An open letter from the surfers of Australia

Stu Nettle
Swellnet Dispatch

When PM Morisson recently wore a hat sent to him by Mick Fanning's Mum it showed how deeply woven surfing is in the Australian psyche. Unlike other counrtries, surfing isn't a fringe activity, it's a sport that cuts across all age and demographic lines, and our stars are recognised as genuine celebrities.

Trading on this cachet, the architects of the battle to save the Bight have rallied our best known surfers - including Mick Fanning - to draft an open letter against the project. 

To date, the campaign has been waged by those who'd be affected, but the letter reaches out to a wider audience. Please share it wherever you can.

"Formal plans have been lodged to turn the Great Australian Bight into a deep water oil field. The drilling, planned by Norwegian oil giant Equinor for later this year, would be deep, remote and risky. If it failed, Equinor’s own spill modelling shows the potential for oil on beaches across thousands of kilometres. An oil spill in the Bight would be catastrophic, and the southern coastline of Australia would never be the same."

"The Bight is wild and pristine and should remain that way. The surfers below stand with the coastal communities of the Bight and beyond and call for the Great Australian Bight to be kept free from all deep water oil drilling."

Comments

ryder's picture
ryder's picture
ryder commented Friday, 1 Mar 2019 at 2:16pm

Wouldn't it have been nice to have a long-term generational local surfer represent the Eyre Peninsula than the few mentioned here.
There's a stack of them to choose from too.
Fricken Brinkley hahaha Legend in her own lunchbox

Mort's picture
Mort's picture
Mort commented Friday, 1 Mar 2019 at 11:04pm

Don't fuck with our ocean.

Mort's picture
Mort's picture
Mort commented Friday, 1 Mar 2019 at 11:59pm

If you have a wee, I will nocked your head.

Mort's picture
Mort's picture
Mort commented Saturday, 2 Mar 2019 at 12:00am

I have an army, no shit.

Mort's picture
Mort's picture
Mort commented Saturday, 2 Mar 2019 at 12:03am

I will write their stories, evenuatlly.

Charlie Brown's picture
Charlie Brown's picture
Charlie Brown commented Saturday, 2 Mar 2019 at 1:21pm

You're right, Ryder, but I think in this case it's about choosing the surfers with a media profile.

Ash's picture
Ash's picture
Ash commented Friday, 1 Mar 2019 at 3:25pm

Last week I wrote to Rebekha Sharkie the local independent member for my electorate of Mayo re this whole thing. I've asked a heap of questions about where she stands on this issue and who will be responsible for a disaster, etc., etc., so far no reply. Very hopefully she will and that's she's onboard to tackle the proposal at the poly level where the real fight will be.

Feralkook's picture
Feralkook's picture
Feralkook commented Friday, 1 Mar 2019 at 5:21pm

RS is hosting community forums https://www.facebook.com/pg/makemayomatter/events/
I reckon this would be a great opportunity for surfers to turn up in numbers and ask for a response and support for the cause.

cristel's picture
cristel's picture
cristel commented Friday, 1 Mar 2019 at 10:50pm

Hey Ash, nice work for contacting your Member of Parliament, everyone should do the same. Sharkie is 100% against drilling in the Bight and has been very supportive of protecting the area for a number of years now. There are a few good eggs in the political basket. Senator Tim Stover is another one and so is Sarah Hansen-young. None from the major parties so far though...

Ash's picture
Ash's picture
Ash commented Saturday, 2 Mar 2019 at 11:35am

There's a federal election coming up and I want the pollies to know if they don't back protecting our coastline over short term gain, they're not getting my vote. It's the 1st time I've contacted a politician but I'm over the big parties and their corporate mates having their way, and it's the 1st time I've struggled to find where to cast my vote.

Mort's picture
Mort's picture
Mort commented Friday, 1 Mar 2019 at 10:51pm

Tim Winton talked about the collective of surfers. He called it an Archipelago of Surfers. That's what I think you have here.

