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Tuesday, 20 September


Huge sinkhole leaks waste into Florida drinking water, concealed for weeks "IndyWatch Feed"

Huge sinkhole leaks waste into Florida drinking water, concealed for weeks

A large sinkhole has caused contaminated wastewater to flow into an aquifer in Polk County, Florida in the US.

The sinkhole appeared at the Mosaic phosphate fertilizer plant about three weeks ago, and 215 million gallons of water containing sulphate, sodium and gypsum, which contains low levels of radiation have drained into the aquifer since then, the Tampa Bay Times reports.

The aquifer is the state’s main source of drinking water.

The 45 foot wide sinkhole appeared under a “gypsum stack” of Mosaic waste material, which is created during the process of producing fertilizer from phosphate.

Mosaic claims there is no risk. “Groundwater moves very slowly,” David Jellerson, Mosaic’s senior director for environmental and phosphate projects said. “There’s absolutely nobody at risk.”

The company says it started to divert the water as soon as the alarm was raised. The company became aware of the the sinkhole in late August, but kept it from the public as they said there was no risk. It did inform the Florida Department of Environmental Protection(DEP), but the DEP did not tell the public either.

“The department’s focus at this time is on the oversight of Mosaic’s first-response efforts in order to safeguard public health and the environment,” DEP spokesperson Dee Ann Miller told the Tampa Bay Times.

Mosaic, the world’s largest phosphate mining company,says it has been draining the contaminated water from the aquifer.

Locals say Mosaic – who only last year paid...


Credit where it’s due: How distributed energy could save $1bn on grid costs "IndyWatch Feed"

One Step Off The Grid The introduction of regulatory measures to reward local energy generators for their contributions to the grid could unlock savings of more than $1 billion in avoided network costs, a major Australian study has found. The study – which was led by the University of Technology Sydney’s Institute for Sustainable Futures, and funded […]


Gold Coast light rail study helps put a figure on value capture’s funding potential "IndyWatch Feed"

by Dr Cameron Murray cross-posted from The Conversation Value capture actually can work when it comes to funding new transport infrastructure. My research on the Gold Coast light rail provides the figures to demonstrate the size of the gains to nearby land values, which were around 25% of the A$1.2 billion capital cost in stage […]


Prosper urges the Local Government Review to mandate Site Value "IndyWatch Feed"

Victoria is reviewing its Local Government Act 1989. The original Act is now subject to over 90 amending acts, so the Review is timely and necessary. Buried among the good ideas to improve local government is a very bad one, obliging all councils to use Capital Improved Value as the ratings base. Prosper Australia’s submission […]


Four reasons why electric vehicles may take off in Australia "IndyWatch Feed"

The cost of the vehicle, the cost of infrastructure and recharging, as well as the fate of petrol refineries may influence the uptake of EVs in Australia.


World at tipping point, Australia at tripping point, on energy transition "IndyWatch Feed"

WEC report says stable renewables policies supported by clear carbon price signals remain crucial as world passes tipping point of "grand energy transition". Meanwhile, in Australia...


Why May approved Hinkley nuclear – the “biggest white elephant” in UK history "IndyWatch Feed"

The people who approved and pushed for the approval of the £18 billion (and rising) project stand to benefit from its approval. Financially.


SunPower acquires AUO’s stake in Malaysian joint venture "IndyWatch Feed"

SunPower Corp. announced today that it is purchasing AUO's portion of the two companies' joint venture.


Solar price hits record low of 2.42c/kWh, and may fall further "IndyWatch Feed"

JinkoSolar smashes solar cost record with a bid of 2.42c/kWh in an Abu Dhabi tender. But it's not just the cost of solar PV that is falling dramatically, other technologies such as offshore wind and solar towers and storage are also coming down quickly, a big boost for climate action.

