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Saturday, 23 September

14:01

Australia and U.S. Joined at the Hip: Wheres the Benefit? "IndyWatch Feed Enviro.au"

The Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull has on two recent occasions referred to Australia being joined at the hip to the United States on its defence and national security policies. That phrasing invited some critical commentary, but conspicuously, there was no demurral from the official Opposition Labor Party. To all practical intents and purposes the Liberal National Coalition and the Labor Party are indistinguishable on matters of defence, foreign policy and national security.

Turnbulls remarks, as with the election of the erratic and clearly unfit Donald Trump as US President, should have presented an opportunity for a critical reappraisal of Australias position viz a viz the United States. It did not happen, not least because a supine mainstream media sees no reason to question the fundamental assumptions underlying Australias defence policies since at least the fall of Singapore to the Japanese in January 1942.

Prior to that seminal event, Australia had never challenged its role as a colonial appendage to the British Empire. That status had led Australia into a series of wars, which in common with just about every other military misadventure before and since had only the vaguest connection with Australias national interest, if any.

Australian troops fought the Russians in the Crimean War of the 1850s (the rich irony of which is lost in the current propaganda war waged against Russia for its annexation of Crimea.) Australian troops were slaughtered in large numbers in World War 1, a war planned at least since the 1890s to counter any German challenge to British imperial supremacy (Docherty & Macgregor Hidden History, 2013)

Although Prime Minister Hughes refused a British request to formally join British forces fighting in the Russian civil war 1917-21 against the Bolsheviks, Australian troops nonetheless joined the North Russia campaign as volunteers. A Royal Australian Destroyer HMAS Swan also undertook intelligence operations in the Black Sea in late 1918 directed against the Bolshevik forces.

With the rout of the British forces in 1941-42 by the Japanese, it was obvious to Australian politicians that a new protector was needed, and the Americans required no encouragement to assume that role. The marriage of convenience that occurred in 1942-45 may have suited Australia in its perception of an imminent Japanese invasion, but then, as now, the brides dowry should have be...

12:23

NSW Police Given Power to Kill with Impunity "IndyWatch Feed Enviro.au"

The Berejiklian government has continued on in the Coalitions tradition over recent years of enacting laws that increase police powers, whilst whittling away at civil liberties, all in the name of a perceived terrorist threat.

Read More

10:57

Weapons of mass destruction banned nuclear soon to join the ban theme for Sept 17 "IndyWatch Feed Enviro.au"

You might think that its naive to be talking about banning nuclear weapons, in this present climate of international tension. Yes, an international agreement to ban them is not going to get rid of nuclear weapons overnight, or indeed, anytime soon.

BUT as things stand now, nuclear weapons, held by all the so virtuous States  USA, Britain, France, India, China Pakistan, Israel, (- and now North Korea)   are accepted as respectable ,  defensive, necessary. 

The idea of the world recognising weapons of mass destruction as unacceptable is not new.  Its been done before.

Human beings, after all, are social animals, and their greatest successes have been achieved by co-operation. Years of co-operative effort by intelligent and thoughtful people have shed light on the humanitarian horror of mass killings, and mass sufferings of those who survived such attacks.

Under the auspices of he United Nations, the concerted efforts of so many have brought about  the recognition that mass murder is unacceptable, and has been judged to be illegal.  No, these threats have not been completely eliminated. But they have been vastly diminished, and no leader can get away with pronouncing them to be acceptable or necessary.

The United Nations Ban on  the use of chemical and biological weapons in warfare was signed in 1925, and  strengthened in 1997 in the  the Chemical Weapons Convention (CWC) 

The United Nations Biological Weapons Convention (BWC) came i...

10:19

The environmental impact of a coal plant on Kenyas coast is being underplayed "IndyWatch Feed Enviro.au"

The Conversation

An old coal-burning power plant in China. REUTERS/David Gray

China is transforming its sources of energy domestically in a bid to reverse decades of environmental pollution. But the switch to renewable energy has brought about a conundrum: what to do with the jobs and industries that have no future in this new system?

Export them. Several African countries are accepting the poisoned chalice of Chinas subsidised development through the construction of outdated, dirty coal plants.

Kenya is one. Its coastline is a national asset for fisheries, tourism, a growing population and economic development. But Amu Coal a...

02:03

This week nuclear and climate news "IndyWatch Feed Enviro.au"

As nations sign up at present, at United Nations, to the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons, the Treaty is due to come into force  later, when 50 signed members have ratified it. 122 countries out of the 193 UN member nations approved the draft treaty in July.

