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Tagged ‘Coal‘

Well Funded Traditional Owner Splinter Group Continues To Fight Over Land Use Agreement With Adani Mining Company

Wangan and Jagalingou Family Council

December 2, 2017

 

“We, the Wangan and Jagalingou people, are the Traditional Owners of the land in Queensland’s Galilee Basin. Corporate conglomerate, Adani, wants to use our ancestral lands for their Carmichael coal mine. We do hereby firmly REJECT a Land Use Agreement with Adani for the Carmichael mine on our traditional lands. We DO NOT consent to the Carmichael mine on our ancestral lands.We DO NOT accept Adani’s “offers” to sign away our land and our rights and interests in it. We will not take their “shut up” money. We will PROTECT and DEFEND our Country and our connection to it.”

 

The Wangan and Jagalingou people are the proud Traditional Owners and Native Title Applicants of a vast area of land in central-western Queensland. [Source]

Commentary by Wrong Kind of Green’s Australian correspondent Michael Swifte:

“People should be asking the Queensland South Native Title Services about that dodgy vote. They are the brokers on behalf of the W&J (Wangan and Jagalingou) claim group. We should also be asking the National Native Title Tribunal what information they actually collect from Registered Native Title Bodies Corporate and their agents for use in arbitration for disputes over ILUA negotiations. Having spent several hours on the phone with the NNTT trying to ascertain if the ILUA negotiations with the Juru, Birriah, and Jannga peoples over the North Galilee Basin Rail Project corridor I can say with absolute confidence that the NNTT is in no position to effectively arbitrate any conflict over negotiations and voting meetings.

In a document titled ‘Unfinished Business‘ authored by the very same people who’ve written the installments in the recent New Matilda 5 part series on the W&J Family Council, the QSNTS and the NNTT are identified as active agents in delivering outcomes that favour the Queensland Government and Adani.

“The W&J argue that their engagements with the native title regime, including through organisations including the NNTT and the local NTRB, Queensland South Native Title Services, have seen the consistent prioritising of state and mining interests over their own interests in exercising meaningful consent in relation to Country.” [p. 26, UNFINISHED BUSINESS: ADANI, THE STATE, AND THE INDIGENOUS RIGHTS STRUGGLE OF THE WANGAN AND JAGALINGOU TRADITIONAL OWNERS COUNCIL 2017]

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Watch this powerful video and commentary shared by Wangan and Jagalingou Traditional Owners Council:

“Murrawah’s question to ABC Q&A last night… If only they ran it! Instead, there are those who have nothing to do with our country or people, who aren’t correct about what’s been happening to W&J, like Warren Mundine, who get to speak instead of us. If this question was put, he wouldn’t get such a free run at misinforming the community, like he did last night.”

Youth spokesperson for the W&J Traditional Owners Council, Murrawah Johnson:


“Adani and the State Government didn’t ‘negotiate’ and achieve the free, prior, informed consent of the W&J people. Instead Adani, backed by the State Government and past NNTT decisions, relied on the threat that they would compulsorily take our land.

 

The meeting, that all these Adani supporters cite where the purported majority voted for the ILUA 294 to 1, is not a true expression of the W&J Traditional Owners. Over 220 of that meeting’s attendees are people that are not Wangan and Jagalingou people according to our law and custom. They have never been involved in the W&J claim or decision making, and are identified with other people and claims. They were bussed in and paid for at Adani’s considerable expense, while hundreds of the rightful W&J Traditional Owners refused to attend this sham meeting.” [Source]

Crude Awakening

Public Good Project

March 15, 2016

by Jay Taber

 

Lummi hereditary chief Bill James, on the beach at Cherry Point, says saving it is to preserve "the tribe's very way of life."   It's the site of an ancient Lummi village. ref to video of James and more photos Lummi Indian tribe and opposition to development of Cherry Point into a coal export terminal.  Traditional grounds of the Lummi people.   Friday Dec. 11, 2015

Friday Dec. 11, 2015: Lummi hereditary chief Bill James, on the beach at Cherry Point, says saving it is to preserve “the tribe’s very way of life.” It’s the site of an ancient Lummi village. (Alan Berner/The Seattle Times)

 

Now that the U.S. crude oil export ban has been lifted, and ‘bomb trains’ are already rolling into the four Pacific Northwest refineries, the three-year-old conflict between Indian tribes and fossil fuel exporters opens up vast opportunities for Anti-Indian Movement organizing, with some really deep pockets behind it. By comparison, White Power on the Salish Seapromoted by coal exporters — could seem like a mere warm-up for organizations like Citizens Equal Rights Alliance (CERA), “the Ku Klux Klan of Indian country”.