Mort's picture
Mort's picture
Mort commented Friday, 1 Mar 2019 at 10:53pm

Can I go to that Island, please?

Mort's picture
Mort's picture
Mort commented Friday, 1 Mar 2019 at 11:00pm

They are this government movement, not.

amb's picture
amb's picture
amb commented Thursday, 7 Mar 2019 at 2:23pm

Spoke to my local state member (liberal) he said its definetly a Federal Descion not state.

Pat Hollingworth's picture
Pat Hollingworth's picture
Pat Hollingworth commented Friday, 1 Mar 2019 at 3:27pm

Stu and Swellnet, good on you for increasing attention to the risks associated with this proposal—and to Patagonia for putting skin in the game in terms of their financial support in raising awareness about not only this issue but many other environmental issues too.

However, it's really important to understand that this is an incredibly complex issue, and the kind of virtue-signalling from some of the above professional surfers is at best ignorant and embarrassing and at worst hypocritical.

Why ignorant and embarrassing?

Because some of these guys (noting a few committed exceptions, such as Rastovich, Ross, Joske et al) have just jumped on the bandwagon at the last minute and I suspect have no idea what they're talking about. Australia has had over 3,800 oil wells drilled in its waters over the past 70 years, including 13 in the Bight. Did they write letters to the prime minister then? Why is it just this drilling proposal that they're upset about? Have they even read Equinor's Environment Plan? Do they appreciate that the image used on their letter of a massive oil spill is not what the actual oil spill modelling shows, and is instead an overly-simple, very liberal and I suspect deliberately misleading interpretation of the modelling results? Why are they not criticising Shell's Crux proposal off the NW coast of Australia, which is also open for public comment at the moment and currently displayed on the NOPSEMA website, and whose oil spill modelling shows similar magnitude in terms of water area covered?

Why hypocritical?

Because many of these pros have been extremely-well remunerated from a career that has involved extensive overseas travel and essentially involving the large-scale flogging and mindless-consumption of many products derived from oil (wetsuits, surfboards etc). Not to mention a few of the above names who less than a week ago were doing doing step-offs from jetskis on the Gold Coast—where do they think the fuel for those things comes from?

What frustrates me is that—despite the best of intentions—in some ways this approach does more harm than good. It's lazy and it's complacent.

So no, the open letter above is not from the 'Surfers of Australia'. Rather, it's a letter from 28 professional surfers, some of whom are seriously committed to environment protectionism and activism, and some who are just in it for a free lunch.

stunet's picture
stunet's picture
stunet commented Friday, 1 Mar 2019 at 3:36pm

Hey Pat, rather than deconstruct the MO, it might be worth considering the aim.

That being, to rope in a broader segment of society, people who are so far oblivious to the issue. 

Yeah, some crew have suspect environmental credentials but could we overlook that if including them serves a greater purpose?

End justifying the means and all that.

Pat Hollingworth's picture
Pat Hollingworth's picture
Pat Hollingworth commented Friday, 1 Mar 2019 at 3:55pm

Yep, agreed Stu. I reckon we can have both—a broader segment of Australia aware of some of the more significant environmental risks we are facing, as well as discussions in society which resist the overly-simplified binary black or white/left or right type of debate which is so prevalent today.

(And for what it's worth, I have lodged a comment on the NOPSEMA website suggesting that in the year 2019 we should be well and truly beyond plumbing the depths of Australia's deep and wildest oceans to look for carbon-polluting fossil fuels).

Again, well-done for leading the initiative on this and also a bunch of other things (both surfing and non-surfing related) that you have, quite correctly identified, as being not quite right.

cristel's picture
cristel's picture
cristel commented Friday, 1 Mar 2019 at 11:11pm

Hey Pat, some pretty valid points there but also some misleading or logical fallacy statements in what you've written too.
Yes, there has been drilling attempts in the Bight before, but thankfully, none have drilled deep enough in those massive swells to actually reach hydrocarbons. The last attempt by Woodside petroleum was abandoned due to safety (their drill bit snapped in a storm). Imagine if they'd already reached oil when that happened... luckily for us they hadn't, or we might have had our very own Gulf of Mexico style disaster back in 2003.

