nuclear-news

The News That Matters about the Nuclear Industry Fukushima Chernobyl Mayak Three Mile Island Atomic Testing Radiation Isotope

U.S. Deputy Sheriff Australia bought a lemon with an obsolete $90 billion submarine

October 19, 2020 Posted by | AUSTRALIA, politics international | Leave a comment

Solar energy is here with a vengeance – look at South Australia

Forbes 17th Oct 2020,  Anyone who follows developments in the energy sector will know that solar energy is no longer just the future but the present. According to thebInternational Energy Agency’s World Energy Outlook 2020, photovoltaic solar energy is already the cheapest source of electricity in history.
We are not talking about the future, but about the present, about current installations. Under these conditions, the fact that solar energy was able to cover the entire demand in South Australia for the first time on October 12 should not surprise us: you can bet we will see this repeated in many more places, on many more occasions and for increasingly longer periods.
The progressive increase in efficiency and decrease in the cost of photovoltaic panels is turning solar energy into the logical alternative for electricity generation. What’s more, the technology continues to evolve and that there are still incipient possibilities, such as perovskites, which promise substantial efficiency increases.

As a result, solar panels can now be fitted anywhere, covering water canals in India, on canopies over Germany’s autobahns, or on school roofs in the United States. When the economic variables of a technology change in this way, creating an oversized electricity generation grid based on solar and wind is the logical alternative, and whoever does not do so will be relegated to less efficient and, above all, dirtier energy sources.

https://www.forbes.com/sites/enriquedans/2020/10/17/what-is-happening-with-solarenergy/amp
/

October 19, 2020 Posted by | AUSTRALIA, renewable | Leave a comment

Australia – climate doomed if Trump wins this election

This is a cautionary tale for Australia. In both the US and Australia, conservative politicians seem more eager to bail out dirty polluters than protect the public

For Australia’s sake, I hope Trump’s climate science denialism loseshttps://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2020/oct/17/for-australias-sake-i-hope-trumps-climate-science-denialism-loses, Michael Mann  US policy has emboldened Scott Morrison to be less ambitious on climate, just when so much is at stake.

Anyone in Australia who witnessed the Black Summer bushfires (as I did), and anyone in the US who experienced the thick smoke from our western wildfires (as I have), knows how much damage climate change is already doing. The stark reality is that worldwide efforts to avert ever-more catastrophic climate change impacts lie in the balance in the 2020 US election.

Donald Trump will go down in history bearing substantial responsibility for the deaths of over 200,000 Americans due to his rejection of the advice of public health experts and his refusal to endorse policies such as social distancing and mask-wearing that could have saved many thousands of lives. But his rejection of the science of climate change sets the stage for a far greater toll. Far more human lives will be lost from the impacts of climate change if we fail to act.

Whether or not Trump gets re-elected – and how other countries like Australia respond to the outcome of the US election – could determine the fate of our planet. Indeed, I’ve stated that a second Trump term might well be “game over for the climate” if it leads to the collapse of international efforts to act.

The damage caused by Trump’s climate denial is painfully visible within the US as we endure climate change-fuelled extreme weather events, including unprecedented wildfires in the west and unprecedented hurricanes in the east. But the damage can be felt around the world. Trump has proudly, and shamelessly, trumpeted his climate denialism on the global stage, joining with petrostates such as Russia, Saudi Arabia and Brazil in opposing international climate efforts.

Indeed, Trump’s actions have emboldened Australia to be less ambitious on climate too, prime minister Scott Morrison following Trump’s lead in promoting climate denial, coddling fossil fuel interests and blocking efforts to support a clean, renewable energy transition.

By pulling the US out of the Paris agreement (one of the first and only campaign promises he kept) Trump ceded America’s leadership on the defining challenge of our time. Thus far, other countries have fortunately filled the leadership void, at least temporarily. The EU and China, with its new net-zero pledge, have stepped up to the plate, recognising that they will benefit from the opportunities of a clean energy economy and better protect their citizens from dangerous climate change impacts.