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Monday, 19 September


Manhattan explosion being used to coverup US war crime in Syria "IndyWatch Feed"


By Filip Karinja

Before today’s explosion in Manhattan, the news for the day was of the United States airforce conducting four separate airstrikes on the Syrian army in Syria killing 62 soldiers and injuring 100 more.

The soldiers, representing the elected Syrian government, where in battle against ISIS when the US war planes came and were essentially acting as air support for ISIS by bombing the Syrian soldiers near the city of Deir ez-Zor, Syria.

Russia called for an immediate UN meeting to find out why the US had once again acted on behalf of ISIS in Syria.

The United States’ only response was to accuse Russia of grandstanding, avoiding the actual subject as to why they had bombed soldiers of an elected foreign government, a clear act of war.


However, western media has done it best to coverup the latest Syrian incident and when it does talk about it, like all the other times the US has killed innocent people, language such as ‘may’ ‘allegations’ ‘reports say’ ‘could’ is used rather that labelling it as fact.

Australian media has completely buried the story, the same way they didn’t even report on the news in July of this year when US and French planes bombed a Syrian village killing over 85 civilians. Apparently this was not newsworthy either, but news on what some celebrity did that day apparently was.

Hence if you speak to people who get their information from the mainstream media about the incident they will tell you that they have never heard about it, the same people who still don’t know about things like WTC building 7.

Perhaps this is why trust in the mainstream media is at its lowest point in history against all demographics, as people are beginning to wake up to see the bigger picture of what’s going on and why.

For example, when the US isn’t bombing civiliansbombing hospitals,...


Cancer Cure May Have Finally Been Found In The Australian Rainforest "IndyWatch Feed"

Cancer Cure May Have Finally Been Found In The Australian Rainforest

By Christina Sarich

Queensland, Australia — A rare, cancer-fighting compound has been found in nature, and it only grows in one place in the entire world.

This cancer-fighting blushwood berry, also known as Hylandia dockrillii, has been uncovered in a far northern part of Australia, known for its proximity to the Great Barrier Reef and over 70 national parks, in the rainforests of North Queensland. The phyto-active compounds in this berry, namely a molecule which scientists are calling EBC-46, are so potent that they’ve killed cancerous tumors in lab experiments in as few as seven days. Other cancers were eradicated within only 48 hours.

Numerous clinical trials have already shown promise for treating cancer in laboratory animals, including horses, rats, and dogs, and the first human trials on a drug made from blush berries may have kept one woman from having to undergo an amputation of her arm. In a shocking twenty minutes, she says the tumor, “went purple, then black, and within a couple days, the tumor just shriveled up and died.”

The compound causes no side effects, and works faster than almost anything doctors have ever seen. It works specifically on spot-melanomas, like skin cancer.

EBC-46 seems to trigger an immune response when injected into cancerous tumor sites. Our white blood cells then attack the tumor and shrink it so that the body can completely dispose of the cancerous cells which formed it.

Blushwood berries seem to be chock-full of this tumor-fighting compound. QIMR Berghofer Medical Research Institute in Queensland, Australia, recently conducted a study on the blushwood berry and found that in over 70 percent of cases, when the compound was used, cancerous tumors die.

Dr. Glen Boyle, who led the study, says, “There’s a compound in the seed — it’s a very, very complicated process to purify this compound and why it’s there in the first place, we don’t know.”

Boyle explains that the tree is “very, very picky” about where it will grow. He says, “It’s only on the Atherton Tablelands at the moment and they’re trying to expand that to different places of course because it’d be nice to be able to grow it on a farm somewhere.”

Though Dr. Boyle says the blushwood berry compound could be used to augment chemotherapy treatment, there is a possibility that the drug could help cure cancer simply through ingesting the fruit, itself, or applying it topically. No clinical evidence has yet proven the blushwood berry to work in its whole, natural form, but if the compound gained from its flesh is so effective, might not the fruit itself prove efficacious in healing non-metastatic cancers?

Blushwood berry compounds are thought to...


