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The young vote: Who will capture it?

Around 2 years ago I conducted a workshop with a group of year 12 students at the Catholic college where I live. I wanted to write an article about how prepared they were to vote. I took a rather flippant, or preconceived view as to the extent of their knowledge of the Australian political system and our democratic structures.

I was correct in my assumption. They knew very little about politics in general. It wasn’t a subject of discussion at the dinner table, nor did it, other than a mention in year 7, insinuate its way into the school curriculum. Ideology didn’t form a great part of their critical thinking. Right and wrong did. The young of today are far more open to the fragility of those around them and the acceptance of difference.

When it came to the issues that effected society they displayed knowledge that surprised me. They had an in-depth grasp of all the subjects currently under discussion and said they talked about them. Climate change, the cost of university courses, marriage equality, (a touchy subject for Catholic students) growing inequality, jobs and so on. The only subject in which they seemed unprogressive was an Australian Republic. I put that down to a bad case of “celebrity” worship.

They thought they didn’t have a voice in society and therefore had a frivolous attitude to politics. When I pointed out that our society gave them the gift of a vote they answered with, “and what’s it worth.” Most thought they wouldn’t register to vote in the next election.

Invariably when I study Australian polls it is the 18-30 year olds that support the left of politics. The middle-aged and elderly support the right. 75% of 18- to 24-year-olds voted to remain in the European Union. Not enough bothered to vote. They realised their mistake. In the month after May announced the election 1 million young people registered to vote.

3 million people didn’t vote in our last election. I wonder how many were young people who had so little faith in our system that they didn’t see their vote as an asset for change.

”The “youthquake” was a key component of Corbyn’s 10-point advance in Labour’s share of the vote – exceeding even Blair’s nine-point gain in his first 1997 landslide. No official data exists for the scale of the youth vote but an NME-led exit poll suggests turnout among under-35s rose by 12 points compared with 2015, to 56%. The survey said nearly two-thirds of younger voters backed Labour, with Brexit being their main concern.”

In America a national survey suggested that more young adults, would have supported a candidate like Bernie Sanders so did not vote at all. Sanders, like Corbyn was overwhelmingly supported by the young.

Voters 18–29
2012: Obama 60, Romney 37 (D+23)
2016: Clinton 55, Trump 36 (D+19)

What might have happened had Bernie Sanders been the Democratic representative?

There is no doubt that had the young got off their collective backsides and voted then Brittan would still be part of they European Union. And had those who would be effected most, the 16-17 year olds had the opportunity of voting then a vote to stay might have been a forgone conclusion.

Once people are set in their ways it is almost impossible to change them because an automatic blind of insecurity befalls them. By your late twenties your life experience to that point will determine your values.

The young of today are looking at a world that is a result of what the oldies have made of it. A world of broken political systems, a world of untold wealth that only a few share. They see that rather than improving society we are still regurgitating the same problems. Problems they should have fixed. Ten years to get together a climate and energy policy. You couldn’t stuff it up any better if you tried. In many ways it’s harder now, harder to get a university education and you have to pay for it, harder to buy a house and the debt is enormous.

In their progressiveness the young also see that continuing down the same path of past failures is futile that what is required is a spirit of internationalism, not nationalism foisted on them by elders who should know better. Sure technology has advanced exponentially but our understanding of ourselves has not. No one has yet intellectually answered the question of why we continue to fight each other when we know it doesn’t work.

The world can only change with the marching of young feet willing to make a transformation for the common good. Substantial and worthwhile change often comes with short-term controversy but the pain is worth it for long-term prosperity.

For political parties it’s the one who captures the young vote of today who will create the world of tomorrow. I only hope it is the party who governs for those who have not. And not the party that represents those who have.

My thought for the day

We dislike and resist change in the foolish assumption that we can make permanent that which makes us feel secure. Yet change is in fact part of the very fabric of our existence.

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75 comments

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  1. darrel nay

    The European Union is just another dying Globalist plan. The EU is an un-elected beurocracy. Look at how the EU robbed Greece.

