Dear readers,

It is with mixed feelings but overwhelmingly with excitement that I bring the blog Decarbonise SA to a close. Why stop now? It’s a good question.

Since the beginning I have been working and evolving in the name of making real change in the things I care about. That has meant continually taking on new challenges and also being honest about when it is time to stop. When I started Decarbonises SA in 2011 it was obviously the right thing to do. The blog had an immediate impact, the following grew quickly and, year on year, many of the pieces published here proved influential in national and international discussions. The timing seemed astute. Many stakeholders in Australia were revisiting their approach to nuclear technologies, and it seems my voice was a welcome and valuable part of that.

The results have been tangible. The progress of the nuclear discussion in South Australia has been altogether remarkable. With the forming and now completion of a Royal Commission investigating opportunities in the nuclear fuel cycle, my home state now finds itself examining the opportunity to create globally significant infrastructure and service provision. Many stakeholders deserve credit for this remarkable progress, and the Decarbonise SA community is certainly among them.

That, really, is why it is time to stop. While the outcome has been different to what I foresaw when I started, the job, as it were, is done. The effectiveness of Decarbonise SA as an agent for change has just about hit its ceiling and I could not hope for greater real-world impact from a blog than we have achieved together. The game has changed and we must change with it if we are to keep the progress going. The task at hand now is bigger than a blog and it needs a new voice; a collective voice. So, I am providing one.

I am excited to introduce and welcome you to Bright New World, a new environmental NGO born and based here in South Australia with a global outlook and ambition. Bright New World is the ENGO for everyone who wants to support a better environment, but has felt progressively alienated by the ideology and approaches of the environmentalist establishment. We are here to work, with determination, optimism and hope, for a better global future, a world we believe can be brighter and better than ever before. We are a registered not-for-profit organisation, governed by an independent board, and pursuing tax-deductible gift-recipient status.

bnw_logo_hi-res

I hope you will take some time to explore our new site at http://www.brightnewworld.org . Here are the key values:

  • Strongly oriented toward science and technology
  • Focused on the crucial role of plentiful, clean energy in resolving human welfare and environmental challenges this century
  • Evidence-based and outcome-focused in plans and actions
  • Strongly focused on global human development needs
  • Optimistic, hopeful and forward looking
  • Socially and politically inclusive
  • Focused on the return and recovery of biodiversity and natural systems through the decoupling of human welfare from natural resource use
  • Led, managed and governed according to the highest professional and ethical standards

For the past five years, Decarbonise SA has operated on a wholly voluntary basis. I have only ever asked for money to fund the Zero Carbon Options report and its second edition, which were remarkably effective contributions to the debate. Aside from that, I have never asked for a cracker. Truth be told, I have regularly directed my own income toward the activities you read about here at Decarbonise SA.

Now, I am asking for your support. Please, if you have enjoyed and valued Decarbonise SA, become a regular financial supporter of Bright New World. Our immediate job is to bring forward a strong “Yes” message for proceeding to next steps in investigating a used fuel service in South Australia. The task will only become bigger and more consequential from there. If you want that too, then I need you. When you become a regular financial supporter, not only do you help keep the doors open, you lend me your voice. If you support Bright New World, then whenever I speak from now on, I can speak for our collective: a community representing civil society that is tired of the junk-science approach to nuclear that typifies the environmentalist mainstream. Bright New World is for those who are ready for hope, ready for responsibility, ready to play a role in making a much better world. This is how we must evolve to win the fights in front of us.

We have a tightly crafted strategy with clear outcomes and goals. We will be executing that strategy with a promise to everyone of you; the same promise I made in the very first post to Decarbonise SA:

Be warned: I’m not here for the talking. My children won’t really thank me for a blog. They will thank me for cleaner, healthier air, and a stable climate. That what Decarbonise SA is here for. And it needs you.

That’s right, Bright New World is about action. We will work diligently and professionally, at all times, to ensure every dollar you give us is leveraged for the maximum in meaningful outcomes. Sometimes that will be public and fun. Other times it will be quiet and you will never know about it. The point is, this is about winning a better future. It’s not about the aggrandisement of any individual or brand name, nor satisfying the urge to protest, nor forming a clique that talks to itself and wonders why the world doesn’t change. It’s about action and change. Most importantly, it’s about all of us, together, bringing forward a new, strong, compelling voice.

It’s time for me to go now and bring this blog to a close. So, let me finish with some important thank yous:

  • To the readership. You made it what it is
  • To the readers from around the world who, just regularly enough and sometimes with surprising instinct for what I needed, would send me private correspondence to say thank you and express what the blog and my broader work meant to you. You will not believe how much that mattered to me.
  • To my opponents for so regularly attacking me including in some remarkably juvenile ways. You never failed to remind me that I was doing the right thing
  • To Gemma, for telling me to do it in the first place and supporting the huge commitment of time it became.
  • To the mentors and examples: Brave New Climate, Conservation Bytes, Atomic Insights and that bloody upstart The Actinide Age.
  • To my global network of allies and friends. We have achieved so much together and you brought profile and credibility to me and my work well before I deserved it, so I hope I lived up to it.