But nobody stands to benefit more from climate action, or lose more if we fail to act, than Australia. Having spent a sabbatical leave down under earlier this year, aimed at collaborating with scientists in Australia to study the impact of climate change on extreme weather events, I instead witnessed those impacts first-hand. I saw the muted beauty of the Blue Mountains when shrouded in wildfire smoke. If Trump is re-elected, and we collectively continue down a path of insufficient climate action, it may not be long before those fires rage year-round, and the Blue Mountains are lost in a perpetual grey and dismal haze.

It’s the same with the vibrant sea life of the Great Barrier Reef, which I was fortunate enough to witness with my family during my time in Australia. The delicate ecosystems of the GBR are already on the ropes, with fossil fuels pushing up temperatures in the ocean to the point where bleachings occur with such frequency and ferocity that corals simply cannot recover. Research released this week found that the reef has lost half its coral, largely due to warming oceans caused by climate change. Add the impact of ocean acidification from increasing carbon emissions, and we could sadly, within a decade or two, be reading the GBR’s obituary for real.

It doesn’t have to be like that. For one thing, renewable energy costs are plummeting while the technology just keeps getting more efficient and better, so dirty energy no longer makes economic sense. For example, on one recent Sunday, all the electricity demand for the entire state of South Australia was met by solar power alone, and every state and territory in Australia has committed to go carbon neutral by 2050. Here in the US, we’ve seen a record number of cities and states stepping up on climate goals too, knowing clean energy is good for their communities’ health, resilience and prosperity.

Policymakers must accelerate the shift to clean energy that is already under way. As we’ve learned in the Trump-era, some fossil fuels are too far gone for even the most determined polluter-in-chief to save. Though another term would give Trump time to defend his environmental rollbacks in court and solidify his dirty energy policies, he has already failed to save coal from market forces, and another four years isn’t going to reverse the long-term decline of the industry.

This is a cautionary tale for Australia. In both the US and Australia, conservative politicians seem more eager to bail out dirty polluters than protect the public, denying politically inconvenient science in order to offer lavish payouts to help unprofitable fossil fuel companies.

If we are to avert catastrophic warming, we must do just the opposite, providing financial incentives for renewables and disincentives for fossil fuels. That will level the playing field, and accelerate the clean energy transition.

We must take the earliest exit possible off the fossil fuel highway. By trying to squeeze out the last drop of fossil fuel industry profits, the Morrison government could well be on its way to bleaching the life from Australia’s coral reefs and blighting the blue of its mountains.

There is some good news, however. Regardless of whom Americans vote for – and for the sake of the planet, I hope it’s Joe Biden and the Democrats – Australians can still work together for structural change at home. You can’t solve it alone, but we also can’t solve it without you. Australia has seen that the sun can power an entire state’s electricity for a day. Now it’s time to make that happen every day.

Australia must distance itself from the handful of bad petrostate actors who have sabotaged global climate action and rejoin the coalition of the willing, when it comes to the battle to save our planet.

• Michael E. Mann is distinguished professor of atmospheric science at Pennsylvania State University. He is author of the upcoming book The New Climate War: The Fight to Take Back Our Planet, due out in January (Public Affairs Books) 

October 17, 2020 Posted by | AUSTRALIA, election USA 2020 | Leave a comment

Murdoch media monopoly – an ‘arrogant cancer on our democracy’

A cancer’: Kevin Rudd calls for royal commission into ‘Murdoch monopoly’, The New Daily,  Cait Kelly, 10 Oct 20, 

October 12, 2020 Posted by | AUSTRALIA, media, politics | Leave a comment

Australia faces costly cleanup of Ranger uranium mine, still struggling with pollution legacy of other uraniu mines

October 10, 2020 Posted by | AUSTRALIA, Uranium, wastes | Leave a comment

Just like Australia, disinformation is thriving during the US fire crisis- Muroch media and Facebook

With its stranglehold on daily newspapers and online news, News Corp in Australia has created the most rightwing media culture in the English speaking world, and they aren’t really accountable to anyone.