    If the majority of the British Voters were sick of un-elected clowns from Brussels dictating law to Britain, in direct contravention of Britain’s natural sovereignty and right to self-determination, then I respect the choice of the British voters – many other countries look set to follow Britain.

    Freedom

  2. John Lord

    many other countries look set to follow Britain. Who might they be Darrel?

  3. townsvilleblog

    Please John no more yank crap in the headings the simpsons gives me the screaming squirts.

  4. Harquebus

    “For political parties it’s the one who captures the young vote of today who will create the world of tomorrow.”
    With what and would that be before or after they have paid off our debts?
    Cheers.

  5. Freethinker

    Good article John, I share your views.
    What concern me more is that the students are not prepared to protest regarding the cost of studying and other issues that concern them.
    A strong students movement together with the institutions teaching staff can have a lot of force. I know that by personal experience.

  6. Terry2

    Some years ago I did a presentation to a group of students on the preferential voting system as it operates in Australia. Very few of those in attendance new anything about the way it operates and they had virtually no knowledge of our constitutional arrangements or how a Double Dissolution is triggered : not their fault but obviously something missing in our education system.

  7. iggy648

    Narky Harky: What debts are you referring to? Will the young not benefit from good quality schools and Universities? NDIS? Good quality fast NBN? We should all share the cost surely, including the young, because they will benefit most. I’m guessing you’d want the Coalition to end any spending on infrastructure?

  8. helvityni

    Terry2, my dear friend’s daughter (a uni student) informed me: Bali is not part of Indonesia.

    Freethinker, hopefully the young ones do their protesting online..

  9. Freethinker

    No helvityni, on line is a tool to organise the protests, the protests have to be done in the streets, in the institutions, in the political party branches and MP offices.

  10. king1394

    Townsvilleblog: a clone of Bart Simpson is now president. Makes Bart horribly relevant.
    Terry2: it is not only the young who do not understand our preferential system, let alone the version of proportional representation that gives us the Senate. Even the candidates do not understand it.

    The young people must vote if they want their concerns addressed. Perhaps they need to see it as a way to get rid of the old, rather than just a chore that means nothing

  11. Harquebus

    iggy648
    I do want spending on new infrastructure to stop. New infrastructure consumes precious resources, increases the debt burden and creates a maintenance legacy that is getting harder and harder to fulfill. It only adds to the burden that “the young” will have to bear.
    Some will say that spending on productive infrastructure is a good investment and will promote economic growth. Not so in the environment of diminishing energy returns that we are currently in and growing the economy is the absolute worst possible thing that we can be doing.

    “Consumer demand and economic growth are the motors of environmental destruction.”
    https://www.theguardian.com/books/2016/apr/15/neoliberalism-ideology-problem-george-monbiot

    http://www.nationaldebtclocks.org/debtclock/australia

    Search criteria: global debt bubble

    Cheers.

  12. helvityni

    Freethinker, yes but, these days people only take to the streets to have their coffees and/or to shop…

    Young people are glued to their iPhones, many ‘communicate’ whilst driving…their fingers will lengthen, but their lower limbs will wither out of lack of use, they’ll only walk on treadmills…

    🙂

  13. Kaye Lee

    Quite frankly, I would not want to live in the world Harquebus aspires to – a world full of defeatists who are incapable of learning, who have no imagination or initiative, a world where nothing is possible and hope is dead.

    Harquebus thinks he has all the answers when in fact, all he does is a google search to find a headline that looks good. I am sure he doesn’t read what he links to because, if you actually check, the articles often come to different conclusions to what Harquebus tries to convince us of. He doesn’t ever consider the credibility of his sources and posts a whole heap of crap that is demonstrably wrong.

    I see absolutely no thought put into anything Harquebus says. A quick google, copy and paste – no analysis, no thought, no research on differing ideas or new developments. Just endless links in a scattergun barrage.

