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

Saturday, 27 January


Water Warriors, Puyallup Tribe & Tacoma Residents Seek To Pass Resolution Opposing Fracked Gas Plant "IndyWatch Feed"

Currently, Puget Sound Energy, the company building the plant, has been building a massive fracked gas storage facility at the Port of Tacoma without obtaining all of its permits for construction and have not engaged in consultation, nor received consent, from the Puyallup Tribe whose lands the facility is being built upon. PSE, who is owned by Canadian and Australian investors, wants to build a 140 foot, 8 million gallon LNG storage tank with production capability of 500,000 gallons LNG per day. LNG is fracked natural gas in a liquid state. To reach the liquid state, the fracked gas is cooled to -260 degrees Fahrenheit (F). The fracked gas LNG plant has been subject to intense protest for the past year and a half.


In other news: Environmental stories from around the web, January 26, 2018 "IndyWatch Feed"

Tropical forests EU blamed for tardy response to death of forest activist in Kenya (The Guardian). Baby okapi to greet visitors at Los Angeles Zoo (The Seattle Times). Gabon arrests 10 in ivory trafficking probe (AP/ABC News). Higher carbon dioxide boosts flowering in tropical forests ( Florida State University). The business of forest restoration and reforestation (Digital Journal). Massacre stimulates overhaul of logging laws in Senegal (AFP/News24). Willfully ignorant consumers avoid or forget information about where the products they buy come from (Woodworking Network). Mexican activist who took on loggers murdered (Los Angeles Times). Hundreds of containers of logs seized by Brazilian authorities (Reuters). Scientists use genetic information to tease apart frog species in Gabon (Smithsonian Insider). Study tracks the biggest threats in protected areas (Thomson Reuters Foundation News). Finland under pressure to cut funding to Kenyas forest service after alleged human rights abuses (REDD-Monitor). Other news Trump administration could still seek to drill for oil off Florida (The New York Times). New emissions monitoring program takes off in France (The Conversation). Australia floats $60 million to save Great Barrier Reef (The Guardian). Tea and elephants collide in Indias Assam state (BBC news). Public and private funding necessary to meet sustainability goals: Davos report (The Guardian). Global list of invasive species will help in the battle against extinction, scientists say (The Guardian). Japan to upgrade whaling mothership in sign that the country will continue whaling (The Guardian). Early signs of bleaching on the Great Barrier Reef (The Guardian). Record-warm year

Earthquake swarm in progress along the coast of NSW, Australia "IndyWatch Feed"

A seismic swarm is in progress along the coast of northern New South Wales, Australia since Friday, January 19, 2018, raising fears that a bigger earthquake might hit the region. Authorities say that while they can't rule out a bigger one, they don't see it...... Read more


Puppy Was Being Sold In Exchange For An iPhone But People Saved Her Just In Time "IndyWatch Feed"

The puppys owners didnt want her anymore. What they really wanted, they decided, was an iPhone.

Earlier this month, a friend of Emma Haswell, founder and director of Brightside Farm Sanctuary in Australia, was scrolling through Facebook when she came across an ad.

A friend found [the puppy] advertised on Facebook to swap for a phone, Haswell told The Dodo. She let me know, and I said if she collected her we would take her in.

Credit: Brightside Farm Sanctuary

Haswell, who regularly rescues dogs and farm animals, wasnt too surprised by the ad. She often sees dogs and puppies being advertised for sale online although this was the first time she saw an ad trying to swap a puppy for a phone.

To make the situation worse, the puppy was only 14 weeks old.

It saddened me that she was in this position of having no value as a loved, living being, Haswell said. Commonly these puppies are bought and then re-advertised for sale weeks later.

Haswells friend didnt waste a minute  she got in touch with the seller and asked for the puppy, who is now named Possum. While she had to front some cash to get Possum, she refused to pay the full price of an iPhone.

Credit: Brightside Farm Sanctuary

Once Possum was safe, Haswell settled her into a foster home through the Brightside Farm Sanctuary network. She spayed and vaccinated Possum so she'd be ready to find a new family the kind of family that wouldnt trade her for anything.

Possum didnt have to wait for long. The very first family she met fell in love with her, and quickly decided to adopt.

She is now so adored, Haswell said. She adores the little boy in the family. As soon as he set eyes on her he called her my puppy. The family also adopted a beagle cross puppy [at the same time], but...


Sheep Are Packed Into These Crates For The Worst Reason "IndyWatch Feed"

The sheep were packed into crates like lifeless cargo. They had no food. No water. And they had a terrifying plane journey ahead of them.

Earlier this month, photographers in Australia got access to an undisclosed airport runway, and took photos of crated sheep as they were being loaded onto cargo planes. While its unclear exactly where they were headed, Kelly Dinham, spokesperson for Suffering Souls, the animal welfare group that published the photos online, doesnt think theyre going anything pleasant as they're some of Australia's many victims of live export.

