Author Archive: roman

Westgate Tunnel hearings nothing but concerns

Since I started as the FoE & PTNT Sustainable Cities campaigner I have been continually shocked as I learn more about the Transurban $5.5 billion mega-toll road proposed for Melbourne’s West.

What started as a much needed proposal to get noisy, poisonous trucks off the residential streets of Melbourne’s inner West has now morphed into a crazy plan to lock the West into a car dependent future. Titled a tunnel, it actually consists of a 12-lane toll way, short tunnel, 3 giant bridges across the Maribyrnong River, then an 18-lane double-decker road leading to spaghetti interchanges and flyovers.

For the last few weeks, I have joined concerned residents from the west at the environmental effects (EES) hearings of the project.

Here, with the lawyers and the bureaucrats, ordinary citizens are trying to digest the 10,000 pages of environmental effects information in an insultingly short time. Many of the representatives are volunteers – residents and community groups that don’t have dedicated employees or professional experts to untangle the volume of information within the documents.

As Rosa McKenna from Better West – Spotswood South Kingsville Residents Group says “the government and Transurban are trying to push this project though, but we know it is wrong for so many reasons: shifting truck traffic onto other inner west streets in Hobsons Bay, with the health and safety implications, and locking us into decades more of road based infrastructure”.…

Underground Coal Gasification too costly and too unreliable

This week The Institute for Energy Economics and Financial Analysis (IEEFA) published a report describing how coal-to-gasification technology for electricity-generation purposes remains commercially unviable.

The report—“Using Coal Gasification to Generate Electricity: A Multibillion-Dollar Failure”—concludes that two long-running marquee American Integrated Gasification Combined Cycle (IGCC), projects, Duke Energy’s Edwardsport plant in Indiana and Southern Company’s Kemper plant in Mississippi, prove the case against such investments.

“Efforts to gasify coal for power generation have been major failures, technologically and financially,” writes David Schlissel, the author of the report and IEEFA’s director of Resource Planning Analysis. “Both Kemper and Edwardsport have been economic disasters for consumers and investors alike, and a number of important and painful lessons have emerged from Kemper and Edwardsport.”…

To Christians arguing ‘no’ on marriage equality: the Bible is not decisive

Just in case you were wondering about claims of biblical support:

“We need to put all this in perspective. These are six verses out of more than 31,000 verses or roughly 0.016% of the text. In contrast, the Bible contains more than 2,000 verses about money (and related issues of greed, wealth, loans, and property), and more than 100 specifically on one’s obligation to care for widows.

In other words, monitoring and proscribing human (homo)sexual activity is not a particular concern of the Bible when compared to the overarching demand for justice, economic equality, and the fair treatment of foreigners and strangers. For certain Christian groups to make this the decisive Christian issue is simply a misreading of biblical values.”
— Robyn J Whitaker, Lecturer in Biblical Studies, after analysing verses in the bible dealing with sex, writing in the conversation about the same sex marriage issue.

 

Stop the gasfields action: Sunday the 30th July 2017

from 12 o’clock to 1pm (arrive from 11.30am)
Venue: Parliament House

Support the people in the South East of South Australia and particularly,
Penola. Beach Energy has announced state-owned forestry land, 8 kms south
of Penola, as the site of the controversial Haselgrove 3 gas well.

This well on public land must be stopped. The drilling site is near the
boundary of the Coonawarra wine district and the new $80 million Union
Dairy Company processing plant.

We are calling on the SA government to stop the gas field exploration in the
SE of South Australia and to save our state for jobs in farming, tourism and
the wine industry. No food, no future. We say no to gas fields.

To see the effects of unconventional gas mining on land and people watch
Fractured Country an unconventional invasion. It is very worth watching and
only takes 40 mins (be informed while sipping a cup of coffee or tea with
friends)

Aboriginal inhabitants in Kakadu at least 70,000 years ago

A groundbreaking archaeological discovery in Australia’s north has extended the known length of time Aboriginal people have inhabited the continent to at least 65,000 years.
The findings on about 11,000 artefacts from Kakadu national park, published on Thursday in the journal Nature, prove Indigenous people have been in Australia for far longer than the much-contested estimates of between 47,000 and 60,000 years, the researchers said.

Some of the artefacts were potentially as old as 80,000 years.
The new research upends decades-old estimates about the human colonisation of the continent, their interaction with megafauna, and the dispersal of modern humans from Africa and across south Asia.

more details in the Guardian