The spill map used on the letter is also representative of independent oil spill modelling that isn't even worst case scenario. It's a map of the percentage of oil trajectories, hence the gradients. There are of course a number of variables that alter the outcome of the modelling... the actual worst case scenario reaches NZ.

Yes, Equinor's 1500 pages of technical environment plans are complex, but when you look at the consequences of the potential risk, it's simply not economically acceptable.

Also, there is now technology in production phase that creates fuel by extracting carbon from the atmosphere using renewable power. It can be used for cars, trucks, aviation & marine right now with no modifications to vehicles. It can power transport without the need for more drilling. Look up carbonengineering.com.

And why this campaign, why the Bight you ask? There are certainly a lot of incredible places around the world that could have used the power of celebrity voices to protect them and I'm sure if those places were better known and more populated (Or the places in the firing line for a spill we're more populated/had expensive houses on the coast) then I have no doubt that there would be much more support for them too. However, this is my backyard and my future climate. I am one person and I'm giving all of my energy to protect the place that I call home. There are many others who are doing the same since hearing about plans to industrialised this wild and unruly paradise we love.
I welcome the voices of the above signed surfers and hope more will join.

Thanks for your critique though Pat, it opens more good dialogue to delve deeper into this issue.

inzider's picture
inzider's picture
inzider commented Saturday, 2 Mar 2019 at 12:31pm

" drill bit snapped in a storm"
Impossible
Why do people keep talking making retarded statements about something they know nothing about.

Have you ever seen a drill bit?
Maybe do some research to understand a bit more about the the things you write about before making impossible claims.

rhys1983's picture
rhys1983's picture
rhys1983 commented Saturday, 2 Mar 2019 at 12:24am

Good post. The shear hypocrisy of the hydrocarbon guzzling masses only opposing this stuff when it’s in their backyard when they Couldn’t give a darn about it happening elsewhere or actually reducing their hydrocarbon consumption in the meantime.

Why don’t you cancel that indo trip this year to minimise your carbon output? Because they don’t really care enough to properly nut up.

Smacks of virtue signalling / lazy thinking / self promotion.

If there wasn’t demand, we wouldn’t be having this chat. Stop using petroleum based products if you don’t want risks associated with oil wells.

inzider's picture
inzider's picture
inzider commented Saturday, 2 Mar 2019 at 12:34pm

Don't poke the bear

bluediamond's picture
bluediamond's picture
bluediamond commented Saturday, 2 Mar 2019 at 11:36pm

Oh!!!!! So you know these surfers have jumped on the bandwagon and have no interest or understanding of the situation Pat???? You must be well connected!!! Perhaps some intel that us plebs are unware of????
Its not as if pro surfers have ever taken an interest in conservation after all. I'm sure they're just sitting their counting their money and waxing their jetskis and thinking of the next way to make a dollar out of surfing at the expense of the ocean. You're tripping mate. Get off your fucking high horse and unite, not divide the one fragile voice we have.
I'll always support anyone who puts their voice, profile, money, time or whatever they can to support a cause....especially one in which i feel my voice is dimmed.

BillieW's picture
BillieW's picture
BillieW commented Monday, 4 Mar 2019 at 3:08pm

There is always one person in the crowd who wants to rip away any attempt of others to conserve our environment. I guess he is so busy chatting to the pros about the next "bandwagon" they can jump onto, only for him to knock them down.

Billie.

BillieW's picture
BillieW's picture
BillieW commented Monday, 4 Mar 2019 at 3:11pm

There is always one person in the crowd who wants to rip away any attempt of others to conserve our environment. I guess he is so busy chatting to the pros about the next "bandwagon" they can jump onto, only for him to knock them down.