Credit: Suffering Souls

This particular MASkargo [part of Malaysia Airlines] flight did not provide their destination location on the flight tracker app as planes normally would, Dinham told The Dodo. However, it is likely that they went straight to Malaysia as we [Australia] are sending more sheep there recently.

Once the sheep reached their destination, theyd be slaughtered, probably in a very horrific and inhumane way.

Credit: Suffering Souls

But this is nothing unusual. Each year, Australia exports millions of sheep, cows and goats to Asia and the Middle East. Once the animals reach their destination, often in countries that dont have the same welfare standards for slaughter as Australia, theyre either painfully killed in slaughterhouses or sometimes sacrificed in ritualistic ceremonies.

Most animals leave Australia on live export ships, large vessels in which thousands upon thousands of animals are packed into tight quarters. Many of those animals die due to stress, sickness or heat exposure, w...


Guest Post: What's your heatwave plan? "IndyWatch Feed"

Australia's 'deadliest natural hazard': what's your heatwave plan? Andrew Gissing, Macquarie University and Lucinda Coates, Macquarie University Heatwaves are Australias deadliest natural hazard, but a recent survey has found that many vulnerable people do not have plans to cope with extreme heat.Working with the Bushfire and Natural Hazards Cooperative Research Centre and the Bureau of


Dog Decides To Hitchhike Across Australia All By Himself "IndyWatch Feed"

Australia is an awfully big continent, but one little dog is doing his best to explore it all on his own.

Credit: Laura Scudamore

Earlier this month, an Australian terrier named Rusty took the road trip of a lifetime, hitching a ride with a truck driver from his home in Goondiwindi, Queensland to South Australia a journey of over 1,500 kilometers (more than 930 miles).

Credit: Wikimedia Commons

The 3-and-a-half-year-old pup usually spends his days on his familys property, romping around with his two Border collie buddies. His thrill-seeking spirit often inspires Rusty to explore outside those boundaries.

Rusty and the work dogs will sometimes disappear around the property looking for adventure, Laura Scudamore, Rustys owner, told The Dodo. They will also sometimes find themselves on the nearby highway having a stickybeak [being nosy].

Credit: Laura Scudamore

When Rustys family is away, however, and hes under the care of his in-laws, who own the property, his curiosity can get Rusty into hot water.

A year and a half ago, Rusty first evaded his caretakers and ran to the highway where he caught a lift to Chinchilla, two and a half hours north of Goondiwindi. His cuddly nature endeared him to a local family, who took him...


Dishonest scare-mongering linking nuclear medicine and radioactive waste dumps "IndyWatch Feed"

NUCLEAR MEDICINE AND THE PROPOSED   NATIONAL RADIOACTIVE WASTE REPOSITORY , Jim Green 27 January 18, As health organisations, we are appalled that access to nuclear medical procedures is being used to justify the proposed nuclear waste dump. Most waste from these procedures break down quickly and can be safely disposed of either on site or locally.    Dr Bill Williams, Medical Association for the Prevention of War

Linking the need for a centralized radioactive waste storage facility with the production of isotopes for nuclear medicine is misleading. The production of radioactive isotopes for nuclear medicine comprises a small percentage of the output of research reactors. The majority of the waste that is produced in these facilities occurs regardless of the nuclear medicine isotope production. 
Nuclear Radiologist Dr Peter Karamoskos.

Proponents of a national radioactive waste facility (a repository for lower-level wastes and a co-located store for higher-level wastes) claim or imply that nuclear medicine would be jeopardised if the facility does not proceed. There is no basis to such claims they amount to dishonest scare-mongering.

Proponents claim that most or all of the waste that the federal government wants to dispose of or store at a national repository/store arises from medicine, specifically the production and use of medical radioisotopes. However, measured by radioactivity, the true figure is just 10-20%. Measured by volume, the figure may be within that range or it may be higher than 20% but it takes some creative accounting to justify the claim that most or even all of the waste is medical in origin.

In any case, the fact that some waste is of medical origin doesnt mean that a national repository/store is the best way to manage the waste.

If the plan for a national repository/store does not proceed, medical waste will continue to be stored at the Lucas Heights reactor site operated by the Australian Nuclear Science and Technology Organisation (ANSTO) and, in much smaller volumes, at hospitals. Some waste is used in hospitals and then sent back to ANSTO (e.g. molybdenum cows that have been milked of the daughter radionuclide, technetium-99m by far the most commonly used medical radioisotope). That is no problem since ANSTO and hospitals continue to produce radioactive waste and thus they have an ongoing need for on-site waste stores and waste management expertise regardless of the options for periodic off-site disposal.

Nuclear medicine is not being adversely affected by the absence of a national radioactive waste repository/store. Nuclear medicine will not benefit from the creation of a national radioactive waste repository/store.

The incessant references to nuclear medicine to sell the...