Press statements by leaders from the Affiliated Tribes of Northwest Indians, the National Congress of American Indians and Coast Salish Nation indicate they will intervene to guard against these orchestrated attacks on tribal sovereignty and treaty rights, but the federal courts are decidedly unfavorable after all the Reagan/Bush judicial appointments. Since the tribes will likely continue pursuing administrative remedies through federal departments like Interior, much will depend on the next US administration. In that regard, things will probably get worse.

The tribes can now invoke international law under the 2007 UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, seeking relief from the Organization of American States, but under US law they first have to exhaust domestic administrative remedies. And that takes years, during which time CERA and the Tea Party will undoubtedly continue inflaming the dispute, while fossil fuel exporters continue capitalizing on fear.

Since journalists covering this impending pandemonium will rely on corporate press releases and government pronouncements, it falls on the shoulders of think tanks like the Center for World Indigenous Studies, the Institute for Research and Education on Human Rights, and Public Good Project to contextualize things in the midst of fossil-fueled chaos.  To avoid bloodshed, we will need to provide easily searchable background materials in advance of the imminent mayhem.

Meanwhile, mainstream media studiously avoids exposing the corporate-backed, organized racism by organized labor, intended to incite resentment and provoke Wise Use terrorism toward American Indian tribes.

 

 

[Jay Thomas Taber is an associate scholar of the Center for World Indigenous Studies, a correspondent to Forum for Global Exchange, and a contributing editor of Fourth World Journal. Since 1994, he has served as communications director at Public Good Project, a volunteer network of researchers, analysts and journalists engaged in defending democracy. As a consultant, he has assisted indigenous peoples in the European Court of Human Rights and at the United Nations. Email: tbarj [at] yahoo.com Website:www.jaytaber.com]

 

Reality Check: Germany Does Not Get Half of its Energy from Solar Panels

The Energy Collective

August 18, 2014

By Robert Wilson

The rise of the Internet means that simple factual issues can be checked quicker than would have been believed possible a generation ago. The rise of social media means that facts are not checked, they are retweeted.

Such is the case with renewable energy in Germany, where it appears almost anything is to be believed.

Here is the most popular meme: “Germany now gets half of its energy from solar panels.” This does the rounds of Twitter and Facebook almost every day. In fact, it has now spread to more reputable outlets such as Popular Mechanics, and has even appeared on the website of Richard Dawkins, the inventor of the term meme, under the headline “Germany Now Produces Half Of Its Energy Using Solar.” The problem, of course, is that Germany does not get half of its energy from solar panels, and will not do so any time soon.

As with any myth there are multiple versions. In this case it is either that Germany gets half of its electricity or half its energy from solar panels. The latter version is easily refuted by pointing out that the majority of German energy consumption is not in the form of electricity. BMWs, Mercedes and Volkswagens run on petrol and diesel, not electricity.

The more common version of the myth is debunked with simple reference to Germany’s official statistics for electricity generation. And what they tell us is quite simple. Germany does not get half of its electricity from solar panels, instead the figure is around ten times lower. Last year only 4.5% of Germany’s gross electricity generation came from solar panels, far short of 50%.

And if you want to think that half of Germany’s electricity comes from something green you will be disappointed. 46% of generation comes from coal. And just over half of coal powered electricity in Germany comes from burning lignite, perhaps the most polluting way to generate electricity on the planet.

GermanyElectricityMix

These statistics, then, make it clear that the “solar revolution” that has supposedly occurred in Germany is not worth the name, and is mostly just a combination of hype and wishful thinking. I can make this even clearer by comparing the growth of solar in Germany with that of more old fashioned forms of electricity generation.

In 1990, Britain got no electricity whatsoever from gas power plants. Yet, within one decade this went from zero to forty percent. This is a much more rapid growth than has been in German solar wind, or anything else. In fact, no country has grown any source of renewable electricity at such a speed.
An even more sobering comparison, given Germany’s much trumped green credentials, is with the growth of coal power plants this decade. At the end of last year Germany had a total of 36 gigawatts of installed solar capacity, and this produced 28.3 terawatt hours of electricity. However, between 2011 and 2015 Germany is opening 10.7 gigawatts of new coal power plant capacity. The consulting company Poyry projects that these new coal power plants will have average capacity factors of 80%. If so, they will have a combined average annual output of 75 terawatt hours. In other words, in five years Germany is opening coal capacity which will have an annual output of more than double that from all of its solar panels. However, this comparison is perhaps too generous. Solar panels typically last twenty to twenty five years, but coal power plants easily last twice that long.
What we are seeing in Germany, then, is much more of a coal lock-in than a solar revolution.
And solar power in Germany faces fundamental problems. For obvious physical reasons – the sun always sets – there is absolutely no output from solar panels a lot of the time. In the case of Germany it is around 46% of the time. However, Germany can, on a sunny day, get a lot of its electricity demand from solar panels. On the occasional sunny day solar panel output can exceed half of total electricity demand. This is the source of the myth that Germany gets half of its electricity from solar panels. Media reports on solar in Germany focus on the peak, and not on the average.
The average, well, that’s one tenth of the peak, but I guess not even half of the story.
Germany’s solar output varies massively during the year, and these variations can be made clear by a simple comparison. Daily output of Germany’s solar panels peaked last year on 21st of July, when panels produced 20.9% of daily electricity demand. In contrast, the worst day of the year was 18th January when solar panels produced just over 0.1% of Germany’s electricity demand. This second statistic has, unsurprisingly, failed to elicit any headlines.

