The Australian Conservation Foundation needs to come clean.

I have just perused the submission of the ACF to the Energy White Paper.

The submission is a thinly disguised rant against nuclear power, with some padding up the front.

Here is a chart of the word count of the submission content, under ACF headings:

Here is a word cloud of the top 50 words in the submission. Click for the large version. Exclude “energy”, “Australia” and “Australian” and what jumps out?
Wordle: ACF EWP Submission

The submission itself can be downloaded here.

The ACF is not concerning itself with either the environment or conservation with this submission. It is just trying to halt nuclear power in Australia. This, funnily enough, is exactly what the coal industry tried to do last time the issue was under serious consideration.

Australians are being betrayed by their largest environmental organisation who have become the useful idiots of the coal industry.


  1. The best friends coal ever had. Alas I fear when the white paper is published it will be full of platitudes, copouts and delusions. Nuclear – Australia should be prepared to discuss it. Oil imports – more drilling. East coast gas – more drilling. Coal baseload – CCS is coming soon. Carbon pricing – yes no yes. Energy storage – also coming soon.

    It’s not just ACF but the whole problem denial clique that includes the government.

    1. This is the narrative that needs to remain. It’s happened in Germany by removing Coal’s only real competitor, California is going to burn more Gas providing more markets for the Gas revolution in the US (irony there too, the gas is coming from Fracking), Japan is consuming more gas and coal, and the only thing that has scared the Coal industry here is shown in that ad above.

      Kogan Creek solar project is a clear example of how sacred the Coal industry is of solar. I find it hard to comprehend that these groups want to shut down the Coal industry in Australia but ignoring the only thing they are afraid of. Instead they stretch the bow on the Abbott point project with regards to dredging and lock themselves to machinery.

      It’s like choosing a knife to take to a gun fight. The internet has a great term for actions as such, “derp”.

      1. I just checked to confirm that California will ban seawater cooling of thermal plant
        Shame their emissions are increasing with the closure of San Onofre. This is what it takes to ‘prove’ that wind and commercial solar are winners; 20% guaranteed market share, 2-6c subsidy per kwh in the form of feed-in tariffs (Germany) production tax credits (US) or renewable energy certificates (Aus), carbon tax on the opposition and in some places a ban on seawater cooling. That’s some kind of winning.

  2. That’s pretty sad and depressing, really. The ACF used to be of the reasonable bunch, better than TWS and FOE at least. What’s left, WWF?

    Still,Jim Green has to justify his existence, and I guess he volunteered to write it. Without looking at the content (and I’m not going to) I bet it’s pretty much pure bullshit too.

    1. I thought the ACF was always that way, particularly with Dave Sweeny at the helm of their anti-nuclear campaign. Whereas the Conservation Council’s in each State are fairly agnostic on these matters.

      For the ACF I’m fairly sure it’s more to do with opposing Nuclear as it will erode the need for Uranium, which is the main issue they have. They’re more anti-uranium mining and using anti-nuclear activism as a means to the end.

  3. Jim Green is FoE. It is Dave Sweeney for ACF.

    I’m not sure WWF are any better – a while back they did an energy plan for Europe, and tagged nuclear power with the emissions intensity of natural gas, to (paraphrase) ‘appropriately reflect its undesirably options in a clean energy mix’. Sheesh.

  4. If it is really uranium mining which is their underlying concern, then sure, let’s phase out uranium mining (and fossil fuel mining) and power the world forever using existing mined stockpiles of used nuclear fuel, depleted uranium, dismantled nuclear weapons, uranium and/or thorium bearing tailings wastes and byproduct uranium or thorium from other mining (eg. copper and rare earths), existing stocks of mined natural uranium and nuclear fusion.

  5. What was the Gandhi quote (probably apocryphal)?:””First they ignore you, then they laugh at you, then they fight you, then you win.” Well clearly the conservation groups have moved to the fighting stage.

  6. It’s time to organise. We need a global day of action. Everybody else has one! The action would involve dumping a sack of coal in ACF and Greenpeace offices with the usual press releases and so on … “We demand an apology from [ACF/Greenpeace … etc] for being part of the anti-nuclear movement which is responsible for an additional half a trillion tonnes of CO2 in the atmosphere as a result of its 3 decade war on clean nuclear power” … or words to similar effect.

    1. I like to have a coal re-burial ceremony. As the coal is lowered into the ground suitable incantations are used to remember the life and times of coal and what it means for those left to carry on. Mind you the mourners would have to arrive by pushbike otherwise it loses cred.

  7. I’m still pretty recent to this advocacy business, but I’m already sick and tired of this environmental obfuscation. Just state your damn case and be prepared to defend it with evidence. If they really had any rational arguments against modern nuclear energy would they need to dress up their anti-nuclear polemic as a federal energy white paper submission? Though I suppose it *is* less criminal than breaking into nuclear plants.

  8. The newest form of energy salvation for SA seems to be offshore oil and gas
    Let’s hope BP don’t repeat the Gulf of Mexico debacle. Not surprising since the vast expanse of ocean about 45-50 degrees south is little known, as witnessed by the current search for a lost plane.

    The Great Australian Bight keeps coming up in energy discussions. Zero Carbon Australia want an HVDC cable across the Nullarbor feeding off solar and wind generators with energy stored in seawater pumped to cliff top tanks. Terry Krieg suggests a port on the GAB could transfer high level nuclear waste to an inland geological repository. I and others have suggested Ceduna would be a good site for nuclear. Others say it overcomes the NIMBY factor despite lack of present transmission capacity. I suggest an SMR/desal to supply Olympic Dam and the region. However the big money is going into offshore oil and gas exploration. If it fails things don’t look good for the narrowly re-elected premier Weatherill who admits to disliking the nuclear industry.

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