Not Even the Briefest of Pauses for Human-Forced Global Warming Oceans During 2017 Were the Hottest on Record robertscribbler "IndyWatch Feed"

Where does most of the heat trapped by human fossil fuel and other greenhouse gas emissions ultimately end up? Given our fixation on global surface temperatures, many people would say the atmosphere. But this answer is incorrect. The vast majority ends up in the world ocean. (Global change in ocean heat content through 2015. Image source: []

via Not Even the Briefest of Pauses for Human-Forced Global Warming Oceans During 2017 Were the Hottest on Record robertscribbler


South Koreans still distrustful of Japanese fish products after nuclear meltdown "IndyWatch Feed"

Fukushima 311 Watchdogs

SEOUL, Jan. 26 (Yonhap) A majority of South Koreans favor banning the import of Japanese fishery products, a survey showed Friday, underscoring lingering safety concerns about possible radioactive contamination.
Radioactive water leaked following the meltdown at Japans Fukushima nuclear power plant in 2011.
The Consumers Union of Korea polled 1,023 adults across the country last year, and the results showed 55.3 percent want stronger import restrictions. Another 37.2 percent said the restrictions should be very heavy.
   The results of the survey were released by opposition lawmaker Choi Do-ja, who obtained them from the Ministry of Food and Drug Safety.
South Korea prohibited imports of agricultural and fish products from Fukushima and its adjacent areas after radioactive leaks following the 2011 tsunami disaster in Japan.
In 2013, Seoul took a stronger measure to ban imports from fisheries in eight other Japanese prefectures near Fukushima.
Japan took the case

View original post 211 more words



January 26 Energy News geoharvey "IndyWatch Feed"

Opinion: Renewable Energy Doesnt Get More In Subsidies Than Fossil & Nuclear Energy Have Gotten, & Continue To Get Fossil fuels have received government subsidies for 100 or so years. They reportedly get about $5 trillion each year, globally. Renewable energy also receives subsidies, but nothing compared to what fossil fuels get. [CleanTechnica] []

via January 26 Energy News geoharvey


Can A US President Be Charged With A Crime? Is The President Above The Law? Mining Awareness + "IndyWatch Feed"

The President of the United States would be liable to be impeached, tried, and, upon conviction of treason, bribery, or other high crimes or misdemeanors, removed from office; and would afterwards be liable to prosecution and punishment in the ordinary course of law. He is to have power to grant reprieves and pardons for offenses []

via Can A US President Be Charged With A Crime? Is The President Above The Law? Mining Awareness +

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Friday, 26 January


Dog With 'Human' Teeth Helps Her Mom Make Friends Everywhere She Goes "IndyWatch Feed"

As a member of the fastest dog breed on the planet, the quick pace of city life agrees with Salty the greyhound.

The white dappled dog is a fixture in coffee shops and pubs around Melbourne, Australia, and her mom, Lucy Percival, is happy to encourage her social spirit.

Credit: Lucy Percival

We live in Melbourne, which is famous for its bars and cafs, and Salty is a true Melbourite as she loves them, too, Percival told The Dodo. Saltys favorite things are catching the train to go to a bar, or walking to our local cafs for a puppuccino. If she chooses her walk route, she always chooses to walk to the train station!

Most dogs would prefer to head to the dog park rather than a bar but Salty isnt like most dogs, for a number of reasons.

Credit: Lucy Percival

Whenever Salty is contentedly sitting at her favorite spot, something odd happens: She reveals her pronounced front teeth and her jaw starts to chatter. This behavior can draw curious, even concerned, stares from her fellow caf patrons.

Some people think the shaking is because shes sick, scared or cold, Percival said, but she is definitely healthy, happy and warm in the Melbourne summer!

Chattering (chittering or knitting) is one trait that makes greyhounds special. Unlike humans, where teeth chattering is an involuntary form of shivering, greyhound teeth chattering is usually a sign of happiness or contentment, similar to a cats purr.

Though Saltys chattering is not especially uncommon for greyhounds, it still draws attention and can get quite noisy.
Salty chatters a lot! She chatters when its breakfast or dinner time, she chatte...


The Anti-Nuclear Coalition South Australias survey of political candidates and MPs "IndyWatch Feed"

Antinuclear Australia and associated social media will be following with interest the responses of South Australian election candidates to this very important survey

Dear [candidate or MP]

In 2017 South Australians were asked to consider a number of nuclear options for our state.  With a State e...


Nuclear power proponents fighting a losing battle to get any role in Australias energy future "IndyWatch Feed"

Safety risks stall nuclear role in Australias energy mix, SMH, 25 January 2018, Cole Latimer Australia is to hit its Paris climate change targets and lower carbon emissions it needs to think seriously about nuclear energy, lobbyists say, but the safety risks coupled with its economic viability have former supporters doubting its future in Australia.

Australias commitment to the 2015 Paris climate agreement which aims to reduce emissions by 5 per cent below 2000 levels has increased the pressure to reduce the electricity industrys emissions levels, and nuclear energy has been put forward as a way to reach decarbonisation of the network.

Robert Parker, who is a current committee member and former president of the Australian Nuclear Association, said nuclear energy could play a major role in Australias decarbonisation if it is used along with renewable generation such as wind, solar and pumped hydro storage.  Mr Parker said there was the potential to replace Victorias brown coal-fired power stations with nuclear reactors once they had reached the end of their operating life. He said the infrastructure was already in place to rapidly build and operate a nuclear power plant..