Billie.

bassnake's picture
bassnake's picture
bassnake commented Sunday, 3 Mar 2019 at 9:56pm

One of the better comments I have read -exc to see that there is indeed another side to every argument.
This is about energy (oil in this case) that supplies our nation as we drive our 4x4 to next spot, fly about the planet for work & play and live in energy sapping houses.
Nobody wants any sort of spill, the situation today with offshore deep drilling is a much safer proposition after industry learnt heaps from Deepwater Horizon.
Lets just be a bit partial here, and understand that we do indeed need fossil fuel for a little while longer, it is a modern society we all live a pretty good standard of living.
Just remember next time we jump on a plane, or drive our car-where did the fuel come from??
The way I see it is that we may well be in a transitional phase for our reliance on fossil fuels, but just now and for the next how long we do need oil.
Cheers

Bass Strait

bassnake's picture
bassnake's picture
bassnake commented Sunday, 3 Mar 2019 at 9:57pm

One of the better comments I have read -exc to see that there is indeed another side to every argument.
This is about energy (oil in this case) that supplies our nation as we drive our 4x4 to next spot, fly about the planet for work & play and live in energy sapping houses.
Nobody wants any sort of spill, the situation today with offshore deep drilling is a much safer proposition after industry learnt heaps from Deepwater Horizon.
Lets just be a bit partial here, and understand that we do indeed need fossil fuel for a little while longer, it is a modern society we all live a pretty good standard of living.
Just remember next time we jump on a plane, or drive our car-where did the fuel come from??
The way I see it is that we may well be in a transitional phase for our reliance on fossil fuels, but just now and for the next how long we do need oil.
Cheers

Bass Strait

daisy duke kahanamoku's picture
daisy duke kahanamoku's picture
daisy duke kaha... commented Friday, 1 Mar 2019 at 3:29pm

I'm not really keen on Mick Fanning but if anyone can get Scott Morrisson to wear Camel's 'Damn Seagulls' hat the Libs'll get my vote in May.

blindboy's picture
blindboy's picture
blindboy commented Friday, 1 Mar 2019 at 3:39pm

Fair comment Pat, but I think a lot of the ignorance that you call out is innocent in the sense that this proposal has received a lot of publicity when most of the others have gone under the radar (well mine anyway). People cannot protest unless they know about it and it is a full time job to stay ahead of environmental issues these days. Your remarks about the travel and lifestyle of the pros are also pretty harsh. Individuals have some responsibility for their own use of fossil fuels but the important changes need to come at the government level. Like it or not we are coming to the end of the era of oil and as the long term consequences of oil spills become clearer and climate change becomes increasingly threatening to the well being of billions of people globally, then we have the right to pressure government to prevent further exploitation of fossil fuels. If we factor in the hundreds of millions spent by vested interests to promote fossil fuels, then guess what? Anything we do, even if it is less than perfectly informed, is totally legitimate. What kind of work do you do Pat, just out of interest?

Pat Hollingworth's picture
Pat Hollingworth's picture
Pat Hollingworth commented Friday, 1 Mar 2019 at 4:05pm

Hi Blindboy, in a former life I used to work as an environmental consultant, and on a few occasions I wrote the environment plans for some of the oil and gas companies seeking permission to drill in Australian waters—so I understand the whole environmental approvals process and know how to read those technical reports and interpret the modelling. These days I run my own consultancy, and use contemporary sciences such as complexity theory and network science to try and improve our understanding of organisations as complex adaptive human (not mechanistic) systems.

indo-dreaming's picture
indo-dreaming's picture
indo-dreaming commented Friday, 1 Mar 2019 at 4:08pm

So does the location increase risk more and too what extent?

