Are nuclear fusion, fission and 'renewables' viable alternatives to fossil fuels?

On top of the hazards of nuclear fission electricity generation, even more environmental threats are posed by mining of uranium, enrichment, reprocessing and disposal of nuclear wastes. A likely consequence of the expansion of uranium mining in Central Australia is that the Eastern seaboard stands to be exposed to clouds bearing poisonous radioactive uranium and other toxic metals blown from the mine tailings dumps (see David Bradbury's film "Blowin' in the wind" for a graphic illustration of this threat).

Mayor's 'bunkum' misleads and disturbs

Redland Shire Division 3 Councillor Debra Henry is challenging the Mayor's dismissive remark that rapid population growth in the Redlands is 'bunkum'.

South East Queensland over-allocation of land and resources must be reversed

South East Queensland residents are using World Population Day, 11th July, to urge the Queensland Government to reverse the over-allocation of land and resources committed to development in the region.

Populate and Perish

"Today has been designated World Population Day by the UN, but you will not see any of the big environment and development groups mounting a campaign on population. Indeed, you will be lucky if they even mention the P-word."

World Population Day 11th July - growth out of control in SEQ

Water crisis, housing crisis, transport infrastructure crisis, hospital crisis and continued destruction of open space and bushland are all the hallmarks that show growth is out of control in South East Queensland, say environmentalists.

Environmental consequences of Chinese and Indian growth frankly discused on radio panel discussion

All too many 'discussions' on India and China have in the past have been dominated by innumerate economists with a Cargo Cult mind-set. All we had to do, they would have had us believe, was allow all of our manufacturing industry to be exported to China, export our non-renewable mineral resources and (unsustainably grown) rural produce as well and boundless wealth and prosperity was sure to flow back to us.

denis's picture

The Dependence on Nature Law

"Humans employ a huge range of transient operations they have installed that invariably involve using and abusing natural resources. Each of these operations provides something deemed of value to society during its lifetime. Each of these operations incurs an irrevocable, un-repayable ecological cost. We are irreversibly drawing down on the irreplaceable natural bounty."

South East Queensland growth must be reconsidered to protect nature

Conservation groups throughout South East Queensland are asking the State Government to review the SEQ Regional Plan so that it reflects environmental concerns and sets sustainable levels for dwelling targets and habitat protection.

Gecko – Gold Coast and Hinterland Environment Council spokesperson, Lois Levy, says that members have concerns that the projected figure of 1.2million residents has not been updated to reflect the carrying capacity of
South East Queensland.

Gold Coast residents still don't know how their suburbs will grow

Residents of Mudgeeraba and Reedy Creek still don't know how their suburbs will grow following a public meeting on the Gold Coast's Local Growth Management Strategy held in Mudgeeraba last week.

Mayors of South East Queensland seek help from developers to push growth plan

A recent publication of the Council of Mayors South East Queensland highlights that the mayors of SEQ are seeking help from developers to push the Local Growth Management Strategies (LGMS). These are legal planning documents that force each local government area in South East Queensland to accept unsustainable growth.

European Union condemns Spain over 'disastrous' over-building

BRUSSELS – The European Parliament condemned Spain for the environmental damage which over-development had caused in Madrid and along the Mediterranean coast.

NZ Government drops immigration numbers

The Government is taking a cautious approach to immigration, pushing down the numbers of incoming migrants while seeking further advice on the impact of immigration on inflation.

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BHP-Billiton's "Revised Climate Change Policy" - an answer to global warming?

The International mining corporation BHP-Billiton announced it's "Revised Climate Change Policy" today. You are invited to examine the document either here or on BHP-Billiton's own web site and offer you opinions as to whether or not this initiative will be a significant help to humankind's efforts to confront the looming global environmental catastrophe.

Mount Cotton community backlash against Super Quarry

Angry residents have arranged for a public meeting to draw attention to a new 40 million tonne super quarry development planned for the iconic Mt Cotton in the Redlands. The new quarry will result in 70,000 to 90,000 truck movements per year through the Redlands and Logan shires.

Save Minnippi Parklands!

A controversial 15-year-old plan to turn 125 hectares of council-owned bushland into a golf course and housing development was given the go-ahead yesterday, despite strident community opposition and accusations of behind the scenes deal-making.

The Cannon Hill Community Links proposal would turn 81 hectares of bushland, wetland and wildlife habitat into the first publicly accessible, council-owned golf course to be built in Brisbane in 20 years.

Queensland environment groups call for moratorium on growth In SEQ

Environment groups meeting at Coolum Beach on the Sunshine Coast last Sunday, 10th June, called for a moratorium on Local Growth Management Strategies (LGMS’s) under the South East Queensland Regional Plan until after the local government elections in 2008, when local residents would have the chance to vote for candidates based on their views regarding growth.

Cate Molloy: Traveston chosen because "the people in the valley were all Nationals"

Media Release: Cate Molloy reveals truth about Beattie's dam decision

6th February 2007

The Southern Cross Federal Independent Candidate for Wide Bay, Cate Molloy, today revealed what she claimed is the truth about Beattie's decision to build a dam at Traveston on the Mary River.

"Beattie's decision to put the dam at Traveston was purely political, and the public need to know this when debating other options," she said.

Poaching doctors from poor countries: A crime against humanity?

Rich countries rely on recruiting foreign health and medical staff, increasingly from Asia and Africa. The saving in training costs by skilled immigration world wide amounts to $552 Billion, almost equal to the third world debt.