Friends of the Earth national nuclear campaigner Dr Jim Green said the cost of nuclear power had made it unviable.

With the possible exception of carbon capture and storage, nuclear power would be the most expensive and least effective way of reducing emissions in Australia, Dr Green told Fairfax Media.

The estimated cost of reactors under construction in the UK is $20 billion each. The estimated cost of reactors under construction in France and Finland has risen to $16 billion each. Energy efficiency and conservation programs, coupled with renewable energy expansion, can sharply reduce emissions in Australia far more quickly and cheaply than nuclear power.

Ten years ago, there might have been a debate to be had over the economic merits of nuclear power, when the Switkowski inquiry estimated that a reactor could be built for $4 billion to $6 billion. The Switkowski panel was out by a factor of three and even Ziggy Switkowski himself now acknowledges that renewables are a more economically viable choice.

Nuclear physicist and NBN chairman Ziggy Switkowski, who once said Australia needs 50 nuclear reactors across the nation, believes the window...


Doomsday Clock moved 30 seconds closer to midnight, "IndyWatch Feed"

CLOSER TO MIDNIGHT: THE DOOMSDAY CLOCK AND THE THREAT OF NUCLEAR WAR, Wired, 25 Jan 18, THE ACCIDENTAL MISSILE alert in Hawaii earlier this month made real for 38 terrifying minutes the vague, low-level dread that permeates American life today: Nuclear war seems closer and more real than it has in a generation. Even the popenot exactly a fear-mongersaid last week that the world now stood at the very limit.That existential fear was affirmed today by the organization of nuclear scientists who have spent seven decades trying to turn humanity away from nuclear weapons: The Bulletin of Atomic Scientists moved its Doomsday Clock 30 seconds closer to midnight, an unofficial barometer of how close the world stands to a man-made catastrophe. It now stands two minutes away.

To call the situation dire is to understate the danger, said Rachel Bronson, the head of the Bulletin, at the National Press Club in Washington, DC, Thursday, announcing the clocks new setting.

The clock dates back to 1947, when the scientists who participated in the Manhattan Project wanted to create a mechanism to warn of escalating global tensions and the danger of global Armageddon. The iconic stylized timepiece has since become the global arbiter of dreador hope. It aims to answer two questions: Is the future of civilization safer or at greater risk than it was last year? And how does todays risk compare to the risks weve experienced over the last 71 years?



US stealth bombers in Guam preparing for a tactical nuclear strike on North Korea? "IndyWatch Feed"

US stealth bombers in Guam appear to be readying for a tactical nuclear strike on North Korea, Business Insider, ALEX LOCKIE, JAN 25, 2018, 


Many Australians not aware of significance of Australia Day Invasion Day "IndyWatch Feed"

Australia Day poll: While many believe date shouldnt offend, many ignore significance of Jan 26 
By Nakari Thorpe : NITV News 18 Jan 2018

While more Australians say that Australia Day should not be celebrated on a day that is offensive to Indigenous Australians,  many do not know the significance of January 26, according to a new poll.

The poll was conducted by Canberra based think-tank, the Australia Institute,
which surveyed 1417 Australians regarding their knowledge about and attitudes to Australia Day.

The polling shows that most Australians dont know what historical event Australia Day commemorates
and most people are not aware it wasnt always celebrated on this date.
Perhaps thats why more than half of Australians say they dont really mind
when we hold Australia Day, as long as we do,
Ebony Bennett, Deputy Director of The Australia Institute said.

Read more of Nakariinformativeinteresting & well-researched article here:


The pro nuclear propaganda that Ive been expecting "IndyWatch Feed"

Off-the-Shelf Nuclear Plants Could Soon Help Power Electric Cars, Bloomberg, By 
Rachel Morison, January 25, 2018,
  • Small modular reactors more versatile than conventional plants
  • Battery storage still too pricey for large-scale use
Demand for low-carbon electricity to power a future wave of electric vehicles could be provided by small, factory-built nuclear reactors.
The U.K. government pledged 56 million pounds of funding for research and development of small nuclear reactors in December. But policy makers need to move quickly and endorse a design now to enable deployment in the 2020s, Policy Exchange said.



Kiata wind farm to strengthen Victorias energy network RenewEconomy "IndyWatch Feed"

A new wind farm in Western Victoria will power more than 20,000 households as part of a jobs boom in Western Victoria with six projects underway or proposed in the area.

via Kiata wind farm to strengthen Victorias energy network RenewEconomy


FUKUSHIMA: Where are the People? Arnie Gundersen on the Ongoing Human Toll of the Nuclear Disaster "IndyWatch Feed"

Fukushima 311 Watchdogs

Please go listen his weeks feature on Nuclear Hotseat podcast:
Arnie Gundersen, Chief Engineer at Fairewinds Energy Education, focuses on the human toll inflicted by the nuclear disaster at Fukushima Daiichi. Recorded December 2, 2017, at DePaul University, at an event sponsored by Chicagos Nuclear Energy Information Service, or NEIS.