Please Stunet give me an ignore button for Talking Turkey, Shatners Basoon, Dale Cooper, Factotum, Pupkin, and any new fake profile he decides to create.

Pat Hollingworth's picture
Pat Hollingworth's picture
Pat Hollingworth commented Friday, 1 Mar 2019 at 5:03pm

As in the location of the well that Equinor want to drill? It sure does. It's in very deep water (2,000m) and until recently the costs associated with the technology to drill to such depths did not make the exploration and production of deep oil reservoirs commercially viable. Secondly it's in very wild ocean which is exposed to large waves. And thirdly if there's a well blow-out, the location is important because it's proximity to the shoreline and the particular ocean currents, wave direction and wind direction that the spill would be exposed to would determine how far the spill travels, in which direction etc

beenjammin's picture
beenjammin's picture
beenjammin commented Friday, 1 Mar 2019 at 5:16pm

Hi Pat,

Interesting to hear your response which I think is shared by a large number of people. I have to say I'm not one of them but I respect your/their position. That said I have two questions:

1 - Beyond what you've listed above, is the proposal more risky/dangerous etc than others? Interested to hear your thoughts as an expert, assuming you've read the report, around specific elements of this plan that make it more risky than others.

2 - Do you think the response is to do with timing and recent rhetoric (read scientific analysis and reporting) around things like the IPCC report and the apparent pending collapse of the natural environment. I think the response to this plan has been influenced by people, like myself, feeling like enough is enough.
In particular the hypocrisy when a company like Equinor purports to being "green" and a large investor in renewables while engaging in further exploratory works to find more fossil fuels in increasingly dangerous situations.

Blowin's picture
Blowin's picture
Blowin commented Friday, 1 Mar 2019 at 6:01pm

FFS An O and G geological consultant ?

You’d surely rack up as many carbon credits as any of the surfers you’re denigrating. These are our representatives. Maybe not all , but I recognise these people as having given way more of their lives than the average person, to being involved in the ocean. Their careers speak for less than the pure amount of time they’ve spent on Australia’s coastal waters.

Applaud any help we have in preventing our pristine coasts from becoming another contaminated part of the Earth. The existing wells should be pressured to cease , not encouraged by further drilling.

And humanity AS INDIVIDUALS needs to take the reins in looking after the planet with every positive step they’re able.

It’s the only way to succeed- on the individual level.

Look after the cents and the dollars will take care of themselves.......Life Lesson.

In the meantime , I’m driving my 6 cylinder to the beach tomorrow.

velocityjohnno's picture
velocityjohnno's picture
velocityjohnno commented Saturday, 2 Mar 2019 at 10:35am

Rest the troopie in the shed unless it's a trip or 4wd tracks, and try:

https://www.caradvice.com.au/730760/honda-e-prototype-revealed/

Personally I love the idea of it for most running around (and shortboard surfs), solar off roof = no CO2 footprint once bought, electrics by the Japanese :) so they will last, and far fewer moving parts so it should last ages with FA servicing. Mini styling is very cool too. Not coming to Australia :(

Agree, it's individual decisions. Can you imagine an electric Troopy with a motor on each wheel, solar array on roof, and battery bank under that massive floorspace? The low down torque would be incredible.

blindboy's picture
blindboy's picture
blindboy commented Friday, 1 Mar 2019 at 4:20pm

So what was the purpose of the original post? Given the behaviour of the fossil fuel companies over recent decades and the fact that you have been employed by them, I think I have every right to question your integrity when you come in and criticise what seems to be a worthy attempt to gain public support on a significant environmental issue with generic, trivial complaints. At the very least you should be putting your history up there so people can judge your independence for themselves. Yeh it's a tough gig being an environmental consultant, caught between the devil and the deep blue sea, but that's not really an excuse for failing to disclose.

Pat Hollingworth's picture
Pat Hollingworth's picture
Pat Hollingworth commented Friday, 1 Mar 2019 at 4:56pm

I thought I stated the purpose of my post quite clearly:

"What frustrates me is that—despite the best of intentions—in some ways this approach does more harm than good. It's lazy and it's complacent."

