anti-nuclear

Usually, when people mention dying in a ditch, they are discussing something they would much rather avoid. But for the South Australian state Labor government of Premier Jay Weatherill, dying in a ditch seems a positive ambition.

For Weatherill and his cabinet, the “ditch” is the government’s plan to host up to a third of the world’s high-level nuclear waste in a giant dump in the state’s remote north. The dump scheme was rejected decisively on November 6 by a government-organised “Citizens’ Jury”.

Greenhouse gases are rising so fast that it could soon be “game over” for the climate, a leading scientist warned in response to a new study published on November 9 that finds the planet could be heading for more than 7°C warming within a lifetime.

The study, published in the journal Science Advances, reported that the United Nations’ most accurate estimates on the “business as usual” rate of global warming may actually be vastly underestimated.

To the fury of business spokespeople, South Australia’s “Citizens’ Jury on Nuclear Waste” has effectively exploded plans by the state Labor government to host the world’s largest nuclear waste dump.

The jury was intended by Premier Jay Weatherill to lend his scheme a garnish of popular consent. But in their final report on November 6, the jurors instead concluded that the dump plan should not go ahead “under any circumstances”. The vote was overwhelming, with two-thirds of jury members opposing the government’s projections.

Hundreds of people attended the first leg of the 100% Renewables Roadshow in Adelaide on October 31, demonstrating strong community support for renewable energy in South Australia.

Solar Citizens National Director Claire O’Rourke spoke about their Homegrown Power Plan, which maps out a proposal for how Australia can get to 100% renewable energy by 2030.

About 3000 people rallied on the steps of Parliament House on October 16 to protest against the state and federal governments’ plans to create nuclear waste dumps in South Australia.

This year the state government held the expensive — and some would say biased — Royal Commission into the Nuclear Fuel Cycle, which found South Australia was the perfect place to store the world's high-grade nuclear waste. It has just initiated a public consultation into the general idea of storing nuclear waste, which will continue into next year.

Efforts to halt plans for nuclear waste dumping in South Australia have made important advances in recent weeks, with environmental, trade union, indigenous and other bodies pushing for a joint opposition campaign.

At a September 16 meeting called by the peak labour movement body, SA Unions, and the Maritime Union of Australia, members of at least 14 organisations resolved to work toward forming a coordinating committee “around the common objective of preventing nuclear waste dumps being established in South Australia”.

Fossil fuel divestment is gathering pace around Australia and the world. More and more individuals and organisations are pulling their investment assets out of companies involved with the exploration, extraction, production or financing of fossil fuels.

South Australia’s peak environment body Conservation SA warned on September 19 that a nuclear waste repository under construction in Finland has few lessons for the high-level nuclear waste dump proposed for SA.

Conservation SA CEO Craig Wilkins said there were so many differences between the Finnish and SA nuclear waste plans that Premier Jay Weatherill’s current study trip there would provide little insight.

Are small-scale nuclear power reactors the key to dealing with the high cost of electricity in South Australia? Someone in the policy apparatus of Labor Premier Jay Weatherill seems to think so.

Adelaide’s Channel 7 splashed the story across its news reports on September 7: the nuclear power option was being officially explored!

“A top-level report clearly indicates small-scale reactors have been on the short-term radar,” the channel stated.

Radical Radio: Celebrating 40 years of 3CR
3CR.org.au, $49.50

I love this book. It is a showcase of four decades of Melbourne community radio station 3CR — one of Australia’s oldest and most progressive broadcasters, intertwined with the local and national landscape of political struggle from the mid 1970s until today.

Page after page of informative, entertaining stories make for great reading.

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