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Thursday, 25 January


Premier urged to stop koala-habitat logging near Bellingen "IndyWatch Feed"

Eight NSW environment groups have written to the NSW Premier urging her to intervene to protect an area of Gladstone State Forest, near Bellingen, vital to the protection of koalas in NSW.

Logging operations are planned in Gladstone State Forest where hundreds of koala scats were found by community groups in July and August 2017.

The groups say the planned logging operations, on top of operations carried out in August 2017, highlight how the regulation of public native forests is failing to protect koalas.

A National Parks Association spokesperson said that despite Forestry Corporations own ecologists finding extensive evidence of koala scats, and the hundreds of scats found last August by members of the Bellingen Environment Centre and Kalang River Forest Alliance, no steps have been taken to protect Gladstones koalas.

Polling in the north coast seats of Ballina and Lismore in December 2017 showed people were very aware of the plight of koalas, and highly supportive of new national parks for their protection, the spokesperson said.

North East Forest Alliances Dailan Pugh said koala populations on the north coast have declined 50  per cent  in the past two decades.

Logging has been proven to be contributing to this decline. We must protect the remaining breeding colonies to give koalas a fighting chance, Mr Pugh said.

Gladstone has been found to support a significant koala population, including a mother and her joey. This core koala habitat needs to be protected.

Nambucca Valley Conservation Association spokesperson Lyn Orrego said the state government has allowed Forestry Corporation to undertake intensive, clearfell logging, not valid under logging rules, of 23,000 hectares of high-quality koala habitat in our north coast public native forests over the past 10 years.

We implore the premier to take seriously our request for a stay of execution for the koalas of Gladstone State Forest, Ms Orrego said.

Unprecedented high levels of evidence of breeding koala populations in Gladstone State Forest have been found.

Bellingen Environment Centre spokesperson Ashley Love said this is exceptional evidence of occupancy and demonstrates this area of forest is entirely unsuitable for logging.

Forestry Corporations own ecologists have identified the importance of this area for koalas, yet no protections have been put in place. The premier must intervene, he said.

Frances Pike of the Australian Forests and Climate Alliance said not only is our forest wildlife getting hammered by logging, it is driving climate change too.

Forests are the best technology we have for drawing down carbon dioxide...


Australia in 2018 (Crocodile Dundee grows up) "IndyWatch Feed"

Walkabout Creek

With a bit of scuttlebutt this week about a forthcoming new Crocodile Dundee movie (fake news, no doubt) let's take a quick look at how Mick Dundee would assess the changes in Australia since 1986, assuming he'd been walkabout Stateside for a few decades...

5 million people in one place

On arrival in Manhattan, Dundee famously exclaimed: "That's incredible. Imagine 7 million people all wanting to live together. Yeah, New York must be the friendliest place on earth!". 

Since 1986, Australia's population has increased very strongly from around 16 million to nearly 25 million. Mick would be surprised to discover Sydney itself taking on more of a Manhattan feel, with well over 5 million residents, from fewer than 3 million back then. 

The population of the Territory remains fairly sparse, however, at under  million in total, with population growth in the Top End now having almost totally stagnated after the recent resources boom.

'A sheila like you?

Mick might also be surprised to find that working women like Sue Charlton are increasingly a force to be reckoned with Down Under.

The female participation rate was under 62 per cent in 1986 but had soared to its highest level towards the end of 2017 at 65.7 per cent - this year will likely see Australia's highest labour force participation rate as a result. 



The Pentagon built with mineralized microbes predating dinosaurs "IndyWatch Feed"

A new study has found that some of the building blocks of the Pentagon and Empire State Building were made by microbes that lived up to 340 million years ago, predating the dinosaurs.

A new study led by The Australian National University (ANU) has found that some of the building blocks of the Pentagon and Empire State Building were made by microbes that lived up to 340 million years ago, predating the dinosaurs.

The material, known as oolitic limestone, is a popular building material around the world and is almost completely made of millimetre-sized spheres of carbonate called ooids.

Co-researcher Dr Bob Burne from ANU said the new study found that ooids were made of concentric layers of mineralised microbes, debunking the popular snowball theory that ooids were formed by grains rolling on the seafloor and accumulating layers of sediment.

This is a cross section of the ooids inside Rogenstein oolite.
Credit: ANU

We have proposed a radically different explanation for the origin of ooids that explains their definitive features, said

Dr Burne from the ANU Research School of Earth Sciences. Our research has highlighted yet another vital role that microbes play on Earth and in our lives.

Different types of oolitic limestones have formed in all geological periods and have been found around the world, including in the United States, the United Kingdom, Germany, the Bahamas, China and at Shark Bay in Western Australia.

Dr Burne said humans had known about and used oolitic limestone since ancient times.

Many oolitic limestones form excellent building stones, because they are strong...