Or to put it another way, if you're going to put your name to a letter, surely you'd take the time to fully understand the evidence for and against the argument that your signing up to, rather than just blindly following what everyone else is saying?

Anyway, given that I'm opposed to drilling in the Bight, I'm not even sure why you're questioning my integrity?

blindboy's picture
blindboy's picture
blindboy commented Friday, 1 Mar 2019 at 5:39pm

Ha ha good on you for hanging in there Pat, many would have turned and run by now! But you know I really can't understand how this could do more harm than good. I mean it might piss off a few of those inclined to call any reasonable opinion "virtue signalling" but they were a lost cause anyway.

rhys1983's picture
rhys1983's picture
rhys1983 commented Saturday, 2 Mar 2019 at 12:28am

Very simplistic to call the oil industry the devil.

Where would we be without a hydrocarbon powered innovation of the 20th century?

Of course there were/are material negative impacts but evil? Come on...how emotive. Is this woman’s day?

Lanky Dean's picture
Lanky Dean's picture
Lanky Dean commented Friday, 1 Mar 2019 at 4:32pm

Pat , do you have any guilt or remorse for working and supporting this industry?

Pat Hollingworth's picture
Pat Hollingworth's picture
Pat Hollingworth commented Friday, 1 Mar 2019 at 4:57pm

No, why would I?

Do you have any remorse for pulling up to the petrol station today and filling your car up with petrol?

Lanky Dean's picture
Lanky Dean's picture
Lanky Dean commented Friday, 1 Mar 2019 at 5:27pm

Yes , I do....

Mort's picture
Mort's picture
Mort commented Friday, 1 Mar 2019 at 10:54pm

Hey, Lanky Dean!

Lanky Dean's picture
Lanky Dean's picture
Lanky Dean commented Sunday, 3 Mar 2019 at 2:58pm

Hi mort! How ya doing ?

rhys1983's picture
rhys1983's picture
rhys1983 commented Saturday, 2 Mar 2019 at 12:11am

But not enough to stop eh

blindboy's picture
blindboy's picture
blindboy commented Friday, 1 Mar 2019 at 3:55pm

I mean you wouldn't be a big enough hypocrite to come in on this issue without disclosing you had done consultant work for Chevron and Rio Tinto? It would be pretty destructive to your credibility wouldn't it? So come on Pat, reassure us.

Pat Hollingworth's picture
Pat Hollingworth's picture
Pat Hollingworth commented Friday, 1 Mar 2019 at 4:22pm

Hi Blindboy, as per my previous response, yep I've done a bunch of consulting in a bunch of different industries, including oil and gas. In my earlier days as an environmental consultant I helped manage and conduct the scientific investigations upon which the environment plans were written and upon which the NOPSEMA/government decisions would be made. But I kinda got over that—I mean you don't study geography and anthropology at university just so you can go and help a large multi-billion dollar business make even more profit—so I went back to my academic roots and now try and help organisations treat the earth and its people a little more gently and humanely.

I'm sorry, I don't understand how working as a consultant (in my first job doing the investigative science to ensure NOPSEMA's/the government's decisions were based on sound, empirical science, and in my second job using science to minimise workplace accidents and remove the unnecessary and soulless bureaucratic constraints that are so rife in organisations today) makes me a hypocrite?

Lanky Dean's picture
Lanky Dean's picture
Lanky Dean commented Friday, 1 Mar 2019 at 4:50pm

So basically, you have received extrinsic/ intrinsic rewards from the oil conglomerates.
Not to sure why you are here then.....
Looking for attention?
Angry at "pro surfers " for using their platforms to create awareness to this issue?
Or secretly promoting you new business on here?

Welcome to the vortex.......