    The constant repetition of his neverchanging mantra is really annoying. I don’t want to read the same thing over and over and over and over and over and over…….

    The religion of Harquebus is a daily irritant I can do without.

  14. Michael Taylor

    The constant repetition of his neverchanging mantra is really annoying. I don’t want to read the same thing over and over and over and over and over and over…….

    Kaye, if people are not visiting the site because of Harquebus then I will have no option but to escort him to the door. We have been too patient with him.

  15. Kaye Lee

    Sorry for the dummy spit. I should just treat him with the ignore he deserves but I find it so disappointing. I learn so much from the articles and commentary here and can trust, in the main, that I am being told the truth. Every day there is such a wide variety of informed commentary to enjoy, ideas to toss around, suggestions on ways forward – and then there is H whose only suggestion is that we kill our firstborn child, abstain from sex for a decade, and buy a horse (or something like that).

  16. wam

    Wow, what about the 3 year old’s derisive ‘Strong and stable’ (loved the accent)???? And the murdoch papers used screaming anti-corbyn headlines(al a juliar)
    Doesn’t that give hope that our young may be able resist ‘slogans’ like ‘Jobson Groeth'(who coined this?) and ignore the media disingenuous hype??( perhaps not bill’s advisers, probably missed the references)

    When we had an increase from 92% 2013 to 95%(pommie 68.7%)participation in 2016, the figure of 3 million seems suss (18-24 86.7%, pommie 72% up from 43%)

    ps love your thought fits perfectly withdutton’s changes and makes it easy for labor to endorse and the diludbransims to decry.

  17. Harquebus

    Kaye Lee.
    First. I do not aspire to live in a dystopia. I have spent over 20 years trying to convince others of our predicament in order to avoid it. I accuse you and those close-minded do-nothings like you of creating it.

    Second. I haven’t given up. I am preparing for the coming battle and do not expect you and others to be standing alongside me when it comes. Thank you very much for your support.

    Third. I rarely google for my links and when I do, I include the search criteria. The vast majority are from my reading list. I have read every article that I have ever posted here at theAIMN and that is only a very few of the total.

    Fourth. For someone who can not understand scientific literature which, you have admitted, it is a bit rich to accuse me of, quote: ” no analysis, no thought, no research on differing ideas or new developments.”
    “Science” is clearly written on my diploma and systems analysis is part of my skill set.

    Fifth. As I stated yesterday, the problems remain the same, thank you very much for your continuing contribution and the only viable solution remains the same.

    It is yours and other contributors here whose attitudes need changing. Meanwhile, I have no intention of just sitting back and allowing yours and other mindsets like yours to continue f*cking things up without an argument.

    Michael Taylor
    That won’t work and you know it.
    Your site does not validate email addresses and if it did, I can get all valid ones that I like and identities are only limited by the number of names that I can come up with. With the Harquebus moniker and my valid email address, at least you will know it is me.
    I do not want to take this approach but, will if I am shown the door.

    Cheers.

  18. Michael Taylor

    If you think it won’t work then you underestimate what tools we have at our disposal.

  19. Harquebus

    Michael Taylor
    Let me expand. “Computer Science” is clearly written on my diploma and I have a dynamic IP address.
    Let’s not go down this path. The internet is my playground and I know my way around it.
    Cheers.

  20. Michael Taylor

    Well that makes you a despicable character, Harquebus. If the owners of a website inform you that you are not welcome at their site, and if numerous readers here also voice their disappoint at your presence, so action is taken to prevent you from commenting on that site … and you ‘threaten’ to do whatever it takes to return … then what else can I say? It is truly despicable and I don’t like threats.

    You will not comment on this site again.

  21. Freethinker

    Harquebus the more that you are saying in your post and behave the more credibility and respect that you are losing.
    This is “The Church of Salvation” and therefore we do need any priest on it.
    Show some respect and manners towards others, if you are not welcome in this place and your opinion it is disregarded it is time to move on.
    Obviously the 20 years effort that you alleged that you have dedicated “trying to convince others” does not work.
    You claim that you Computer Science is your game, well open your own blog and use your communication skills to convince the masses there.
    You are not going to convince any reader here, on the contrary you are ignored and only having replies to your posts to bring to your attention how wrong you are regarding your behavior.