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Wednesday, 24 January


Nannas KNAG Deputy PM in Tamworth "IndyWatch Feed"

Outside the deputy PMs office yesterday KNAGs Elizabeth OHara, Margaret Scheidler, Tania Marshall, Felicity Cahill and Pat Schultz had a clear message for Barnaby Joyce. Photo Supplied.

Eve Jeffery

Slap bang in the middle of Australias most iconic country music festival, and slap bang in the middle of town, the just as iconic Knitting Nannas Against Gas (KNAG) created a stir yesterday as they staged an event of their own for the Deputy Prime Minister Barnaby Joyce on his home turf.

As thousands lined the streets of Tamworth for the annual Country Music Festival, members and supporters of KNAG lined the street outside Australias 2ICs hometown office in Peel Street and sat down for a yarn.

Lismore KNAGs Margaret and Louise wanted Barnaby to se the cloths they had knitted for the generations they are trying to save the plant for. Photo supplied.

KNAGs from all around the countryside converged, aglow in their yellow splendour, from loops as far as Lismore, Drake, Gloucester, Taree, Sydney and Elands with one purpose in mind: to support the New England loop in their quest to send a strong and clear message to Barnaby Joyce about his role in office and his duty of care to farming, indigenous cultures, our wilderness areas and future generations.

The area in Minister Joyces electorate around Tamworth is under direct threat from gas and coal mining and the Nannas have come together to highlight this to the member for New England.

The Knitting Nannas say the  threat to the Great Artesian Basin from both coal and gas mining is enormous and irreparable and they are callin...


Teachers and principals turn on Victorian Coalitions school curriculum changes "IndyWatch Feed"

Contributed by a teacher in Victoria

The Victorian oppositions new policy to overhaul the school curriculum, has been given the thumbs down by teachers and principals, who say that it is based on ignorance about what goes on in the classroom.

The  School Education Values Statement, launched yesterday, by leader Matthew Guy and shadow education spokesperson Tim Smith, aims to strip back the state curriculum and impose greater emphasis on Western History, Australian values and national pride.

These words are a thinly veiled code, for the imposition of propaganda to instill in the young, notions of Western superiority, jingoistic nationalism and a narrow view of Australian history and society, which ignores the reality of what happened to the First Australians and that this developed as a land of people from many places and different races and cultures,who contribute to the melting pot of the Australia that is still emerging.

Insisting that Western tradition is somehow superior to others encourages racial and ethnic intolerance. is this what we want? Young Australians should learn about the Enlightment and the striving for more democratic forms of government. It is important.  But it should be studied in the context of the reality that this has been a battle against the existing power structures, which drew from many traditions. This is not what is being talked about.

In its place, is the claim that this land is an outpost of superior Western (read British) civilisation, and that Australian values were born out of participation in the empire and its wars, instead of by millions, battling it out at home, to make this a better place to live, and even rebelling from time to time.

Teachers know better and will resist it. They do teach Australian values. But these are of a different kind,  about respect, inclusiveness, an open mind and questioning.

Within the text, there is explicit criticism that what is taught in mainstream schools is too broad and that they get involved in areas that should be left to families or the community outside the schools. This concerns for example, learning about how babies are made and personal relationships, or learning about issues concerning harmful drug use.

It is subtler too. The division of what should be permitted in the school and what belongs outside, is about effectively outlawing concepts of Australian values that do not tally with what is prescribed.

The new policy, it is claimed, is also supposed to lift what is said to be declining student results. The Statement talks about an emphasis on doing more to lift literacy and numeracy skills. It neglects to mention that these are already at the centre of the curriculum.

This is not to deny that there are problems. There clearly....



Anti-Nuclear Coalition South Australia 24 Jan 18 The Federal Government proposes to establish a National Radioactive Waste Management Facility in SA.  This repository would co-locate:

  1. Various low-level and hazardous but short lived intermediate level wastes requiring isolation for 300 years in a shallow ground repository.
  2. An above-ground store designed to operate for 100 years to house used reactor fuel from Lucas Heights. This intermediate-level long-lived waste requires isolation from the environment for over 10,000 years.         

No plans have been made available for structures or maintenance for the first 100 years of this above-ground store.  Plans for the ensuing 10,000 years are unavailable.

There are no plans available to establish a permanent solution for this waste.  It is not currently known how to safely store such higher level nuclear waste in isolation from the environment for such a long period of  time.

Nuclear waste is currently stored at Lucas Heights where it is securely monitored.

Lucas Heights Interim Waste Store has been identified by ANSTO as capable of safely storing reprocessed nuclear fuel waste and intermediate-level waste has been stored at Lucas Heights since the 1950s.  Lucas Heights has been identified as the best resourced and secure facility to responsibly manage the extended storage of Australias nuclear waste.



Analysis: The climate papers most featured in the media in 2017 "IndyWatch Feed"

Every day, dozens of scientific journals publish new climate change research that is shared across the world via the internet.

These journal papers make headlines in news articles and on blog pages, they pop up in Twitter timelines and on Facebook. But which ones make the biggest impression? Which have been shared and reported most widely?