Travelling back from the US today – but there is some music "IndyWatch Feed"

I am travelling all day today on my way back to Australia. So we have a nice music compilation to listen to. Regular transmission will resume on Wednesday whereupon, with my flame suit securely fastened, we will consider the ‘robot’ case for basic incomes. Or should I say the ‘non-case’.

For the next 24 hours I will not be able to closely monitor the comments section. So if your comment has a link in it please be patient and I will get to it in due course.

Here is a Jazz Reggae mix which I am listening to on the plane.

The compilation starts with an interview with famous Jamaican music producer Lee ‘Scratch’ Perry.

It is a great groove to while away the hours winging across the Pacific Ocean. You might also like it. The use of melodica is particularly beautiful.

Track order:

01. Lee ‘Scratch’ Perry Interview (1991) 00:00
02. Madu 00:50
03. The Senior AllStars 05:40
04. Guitoud 12:15
05. Dubmatix 18:54
06. Kazufumi Kodama 22:42
07. Uptown Rebel 27:04
08. Alific 30:33
09. Dubkasm 33:10
10. Faya Dub 37:05
11. Gofrilab 40:45
12. Hornsman Coyote 45:45
13. Faya Horns 50:16
14. Love Grocer 54:32
15. Zion Train 58:00 –

Regular transmission resumes Wednesday, September 21.

That is enough for today!

(c) Copyright 2016 William Mitchell. All Rights Reserved.


Last chance on climate change policy "IndyWatch Feed"

With August 2016 setting yet another record for global temperatures, the need for action on climate change is obvious. The good news is that most national governments are finally recognising the urgency of the problem. The bad news is that Australia is not among them. Having commissioned a Special Review from the Climate Change Authority (of which I’m a member) and received recommendations designed with the current policy as a starting point, the government’s response has been that it might take another look at the problem in 2017.

I’ve written the statement over the fold in response. Comments very welcome. I won’t engage in discussion; in this context, I’d rather let the statement speak for itself.

Statement by Professor John Quiggin regarding government response to Climate Change Authority Special Review report
1. The Climate Change Authority is an independent body responsible for delivering independent expert advice on climate change policy within the principles set out in the Climate Change Authority Act 2011. In my view, the Authority’s primary obligation is to provide the Parliament, which established it, with a basis on which Parliament can adopt, and the government can implement, policies to meet Australia’s international obligations. As stated in previous reports by the Authority, and reiterated in the current report, our commitment to internationally equitable policies consistent with holding global warming below 2 degrees will require emissions reductions of 40 to 60 per cent below 2000 levels by 2030. This is consistent with the evidence of climate science and with the actions being taken by other countries to meet their commitments.
2. It is therefore appropriate, in my view, for advice on the design of climate policy to take account of the existing settings of policy, the general desirability of consistency and stability in policy, and the policy commitments already made by parties and members of Parliament, . That is, it is appropriate to recommend a policy or policy toolkit that is:
(i) able to be implemented in the short run and scaled up over time to meet Australia’s international obligations, bearing in mind that our existing indicative commitments will themselves be scaled up over time; and
(ii) based on existing policies and capable of commanding broad support in Parliament
even if, in the absence of the constraints imposed by the history of policy in this field, other policies might be regarded as more cost-effective and reliable.
3. Conversely, it is not appropriate for the Authority, as an independent advisory body to accept political constraints that would be inconsistent with the obligation to make recommendations consistent with our international obligations.
4. I believe that the toolkit proposed by the Authority meets the criteria set out in point 2 and I therefore commend it to the Parliament.
5. The Authority’s report has received favourable responses from stakeholders including the Business Council of Australia, AIGroup and the Australian Energy Council.
6. However, an effective response to Australia’s international obligations is feasible only if the major parties, and particularly the government parties, understand the urgency of the problem and are committed to adopting a comprehensive response as soon as possible.
7. Unfortunately, government’s response so far suggests that
(a) the government is unlikely to contemplate any further action before the completion of a review scheduled for the second half of 2017; and
(b) even in the context of this review, the g...