Facebook is also the place where we see the two disinformation crises overlap.

Just like Australia, disinformation is thriving during the US fire crisis  https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2020/sep/19/just-like-australia-disinformation-is-thriving-during-the-us-fire-crisis

Jason Wilson  20 Sept 20 In both countries, fake news about arson proliferated while the role of climate change was obscured.

isinformation successfully obscured the real causes of Australia’s catastrophic bushfire season. Now the same thing is happening around me, as I report on a disastrous wildfire season in the American west.

In both countries, the response to a pandemic is also being complicated by disinformation, as conspiracy theorists refuse isolation, refuse masks, and ready themselves to refuse vaccines.

A lot of the fundamental problems are the same, but there are differences in detail.

In the western United States in recent days, backroads vigilantism has seen civilians set up armed road blocks, and journalists held at the point of loaded assault rifles.

Australia does not have the complication of American gun culture, which is itself one marker of the clash of ideologies and identities in a deeply divided nation, and also raises the stakes on every other social conflict.

That may be, but it’s easy to forget that one of the major stumbling blocks to stricter gun laws in the United States is a bill of rights.

We can argue whether the right to bear arms is a sensible thing to constitutionally enshrine, but Australia has no such constitutionally defined individual rights, beyond those that the high court has seen fit to torture from the document.

The absence of such rights also contains the real world effects of conspiracy theories – the people recently arrested for incitement in Victoria over the promotion of Covid conspiracy theories and anti-lockdown protests would likely enjoy first amendment protections in the US. Whether or not people ought to have the liberty to promote ideas which are, frankly, insane, and a threat to public order, is beyond the scope of this article.

In other ways, Australia is worse off. It is easy to make the mistake of thinking that Fox News, or other skewed or tabloid media, is representative of US media as a whole. Continue reading

September 21, 2020 Posted by | AUSTRALIA, media, USA | Leave a comment

BHP betrays international safety efforts

Above – uranium  tailings dam – Olympic Dam, South Australia

September 19, 2020 Posted by | AUSTRALIA, Brazil, environment, Legal | Leave a comment

In South Australia, Farmers, Traditional Owners fight radioactive waste dump

As Woolford pointed out, of 2789 submissions received in a public consultation 94.5% oppose the facility.

Farmers, Traditional Owners fight radioactive waste dump  https://www.greenleft.org.au/content/farmers-traditional-owners-fight-radioactive-waste-dump, Renfrey Clarke, Adelaide, September 8, 2020

In a marginal grain-growing district of South Australia’s Eyre Peninsula, construction for a national repository for Australia’s radioactive wastes will begin soon — or so the federal government hopes.

A 160-hectare tract of farmland has been purchased near the small town of Kimba and, as inducement to deliver support for the plan, local residents have been promised a $31 million “community development package.” A non-binding ballot conducted last November among residents of the Kimba District Council area recorded 62% in favour of the scheme.

But opponents of the dump remain active and vocal. As well as farmers and townsfolk concerned for their safety and for the “clean and green” reputation of the district’s produce, those against the plan include the Barngarla First Nations people, who hold native title over the area. Continue reading

September 10, 2020 Posted by | AUSTRALIA, opposition to nuclear, wastes | Leave a comment

Australian government’s cowardly double standards: saves its citizens from Chines oppression, but not Assange from American oppression

DOUBLE STANDARDS!     What a glaring example of kowtowing to USA!

The Australian government has just deftly extricated two journalists from probably gaol in China.  But what about Australian citizen Julian Assange.  As usual, Australia kowtows to the mighty USA.

Julian Assange is not getting fair treatment at the Old Bailey (London) hearing about whether or not he should be extradited to the USA, to face 175 years of gaol, on “espionage” charges.   Independent journalists, people from Amnesty, or anyone else likely to give Assange’s side of the story, in reporting this bizarre hearing, is excluded from the courtroom.  That’s despite the Old Bailey’s tradition of an open courtroom.