Carbon Brief has compiled its annual list of the 25 most talked-about climate change-related papers of the previous year. The infographic above shows which ones made it into the Top 10 in 2017.

Our analysis is based on the data collected by Altmetric, which tracks and scores journal papers by the number of times theyre mentioned in online news articles and on social media platforms. (You can read more about how the Altmetric scoring system works in an earlier article.)

First place

The most widely reported and shared article related to climate change last year was actually a Policy Forum commentary in the journal Science. Published in mid-January, The irreversible momentum of clean energy was covered by 232 news articles and tweeted more than 9,000 times. Its overall Altmetric score of 7,872 means it is the highest ranked of any article published last year.

This is no surprise, perhaps, considering the author was Barack Obama, who, at the time, was still the US president. But as the article is a commentary, it does not make it into Carbon Briefs leaderboard of research papers.

Instead, first place goes to, Global warming and recurrent mass bleaching of corals, a Nature paper published in March, with a score of 3,166.

The study, led by Prof Terry Hughes of the ARC Centre of Excellence for Coral Reef Studies in Australia, assessed the impact of coral bleaching events in 1998, 2002 and 2016 on the Great Barrier Reef. As Carbon Brief reported, the study concluded that immediate global action to curb future warming is essential if coral reefs are to survive.


The last post...for a while "IndyWatch Feed"

This blog was initiated by Pauline Wilson, an Adelaide based UFO researcher, in 2009. When Pauline's interests moved on to other things, I took over the blog. Since 2009 there have been 896 posts; some short, and some thousands of words in length. Total hits on the site have exceeded 750.000.

Over my 51 years of interest in the subject, I have taken a number of breaks from my research. My shortest break was six months, and the longest was four years. I find these breaks from research to be very useful. It is too easy to get bogged down with keeping up to date; reading books; blogging one's research; answering questions from people who wish to know what it was that they have just seen in the sky; and keeping across some 45 Australian Face Book pages dedicated to hundreds of well meaning, but in the end, inane discussions on the topic. Enough becomes enough at some stage.

Despite all the current excitement about the formerly secret US Department of Defence Pentagon UFO program, it is time for me to take another break. At the moment I do not know how long the break will be.

I thank all my blog readers for sharing the journey so far.

Before I go, I'd like to recommend a new Australian website, called The Australian UFO Archives. It is only in draft form at the moment but it provides links to a large amount of factual, informative, Australian material. You will find it here.

So, this blog will see no new posts until I return from my 'holiday' from UFO research.

Signing off for now.


Keith Basterfield.


Adani trains stopped in their tracks again "IndyWatch Feed"

Tayla Jay Haggarty suspended above the Aurizon rail line. Photo supplied

Update: Ms Haggarty has safely abseiled down of her own volition and is now in police custody. Trains were stopped for over six hours as a result of her actions.

Front Line Action on coal has again halted coal trains running to Adani-owned Abbot Point Coal Port.

Tayla Jay Haggarty is currently suspended above train lines running to the port, with her suspension system attached to the rails.

The Brisbane student hoisted herself into position high above Aurizons coal railway in the early hours of the morning, and alerted authorities that she had blocked the train line.

I think its really sad but also interesting that for me, as a person, to peacefully occupy this tree is a crime, but the actions of corporations such as Adani who are profiting off the destruction of this beautiful country are not only accepted but encouraged by this government. said Ms Haggarty.

See also: Dispatches from the Adani frontline

Frontline Action on Coal has been active in Bowen and the Galilee region for almost six months now and has stopped work on the construction of a new rail line and operations at the Abbot Point coal terminal numerous times.

The group has already caused significant financial burden to the Adani and Aurizon companies through work delays, demonstrating a high level of risk to potential investors.

We expect that the Queensland government will adhere to their promise to not approve any public funds for Adanis disastrous coal mine, and veto any NAIF loan to Aurizon for a new rail line Ms Haggarty said. We will continue to use peaceful measures to disrupt any company that threatens the Galilee with dangerous fossil fuel projects.


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Tuesday, 23 January


Dispatches from the Adani frontline "IndyWatch Feed"

Lisa, Danny and Ella made the pilgrimage from Mullumbimby. Photo Mia Armitage

Mia Armitage

Forget clicktivism, where concerned citizens take a stance through social media: anti-Adani protesters from all over Australia, millennial through to baby-boomer and beyond, are taking direct action.

Twelve environmental activists have returned to the northern rivers from Bowen, in north-central QLD, where they participated in a protest camp partly aimed at stopping the proposed Adani mega-mine.

The pilgrimage began in Coffs Harbour for some, before protesters from the Byron and Tweed shires climbed on board a repurposed yellow school bus last week destined for Camp Nudja, about eighty kilometres southwest of Adanis coal export port at Abbot Point.

Protesters included a naturopath in her forties from Bangalow, a filmmaker and a worker, both in their twenties and from Mullumbimby, and a former schoolteacher and former builder in their sixties living in Pottsville.

Activists charged

Liisa Rusanen described herself as a mother of two from Coffs Harbour who had never locked on in protest before.