PVhighlow

During large stretches of winter Germany’s solar panels generate almost no electricity, with output from solar panels being fifteen times higher in July than in January last year. In addition, Germany’s annual consumption of electricity peaks in Winter evenings, when solar panels reliably generate no power. These simple realities mean that Germany, or any other cloudy and high latitude country, will struggle to generate truly revolutionary amounts of electricity from solar panels.

I will end with a simple calculation of how long it will take Germany to reach 50% solar electricity given current build rates.

The new German government has put in place a long-term target of having between 2.5 and 3.5 gigawatts of solar panels installed each year. If we take the higher figure, and assume that 3.5 gigawatts is installed each year, it will take Germany almost ninety years to reach 50% solar electricity. This however is an underestimate. Solar panels must be replaced every twenty or twenty fives years, and 50% solar energy in Germany would require massive advances in energy storage techniques. Germany, then, is around a century away from getting half of its electricity from solar panels.

Does this look like a revolution?

 

 

Notes

1. Statistics for Germany’s energy consumption are available from BP and Eurostat. In total, solar energy was 2% of Germany’s primary energy consumption last year, using BP’s statistics. The precise percentage however will vary depending on how energy consumption is defined. If we used the IEA’s definition of primary energy consumption for solar, then the figure would be around 1%. I discussed the problem of measuring renewable energy consumption here.

2. Annual electricity production statistics by energy source for Germany are available from AGEB, while Transparency EEX provides real-time production of solar power. Hourly solar power production for the last three years is available at the website of PF Bach.

3. The points made about seasonal variation of solar power output are not particularly valid for lower latitude countries. For example, capacity factors of American solar panels indicate a much flatter seasonal output. There are no long stretches of the year where most of America’s solar panels are producing essentially no power.

 

[Robert Wilson is a PhD Student in Mathematical Ecology at the University of Strathclyde. His secondary interests are energy and the environment and writes on these issues at The Energy Collective. Follow him on Twitter: @PrimedMover Email: robertwilson190 at gmail.com or robert.wilson at strath.ac.uk]

Black On The Old Plantation | Civil Rights Organizations Enslave Themselves to Corporate Funding

A Black Agenda Radio Commentary by BAR managing editor Bruce A. Dixon

Metro Atlanta is now the second largest concentration of African-descended people in North America. But with civil rights organizations firmly in corporate pockets, it’s still a spot where the racist corporations like Southern Companies feel free and unashamed to celebrate their history of theft and plunder and future prospects of the same. What does that say about the state of black leadership, about all of us?

06/27/2012
by Bruce A. Dixon

 

Southern Companies purchased its very own civil rights organization…”

There was a time when the master class of the American South would gather under the shade of carefully pruned magnolia trees to gamble, sip mint juleps, tell tales and celebrate themselves in the midst of stolen wealth trampled from the hides of mother nature, Native Americans and African-descended slaves. In the 21st century South, where as Faulkner said, the past ain’t even past, not much has changed.

Southern Companies is a greedy rapacious corporation that owns power generation and delivery networks throughout the southeast. They own coal, gas and nuclear plants. They endow college and university chairs and scholarships, community organizations and local churches. In whole or in part, they own hundreds of judges and politicians across the region including many black ones, right up to a piece of the White House itself. Their influence is a big reason why Obama called himself the president of “clean coal and safe nuclear power.” One of Barack Obama’s first acts as president was to grant $800 million in free loan guarantees to build the nation’s first new nuclear power plant in 30 years right next to an existing pair of leaky nukes believed responsible for a cancer epidemic in mostly black Burke County GA, one of the poorest places in the South. Southern Companies-owned politicians have also allowed it to charge millions of ratepayers $15 and $20 monthly to cover advance construction costs of the new nukes so it need not invest any of its vast cash reserves.

To insulate themselves against charges of environmental racism for poisoning poor blacks in Burke County, Southern Companies doesn’t just make wild claims about how many Homer Simpson jobs new its nuclear plants will produce. Southern Companies purchased its very own civil rights organization, the Atlanta-based Southern Christian Leadership Council, originally founded by Dr. Martin Luther King himself. A Southern Companies CEO headed up SCLC’s building fund and raised over $3 million to pay for its new office buildings on Atlanta’s Auburn Avenue.