As far as I can ascertain, they’re now charging Julian with publicising the names of USA agents.   But in fact, Assange gave the documents to newspapers, I think it was the Guardian and the New York Times, with an express request to NOT publish those names. And the papers went ahead and published them. Julian didn’t.    I also understand that, even then no harm came to any of those agents.

It’s all a trumped up thing.  Julian being oppressed because he revealed evidence of USA military atrocities.  So, like Wilfred Burchett, decades ago, he must be punished by almighty America, and Australia must dutifully follow suit.

September 9, 2020 Posted by | AUSTRALIA, Christina's notes, civil liberties, legal | Leave a comment

Australia entangled in America’s military-industrial-intelligence-security complex 

August 27, 2020 Posted by | AUSTRALIA, weapons and war | Leave a comment

Gas is not a transition fuel to a safe climate. That ship has sailed

Gas is not a transition fuel to a safe climate. That ship has sailed, https://www.theage.com.au/environment/climate-change/gas-is-not-a-transition-fuel-to-a-safe-climate-that-ship-has-sailed-20200826-p55pec.html, Penny Sackett, 27 Aug 20

Australia’s chief scientist from 2008 to 2011   If gas-fired electricity emissions can be lower than that from coal-fired plants, should Australia expand its fossil gas industry as a means of combating climate change? The answer is a clear no if we want to avoid the worst climate change outcomes.

Science has repeatedly demonstrated that the most important action to limit global warming to well below 2 degrees is to begin to reduce all fossil fuel consumption – coal, yes, but oil and gas too – in this decade.

The primary difficulty is the large mismatch between what is required to meet that stated climate goal of the Paris Agreement and what nations have actually pledged to do. Worse still, the current policies of many countries, Australia included, would increase their national production of fossil fuels, increasing emissions above their own weak pledges.

This so-called “production gap” is the subject of a recent multi-institutional, multi-national report led by the Swedish Environment Institute. Its analysis shows that governments are planning to produce about 50 per cent more fossil fuels by 2030 than would be consistent with a 2-degree pathway and 120 per cent more than would be consistent with a 1.5-degree pathway. This means that plans for fossil fuel development or extension that are already on the table must be shelved to hold warming to the Paris target range.

Consistent with other research, the report demonstrates that to have a 66 per cent chance of holding warming to well below 2 degrees, coal, oil and gas production must all decline significantly in the next decade. That is why increasing gas development to displace coal is no longer a viable approach to maintaining a reasonably safe climate.

Over the past 30 years, coal-to-gas “fuel-switching” has played a role in reducing emissions in the United States and Britain. However, the latest information from the US Energy Information Administration shows that the US energy grid has decreased its emissions from a shift to non-fossil fuel sources by almost as much as a shift to gas. Despite the shale boom, non-carbon energy sources have now overtaken any other single source of fossil fuel in supplying energy to the US grid.

In Britain, renewables played a large role in reducing emissions in the electricity grid. Between 2006 and 2016, the renewables share of electricity production rose from 2 per cent to 25 per cent, even excluding large hydro. While the 1990’s “dash for gas” was responsible for the largest cumulative amount of avoided greenhouse emissions in Britain since 1990, the situation is different now. In 2017, the transition to renewable energy was the largest driver in its electricity sector’s emission reductions. In second place was lower electricity demand (think what we could do with energy efficiency in Australia), while coal-to-gas switching came in third.

The world we live in has already changed dramatically with global average temperatures now 1.1 degrees above pre-industrial levels. Cyclones and storm surges are more intense. Droughts are more damaging. Fire seasons are longer and bushfires more fierce. Billions of animals died in last year’s Australian bushfires alone. Entire species are becoming extinct at rates far above normal. The point of no return may have already passed for Arctic sea ice – in 15 years, globes in schoolrooms may show white ice at only one pole.