The nuclear weapons nations and their associates oppose the treaty, giving various important strategic sounding reasons. But when this UN treaty comes into force, joining the previous treaties that make other forms of mass destruction illegal, the governments with nuclear weapons will no longer be able to claim the moral high ground.  Their stand will sound hollow, against the growing global consensus that the possessing, threatening, using of nuclear weapons is inhumane and immoral.

Equally importantly, at the UN General Assembly, the urgency of the need to address climate change, is being discussed.

AUSTRALIA

NUCLEAR

02:01

Great Barrier Reef: Queensland Labor may break election vow and allow coal ship loading "IndyWatch Feed Enviro.au"

Labor vowed to ban trans-shipping in reef waters after UNs scientific body raised concerns about proposal in 2014, Guardian, Joshua Robertson, 23 Sept 17, The Queensland Labor government has flagged breaking a 2015 election promise by allowing the loading of coal ships at sea in the Great Barrier Reef marine park.

Labor vowed to ban so-called trans-shipping in reef waters after the United Nations peak scientific body raised concerns about a proposal off Hay Point near Mackay in 2014.

But the Palaszczuk government on Friday released a proposal that would allow trans-shipping off Hay Point and three other priority ports, including Adanis Abbot Point.https://www.theguardian.com/australia-news/2017/sep/23/great-barrier-reef-queensland-labor-may-break-election-vow-and-allow-coal-ship-loading


01:59

Would you rather followTony Abbotts gut instinct, or Elon Musks brains? "IndyWatch Feed Enviro.au"

Tony Abbotts gut v Elon Musks brain and billions: which would you follow? Brisbane Times, 23 Sept 17 By Richard Denniss South Australia has one of the highest concentrations of renewable energy in the world. And its government was recently the first to announce a state-based bank tax. But while Australians have been told these reckless policies will destroy jobs and discourage investment, some of the worlds most-successful entrepreneurs recently chose to invest big in the state. How could this be?

Tech entrepreneur Elon Musk, who gave the world PayPal, Tesla and SpaceX, recently secured the bid to build the worlds largest battery-storage plant in South Australia. English billionaire Sanjeev Gupta, whose family fortune was made in good old-fashioned steel, recently bought the Whyalla steelworks. Either these businessmen didnt do their due diligence or what conservative politicians tell us about South Australia is utter nonsense. I know which way Id lean.
Before Tony Abbott began his 23 years as a public servant, he dabbled with being a priest and a journalist. And while he clearly knows how to tell a simple story based on blind faith, there is nothing in his education or experience to suggest he knows anyt...

01:57

170 years since the massacre  and finally its a win for Wirangu people. "IndyWatch Feed Enviro.au"

Paul Wiles speaks with Wirangu Elder Jack Johncock & Elliston District Council Chairman Kym Callaghan

Listen to Audio on CAAMA Radio: http://caama.com.au/news/2017/170-years-since-the-massacre-and-finally-its-a-win-for-wirangu-people

A South Australian Wirangu Elder says its a win that the word massacre will be included on a memorial plaque recognising the site where  a large number of his people were shot and driven over cliffs by colonial settlers in 1849.

While the Waterloo Bay massacre remains strong in the memory of the local Wirangu people,
the local Elliston District council has finally acknowledged that the truth must be told  after decades of refusing to acknowledge the massacre.


01:55

Trump not a huge success on the international stage at United Nations "IndyWatch Feed Enviro.au"

Trump makes little headway in his first turn on U.N. world stage LA Times, 22 Sept 17 Tracy Wilkinson Contact Reporter

01:53

Leonardo DiCaprio blasts Trump over climate change "IndyWatch Feed Enviro.au"

 http://pagesix.com/2017/09/22/leonardo-dicaprio-blasts-trump-over-climate-change/By Jessica Sager

The Oscar winner, 42, met with then-president-elect Trump, 71, in December, only to have the POTUS disregard their conversation once he took office.

We presented him with a comprehensive plan to tackle climate change, while also simultaneously harnessing the economic potential of green jobs, DiCaprio recalled at the Yale Climate Conference on Tuesday (via The Hartford Courant). We talked about how the United States has the potential to lead the world in clean-energy manufacturing and research and development.

Once in office, Trump pledged to withdraw from the Paris climate accord, which regulates greenhouse emissions, and appointed climate change skeptic Scott Pruitt to head the Environmental Protection Agency.

The moves left staunch environmentalis...