Pat Hollingworth's picture
Pat Hollingworth's picture
Pat Hollingworth commented Friday, 1 Mar 2019 at 5:12pm

No.

Why would I be looking for attention?

How am I promoting my business?

I am here because:

(a) I like supporting Swellnet and enjoy some of the more serious (and not so serious) discussion which take place on here

(b) I see a lot of evidence in the world of lazy and binary thinking (the criticism/suspicion I am receiving here is a good example of this), and people blindly following memes and 'fake news'. And I don't think it's doing any of us any good.

It is indeed a vortex.

Lanky Dean's picture
Lanky Dean's picture
Lanky Dean commented Friday, 1 Mar 2019 at 5:37pm

Deep down there has to be some vested self interest going on.

There are few things I personally don't agree on with the movement either.

"Self appraisal needs no recommendation" @ pat

stunet's picture
stunet's picture
stunet commented Friday, 1 Mar 2019 at 5:46pm

I’ve got no problems with you questioning motives Pat. All just part of a necessary conversation.

Appreciate the lack of anonymity too.

blindboy's picture
blindboy's picture
blindboy commented Friday, 1 Mar 2019 at 5:57pm

"I see a lot of evidence in the world of lazy and binary thinking (the criticism/suspicion I am receiving here is a good example of this), and people blindly following memes and 'fake news'. And I don't think it's doing any of us any good."

No mate the criticism you are receiving has two aspects. First you breached a reasonable expectation of disclosure. Second, the Koch brothers and the hundreds of millions spent by the fossil fuel to spread doubt about climate change and support foissil fuel production and use are not fake news they are thoroughly documented. So suspicion? Absofuckinglutely! Criticism? You left your self wide open.

blindboy's picture
blindboy's picture
blindboy commented Friday, 1 Mar 2019 at 5:12pm

Well Pat you are the only one who can judge your motives but seriously, I I don't know how you can feel free to comment on fossil fuel projects without disclosing your association. Yep, everyone on here will tell you I am paranoid about the influence of the Koch brothers et al........ but I think it is an entirely reasonable position.

indo-dreaming's picture
indo-dreaming's picture
indo-dreaming commented Friday, 1 Mar 2019 at 4:07pm

IMHO no one can really form a proper opinion on this until we know and understand both sides of the argument and the real risk of an oil spill?

If the risk is as low as having other oil rigs in other areas, then yeah..no issue.

But if the risk are really higher because of the exposure to swell than yeah, id be against it.

As for pro surfers..yeah its just pure virtue signalling.

BTW. Pats post above was a good interesting read.

Please Stunet give me an ignore button for Talking Turkey, Shatners Basoon, Dale Cooper, Factotum, Pupkin, and any new fake profile he decides to create.

Lanky Dean's picture
Lanky Dean's picture
Lanky Dean commented Friday, 1 Mar 2019 at 4:38pm

People will form their opinions. Without knowing the outcome of an oil spill.
Exxon Valdez
Provided us with enough proof.
The gulf of Mexico topped it off.

indo-dreaming's picture
indo-dreaming's picture
indo-dreaming commented Friday, 1 Mar 2019 at 10:19pm

Comparing past events with possible future events/risk is not always that simple.

Technology in some industries can completely change risk factors.

I don't know if technology has changed the risk factors in this case, but thats why I'm asking the question, so i can have an informed view rather than one just based on emotion.

Please Stunet give me an ignore button for Talking Turkey, Shatners Basoon, Dale Cooper, Factotum, Pupkin, and any new fake profile he decides to create.

blindboy's picture
blindboy's picture
blindboy commented Friday, 1 Mar 2019 at 5:17pm

Jesus, virtue signalling? What about trying to do the right thing by making a public statement? Not a possibility? "Virtue signalling" was never any more than a cheap shot from people who,prefer to do the wrong thing or a knee jerk response to an idea they don't like. Get over it, try saying what you mean without the help of the cliche of the month.