At 2 degrees of warming, heatwaves would be even more severe and more deadly to humans, animals and agriculture. Sydney and Melbourne would need to brace for 50-degree days. The fire weather that produced Australia’s Black Summer would become at least four times more likely, the amount of water available to feed dams and rivers in NSW would be reduced by 30 per cent from what was typical mid last century, and coral reefs around the world would almost certainly be eliminated.

We have all the tools to avoid that future of 2 degrees of warming. What has been lacking is coherent, science-based action that does not add yet more fuel to the climate fire. Today, when the enormous human, economic and ecological costs of even 1.1 degrees of warming are so clear, when prices of renewable energy have plummeted, and several non-fossil energy storage options are available, gas is not a transition fuel to a safe climate. That ship has sailed.

Planned and rapid coal-to-renewables switching is now the responsible path. Gas will have a role in the near term, certainly, but the science is clear. The role of gas needs to be a significantly declining one, not a growing one, if we are to avoid the worst of climate change so that Australia’s future is safe, sustainable and competitively modern.

Penny Sackett was Australia’s chief scientist between 2008 and 2011. She is an honorary professor at the Climate Change Institute, Australian National University.

August 27, 2020 Posted by | AUSTRALIA, climate change | Leave a comment

Torres Strait Islanders claim climate change affects their human rights – Australia govt tries to stifle their claim

Australia asks UN to dismiss Torres Strait Islanders’ claim climate change affects their human rights

Complaint argues Morrison government has failed to take adequate action on emissions or adaptation measures, Guardian, Katharine Murphy Political editor 14 Aug 20  The Morrison government has asked the human rights committee of the United Nations to dismiss a landmark claim by a group of Torres Strait Islanders from low-lying islands off the northern coast of Australia that climate change is having an impact on their human rights, according to lawyers for the complainants.

The complaint, lodged just over 12 months ago, argued the Morrison government had failed to take adequate action to reduce emissions or pursue proper adaptation measures on the islands and, as a consequence, had failed fundamental human rights obligations to Torres Strait Islander people.

But the lead lawyer for the case, Sophie Marjanac, says the Coalition has rejected arguments from the islanders, telling the UN the case should be dismissed “because it concerns future risks, rather than impacts being felt now, and is therefore inadmissible”.

Marjanac said lawyers for the commonwealth had told the committee because Australia is not the main or only contributor to global warming, climate change action is not its legal responsibility under human rights law.

“The government’s lawyers also rejected arguments that climate impacts were being felt today, and that effects constituting a human rights violation are yet to be suffered”.

A spokesman for the attorney general, Christian Porter, said submissions to the human rights committee were not publicly available……

Lawyers for the islanders have alleged that the catastrophic nature of the predicted future impacts of climate change on the Torres Strait Islands, including the total submergence of ancestral homelands, is a sufficiently severe impact as to constitute a violation of the rights to culture, family and life.

The challenges associated with sea level rise in the Torres Strait have been well documented. A report from the Climate Council on the risks associated with coastal flooding notes that Torres Strait Island communities are extremely low-lying and are thus among the most vulnerable in Australia to the impacts of climate change.

The report concludes the shallowness of the strait “exacerbates storm surges and when such surges coincide with very high tides, extreme sea levels result”. It cites sea level data collected by satellite from one location in the Torres Strait between 1993 and 2010 that indicated a rise of 6 mm per annum, “more than twice the global average”,

Although the report notes this was a single dataset, low-lying islands in the Pacific – and Torres Strait islands such as Masig and Boigu – are likely to be at the forefront of forced displacement. Some forecasts have predicted up to 150 million people could be forcibly displaced by climate change by 2040 – larger than the record number of people already forced from their homes globally.

The non-profit group ClientEarth is supporting the complaint. A spokesman for the group said: “It is shameful that Indigenous communities on Australia’s climate frontline are being told that the risk of climate change to their human rights is merely a future hypothetical issue, when scientists are clear these impacts will happen in coming decades”.