01:51

2017 World Nuclear Status Report released "IndyWatch Feed Enviro.au"

A status report on a troubled nuclear industry http://thebulletin.org/status-report-troubled-nuclear-industry11130, By John Mecklin, 22 Sept 17

As in previous years, the reportcoordinated by Paris-based independent nuclear consultant Mycle Schneiderprovides an almost-daunting array of data on almost every aspect of nuclear power plant construction and operation. This years report also includes an assessment of what it calls the financial crisis of the nuclear sector, a status update on the Fukushima nuclear situation, and a chapter that compares investments in, capacity of, and generat...

01:47

Nuclear lobby depending on China to develop Generation IV nuclear reactors "IndyWatch Feed Enviro.au"

the theories behind many of the proposed systems arent new and often date back to the 1950s and 60s. Some experimental plants have been built, such as the fast breeder reactors in the U.K. and U.S. Most suffered from crippling cost or design problems or were abandoned after nuclear accidents.

Most if not all of these so-called advanced reactor designs have been around for decades,

Different designs have different problems. I dont think anyone can be or should be confident that these problems can be resolved merely by throwing money and hiring engineers and scientists.

Nuclear Experts Head to China to Test Experimental Reactors, Bloomberg By 

Stephen Stapczynski September 22, 2017 China is becoming the testing ground for a new breed of nuclear power stations designed to be safer and cheaper, as scientists from the U.S. and other Western nations find it difficult to raise enough money to build experimental plants at home.

01:41

23 September REneweconomy news "IndyWatch Feed Enviro.au"

RenewEconomy
  • Australia wind energys record day of production in August
    Wind energy posts record output in August, with renewables delivering 25 per cent of all demand at the evening peak.

00:06

This Sweet Senior May Be The World's Oldest Cat Now "IndyWatch Feed Enviro.au"

An ancient proverb states that cats have nine lives, and that has never been more true than for Nutmeg.

The grumpy tabby who held the title for worlds oldest cat lived her life to the fullest until she passed in September at the age of 32 or 144 in cat years.

Now a new upstart in Werribee, Australia, could be the next feline to hold the title. At 26 years old, Teddy is Australias oldest living cat, and his owner, Fran English, is applying to the Guinness Book of World Records to make it official.

English adopted Teddy in 2014 when his elderly owner could no longer care for him, and was shocked when Teddys microchip revealed that he was born in 1991.

The long-haired black cat is in surprisingly good shape for his advanced age, still finding plenty of time each day to prowl around Englishs garden and play in the sun.

Teddy has a rather unusual secret to his longevity, English notes on his Facebook page. Each day he eats a sprig of rosemary from the garden and then gets nice and clean in the shower.

"He used to try and get in the shower with me so I decided to let him get in one day and it just took off from there," Fran told Yahoo News. Teddys fascination with water has only increased over the years. Now he goes into the shower and waits for it to be turned on, and after his rinse, gets toweled off by his doting mom.

Diagnosed with arthritis earlier this summer, he now takes medicine daily to keep him comfortable and active, along with his normal diet of canned tuna and kangaroo meat. His mom even built him a ramp up to the bed.

But despite a few gray hairs, hes still friendly and outgoing. Teddy loves to go out for a wander according to his moms Facebook posts, gnawing on herbs and drinking from his own little fountain outside. The average life expectancy for an indoor cat is between 12 to 18 years old, while cats...

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Friday, 22 September

23:00

The country is paying for the Coalition's 'adhockery' on energy policy | Chris Bowen "IndyWatch Feed Enviro.au"

Political systems decide what and what not to contest on a partisan basis. Surely Australia can be mature enough to agree on climate change The word adhockery, I am told, was first used around 1890. But this term, which denotes an over-reliance on temporary solutions rather than on consistent, long-term plans deserves a renaissance when it comes to energy policies of the Turnbull government. Has it really come to this? We are seriously being told that what we need to do is keep open [...]

22:43

Japans bomb in the basement "IndyWatch Feed Enviro.au"

Fukushima 311 Watchdogs

1.jpg

Under the guise of a civil nuclear program, Japan has become a de-facto nuclear weapons state without so far having to take that next fateful step.

On Thursday, a shipment of 700 kilograms of plutonium arrived in Japan after a journey by sea from the French port of Cherbourg. Thats enough material for more than 100 nuclear weapons.

The plutonium in the form of atomic fuel known as MOX, a mix of uranium and plutonium oxide is for use in the Takahama-4 reactor, owned by Kansai Electric Power Co. and located on Wakasa Bay, in western Japan near Osaka.

There have been six shipments of such highly toxic cargoes since 1999, the result of an agreement to send radioactive spent fuel in Japan for reprocessing in France and the UK, and then to be shipped back as plutonium MOX fuel for use in Japans reactors.

