Author Archive: roman

Nuclear power exits Australia’s energy debate, enters culture wars

An update by Jim Green, June 13th

What do these politicians and ex-politicians have in common: Clive PalmerTony AbbottCory BernardiBarnaby JoyceMark LathamJim MolanCraig KellyEric Abetz, and David Leyonhjelm?

Yes, they’re all men, and all so far to the right of the political spectrum that right-wing ideologues think they are right-wing ideologues.

And they all support nuclear power. To the far-right, pro-nuclear luminaries listed above we could add the right-wing of the right-wing National Party (pretty much all of them), the Minerals Council of Australia (who lobby furiously for clean nuclear and clean coal), the Business Council of Australia, media shock-jocks Alan Jones and Peta Credlin (and others), the Murdoch media (especially The Australian newspaper), the Citizens Electoral Council, and the Institute of Public Affairs and its front group the Australian Environment Foundation.

It’s no surprise that the far-right supports nuclear power (if only because the ‘green left’ opposes it). But in Australia, support for nuclear power is increasingly marginalised to the far-right. Indeed support for nuclear power has become a sign of tribal loyalty: you support nuclear power (and coal) or you’re a cultural Marxist, and you oppose renewables and climate change action or you’re a cultural Marxist.

Support for nuclear power in Australia has ebbed in the aftermath of the Fukushima disaster, catastrophic costs overruns on reactor projects, and the falling costs of renewables. Dr Ziggy Switkowski used to be nuclear power’s head cheerleader in Australia and he led the Howard government’s review of nuclear power in 2006. But he said last year that “the window for gigawatt-scale nuclear has closed” and that nuclear power is no longer cheaper than renewables with costs rapidly shifting in favour of renewables.

Peter Farley, a fellow of the Australian Institution of Engineers, wrote in RenewEconomy earlier this year: “As for nuclear the 2,200 MW Plant Vogtle [in the US] is costing US$25 billion plus financing costs, insurance and long term waste storage.Read more >>

Government announces deregulation of risky new GM techniques

Government announces deregulation of risky new GM techniques the day before the election is called
Apr 18, 2019

On the day before the Federal election was called, the Government quietly announced changes to Australia’s Gene Technology Regulations that will allow a raft of new genetically modified (GM) animals, plants and microbes to enter our environment and food chain with no safety assessment and potentially no labelling.

These include super-muscly pigs, non-browning mushrooms, and wheat with powdery mildew-resistance.

The deregulation comes as a new study adds to the growing body of evidence that new GM techniques such as CRISPR are not as safe as claimed.

The study found that in 50 per cent of the cells looked at, the use of CRISPR resulted in unexpected effects, including the production of new proteins.

There is a risk that these proteins could be novel toxins or allergens. It is vital that GM animals, plants and microbes produced in this way are assessed for safety before being released into our environment and our food supply.

Commenting on the new study, London-based molecular geneticist Dr Michael Antoniou said, “The discoveries described in this study add to the increasing number of ways in which gene editing can go wrong. Regulators need to fully take on board these and other findings of off- and on-target unexpected outcomes from gene editing and subject all products produced with these methods to a comprehensive health risk assessment before considering market approval.”Read more >>

2019: the climate election

Apr 24, 2019: FoE Australia media release

The future is renewables

The federal election will be held on May 18.  With climate change already bearing down on us, a recent decision by the government of Scott Morrison to sign off on Commonwealth approvals for the Adani Carmichael coal mine, and a robust debate about energy and renewables, there is no doubt that this will be the #climateelection.

Elections are a time to remind all parties that they need to deliver solid action on climate change and the environment.

The following are our key policy proposals for the 2019 federal election.

Listen to the science

IPCC_Oct_2018.jpeg

Climate science makes it abundantly clear that if we want to have a hope of avoiding dangerous climate change we must stop digging up fossil fuels.

