Chain Reaction is the journal for Friends of the Earth Australia.
The August 2016 edition had the following two articles written in the Far North by FoE FNQ president John Glue and Margie Pestorius.
by Margie Pestorius
Militarism and climate change are closely linked and joining anti-militarism to the climate justice discourse is an important move that was visible during the UN COP21 climate conference last December. It is becoming evident that militarism will block the goals of the climate change movement if these links are not addressed.
Militarism is defined as: "The belief or desire of a government or people that a country should maintain a strong military capability and be prepared to use it aggressively to defend or promote national interests."
A recent inquiry of climate justice activists and academics in Melbourne threw up the following connections.
by John Glue
At the start of the election campaign Federal Environment Minister Greg Hunt visited Cairns to re-announce $50 million in new projects to boost water quality, including efforts to keep sediment, fertilisers and pesticides off the Great Barrier Reef. This re-announcement was partly to allay concerns over research showing 93% of the Reef had been bleached and dire predictions that the Reef will be terminal in as little as 5 to 20 years.
The Kuranda Water Treatment Plant’s – Drinking Water Quality Management Plan Feb 2012 reveals that between 30% to 60% of Kuranda’s water pipes have been made with asbestos concrete. The problem with asbestos concrete water pipes is that as the pipes age and start to deteriorate, asbestos fibers are released into the water supply.
While inhaled asbestos is recognized as a serious carcinogen, the Government’s current position is that ingesting asbestos fibre from the water supply poses little or no risk to the public health. So this is why there are no established guidelines for unsafe levels of asbestos in town water.
There is however growing concern around the world. Regulators are not taking into account the potential to inhale asbestos fibers e.g. in aerosol droplets when showering, or from fibers trapped on clothing during washing. These fibres are then released into the atmosphere especially from cloths driers and humidifiers.
Asbestos is clearly another important reason to install proper water filtering for one’s home and business.
Explosions at the Fukushima Reactor Building 3 on 31 Dec 2013 are causing concern. Is that the reactor in the process of uncontrolled meltdown? The implications of this would be serious as 89 tons of nuclear fuel are contained in this building, which could then be released into the atmosphere.
Even before the recent explosion, the west coast of North and South America was being affected by a significant increases of radiation. Iodine supplementation is being recommended by doctors to prevent thyroid cancer from the increased radiation levels. Experts are now warning that ‘the days of eating Pacific Ocean fish are over’.
The new Queensland Government’s recent overturning of Queensland’s 23-year ban on Uranium mining needs to be reconsidered for many reasons – not least the recurring accidents at nuclear power plants over decades-from Chernobyl to Fukishima – plus the unresolved issue of where to dump the toxic nuclear waste.