Putting aside the

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22:43

ChristinaMac "IndyWatch Feed Enviro.au"

Fukushima 311 Watchdogs

22 sept evacuees court victory

Plaintiffs and their lawyers enter the Chiba District Court on Sept. 22 to hear the verdict in the Fukushima nuclear accident compensation case.

TEPCO ordered to pay evacuees of Fukushima nuclear disaster

CHIBAA district court here on Sept. 22 ordered Tokyo Electric Power Co. to pay 376 million yen ($3.3 million) in compensation to evacuees of the Fukushima nuclear disaster but absolved the central government of responsibility.

Forty-five people in 18 households who evacuated to Chiba Prefecture following the 2011 meltdowns at the Fukushima No. 1 nuclear plant sought a total of about 2.8 billion yen from TEPCO and the government.

About 30 similar lawsuits involving 12,000 plaintiffs have been filed at district courts around Japan.

The Chiba District Court ruling was the second so far.

In March, the Maebashi District Court in Gunma Prefecture found both TEPCO and the government responsible for the nuclear disaster and ordered compensation totaling

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22:42

Reprocessed nuclear fuel returned to Japan for reactor use "IndyWatch Feed Enviro.au"

Fukushima 311 Watchdogs

Japan has learned absolutely nothing from the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant disaster. This is not going to end well!

This is a mouthful, read this:

Nuclear fuel reprocessed in France returned to Japan on Thursday for use in a reactor as the country tries to burn more plutonium amid international concerns about its stockpile.

The need to reduce its plutonium stockpile adds to Japans push to restart reactors, aside from also needing to generate power. It would require 16 to 18 reactors to burn MOX to keep Japans plutonium stockpile from growing when the Rokkasho plant starts up, according to government and utility officials.

988778_10204102158554137_7266908725426550256_n

TOKYO- Nuclear fuel reprocessed in France returned to Japan on Thursday for use in a reactor as the country tries to burn more plutonium amid international concerns about its stockpile.

Kansai Electric Power Co said the shipment arrived for use at the No. 4 reactor at its Takahama

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22:40

TEPCO to delay emptying fuel storage pools at Fukushima plant "IndyWatch Feed Enviro.au"

Fukushima 311 Watchdogs

reactor 1 left reactor 2 right 21 sept 2017.pngThe No. 1 reactor building, left, and the No. 2 reactor building at the crippled Fukushima No. 1 nuclear plant

Plans to remove fuel rods from two spent fuel pools at the Fukushima No. 1 nuclear plant will be delayed by up to three years because of difficulties in clearing debris and reducing radiation levels.

The government and plant operator Tokyo Electric Power Co. originally expected to start emptying the storage pools at the No. 1 and No. 2 reactor buildings in fiscal 2020.

But they plan to move the starting time to fiscal 2023 in their first review in two years of the roadmap for decommissioning the stricken nuclear plant, sources said Sept. 20.

They are expected to announce the revised roadmap later this month.

A survey of the upper levels of the two reactor buildings, where the storage pools are located, found debris piled up in a much

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22:32

Market Talk- September 22nd, 2017 "IndyWatch Feed Enviro.au"

The Australian ASX was probably over-sold yesterday and therefore stood as the only core that performed today. Closing up +0.5% was a healthy recovery after yesterdays 1% decline. Chinas downgrade put a small dent in confidence for the cash markets which took the Hang Seng down
-0.8% while the Shanghai closed with just small loss. Geopolitical risks remain present after US President Donal Trump signed to expand measurers to target North Korean trade. the Nikkei although closed lower (-0.25%) was off of its earlier lows as news of the speech-plays increased between the two nations. Having seen gold break the psychological $1300 mark yesterday, today we traded comfortably below that level all day. The Yen has dipped back below 112 again as talks of possible missile launches were circulating ahead of the weekend.

A quiet European session with the only action centred around UK Prime Minister Theresa May conference on BREXIT. GBP did rally close to the 1.36 level on expectation but that was shot down once delivered. Most of the evening session played a little over the 1.35 level but next week will be key as we approach month and quarter ends. FTSE liked what it heard finishing +0.65% better on the day but again, was probably more a reflection of sterling at that time. Gold could not breach $1300 and remains heavy even with the possible geopolitical uncertainties over the next couple of days. We did see some good economic data from France and a more broader European PMI which were both better but only tended to support markets rather than push them better. German elections of Sunday and it will be interesting to see where the youth decide to vote. Watch the peripheral groups to see who the coalition fits with.