  22. Kaye Lee

    Go play with the doomsayers in your bunkers and keep your paltry threats to yourself. Web wawwiors are such a bore.

  23. Terry2

    Changes to the migration legislation could allow Peter Dutton to override or ignore decisions of the Administrative Appeals Tribunal, effectively putting Dutton above the laws of Australia.

    The legislation, as always with this government, is not yet available for scrutiny but the government expect that the opposition will support it – which I very much doubt – and already PHON are indicating their support ; typical One Nation, haven’t even read or studied the legislation but they support it.

    If a politician can be allowed to override determinations of an impartial body like the AAT our democratic arrangements are under threat like never before.

  24. diannaart

    @Terry2

    I agree. People like Dutton are frightening just to have them in government, let alone given carte blanche powers above our legal system… it’s just a step to the right and we have a fascist system that is near impossible to remove. Last time it took a world war to remove a fascist government.

  25. Har k a bus

    Just for laughs, everyone. Check out the fantasy. It’s all my fault lol.(Michael)

    Michael Taylor
    Is this an open forum or what?

    Who said anything about hacking and again, I resent the insinuation. Your jumping to incorrect conclusions and your false accusations against me in order to justify my expulsion is despicable. I thought that you were better than that. That is truly a very low thing to do. You ought to be ashamed of yourself. I would never do what you have just done and nor have I or would ever do what you have accused me of.

    You may as well just leave this comment up because, you will be pulling it down and I will be putting it back up again forever.
    I am serious. I will be back everyday.

    You have falsely accused me and then punished me for it. Now it is a matter of principle.

    Cheers.

  26. win jeavons

    Let H go on, just don’t bother to read him, if he changed his name we would just have to learn what to ignore all over again . our potential future horrifies me but without sensible hope we are done. We who are older (I am over 80 ) owe it to our young to give them a chance, albeit in a very different society than the current short sighted, greedy one.

  27. Michael Taylor

    The problem, Win, is that if he stays at this site then other people will desert it in droves. It can’t be risked.

  28. iggy648

    What about the rest of my questions? “Narky Harky: What debts are you referring to? Will the young not benefit from good quality schools and Universities? NDIS? Good quality fast NBN? We should all share the cost surely, including the young, because they will benefit most.”

  29. Vikingduk

    Hallelujah, Michael Taylor and Kaye Lee, l used to read hbus with a slight interest, have been finding him, for a time now, boring (easily fixed), repetitious and something of a hypocrite.

    But the issue that really gives me the shits is his insults directed towards the writers and some commentators. Unnecessary and uncalled for. The hbus plan for one child limits and no power generation will never be adopted anywhere anytime. I could and am tempted to let my insult beast free reign, I won’t though.

    AIMN, as always, go hard or go home. You are attracting many fine writers and excellent articles, no sense ruining the experience by tolerating an insulting, boring plonker.

  30. johnlord2013J

    Why does he always pick on what I write.

  31. Freethinker

    Make you wonder if he does not need professional help.

  32. MikeW

    Michael Taylor, I totally disagree with your decision to block Harquebus from commenting here. I doubt people are staying away because of his/her comments.
    Everybody is entitled to their point of view whether you agree with them or not ( I disagree with Harquebus 100% of the time).
    By blocking comments here unless personally abusive or over use of expletives you are no better than the Mudrake press.
    I have been commenting on Akermans blog (yeah I know) for many years never agreed with a word he’s said, or his rabid followers.
    Recently I have been blocked for some unknown reason, no personal insults just facts, which newscorpse don’t like.
    I believe alternative comments should be allowed here whether factual or not , if not factual shoot them down in flames, otherwise you are no better than newscorpse.