“Climate change risk is foreseeable and only preventable through immediate action in the present. States like Australia have legal duties to protect the human rights of their citizens”. https://www.theguardian.com/australia-news/2020/aug/14/australia-asks-un-to-dismiss-torres-strait-islanders-claim-climate-change-affects-their-human-rights

August 15, 2020 Posted by | AUSTRALIA, climate change | Leave a comment

The lingering human suffering after nuclear testing in Australia and Oceania

Death in paradise: the aftermath of nuclear testing in Australia and Oceania    https://diem25.org/death-paradise-the-aftermath-nuclear-testing-australia-and-oceania/ 10/08/2020   by Aleksandar Novaković   The United States of America is the first nuclear power — and the only one to have used its weapons for a military purpose. During World War 2 in 1945,  two Japanese cities were bombed by US nuclear bombs (Hiroshima on August 6th  and Nagasaki August 9th ). The devastating result was approximately 225,000 people either dead or  wounded. The number of deaths in Hiroshima and Nagasaki due to exposure to lethal radiation is still being discussed, but it is certainly in the thousands.

However, even though nuclear weapons were never used again for military purposes, nuclear testing took (and continues to take) a toll on thousands of lives in Australia and Oceania. 

The United States conducted about 1,054 nuclear tests from 1945 to 1992, and 105 of them (1945-1962) were made at Pacific Test Sites (Marshall Islands, Kiribati) causing the contamination of huge areas controlled by US troops. In the Pacific, this caused rising numbers of cancer and birth defects, especially on the Marshall Islands where 67 tests were made and many Marshallese were forced to leave their homes in contaminated areas.

European nuclear powers, such as France and the UK,  have also “contributed” to the deaths of thousands.

France has made over 193 nuclear tests in the Pacific between 1960 and 1996, mostly on Mururoa and Fangataufa atolls that belong to French Polynesia, as well as 17 tests in Algerian Sahara. Tahiti, the most populated island of French Polynesia, was exposed to 500 times the maximum accepted levels of radiation. The impact has spread as far as to the tourist island of Bora Bora.

Civilians and the military participating in nuclear tests (more than 100,000 of them) have experienced diarrhea, skin injuries, blindness, and cancer. Their children have additionally suffered from birth defects. 

From 1953 to 1963, there were over 20 bigger and smaller British  A- bomb tests in Emu Farm, and the Maralinga and Montebello Islands of Australia. Overall, over 1200 peoples were exposed to radiation in the country, most of them Anangu people living in the Maralinga area. The UK has also made nuclear tests on overseas territories such as the Malden Islands and Christmas Island ( the present Republic of Kiribati).

So, what was done by the governments of the US, UK, Australia and France to help those who have suffered from radiation related illnesses, or those who lost their loved ones?

There are two answers. One is that loss of  loved ones, of the way you live your life, of the nature that surrounds you, the loss of home cannot be repaid or replaced with anything else. The other is that aforementioned governments did little.

The US has awarded more than $63 million to Marshallese with radiogenic illnesses despite the fact that the Tribunal only has $45.75 million to award for both health and land claims. France is still avoiding paying reparations to Tahitians.

As for the “joint venture” of the UK and Australia, the truth is that tests were approved and conducted in the first place because British officials were misinforming Australians. The Maralinga Tjarutja (Council) of  Anangu people has a compensation settlement with the Australian government, and they are receiving $13.5 million.

75 years after Hiroshima and Nagasaki, we must ask ourselves: Why are we so callous about many “Hiroshimas” and “Nagasakis” that happened over the following decades? Did we let them happen just because they took place in far-off islands in the Pacific or in the Australian desert? 

The only way to deal with these existing and future horrors that can eradicate life on Earth is to heal these existing wounds.

This means that the governments of the US, UK, France and Australia must pay just reparations to the affected countries and regions. Progressives of the world must act united against the threat of nuclear holocaust and create a political climate in which it would be possible to take action on an international level in order to ban the production, storage and use of nuclear weapons.

This can be done if nuclear powers, followed by all member states, sign the United Nation’s Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons.