Despite the lack of volume the price continues to rally regardless of all around it. Earlier in the session we had seen a weaker market which had the potential to run at one stage but the lack of liquidity, coupled with so few players that the follow-through just was not there! The enthusiasm for Apple appears to be weighing on confidence with a 5% price decline this week. Lots of talk about the slack in the IPhone 8 uptake and also slow watch turnover but in all the market is at contract highs so why not! Intere...

22:29

Pet Duck Adopts Furry Little Animal Who Lost Her Mom "IndyWatch Feed Enviro.au"

A resident of Adelaide, Australia, recently got a bit of a surprise when he checked his pet duck's little house where she lays her eggs.

Credit: FRSA

"He got a surprise when he reached under the super mum and felt fur!" Fauna Rescue of South Australia (FRSA) wrote on Facebook. The duck seemed quite protective of the little squatter: a tiny brushtail possum who lost her mom. "Little Daisy had been kept warm all night by the duck who had the orphan tucked under her wing."

Maybe the duck could sense that the little possum, who only weighed 12 ounces, needed help. "All by herself in a big scary world, little Daisy the possum sought a warm, safe place to hide," FRSA wrote. "She clearly found the right place when she stumbled across a nesting box and crawled in with the duck. Rather than chasing the orphan away, the duck decided to not only accept her, but made every effort to keep the orphan warm and comfortable."

Credit: FRSA

The man knew, however, that in the long term it would be better to turn Daisy over to people who knew how to raise orphaned possums, so he contacted FRSA for help. Daisy will be brought up there until she can be released back into the wild.

Credit: FRSA

Daisy now has a warm place to sleep and plenty of food at the rescue center. She even has a new friend. Daisy recently bonded with a little boy possum about her age who will be her adoptive sibling as the pair grow up and get stronger.
...

19:06

Trump at the UN "IndyWatch Feed Enviro.au"

President Donald Trump gave a bellicose, threatening speech to the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) September 19, 2017. In addition to harsh attacks on North Korea and Iran, Trump singled out Venezuela and Cuba, reading a host of cliched lies and traditional US government boilerplate from his teleprompter, delivered to a notably muted response from the assembled delegations.

Trumps address was a shameless display of demagogy that had the political aim of winning allies, especially in Latin America, for a campaign to isolate Venezuela and Cuba, and create the political conditions to implement regime change against both sovereign countries.

It is more likely that Trump, his Administration, and the US government as a whole, will be found politically isolated. The evening prior to his UNGA speech, Trump gave remarks before a dinner with some Latin American heads of state and diplomats. There he tested out his rhetoric, shameless hyperbole and half-truths, and threats against Venezuela. It remains to be seen how many of the conservative and neoliberal governments that Trump is courting in Latin America will be comfortable aligning themselves with the Trump Administration against Venezuela and Cuba.

Also, crucially for US policymakers, there is the overwhelming popular consciousness across the Americas and internationally against these US policies. It should also be clear to Trump and Washington that inside the United States there will also be great opposition and resistance to these policies.

On November 1, the UN General Assembly will again register the stunning isolation of US anti-Cuba policies when it votes overwhelmingly in favor of the Necessity of Ending the Economic, Commercial, and Financial Embargo by the United States of America Against Cuba. Trump will certainly instruct US Ambassador to the UN Nikki Haley to vote No this year, reversing the 2016 decision of the Barack Obama Administration to abstain. For years the annual UN vote has been a major political embarrassment for various bipartisan US Administrations and Congresses, with lopsided, near-unanimous support for the Cuban government-sponsored Resolution at the General Assembly vote.

Trumps lies and threats from the podium of the United Nations must be answered in the United States, across the Americas, and around the world by protests that are being organized on or around the time of the November 1 vote.

Join worldwide demonstrations in cities around the world to finally bring down the US blockade against Cuba!

03:43

The Elites Are Privately Warning about a Crash "IndyWatch Feed Enviro.au"

Many everyday citizens assume powerful global financial elites operate behind closed doors in secret conclaves, like the scene of a Spectre board meeting in the recent James Bond film.

Actually, the opposite is true. Most of what the power elite does is hidden in plain sight in speeches, seminars, webcasts and technical papers. These are readily available from institutional websites and media channels.

Its true that private meetings occur on the sidelines of Davos, the IMF annual meeting, and G-20 summits of the kind just concluded. But the results of even those secret meetings are typically announced or leaked, or can be reasonably inferred based on subsequent policy coordination.

What the elites rely on is not secrecy but lack of proficiency by the media.

The elites communicate in an intentionally boring style with lots of technical jargon, and publish in channels non-experts have never heard of and are unlikely to find. In effect, the elites are communicating with each other in their own language and hoping that no one else notices.

