.

Whale entanglements show the extreme folly of shark nets, because entangled whales can actually attract great white sharks to the area. Whale entanglements also pose a serious safety risk to the rescuers who work to free the animals, which defeats their purpose as a public safety measure, she said.

Commenting on the latest rescue, Sea Worlds curator of mammals and birds, Mitchell Leroy, said the rescue operations carried out by Sea World and the Department of Fisheries were incredibly dangerous.

The animal can panic and lash its tail out. They are massive heavy things and its very easy for them to destroy a boat and severely injure, if not kill people.

The society predicts more whales will be ensnared before the end of the migration season. After wintering in Queensland waters, the humpbacks are at even greater risk of shark net entanglement on their return journey when accompanied by their new-born calves and swimming closer to shore.

Last year there were eight humpback whales caught in Queensland shark nets, including a stillborn calf that was found after its mother was entangled in a net off Kurrawa Beach on the Gold Coast.

Ms Beynon said there are more effective ways to protect both marine and human life than lethal shark nets.

The Queensland government is stuck in the dark ages on this one, she added.

Whales are a star attraction for the Queensland tourism economy. The least the Queensland government could do is give them safe passage by removing these death traps, continued.

Humane...

01:31

The problem of single-use plastic pollution "IndyWatch Feed National"

The problem of plastic pollution has come to the fore, thanks to the work of environmental groups who have highlighted the toll it is taking on the oceans and marine life. Much of the damage comes from the sheer volume of plastic items that are used just once and then thrown away. This website by a company called SLOActive that markets sustainable, eco-friendly swimwear has data on the harm that plastics are doing and what we can do to mitigate the damage. The numbers are staggering. About 1.15 to 2.41 million tons of plastic are said to annually enter the worlds oceans via rivers.

The problem of microplastics, the tiny plastic particles that are created near the end point of the plastic degradation process, is now coming to the fore. As the website says:

Scientific research surveys have revealed that microplastics are widespread throughout the worlds oceans, and are having a negative impact on marine life, as well as the health of humans who rely on seafood as a staple protein source. Polystyrene beads and plastic pellets are not easily digested so tend to accumulate in the digestive tract of marine animals who consume them. This can result in the animal feeling full, causing it to stop feeding, leading to emaciation and ultimately death from starvation, or it can cause an intestinal blockage that can also be fatal. When a predator feeds on a fish that has a gut full of undigested polystyrene or plastic, this is passed on to the predator who in most cases will also have problems digesting it.

In Australia , two major retailers have stopped issuing plastic bags and some states have banned them. An Australian senate committee has issued a report recommending that all single use plastics be banned by the year 2023. Some US states and cities are also taking steps towards the elimination of single-use plastics. In the US, Starbucks has made a big media splash by vowing to eliminate plastic straws from its stores by 2020.

The two targets currently in the news are disposable plastic bags and plastic straws. In the US, stores hand out these bags far too readily. If you buy even a single small item, the cashier will immediately slip it into a plastic bag and give it to you and I have to ask them to take it out again and just give me the item and keep the bag. If I know I will be buying....

IndyWatch Au Environment News Feed Archiver

Go Back:30 Days | 7 Days | 2 Days | 1 Day

IndyWatch Au Environment News Feed Today.

Go Forward:1 Day | 2 Days | 7 Days | 30 Days

IndyWatch Au Environment News Feed was generated at Australian News IndyWatch.

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