But last week she joined other anti-coal protesters to discreetly plan a very public anti-Adani protest: a temporary shutdown of the companys coal-export operations at Abbot Point.

We knew how to stop the conveying belts before we got there, said Ms Rusanen.

We were locked on for about six or seven hours in the end.

The first thing police did when they arrived was take our food and water, and they told us we were welcome to have food and water if we released ourselves, but they werent going to give it to us as long as we were locked on.

QLD police arrested Ms Rusanen and four other protesters locked to the conveyor belt on Thursday.



Residents take over Townsville Council meeting "IndyWatch Feed"

Contributed from Townsville

Yesterday (23 January), the Townsville City Council was shut down, in the face of angry residents, opposed to the decision to provide $18.5 million, in order to help billionaire coal miner Adani build an airstrip, at his Carmichael mine in the Galilee Basin.

The protest was led by the activist organisation Front Line Action on Coal. Slogans were shouted from the public gallery and major Jenny Hill adjourned the proceedings. They were reconvened later on, with police blocking people from re-entering the building and making their way to the public gallery.

Elena Jeffrey, spokeswoman for the group and a local resident says that there is concern about the secrecy behind the deal.

I came because its Townsville Councils open day. Its the day when they are inviting Townsville residents to come and ask questionsand Im really concerned about the secrecy of the minutes and details of the $28.5 million contribution the proposed airstrip, she said.

Townsville Council has been an avid supporter of Adani all along, claiming that the alliance would bring benefits to the local economy. It claims that by now contributing to the airstrip, the city would be made into a hub for 900 first in first out (FIFO) workers at the Carmichael mine.

This is open to dispute and critics point out that the claimed benefit to the local economy is greatly exaggerated, and as far as becoming a FIFO hub, Townsville is competing with Rockhampton, which is also contributing a lot of money to the airstrip. The prize will not go to both. And there has been to answer as to why Adani has not agreed to use the already existing airport in Townsville for the project. It is an indication that the city might be bypassed.

Apart from all this, the destruction of farmland and the Great Barrier Reef from the Adani operations will take much more from the local economy than any minor benefits that might come out of the partnership with Adani.

Ms Jeffrey said, Its been three months since the decision was made and even separate to commercial in confidence, the council has to explain what the benefits are.

Federal MP Bob Katter has added his voice to those demanding an explanation.



Climate warming fightback advancing but challenges remain "IndyWatch Feed"

Contributed by Ugly

The news coming in these days,  gives the clear  impression that around the world, people and even governments are starting to do more to cut back greenhouse emissions and prevent disastrous  global warming. Maybe its is not enough yet to stop the cthreat. But there is enough going on to give some confidence and  spur us to lift the game even further.

We can take comfort in the recognition that change has become unstoppable.

More than 30 countries have come together to phase out coal by 2030. They are adopting clean energy targets. Alternatives to fossil fuel, solar, wind and battery, are now cost effective and this is gong to provide a hip pocket incentive to switch over.

In Australia too, a mighty movement of people is making it increasingly difficult for major polluters to continue in the same way and to an extent that could not have been imagined, only a few years ago. The Australian population is demanding change and governments that are still hell bent on continuing in the old way, are finding themselves in a difficult place.

The tide has not turned yet. But it is obvious that the power to do this is in our collective hands. We just have to push a little harder. There are the battle grounds concerning the Adani coal mine and against coal seam gas, to name the two best known ones. There are others. Together they have built formidable organisation on the ground, involving thousands in taking collective action, to an extent that has not been seen for a very long time. This has created the basis for even more possibilities in the coming times.

The Climate Councils Cities Power Partnership has involved 70 regional and metropolitan councils, covering 7.5 million Australians, in implementing clean energy solutions. South Australia has just installed the biggest battery storage facility in the world and there are more projects in the works.

Unfortunately, even with all this, Australias carbon emissions have gone up for the third year in a row and the Turnbull government is set on helping its fossil fuel mates, no matter what, even in the face of overwhelming opposition from the population.

This is one of the reasons why it is moving to defund community organisations that do not do as they are told. The government...

Saturday, 20 January


Sketch of our route towards carbon safety. First stop: #StoryChange "IndyWatch Feed"

The main message of this blogpost can be distilled to something like: As long as the narrative about the climate action movement is that it is a minority of activists shouting from the fringe of society, we waste precious time if we think we can demand the level of change-making that the climate emergency requires. Society as a whole has not yet given its elected leaders the clear mandate to do what is necessary.

We are social animals and we tend to do what the others do, so first of all the story, the societal narrative, needs to change. Once that has happened, a new breed of politicians will rise to the occasion with the knowledge that they have the mandate to do what is necessary.

The question is no longer: How do we solve the climate crisis?  We have the solutions we need, they are within reach. And new improved or smarter ones keep cropping up.

The question is no longer: How do we create consensus?  Consensus around that we need to step up ambitions and speed with solving the crisis is already here. The general public in Australia fully acknowledges that climate change is an existential threat that requires big changes in our society.

The big question right no...

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