Smokey and Bridget coveredsome serious matters today, including the Fukushima disaster, but as Smokey said on the show, matters that are important tohear.
Firstly, both presenters are very disappointed to learn that the Victorian State Government has pulled back on the 20% carbon emissions reduction target for Victoria over the next decade, set by the previousLabour government.
The State government claimsthe 20% emission target was out of line with the Federal government's 5%emissions reduction target. The State government also claim they have to spend a few billion to buy the carbon offsets overseas.
|Hazelwood Power Station, Victoria|
These claims negatethe original intention of the target. Bridget notes Victoria is the dirtiest state in Australia due toits heavy reliance on coal. It hosts one of the highest polluting power stations in the world in Hazelwood. Victoria should be doingits fair share of reducing carbon emissions.
Australia has the potential to do more towards reducingemissions, this includes Victoria. As Smokey said, Australia is sunny, windy, completely surrounded by oceans for tidalpower and has untapped geothermal potential. Australia could be a world leader in setting higher targetsfor reducing carbon emissions.
In the second half ofthe show, Smokey and Bridget spoke to Dr Jim Green, National Nuclear Campaigner of Friends of the Earth. DrGreen updated listeners on details of the Fukushima disaster, one year on. The Fukushima disaster consistedof natural disasters, the terrible earthquake and tsunami. Reports have found the nucleardisaster is man made.
If the nuclear back-up generators had been safeguarded with a simple protection mechanism, the Fukushimagenerators would not have flooded! The Japanese people are very angry. The protection mechanism only neededsimple engineering, as an example the Friends of the Earth alone could have facilitated this over a weekend.
Many aspects to thenuclear disaster are depressing. Dr Green shared details of recurrent safety concerns about Japanese nuclearfacilities over time, resettlement issues of the people in and aroundFukushima, and the poor wellbeing of the Fukushima people in the aftermath ofthe disaster. You can find out more information on the Friends of the Earth website: www.foe.org.au
In the news currently we find Australia willing to have an increased number of US nuclear submarines visiting Western Australia. Dr Green says that this is an example of Australia not being serious about nuclear disarmament. The position of Australia having a nuclear military alliance with the US is unlikely to change.
Smokey and Bridget also talked about energy. In light of the Fukushimadisaster, countries around the world are abandoning or scaling back nuclearpower. Many countries will instead use fossil fuels, not the answer to combatclimate change.
Which brings us back to Smokey’s original point about how Australia should use its own naturalresources and environment to meet its energy needs, investing in technologies like geothermal or solarthermal. Importantly though, the transition to renewables needs to be properly planned and managed well.
Thankyou again to Bridget for joining the radio team and showcasing your broadcasting talents! If you missed this thought provoking show, you can download it here.