Still, there are some exceptions. Mohamed A. El-Erian is a bona fide member of the global power elite (a former deputy director of the IMF and president of the Harvard Management Co.). Yet he writes in a fairly accessible style on the popular Bloomberg website. When El-Erian talks, we should all listen.

In a recent article, he raises serious doubts about the sustainability of the bull market in stocks because of reduced liquidity resulting from simultaneous policy tightening by the Fed, European Central Bank (ECB) and the Bank of England.

He says stocks rose on a sea of liquidity and they may crash when that liquidity is removed. This is a warning to other elites, but its also a warning to you.

But its not just El-Erian whos sounding the alarm

Youve heard the expression the big money. This is a reference to the largest and most plugged-in investors on Earth. Some are mega-rich individuals, and some are large banks and institutional investors with a dense network of contacts and inside information.

When it comes to big money, sovereign wealth funds are at the top of the food chain. These are funds sponsored by mostly wealthy nations to invest a countrys reserves from trade or natural resources in stocks, bonds, private equity and hedge funds.

As a result, sovereign wealth fund managers have the best information networks of any investors. The chief investment officer of a sovereign wealth fund can pick up the phone and speak to the CEO of any major corporation, private equity fund or hedge fund in the world.

Among sovereign wealth funds, the Government of Singapore Investment Corp. (GIC) is one of the largest, with over $354 bi...

00:52

Australia follows nuclear weapons powers in boycotting UN treaty outlawing nuclear weapons "IndyWatch Feed Enviro.au"

Australia joins boycott of UN treaty outlawing nuclear weapons
9 News,  Sep 21, 2017 Australia has joined a boycott of a treaty to ban nuclear weapons amid tensions over North Koreas nuclear and missile tests.Foreign Minister Julie Bishop joined representatives from the US, Britain, France and others who were absent from the event at the annual United Nations gathering of world leaders overnight.

A total of 51 countries lined up to sign the new treaty.

 The treaty was adopted by 122 countries at the United Nations in July following negotiations led by Austria, Brazil, Mexico, South Africa and New Zealand.

None of the nine countries that possess nuclear weapons the United States, Russia, Britain, China, France, India, Pakistan, North Korea and Israel took part in the negotiations.

There remain some fifteen thousand nuclear weapons in existence. We cannot allow these doomsday weapons to endanger our world and our childrens future, UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres said as he opened the treaty for signing.

NATO condemned the treaty, saying that...

00:50

At United Nations, dozens of countries signing up to the nuclear weapons ban treaty "IndyWatch Feed Enviro.au"

50 signatories ink U.N. nuclear ban treaty opposed by major powers https://www.japantimes.co.jp/news/2017/09/21/world/50-nations-ink-u-n-nuclear-ban-treaty-opposed-major-powers/#.WcQszPMjHGg AP, KYODO, JIJI, 21 SEPT 17, AP, KYODO, JIJI  Dozens of countries on Wednesday signed a treaty to ban nuclear weapons, a pact that the worlds nuclear powers spurned but supporters hailed as a historic agreement nonetheless.

You are the states that are showing moral leadership in a world that desperately needs such moral leadership today, Beatrice Fihn, executive director of the International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons, said as a signing ceremony began.

 Before the day was out, 50 signatories as different as Indonesia and Ireland had put their names to the treaty; others can sign later if they like. Guyana, Thailand and the Vatican also have already ratified the treaty, which needs 50 ratifications to take effect among the nations that back it.

They would be barred from developing, testing, producing, manufacturing, otherwise acquiring, possessing or stockpiling nuclear weapons under any circumstances.

Seven decades after the United States dropped two a...

00:48

Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull says there is no economic case for nuclear power "IndyWatch Feed Enviro.au"

No commercial demand for nuclear power: PM http://www.news.com.au/national/breaking-news/no-commercial-demand-for-nuclear-power-pm/news-story/fda3ef8ef990ebe9899cc8f31a605845

The prime minister says with electricity demand flat and even falling in Australia, he doesnt see there being a commercial demand for expensive nuclear power. Roje Adaimy, 21 Sept 17, Malcolm Turnbull doesnt see there being the commercial demand for nuclear power in Australia to warrant pushing its development.

The prime minister says that while the country has among the biggest uranium reserves in the world, building nuclear power stations takes a very long time.

China has a number of plants under construction but there is no cookie cutter design to help efficiently roll out the technology.

There also needed to be bipartisanship, which right now is not even remotely there, he told a politics in the pub event on Queenslands Sunshine Coast.

