Media Highlights – Sept 2014

Naomi Klein: Fossil fuels threaten our ability to have healthy children (Mother Jones, 29 Sept) – Well worth reading/listening to.

Record profits at Port Taranaki (TDN, 26 Sept) – Note Methanol is produced from gas, onshore and offshore, often requires fracking. TRC is both the regulator of the oil and gas industry and the beneficiary. 

Parihaka could go off the grid (Waatea News, 25 Sept)

Nelson Mandela’s widow calls for urgent climate action at UN (Guardian, 24 Sept) – “Machel said leaders had failed to offer an adequate response to the hundreds of thousands of people who came out in the streets this week to demand action on climate change – and the millions in poor countries who will suffer its effects…. the total of $2.3bn pledged for the Green Climate Fund so far fell short of the $10bn to $15bn that UN officials and developing country said was needed to show rich countries were committed to acting on climate change….”

Heirs to Rockefeller oil fortune divest from fossil fuels over climate change (Guardian, 22 Sept) – “…more than 800 global investors – including foundations such as the Rockefeller Brothers, religious groups, healthcare organisations, cities and universities – have pledged to withdraw a total of $50bn from fossil fuel investments over the next five years.”

Climate change report identifies ‘the most vulnerable’ sections of the population (Science Daily, 19 Sept) – “…this study has identified the need for a wider cultural shift to ensure the poorest and most vulnerable are properly protected. This goes beyond mere technical improvements to equipment or redirected funding and gets to the very heart of what “climate justice” should be about.'” The report is here.

SMB boosts as National outlines Business Growth Agenda (TechDay, 18 Sept) – These are what the populace o NZ has voted for:  TPPA, RMA reform, more drilling and mining…

Last stop for high profile fracking suit: Supreme court  (The Tyee, 16 Sept) – “It’s really bad when a regulator helps a company cover up a documented case of groundwater contamination, and then they violate the Charter. This precedent just can’t be allowed. … The Charter guarantees not only fundamental rights and freedoms, but crucially, also guarantees the right for Canadians to seek a remedy when these fundamental Charter rights and freedoms are violated. These constitutional rights cannot be taken away by statutory immunity in a provincial statute.” Will this happen to NZers?

Health concerns for Eltham locals over rotting milk  (3 News, 16 Sept)

Legal stink lingers over milk saga  (TDN, 12 Sept) – “…the South Taranaki District Council admitted breaching the Resource Management Act. The council pleaded guilty to one charge, laid by the Taranaki Regional Council, of discharging contaminants… Last year, Fonterra dumped about 3 million litres of the milk byproduct, along with another 150,000 litres of milk tainted with drilling wastes, at the plant in an effort to deal with spring’s record milk production. … a sickening smell … Many residents reported breathing problems and headaches. Meanwhile, Fonterra, which is facing nine charges of discharging contaminants, reappears on October 2 for full disclosure….”

Fracking workers exposed to dangerous amounts of benzene, study says (Los Angeles Times, 11 Sept)

Hapu unhappy with consultation (TDN, 10 Sept) – “Oil and gas company Greymouth Petroleum is like a “bull in a china shop” in its dealings with hapu about a pipeline to be laid under the Waitara River, a hapu spokesman says”.  

Sewer oil spill could be costly for council (TDN, 9 Sept)

Bad news for Obama: Fracking may be worse than burning coal  (Mother Jones, 8 Sept) – “Because gas undercuts wind and sun just as much as it undercuts coal, there’s no net climate benefit in switching to it. For instance, the venerable International Energy Agency in 2011 concluded that a large-scale shift to gas would “muscle out” low-carbon fuels and still result in raising the globe’s temperatures 3.5 degrees Celsius—75 percent above the two-degree level that the world’s governments have identified as the disaster line. The head of the United Nations’ environment program, Achem Steiner, said earlier this year that the development of shale gas would be “a liability” in fighting global warming if “it turns into a 20-to-30-year delay” for low-and zero-carbon models.”

Drillers piling up more debts than oil hunting fortunes in shale (Bloomberg, 8 Sept)

Fuel for thought  (TDN, 6 Sept) – “Thanks to fracking, known gas reserves in New Zealand are now bigger than ever. The latest estimate of the amount of Taranaki gas remaining if no further discoveries are made is 14.5 years. But that could be reduced to just a few years with the stroke of a pen if the Government were to impose a moratorium on fracking or ban it altogether.  – Shouldn’t we be going hard on adopting alternatives before 14.5 years is gone?

Massey questions milk test results  (Radio NZ, 5 Sept)

New York summit is last chance to get consensus on climate before 2015 talks (Guardian, 4 Sept) – “at the third UN conference on small island developing states… note with “grave concern” that world leaders’ pledges on the mitigation of greenhouse gases will not save them from catastrophic sea level rise, droughts, and forced migration. “We express profound alarm that emissions of greenhouse gases continue to rise globally.” 

Limits of growth was right. New research shows we are nearing collapse  (Guardian, 2 Sept)

Local slice of oil, gas royalties advocated  (TDN, 1 Sept)

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