  33. diannaart

    MikeW

    Did you not see the comment above which definitively crossed over into trolldom? It was not an alternative POV, it was blatant and childish disrespect to Michael and all who enjoy the AIMN website.

    DO NOT FEED THE TROLLS

  34. Freethinker

    MikeW, The admin of the site and all the bloggers agree 100% that everybody is entitled to their opinion and it is constructive as well.
    What we do not agree or tolerate is insulting or denigrating the authors of the article because he does not agree with the views.
    There are respectful, educate, well mannered ways to put his point forward without cause offense.
    You see, I not share your views in the above posts but even if my English it is limited I respectfully replying to you with out say rubbish, bull*** , etc.
    Cheers

  35. iggy648

    What about the rest of my questions? “Narky Harky: What debts are you referring to? Will the young not benefit from good quality schools and Universities? NDIS? Good quality fast NBN? We should all share the cost surely, including the young, because they will benefit most.”

  36. helvityni

    I don’t see Harquebus as a troll, I just might disagree with his views, and of course he, like all of us ought to be civil towards commentators and commenters alike. Many are not.

    Whom I regard as a troll, is Havana, I never respond to his posts, he is vindictive.

  37. havanaliedown

    “Asylum seekers. These days Whitlam lectures-at-large about the rights of refugees. Yet no prime minister worked harder to keep genuine asylum seekers out of Australia when he had a chance to demonstrate fairness and empathy. Not even Howard.

    The Gough Fan Club has never disputed Clyde Cameron’s account in China, Communism and Coca-Cola (1980) about how Whitlam told cabinet in 1975 that he was “not having hundreds of f—— Vietnamese Balts coming into this country”. The Whitlam government’s excessively harsh policy to potential asylum seekers is documented in Hal G.P. Colebatch’s recent PhD thesis at the University of Western Australia.

    The fact is that Whitlam did not want anti-communist Vietnamese entering Australia. But it was the anti-communists who were the genuine asylum seekers at the time – fleeing the communist regime which conquered South Vietnam in April 1975″

    http://www.smh.com.au/articles/2002/12/02/1038712889103.html

    There’s a world of difference between the Vietnamese refugees who came in leaky boats – and the 50,000 centrelink-seeking chancers in 2008-2013 encouraged by Labor/Greens, having flown halfway around the world into Indonesia then paying $10,000-$20,000 for passage to Christmas Island (and conveniently ditching their IDs and passports on that brief voyage).

    Well done Dutton – keeping our borders strong.

  38. Michael Taylor

    Michael Taylor, I totally disagree with your decision to block Harquebus from commenting here. I doubt people are staying away because of his/her comments.

    MikeW, many will disagree, and that’s their right. But many more will agree.

    As far as people staying away because of him, you can doubt that if you like. We have a very good program that analyses our statistics, and they support what I say. I did not make it up. Further, two of our authors – each with a large following – took ‘holidays’ from this site and there was only one reason for this: Harquebus. They informed me so.

  39. helvityni

    PS. We can always direct our anger and disappointments towards our hopeless politicians, they are the baddies after all, no need to channel them, to become Abbott/Trump/Dutton clones? 🙂

  40. Kaye Lee

    Come in sucker. The last posts from havana and harquebus admirably show how they just want to be provocative.

    In Harquebus’ case he must be heard whether people want to listen or not. That would be fine if the message contained new information which it never does.

    In havana’s case he must use the deliberate diversionary tactic of casting blame rather than dealing with today’s problems. You don’t go to the game to watch the cheerleaders.

  41. Michael Taylor

    Whom I regard as a troll, is Havana, I never respond to his posts, he is vindictive.

    What concerns me, helvityni, is that he generally comments straight after you. You don’t see him here and then he pops up out of nowhere once he sees that you’ve commented. Many people would argue that he’s a stalker. It’s a worry.

  42. havanaliedown

    It was a fluke, Michael that our posts appeared at exactly the same time. I have been quite busy doing all sorts of things lately, with nary a moment to comment here.