The Australian's white-anting of Australian democracy continues

Rupert Murdoch's media empire, since it successfully campaigned to bring down the Whitlam government in 1974 and 1975, has similarly abused its power all over the globe in order to ensure that only governments, whose policies are acceptable to it, will remain in office.

Extreme fires, melting polar ice put world on notice - time is running out

All Australians should be alarmed at the accelerating rate of global warming highlighted by melting polar ice and extreme fires, the Australian Greens said today.

Can fossil fuels be replaced?

“At one time, the Energy Returned on Energy Invested (EROI) for oil was at least 100 to 1. We are reaching the point where the EROI of oil will be 1 and no more drilling will take place. It was while the EROI of oil was high that most of our current infrastructure was built.

“Evidence suggests that the EROI of corn ethanol is less than one, which means it takes more energy to make than you get out of it – an energy sink.”

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We Fiddle as the Continent Turns to Dust

"We have elected a prime minister, four times, who has led Australia through an era of unbroken and unprecedented prosperity, yet appeared obdurately impervious to the greatest issue of our times. He ... increased federal taxes, including the GST, to a peacetime record of 25.7 per cent of gross domestic product, but did not use this unprecedented flow of funds to mobilise the nation against the greatest threat to its survival. ...

"We are creating deserts out of farmland. And when the rains do come, heavy rain will bring problems, not just relief. An enormous amount of topsoil is sitting dry and exposed, vulnerable to run-off."

mike's picture

Water recycling in Queensland

Fellow Green Comrades,

I write because I am concerned green groups will jump in to support water recycling without putting pressure on the government.

We don't have a water problem so much as a population problem, a population problem which drives growth and which exacerbates greenhouse emissions. These emissions also exacerbate droughts, quite likely making any normal drought some 10 to 30% worse than it would otherwise have been.

Leadership needed on trees

Julian Kennedy’s article “Development stumped” (Westside News, 8 November) revealed a disappointing lack of civic leadership from both sides of the Brisbane City Council on the importance of planting trees. Our city is growing rapidly in population and is increasing its density through infill and smaller blocks in greenfield areas – steadily reducing public space per person available for outdoor exercise and fitness activities and environmental amenity. Alarmingly, Brisbane is also becoming hotter and drier through climate change.

Trees are critical to protecting our quality of life. We need to value and preserve existing trees and plant many more now where open space is available.

Winning the Dinosaur Stakes

I think even the most ardent advocates of Thorium would have to grant that Thorium is neither clean or safe. It is only comparatively so when talking of other nuclear fuels. I bet that these groupies of the nuclear industry would not let their kids near Thorium waste for 500 years.

I understand that its reputation as 'clean' derives partly from the fact that a Thorium reactor can use waste from conventional reactors and its advocates say that it can thus be used to convert waste which will be lethal for thousands of years into stuff that is only deadly for 500 years. It is seen as a 'cleaner' technology rather than a 'clean' one. And it is seen as a clean-up technology rather than a 'clean' one. It probably will be a serious consideration for the nuclear club when that party sees an end to cheap Uranium and the increasing cost of Uranium wastes. Could we call that Peak Uranium? At that time look for full development of this partly developed Thorium technology.

Water trading will create barons

The decision by the Prime Minister and four state leaders to commence water trading in the southern states will lead to exploitation of a scarce resource and cost farmers and the environment dearly, according to Member for Calare Peter Andren.

"Anyone watching the manipulation of utility markets around the world can see how water trading will create water barons and lead to manipulation of the market, just as privatisation of the Snowy Scheme would lead to electricity market manipulation," Mr Andren said.

"While there needs to be a radical change in water use practices in Australian agriculture, such as far more incentive to invest in drip irrigation, water trading will disadvantage family farms and advantage speculators and urban water purchasers who can spread the cost over businesses and households.

mike's picture

The Diagnosis: Mass Denial

The Diagnosis: Mass Denial
And Other Forms of Ecological Avoidance Syndrome (EAS)

One can only marvel at the sweeping paradox of our time.

We have the blessing and the curset to be living in a time in which scientists have repeatedly reported on the imminent destruction - and in many cases, collapse - of major parts of virtually all of the earth's principle ecosystems. The rate of destruction, overall, is accelerating rapidly.

Was the Club of Rome wrong?

Professor John Quiggin (JQ) states states "we can’t protect the environment unless we are willing to accept a radical reduction in our standard of living". Sorry, but I cannot accept this statement. If you define a high standard of living as 'owning stuff', then you are simply wrong. If our standard of living is so great, why is it we have to spend so much money repairing people? Why is there so much depression?

Our modern lifestyle is crap! I know, because on the whole I have divorced it. I have never been happier than since I quit working (for a wage of course, at the age of 46!) June next year, I will ditch my car, and I can’t wait! Finally organised so I no longer need it.

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'Left Wing' ABC bias

Originally posted on John Quiggin's blog on 10 Dec 2005

Crispin wrote : "of course there's left-wing bias in the ABC."

I don't think so. It is 'left wing' in a sense compared to the other newsmedia, but in absolute terms it sits far to the right of what was once considered the middle ground.

Media Release - 29th September is Save the Koala Day but what is there to celebrate?

29th September is Save the Koala Day but what is there to celebrate about?

Since the beginning of the twentieth century we have placed koalas survival at risk. In Queensland there was several open hunting seasons, 1915, 1917 and 1919, with one million taken in 1919. In 1927 the Queensland government allowed 584,738 koalas to be taken for skins. By the 1930s the koala was extinct in South Australia and since then we have had tollways and now urban expansion, with the SEQ koala declining from Common to vulnerable.

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