NZ Oil and Gas (NZOG) recently described a one-in-five chance of striking gas in the Barque field off Oamaru as a ’game-changer’. It made glowing claims on its potential economic and environmental benefits. Climate Justice Taranaki rejects these claims completely. Read the rest of this entry »
Photos: Explosion at a Colorado home on 1 May 2017 (photo 9News); Phosphate mining in Western Sahara (photo AFP); Sharing economy infographics
On 17th April, a home in Colorado was blasted to the ground, killing two people. The home was 178 feet (54 metres) from a recently restarted old gas well operated by Anadarko. The cause of the explosion: gas leak from a cut flow line off the gas well.
Such a loss is both terrible and preventable. Many questions need to be answered: Read the rest of this entry »
The recent Radio NZ interview with Environment Minister Nick Smith offered some interesting insights into the current government’s view and approach to the management of water.
Many argue that water is the most valuable and contestable natural resource of the 21st century. According to the United Nations, forty-one countries experienced water stress in 2011; ten of them are close to depleting their supply of renewable freshwater and must now rely on non-conventional sources. By 2050, at least one in four people worldwide are likely to be affected by recurring water shortages.
New Zealand is blessed with rich water resources, some 500 trillion litres of it flowing through our lakes, rivers and aquifers. Yet not every region is as ‘rich’, and even the ‘rich’ regions can be ‘poor’ at times.
In the interview, the Minister was adamant on two points:
- No one owns water
- No price will be put on water
Read the rest of this entry »
- The ETS has not reduced greenhouse gas emissions
- The ETS should not be the main policy tool for reducing emissions
- The ETS offers perverse subsides to polluters
- Carbon credits are permits to pollute and the ETS is little more than a scam
- We can’t solve problems by using the same kind of thinking we used when we created them
More on the above, read our submission to the Ministry for the Environment.
It is encouraging to hear the World Bank calling for a halt to fossil fuel subsidies and a collective international binding agreement for a zero-carbon world by the end of the century. But how a carbon tax will make this happen remains a big question mark. History has shown us that we cannot rely on big corporations to move away from their old habits and lead the change needed for the better: How BP had invested in low carbon technology for decades just to abandon them for greater economic gains is a typical example.
In the mean time, the fossil fuel industry has been found to be operating dangerously in New Zealand, with over 130 incidents recorded in the last two years while the government continues to push for more drilling. They want us to believe that NZ can get rich on oil like Norway did. But even the Norwegians know: “When we wake up from this oil bubble … we will realise we will never have a fairy tale like this again.”
So let us get off fossil fuels and move on to more sustainable, democratic, decentralised energy systems that benefit communities and the planet. “We need a managed and fair transition, not a massive oil shock which could plunge the already fuel-poor into further hardship and breed economic and social pandemonium. If today’s anti-oil social movements continue to strengthen, this could happen: through pressure from shareholders, the erosion of oil companies’ social licence, the physical disruption of operations by local resistance, the boom in renewable energy, and public pressure on governments to take more decisive climate action”.
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) Read the rest of this entry »