  43. Kaye Lee

    It is concerning when there is a history of behaviour which is the case with both of the Hs. Few would understand the email barrage Michael deals with.

    I started out by discussing with Harquebus. I then moved to editing out the abuse but letting his comments stand. He got so outraged he did exactly what he is threatening to do again. He kept reposting the same abusive tirade no matter how many times I removed it until I asked Michael for help.

    I would never try to silence a dissenting view expressed civilly and with explanation. But I am sick to death of every single article being hijacked back to Harquebus’ hobby horses and I am very perturbed by havan’s stalking of helvityni and his failure to ever contribute anything of value to the conversation other than his Labor blame game.

    Debate is healthy, tolerance of abuse is not.

    PS fluke my ass. That is as believable as a Coalition Environment Minister. Is your pic a fluke too?

  44. Jaquix

    Agree with you John Lord re the young. I’m visiting UK and clearly they regretted their not voting re Brexit. Same issues here, different circumstances. Glad Harquebus and Ilk have been blocked, as Kaye Lee says, just likes being provocative which is so annoying, ridiculous waste of time and leads comments off topic. Keep up the good work, guys!

  45. Jaquix

    Kaye, you have been more than patient with Harquebus. Great improvement without him. He’ll probably turn up with a new name but he will be recognisable so just block him again.

  46. Kaye Lee

    MikeW,

    I do understand what you are saying and after years of writing political articles, I hope I am not thin skinned. I enjoy discussion. When I am wrong, I want to know. There is a long history. Perhaps I am prejudiced. If Harquebus had anything new to contribute I would welcome it. History has disappointed me. He wrote a great article where an interesting discussion followed. The problem is he wants every article to go back to what he wrote about. It is mind-numbingly stultifying after years of hearing the doom and gloom nothing-can-be-done same old stuff.

  47. John Lord

    MIKE W I don’t think it’s being thin skinned. It’s just his repetitive arguements. In the end you run out rebuttals. And it’s discouraging when he changes the intent of everything you write. He then said he yould refrain but it didn’t take him long to return to his old habits.

  48. freefall852

    MikeW..While I admire your sentiments re; censorship, I suspect (and I can only do that as i have no insider knowledge) that the comments you read from the culprits here are but a least offensive portion of what is cut from public view and the authors of these pieces in many cases have a page of their own that allows those abuses to continue onto their sites..Given that there is ample opportunity for those same culprits to submit an article of their own to either “right the wrong” with either wit or wisdom, and we have yet to see either in most cases of Right-wing commentary, and considering that the editors of the blog have taken time to reason their reasons with all and sundry, one would have to conclude that there is method in their management that must be accepted if not with total access to the deleted abuses that come with those trolls, then with a trust that they spend too much time keeping these blogs open and available to public discussion at no cost nor (it would seem) reward, to throw the discussion board baby out with the bath-water

  49. Michael Taylor

    MikeW, I did not bullshit to you.

    All I can say is that if people think this is a better place with Harquebus here, then they are going to be disappointed.

  50. Kaye Lee

    I should add that the resilience required to write about politics is nothing compared to being a casual maths teacher, a bookmaker’s clerk, a barmaid, a factory production line worker, and most of all, a mother.

  51. havanaliedown

    Michael rejected only one of my posts, and I have never emailed him – so please refrain from lumping me in with Harquebus on these fronts.

  52. Kaye Lee

    No lumping in other than the h factor, you present entirely different concerns, though the lack of positive suggestion is common to both.

  53. freefall852

    While I have had little “chatter” with the “Big ‘H’ “, I do “cross-swords” sometimes with the “small ‘h’ ” (though his handling of his ‘sword’ would seem more like the fondling with his dirk !) and the same with darrel nay (another who has shown us his prowess with word-play of late..) whose verbose ventriloquism would do proud a 1971 tourist translation of the knock-shops of Bangkok…and I find their presence a somewhat therapeutic release of platonic epithets.