The projects take so long to build that they would be very likely to span the lifetime of several governments, Mr Turnbull said on Thursday night. Theyre all bespoke, so it takes a very long time to construct them and very expensive.

On top of that, demand for electricity in Australia was flat or declining. I dont see there being the commercial dema...

00:46

Best selling author Junko Morimoto called on Turnbull to sign nuclear weapons ban treaty "IndyWatch Feed Enviro.au"

Junko Morimoto, author of My Hiroshima, urged Malcolm Turnbull to sign nuclear weapons ban treaty, ABC, By political reporter Anna Henderson, 21 Sept 17,  Best-selling childrens author and Hiroshima bombing survivor Junko Morimoto urged the Australian Prime Minister to sign a treaty banning nuclear weapons before her death.

Key points:

  • Junko Morimoto wrote an eye-witness account of the dropping of the atomic bomb on Hiroshima
  • Morimoto urged Malcolm Turnbull to sign and ratify the new Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons
  • The author died on Thursday morning

Morimoto was the author of My Hiroshima, her eye-witness account of the dropping of the atomic bomb on Hiroshima in 1945, when she was a teenager.

Junko Morimoto: Remembering Hiroshima

Morimoto was in her 80s when she died on Thursday morning.

Last month Ms Morimoto sent a letter to Malcolm Turnbull calling on his Government to sign and ratify the new Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons.

When I was 13 years old, I survived hell on earth, the letter said.

Our home collapsed around us but my brother, sister, father and I managed to crawl out of the rubble and survive the horrifying days and months that followed.http://www.abc.net.au/news/2017-09-21/junko-morimoto-urged-turnbull-to-sign-nuclear-weapons-ban-treaty/8969046


00:44

South Korea and Japan alarmed at Donald Trumps bellicose speech at UN "IndyWatch Feed Enviro.au"

Jitters and surprise in South Korea and Japan over Trumps speech to the U.N  WP 20 September 17   The United States closest allies in Asia seemed blindsided by President Trumps latest outburst against North Korea, in which he threatened not just to act against Kim Jong Uns regime, but also to destroy an entire country of 25 million people.

In his maiden speech to the United Nations General Assembly on Tuesday, Trump derided Kim as Rocket Man and said the United States would totally destroy North Korea if needed to protect its allies.Those allies, Jap...

00:42

Australians won over by cheapness and reliability of solar batteries, poll shows "IndyWatch Feed Enviro.au"

Solar Batteries: Australians see energy storage as the future, poll finds, ABC By consumer affairs reporter Sarah Farnsworth and the National Reporting Teams Rebecca Armitage, 22 Sept 17, As power prices continue to surge, Australians believe household solar storage batteries are the key to cheaper and more reliable energy, according to a new poll of 2,000 households.

Key points:

  • A survey found almost three-quarters of people believe solar batteries will become commonplace
  • 68 per cent of households with solar panels are considering purchasing a battery
  • The price of storage batteries in the first half of 2017 only dropped by 5 per cent

The Climate Council found nearly three-quarters of those surveyed believe batteries, coupled with solar systems, would become commonplace within 10 years.

Of those who already had solar systems, 68 per cent were considering adding a household storage battery.

Most said the primary motivation for buying a solar battery was to reduce power bills.

Only 6 per cent believed consumers were driven by the need to protect their homes from blackouts.

...

00:40

Abbot Point spill further proof Adani cant be trusted on coal, green groups say "IndyWatch Feed Enviro.au"

Pollution of wetlands adjacent to Adanis main coal export port in Queensland is proof the Indian-owned company cant be trusted to operate a much larger operation should the Galilee Basin ever be opened up to mines, environmental groups said.
http://www.smh.com.au/environment/abbot-point-spill-further-proof-adani-cant-be-trusted-on-coal-green-groups-say-20170920-gyl2dp.html


00:38

In Southern Australia, winters are becoming drier "IndyWatch Feed Enviro.au"

Australias southern winters are drying out. Heres why, ABC 20 Sept 17 ,By Ben Deacon and Kate Doyle Winter rains are in decline across southern Australia, and while it is too early to say beyond doubt it is due to climate change, scientists say it is not just about climate variability.

Key points:

  • This winter was particularly dry given there was no El Nino event
  • Winters in Australias south are drying out, affecting farmers
  • Scientists say it is not just due to climate variability

According to the Bureau of Meteorology, June was the driest on record for large parts of southern Australia, and the winter as a whole across Australia was the ninth driest on record.