Parties must:

  • Commit to stopping the Adani Carmichael coal mine in Queensland
  • Commit Australia to 100% renewable energy by 2030
  • Rule out coal-to-hydrogen technologies in any plan to develop a hydrogen industry
  • Rule out supporting or funding experimental waste-carbon injection (carbon capture and storage) projects
  • Rule out releasing further offshore oil and gas exploration licenses, as NZ/ Aotearoa has done
  • Support the No More Bad Investments legislation
  • Rule out forcing the medium level radioactive waste dump on unwilling communities

Start the transition

earthworker_factory.jpgThe time for coal is over. We need to transform our economy. We need to take everyone with us – this means supporting sectors and communities which will be on the frontline of structural change.

At the federal level, this includes the need to:

  • Extend the existing national Renewable Energy Target (RET) beyond 2020, with the addition of policies to encourage the rollout of energy storage
  • Enshrine action on climate change in the National Electricity Market (NEM) rules to guide the transition to renewable energy
  • Establish a public authority Transition Australia to guide the shift to 100% renewable energy in the electricity sector and provide transition programs for people in areas that have historically been dependent on coal mining
  • Get the Climate Change Authority to undertake an immediate update of Australia’s carbon budget and the emissions cuts needed to limit warming to 1.5oC
  • Each year, the impacts of climate change grow.
Read more >>

Sun May 5th: Hands Across the Sand at Brighton Jetty

Hands Across the Sand & Paddle out to #fightforthebight

  • Brighton Jetty Esplanade, (map)

Whether it be land or in the water, this May it’s time to show you are willing to do what it takes to protect the Great Australian Bight from risky deep sea oil drilling.

Surfrider Foundation Australia are championing paddle outs across the country for the #fightforthebight and the Adelaide event is being combined with Hands Across the Sand.

Last year over 20 communities across Australia held Hands Across the Sand events. So far this year thousands if people have paddled out from beaches across the country. People like are putting their bodies into the first against proposed oil drilling in the Great Australian Bight.

May 5th will be just days before Norwegian mining company, Equinor’s, AGM, as well as our own Federal Election. It’s a perfect time to show just how powerful the community opposition to this project is.

The strength of the Great Australian Bight Alliance is growing. Will you be part of this incredible movement to protect our coast? .

Now is the time to have your voice heard.

Bring surfboards, bodyboards, SUPs, kayaks, surf skis and other personal watercraft to peacefully #fightforthebight. Bring signs and banners and come enjoy the day.

Hosted by

Surfrider Foundation Australia

Non-profit organisation · Environmental conservation organisation

The Wilderness Society South Australia

Non-governmental organisation (NGO) · Environmental conservation organisation

Australian Youth Climate Coalition SA

Non-profit organisation

Sea Shepherd South Australia

Non-profit organisation · Community organisation

Great Australian Bight Alliance

Community

Authorised by P. Owen The Wilderness Society South Australia, 7/118 King William St Adelaide 5000

Read more >>

Friday, May 3rd Student Strike for Climate

The details for this Friday’s Student strike for Climate from the School Strike for Climate page

On the 3rd of May, there are School Strikes being organised at 5 different MP Offices
for the School Strike 4 Climate National Day of Action.

This is only 2 weeks before the Federal election – the #ClimateElection.

We are running out of time and the next government is amongst the LAST to be in a position to take meaningful action on climate change.

May the 3rd is a key opportunity for students to show their local MP just how important climate action is to them and ask them to commit to Stopping Adani, 100% Renewables by 2030 and no new fossil fuels (which means No Drilling in the Bight!). We cannot vote, but climate change in the single biggest threat to our futures and we must make our voices heard!

All the strikes start at 11am. Bring your family, friends, teachers and everyone in between.

 

Locations

ADELAIDE CITY – Simon Birmingham’s Office (107 Sir Donald Bradman Drive)

STURT – Christopher Pyne’s Office (starting at St Morris Reserve) –

BOOTHBY – Nicolle Flint’s Office ( 724 Marion Rd) –

MAYO – Rebekha Sharkie’s Office (starting at Keith Stephenson Park) –

WAKEFIELD – Nick Champion’s Office (600 Main North Rd)

  We hope to see y’all on May the 3rd.Read more >>