  54. havanaliedown

    I have a positive suggestion: Nuclear Power to replace coal-fired base load electricity. We dig the stuff up and sell it overseas – why don’t we get smart and make use of it ourselves?

  55. freefall852

    Re; “havanaliedown”…on second thoughts, Michael…ban the effing idiot!!

  56. John Lord

    The young vote. Who will capture it.

  57. Rossleigh

    A couple of years ago, I mentioned Harquebus in a post, in what – to me – was a light-hearted jibe about his repeating the same thing whatever the post was about. He demanded that it be removed or else he threatened to use his “computer skills” to wreak havoc on this site. I was more than happy to remove it because I didn’t intend it to be nasty. Of course, after that any complaint that he has about “censorship” ring a little hollow.
    However, Harquebus has subsequently resorted to abuse when he gets out of his depth or when people simply refuse to accept that there’s no possibility of him being wrong, because he is the lone voice crying in the wilderness about the coming of disaster. And not only that, he demands that we respect his qualifications in science, but belittles anyone and refuses to acknowledge the expertise of anyone with formal qualifications in any other area… For example, economics.
    Now, I wouldn’t suggest that he and Donald Trump are the same person but I’ve never seen them photographed together…

  58. Kaye Lee

    “I wouldn’t suggest that he and Donald Trump are the same person but I’ve never seen them photographed together…”

    LOL You make me laugh Rossleigh.

  59. Freethinker

    John LordJune 12, 2017 at 6:15 pm
    The young vote. Who will capture it.

    John it has to come form the students Union movement where a good leader is a must
    In my time we become students union members on the first year of high school.
    I remember well when we stopped to go and see El Che

  60. Kaye Lee

    Aside from the Chernobyl disaster, Fukushima and the Three Mile Island accident, nuclear reactors use tonnes of water per second.
    Not good news for the world’s driest continent.

    Nuclear reactors take at least a decade to build. The nuclear share in the world’s power generation declined steadily from a historic peak of 17.6 percent in 1996 to 10.8 percent in 2013. Why?

    Deadly waste from nuclear reactors stays dangerously radioactive for longer than any human civilisation has existed. No government has yet built or demonstrated safe, long-term nuclear waste storage. The only known way to safely prevent the buildup of deadly nuclear waste is to stop producing it.

    Australia would need 25 nuclear reactors to meet a third of its electricity needs by 2050, according to the Australian Government. These nuclear reactors would be built near our coasts and major population centres to be close to water and markets. Yet most Australian communities outright reject the idea of a nuclear reactor in their neighbourhood.

    Why on earth would we choose that option above wind and solar?

  61. havanaliedown

    Chernobyl… built in a country where a common saying was “they pretend to pay us, we pretend to work”

    Fukushima… built on the coast of a country prone to earthquakes and Tsunamis

    We have no shortage of arid, stable environments to store the waste. We can even value-add and take back the waste from what we sell as part of a “bundle” package

    There’s no way wind, solar and batteries can compete with the glorious majesty of atomic power.

  62. freefall852

    Kaye Lee…Seriously?…You’re not going to “debate” the pro’s and con’s of nuclear energy with this used-car salesman?…seriously?

  63. Freethinker

    freefall852, I just asked my dog about nuclear energy, she give me the look and walked out to her place.

  64. @RosemaryJ36

    It is a fact of life that we all appreciate having our ideas authenticated in our own eyes by others agreeing with our views. However it is also a fact of life that everyone will never agree over everything, in which case we have to decide to go down the path of least harm.
    I am 81 and am far from conservative in my views – because I had a genuinely catholic education – at a C of E school! – have studied science. alternative religions and critical thinking and have continued learning all my life. I would strongly support a Social Democrat Party which followed the “to each according to need, from each according to ability” and which also denied government support to any school founded by a religion. Education is too valuable to be warped and damaged by beliefs with no foundation in science. By all means study how – and why – religions have developed and you might then realise that they are just a biassed way to control people by demanding belief instead of exploring and discussing facts. A secular state is essential if we are to avoid the bigotry that comes from relying on prejudice.