With that… onward, friends. A Bright New World awaits.

Ben Heard

11 November 2016

Decarbonise SA stats:

Posts: 269

Views: 242,000

Visitors: 79,000

Best views in a single day: 1,420 (September 15, 2014)

Ten most viewed posts:

Green Nuclear Junk 4,086
The Myth of the Myth of Baseload 3,669
The unfolding energy crisis in South Australia was foreseeable… and foreseen 3,569
Who gets it? 2,795
Not humbled, angered. The response to Fukushima is an ongoing mistake. Part 1 2,297
Why pro-nuclear has failed when anti-nuclear has succeeded 2,211
Nuclear Power a Safe Option 1,901
Nuclear and renewables in the name of national interest 1,756
Not humbled, angered: The response to Fukushima is an ongoing mistake. Part 2 1,732
Responding to George Monbiot’s attack on Ecomodernists 1,678

First post:

Welcome to Decarbonise SA. Published 17 April 2011. The post had 15 comments and has received 224 views

Top 5 commenters:

  1. John Newlands
  2. Darius
  3. actinideage
  4. Irregular Commentator (needs a new name, clearly)
  5. Singeltonengineer

Total Comments: 4,418

Most commented post: Optus Nuclear? The Conservation Council needs expert reviewers

 

12 comments

  1. Thanks for all of your very informative work Ben.
    I hope the transition to the new project is smooth and lights an even bigger fire under things.

  2. I’ve been an interested and impressed reader.
    Have been invested in SLX for 16 years. Today their share price jumped 50%. Their 3rd stage uranium processing will now take 30 years to process old stored reactor residues for reuse. This will be cheaper than mining more uranium?
    And what about GGG mining in Greenland starting in the next year or two?
    I’m no expert and would be glad of your opinion on both of these and EVN solar tower good for base load perhaps.
    Cheers JohnJS

  3. Best of luck with the transition, Ben. Mere commenting is easy and I thank you for the opportunity to do so.

    I look forward to Bright New World and a wider world.

    Keep learning. Keep acting. Pass that hunger on to your kids.

  4. I wonder if BNW could have gold, silver and bronze memberships like some other forums. Just nominate the amounts with a PayPal link. I think having SA in the blog title was appropriate because AFAIK nowhere else in the world simultaneously has 40% wind power, huge uranium deposits and a ban on nuclear.

    I can justify my verbosity to some extent since I grew up in the Adelaide Hills and regularly visited relatives in Eyre Peninsula. I have a steady stream of SA visitors and the state’s woes are a major topic of conversation, particularly future job prospects for children. Let’s hope BNW kicks arse.

  5. I have always been impressed with the way you craft and present your arguments…in that cool, defined and methodical manner of yours that is always structured on fact. I have welcomed your voice as an advocate of a way past the baseload and system stability issues bought about by using the renewable sources to an alternative and more reliable system using the best of the nuclear options. It is a pity that the technical issues that limit the penetration of the renewables (battery systems included) into the grid seem to be lost or ignored by the renewable advocates. All those problems and more simply disappear when baseload power comes from traditional rotating machinery. Seems to me that the fundamentals of Electrical Engineering 101 should be a compulsory subject for anyone advocating 100% renewables as a serious option..especially when it comes to spending my tax dollars on subsidies for that sector.

    I have long been an advocate for 4th Generation nuclear technology with a clear bias to thorium/liquid salt based modular technologies. I reckon that has enormous potential and brings in to play the concepts used in production line techniques for large scale product development and deployment. I will gladly join you in the new venture in the hope that I see some progress down the latest generation nuclear road in my lifetime.

    BTW- I find it frustrating, slightly humorous and almost bizarre in equal measure that one of the so called “4th generation” nuclear reactor options, namely the Thorium/Liquid Salt option was actually one of the very first successful nuclear reactor designs…………from circa 1960 or so!! If only Wienberg could have been as dictatorial as Rickover, how different the modern world could have been.

    I look forward to remaining involved in your continued efforts..

  6. Do let us all contribute to Brave New World.

    If we are to succeed in arresting global warming then lots of shipping will need to be nuclear powered. Can you imagine cruise liners with thousands of passengers being nuclear powered?

    How many new submarines will Australia have and when? At least three should be nuclear. One for Pacific area. One for Indian Ocean and the third should be for training, back-up and support. The French have experience with nuclear energy.

    Do we have staff and experience to provide cheap nuclear power for small ships or would we need to buy this technology from overseas? How small and safe can a nuclear engine be made? What about large farm tractors or a prime mover with several trailers?

    Regards
    JohnJS

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