Monday Message Board "IndyWatch Feed"

Another Monday Message Board. Post comments on any topic. Civil discussion and no coarse language please. Side discussions and idees fixes to the sandpits, please.


Australian miner used arbitration threat to upend Indonesian environmental law "IndyWatch Feed"

A former Newcrest Mining executive said he threatened to sue the Southeast Asian nation in an international tribunal if Indonesia did not exempt the company from a prohibition on open-pit mining in protected forests.


Is there a case for a basic income guarantee – Part 1 "IndyWatch Feed"

The Basic Income Guarantee (BIG) – uncertain motivation, error-prone macroeconomics

The Basic Income Guarantee (BIG) proposal has been advocated by a diversity of interests on the right and left of the political spectrum.

Tracing the origins of the BIG proposal reveals that the motivations of the proponents at different periods of history have varied from those who desire to cut government spending overall and push the responsibility of maintaining ‘welfare’ onto individuals, to those who were believed that unemployment was a violation of justice but was outside of the capacity of governments to solve it, to, more recently, those who invoke trepidation about the so-called second machine age and claim that robots are going to wipe out jobs on a massive scale (the ‘robot’ justification).

Voices from the left and the right weave various aspects of these motivations, often in overlapping ways, to justify their demands for a basic income to be paid by the state to all individuals (although even then, the unit that would receive the benefit is also a topic of disagreement).

British socialite and conservative activist, Juliet Rhys-Williams was a member of the Beveridge Committee, which sought to reform the system of income support in the early 1940s. Its final report – the Social Insurance and Allied Services (aka the Beveridge Report) provided the design that would become the post World War II Welfare State in Britain.

The idea advanced by the Committee was that a sy...


Could jet fuel grow on trees? ANU finds promise in Australian gum-leaf "IndyWatch Feed"

Eucalyptus oils from certain gum tree species could be refined to make high energy jet fuel, an ANU study has found.


Why Australian solar installers are suffering, and consumers are laughing "IndyWatch Feed"

The average margin for a rooftop solar installation in the United States market is 40 per cent. In Australia, some installers are struggle to get into double figures. Consumers aren't complaining though.


Know your NEM: Big questions over Victoria renewables target "IndyWatch Feed"

South Australia electricity price falls; Infigen Energy gives up 30%; why biggest gas pipeline operator is no saint; and the big questions over Victoria renewable energy target.


A cup of tea with your solar plant? "IndyWatch Feed"

Sun Brilliance wants its solar plant to become a visitor complex for weddings, parties ... and a nice cuppa tea. Now, why didn't coal fired power stations think of that?


Redflow says first ZCell batteries to be installed in homes in October "IndyWatch Feed"

Redflow says first ZCell residential battery storage systems to be delivered to customers next month after first shipment of batteries arrived in Australia on Sunday.


Wind energy costs set to continue to decline, according to Berkeley Lab "IndyWatch Feed"

Continued technological advancements are expected to continue reducing the cost of wind energy, according to a new survey of leading wind experts.


Tesla wins contract for largest lithium-ion battery storage installation in world "IndyWatch Feed"

Tesla wins contract to install 20MW/80MWh Powerpack for Southern California Edison Mira Loma Substation.


Senator Malcolm Roberts fails high school science in maiden speech "IndyWatch Feed"

What happens when a climate science denialist gets things badly, horribly, terribly, and embarrassingly wrong.


UQ Gatton solar facility to test RedFlow battery storage "IndyWatch Feed"

University of Queensland to add 200kW RedFlow zinc bromine battery to its world-leading solar research facility to test how it helps renewables interact with grid.

Monday, 12 September


With TPP in Limbo, Europe Has a Golden Opportunity "IndyWatch Feed"

With TPP's future uncertain in the U.S., the EU can take over global leadership on ambitious new trade deals.

IndyWatch Australian Economic News Feed Archiver

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