Aleksandar Novaković is a historian and dramatist. He is a member of DSC Belgrade 1 and the thematic DSC Peace and International Policy 1

 

August 11, 2020 Posted by | 2 WORLD, AUSTRALIA, OCEANIA, Reference, weapons and war | Leave a comment

Australia’s ICAN and Conservation Council of Western Australia commemorate Hiroshima Day

On August 5th, people from across Australia gathered, via Zoom, to commemorate the nuclear bombing of Hiroshima, and to hear speakers from ICAN Autralia (International Campaign to Abolish Nucleat Weapons).

Medlissa Clarke spoke of the human effects of this catastrophe, and of the efforts over time, towards disarmament.  The biggest leap forward in this has been, in 2017, the U.N. Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons. The Treaty now has over 200 nations signed up, with 40 ratifications – not far from the 50 required to make it international law.

Most Australians want a nuclear weapons free world.But Australia’s policy does endorse nuclear weapons. A future Labor government might change that.

Dimity Hawkins described the misery experienced by the Japanese, the agonising stories of the survivors.  Since Hiroshima, the nuclear bombs developed are greatly stronger, and have  been tested over many years, on the Marshall Islands, on Maralinga, South Australia, and on other Pacific Islands, in nuclear colonialism that has never properly been cleaned up.  Australia is part of that nuclear chain. But now,the survivors are speaking out. Red Cross and Red Crescent,  the world’s greatest non government emergency service is strongly behind the Treaty movement, and the indigenous people, particularly Australia’s Aboriginals .

Former Senator Scott Ludlam commemorated the Hibakusha, and the impact of the nuclear weapons industry on indigenous people world-wide. He drew attention to the ?proud statement of U.S. Strategic Command – that their nuclear weapons are to be used in a “safe, secure and lethal way”.

The Treaty was an Australian initiative, brought about by the work of, at first, a few, who by-passed official systems, and went out getting signatures, setting up ICAN, which became an international movement.-, – showing that people can do this, have an effect and an influence.  As cities will be the places to bear the catastrophe of nuclear annihilation,  many Mayors of many have City Councils have signed up to the Treaty.  The Treaty shows that no-one can now claim that nuclear weapons are acceptable, in the same way as biological and chemical warfare are unacceptable.

For information on the continuing  CCWA webinar series go to  http://www.ccwa.org.au/yellowcake_country_webinar_series

August 8, 2020 Posted by | AUSTRALIA, weapons and war | Leave a comment

Another Hiroshima is Coming…Unless We Stop It Now 

Today, an unprecedented campaign of propaganda is shooing us all off like rabbits. We are not meant to question the daily torrent of anti-Chinese rhetoric, which is rapidly overtaking the torrent of anti-Russia rhetoric. Anything Chinese is bad, anathema, a threat: Wuhan …. Huawei. How confusing it is when “our” most reviled leader says so.

The target is China. Today, more than 400 American military bases almost encircle China with missiles, bombers, warships and nuclear weapons. From Australia north through the Pacific to South-East Asia, Japan and Korea and across Eurasia to Afghanistan and India, the bases form, as one US strategist told me, “the perfect noose”.

In the Sydney Morning Herald, tireless China-basher Peter Hartcher described those who spread Chinese influence in Australia as “rats, flies, mosquitoes and sparrows”. Hartcher, who favourably quotes the American demagogue Steve Bannon, likes to interpret the “dreams” of the current Chinese elite, to which he is apparently privy. These are inspired by yearnings for the “Mandate of Heaven” of 2,000 years ago. Ad nausea.

To combat this “mandate”, the Australian government of Scott Morrison has committed one of the most secure countries on earth, whose major trading partner is China, to hundreds of billions of dollars’ worth of American missiles that can be fired at China.