  65. @RosemaryJ36

    Constant learning is a necessity of life!

  66. Michael Taylor

    Rosemary, if only I’d have realised that when I was young. Typical of youth, I knew everything there ever was to know.

    I know now that I knew very little.

  67. Kaye Lee

    Looking at the nuclear energy debate would be funny if it wasn’t so serious.

    On January 30, 2016. the Australian published an article titled “Nuclear energy a great economic opportunity for Australia”.

    On March 16, the SMH published an article titled “Nuclear energy is still a stupid idea for Australia”.

    It is very important to look past vested interests. I would be very interested to hear a convincing argument in favour of nuclear. James Hansen, who I have admired, is in favour but he is idealistic about risk and cost in my opinion and wrongly dismissive of alternatives and the problem of waste. He also doesn’t address the tyranny of distance in Australia.

    “a build rate of 61 new reactors per year could entirely replace current fossil fuel electricity generation by 2050. Accounting for increased global electricity demand driven by population growth and development in poorer countries, which would add another 54 reactors per year, this makes a total requirement of 115 reactors per year to 2050 to entirely decarbonise the global electricity system in this illustrative scenario.”

    https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2015/dec/03/nuclear-power-paves-the-only-viable-path-forward-on-climate-change

  68. Freethinker

    115 reactors per year to 2050!!!! I am to old to affect me but I am very worry about my grandchildren just to think about it.

  69. freefall852

    “a build rate of 61 new reactors per year …” I am not a maths person, but I have been known to drop a dollar or two on an outside chance on the ponies after a couple of “refreshers” on a Saturdee morn at the local and with the odds of those reactors so enthusiastically touted (I have heard as much about some skate or other from seasoned jockeys) lasting the distance without “breaking down” in the home straight and pulling-up lame and then killing us all, I reckon you’d get better odds on the starting price for “Fine Cotton” at this years Melb’ cup !

  70. MikeW

    Kaye Lee, Nuclear energy? After my experience working on the construction of Australia’s only nuclear facility, I can assure you this is the last thing we need in Australia. I will have more to write on this subject about the pitfalls tomorrow or when you next post an article. Time for a glass of wine (hic) and 4 corners.

  71. freefall852

    Rosemary..: ” because I had a genuinely catholic education – at a C of E school! ” I can only presume that by “catholic” you are referring to the original translation of the word : catholic
    ˈkaθ(ə)lɪk/
    adjective
    adjective: catholic

    including a wide variety of things; all-embracing.
    "her tastes are pretty catholic"
    synonyms: diverse, diversified, wide, broad, broad-based, eclectic, indiscriminate...

    Because …I…had one of those “original catholic educations”, and the notion of science was anathema to both Sister Mary Margaret and the “good” Father Collins when I attended there. As an old altar-boy, the only brush with science we ever came up against was the resulting efforts of the science of distilling with a taste of the Benedictine that the good priests kept tucked away in the vestry and fortified themselves a tad of a busy advent weekend….praise the Lord!

  72. Freethinker

    I have very similar experience freefall852, forced to work in their farm for 6 hours 7 days a week, getting up 5 am to go to church service every day and eat what the bastards din not want.

  73. Matters Not

    RosemaryJ36 at 7:09 pm re (certain bits):

    which also denied government support to any school founded by a religion. Education is too valuable to be warped and damaged by beliefs with no foundation in science. By all means study how – and why – religions have developed and you might then realise that they are just a biassed way to control people by demanding belief instead of exploring and discussing facts. A secular state is essential if we are to avoid the bigotry that comes from relying on prejudice

    Can only agree with much of that. That we allow ‘religious’ schools whose prime aim is religious indoctrination with education being an incidental outcome says much about our (soft headed) policy priorities.

    School education should be about a ‘preparation’ for future citizens to participate in a secular society.

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