Its actually quite unusual for us to get such a widespread dry through the winter without having an El Nino, Bureau of Meteorology senior climatologist Blair Trewin said.

El Nino often brings dry conditions to Australia, but this year it is in neutral.

Its almost more about what hasnt been happening, Dr Trewin said.

Normally in winter, storms come up from the southern Indian Ocean and clip the bottom of Western Australia, delivering rain to the south of the country.

But until mid-July, the storms largely missed the continent. Rainfall continues to decline in southern Australia. According to the Bureau of Meteorology, May to July rainfall has reduced by about 19 per cent since 1970 in the south-west of Australia.
There has been a decline of about 11 per cent since the mid-1990s in the AprilOctober growing season rainfall in the continental south-east.

CSIRO Agriculture and Food senior principal research scientist Zvi Hochman said winter rain in Australias southern wheatbelt had declined by a whopping 28 per cent since 1990.

...

00:35

Australias Dubious Role in Syria: an Ongoing Saga "IndyWatch Feed Enviro.au"

RAAF F/A-18F Super Hornets refuelling from a KC-30A en route to the Middle East (adapted photo SBS, AAP)

by James ONeill*

In August 2015 the government of then Prime Minister Tony Abbott, with Julie Bishop as Foreign Minister announced that they were considering Australia having a role as part of the US coalition engaged in the war in Syria. They said that no decision would be made until they had received legal advice as to whether or not Australias intervention would be legally possible.

What Mr Abbott and Ms Bishop failed to disclose was that the government had solicited an invitation from the Americans to participate in the Syrian war. According to a report in the Sydney Morning Herald, the government had pushed for Washington to request that Australia expand its air strikes against Islamic State from Iraq into Syria.

Exactly what form that push had taken has not been disclosed, either to Parliament or elsewhere.  Similar...

Thursday, 21 September

23:36

Why Australia Should Sign The UN Nuclear Weapons Ban Treaty Now "IndyWatch Feed Enviro.au"

It will help stigmatise nuclear weapons and change mindsets about retaining them, but our Government doesnt support it.

 21/09/2017 Melissa ParkeFormer Member of Parliament for Fremantle and ICAN Ambassador ...

23:34

22 September More REneweconomy news "IndyWatch Feed Enviro.au"

REneweconomy
  • Solar sedan and sports coupe in race across Australia and to commercial market
    A UNSW-built solar sedan is taking on a Brisbane-built solar sports coupe in a race across Australia and to drive as registered vehicles on Australian roads.

22:34

Never again to tyranny and dictatorship in the Philippines "IndyWatch Feed Enviro.au"

 Contributed by Migrante Australia

Today (21 September 2017), we commemorate the 45th year of Martial Law declaration with a sense of dj vu with the transformation of President Duterte into a despotic ruler now almost complete.

So as a Dutertian dictatorship looms in the horizon and as tyranny rears its ugly head, those of us living and working abroad are called upon to stand together with our freedom-loving Filipino sisters and brothers to stop the dawning of another long and dark era of more unprecedented killings, massive destruction of our resources and unimaginable human rights atrocities. We in Migrante Australia say enough is enough! We may be overseas but our families, our friends our communities are not spared by this cruel government. We cannot remain silent about the killings and oppression surrounding us!

The senseless killings of small-time drug users and pushers including innocent people to draw attention away from the big and powerful drug pushers and to give police extraordinary powers to kill must stop. We demand an end to extrajudicial killings and mass murder in the name of the Duterte regimes war on drugs and war on terror!

The indiscriminate aerial bombings, artillery fire and other destructive military operations that target civilian communities like Lumad and Moro communities, especially residences, schools, farms and commercial/business establishments must stop. We demand the military to pull out of communities and leave the people in peace!

The practice of filing trumped-up charges against activists and government critics, thus accumulating political prisoners must end. We call for the release of all political prisoners!

 The undermining and pressure put unto the very institutions that exist as a check and balance to his powerful office, including the Supreme Court, Congress, the Office of the Ombudsman, and the Commission on Human Rights must be reined in. We demand respect for these institutions, that they be allowed the unbridled execution of their tasks to the nation.

The constant flogging of the mass media for its critical reports of his administrations unfavourable policies and pronouncements must stop. The Filipino people deserve an honest media. We demand respect for the media!

The nonchalance with which he treats the sanctity of upholding the human rights of the people is totally unacceptable. We demand a stop to goading the police, military and paramilitary groups to violate human rights as we demand a stop to inciting state security forces to commit willful violence against the people while assuring them of protection from investigation, prosecution and punishment.

Let us break the silence, fear and acquiescence that have afflicted man...

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