Another Hiroshima is Coming…Unless We Stop It Now    https://wordpress.com/read/blogs/5856084/posts/416010
by JOHN PILGER   6 Aug 20, When I first went to Hiroshima in 1967, the shadow on the steps was still there. It was an almost perfect impression of a human being at ease: legs splayed, back bent, one hand by her side as she sat waiting for a bank to open.

At a quarter past eight on the morning of August 6, 1945, she and her silhouette were burned into the granite.

I stared at the shadow for an hour or more, then I walked down to the river where the survivors still lived in shanties.

I met a man called Yukio, whose chest was etched with the pattern of the shirt he was wearing when the atomic bomb was dropped.

He described a huge flash over the city, “a bluish light, something like an electrical short”, after which wind blew like a tornado and black rain fell. “I was thrown on the ground and noticed only the stalks of my flowers were left. Everything was still and quiet, and when I got up, there were people naked, not saying anything. Some of them had no skin or hair. I was certain I was dead.”

Nine years later, I returned to look for him and he was dead from leukaemia.

“No radioactivity in Hiroshima ruin” said The New York Times front page on 13 September, 1945, a classic of planted disinformation. “General Farrell,” reported William H. Lawrence, “denied categorically that [the atomic bomb] produced a dangerous, lingering radioactivity.”

Only one reporter, Wilfred Burchett, an Australian, had braved the perilous journey to Hiroshima in the immediate aftermath of the atomic bombing, in defiance of the Allied occupation authorities, which controlled the “press pack”.

“I write this as a warning to the world,” reported Burchett in the London Daily Express  of September 5,1945. Sitting in the rubble with his Baby Hermes typewriter, he described hospital wards filled with people with no visible injuries who were dying from what he called “an atomic plague”.

For this, his press accreditation was withdrawn, he was pilloried and smeared. His witness to the truth was never forgiven.

The atomic bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki was an act of premeditated mass murder that unleashed a weapon of intrinsic criminality. It was justified by lies that form the bedrock of America’s war propaganda in the 21st century, casting a new enemy, and target – China.

During the 75 years since Hiroshima, the most enduring lie is that the atomic bomb was dropped to end the war in the Pacific and to save lives.

“Even without the atomic bombing attacks,” concluded the United States Strategic Bombing Survey of 1946, “air supremacy over Japan could have exerted sufficient pressure to bring about unconditional surrender and obviate the need for invasion. “Based on a detailed investigation of all the facts, and supported by the testimony of the surviving Japanese leaders involved, it is the Survey’s opinion that … Japan would have surrendered even if the atomic bombs had not been dropped, even if Russia had not entered the war [against Japan] and even if no invasion had been planned or contemplated.”

The National Archives in Washington contains documented Japanese peace overtures as early as 1943. None was pursued. A cable sent on May 5, 1945 by the German ambassador in Tokyo and intercepted by the US made clear the Japanese were desperate to sue for peace, including “capitulation even if the terms were hard”. Nothing was done.

The US Secretary of War, Henry Stimson, told President Truman he was “fearful” that the US Air Force would have Japan so “bombed out” that the new weapon would not be able “to show its strength”. Stimson later admitted that “no effort was made, and none was seriously considered, to achieve surrender merely in order not to have to use the [atomic] bomb”.

Stimson’s foreign policy colleagues — looking ahead to the post-war era they were then shaping “in our image”, as Cold War planner George Kennan famously put it — made clear they were eager “to browbeat the Russians with the [atomic] bomb held rather ostentatiously on our hip”. General Leslie Groves, director of the Manhattan Project that made the atomic bomb, testified: “There was never any illusion on my part that Russia was our enemy, and that the project was conducted on that basis.”

The day after Hiroshima was obliterated, President Harry Truman voiced his satisfaction with the “overwhelming success” of “the experiment”.

The “experiment” continued long after the war was over. Between 1946 and 1958, the United States exploded 67 nuclear bombs in the Marshall Islands in the Pacific: the equivalent of more than one Hiroshima every day for 12 years. Continue reading

August 6, 2020 Posted by | AUSTRALIA, Reference, USA, weapons and war | Leave a comment