Ape Anonymous's picture
Ape Anonymous's picture
Ape Anonymous commented Friday, 1 Mar 2019 at 4:57pm

Pat is a good man. Experienced, thorough and not emotive.

Oil use IS NOT on the way out, despite what the "green/left wing" propaganda would have us believe. The "climate change" movement is largely a centralized international taxation system / economic bubble as opposed to any real or actual environmental revolution. If anyone has read those IPCC documents they are mostly Policy; the science says 'anthropogenic-induced temperature changes exist but are negligible compared with standard non-anthropogenic fluctuations' -the impact is in orders of magnitude far less than 0.1% of all temperature variations. And.. any geophysicist will laugh at the idea of unsafe drilling practices.

Ladies and gentlemen, how good is your engineering? What are the practices that will be used? What is actual risk?

Craig's picture
Craig's picture
Craig commented Friday, 1 Mar 2019 at 5:13pm

Geophysicist will laugh at unsafe drilling practices.. sure beyond the well point into the ocean floor, go ask an oceanographer though about the risks in the water column proper..

Ape Anonymous's picture
Ape Anonymous's picture
Ape Anonymous commented Friday, 1 Mar 2019 at 5:16pm

True. Currently playing devil's advocate -it's that time in the afternoon, there's no surf around, and genuinely, I'm sorry for being an asshole..

Craig's picture
Craig's picture
Craig commented Friday, 1 Mar 2019 at 5:17pm

Gotchya, beer time for me as well!

Ape Anonymous's picture
Ape Anonymous's picture
Ape Anonymous commented Friday, 1 Mar 2019 at 5:26pm

See you at Sunday board swap

Craig's picture
Craig's picture
Craig commented Friday, 1 Mar 2019 at 5:43pm

Epic!

Lanky Dean's picture
Lanky Dean's picture
Lanky Dean commented Friday, 1 Mar 2019 at 6:13pm

Craig,
Every half hour tonight.
Remind yourself
"they are going to drill the bight".
See what happens as the night goes on. Tell people about.

inzider's picture
inzider's picture
inzider commented Friday, 1 Mar 2019 at 8:24pm

Living dangerously playing devils advocate I tr ied it on last thread about bite and got abused.

blindboy's picture
blindboy's picture
blindboy commented Friday, 1 Mar 2019 at 5:53pm

Ape oil is on the way out because we have used all the easily obtainable stuff and what is left is high cost. Without the significant government subsidies it enjoys would already be uneconomic as a fuel.

inzider's picture
inzider's picture
inzider commented Friday, 1 Mar 2019 at 8:26pm

Incorrect
There is a shit ton left in many places

Ape Anonymous's picture
Ape Anonymous's picture
Ape Anonymous commented Friday, 1 Mar 2019 at 5:14pm

The thing that definitely sucks is that the country continues to be sold-out to international corporations. "Freedom of speech is for those dumb enough to use it"??

Craig's picture
Craig's picture
Craig commented Friday, 1 Mar 2019 at 5:16pm

This is a massive point. Equinor taking a large chunk of the profits and revenue for themselves to leave Australia with what? A possible catastrophe of the largest order. Such a bad deal.

Ape Anonymous's picture
Ape Anonymous's picture
Ape Anonymous commented Friday, 1 Mar 2019 at 5:19pm

But large corporations always pay their share of taxes.. where's Jello when you need him?

Craig's picture
Craig's picture
Craig commented Friday, 1 Mar 2019 at 5:20pm

30% if I stand corrected isn't enough for such a resource IMO.

Ape Anonymous's picture
Ape Anonymous's picture
Ape Anonymous commented Friday, 1 Mar 2019 at 5:23pm

hhhh... sarcasm never works online.

Craig's picture
Craig's picture
Craig commented Friday, 1 Mar 2019 at 5:30pm

Ah haha I see. 

ojackojacko's picture
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ojackojacko commented Friday, 1 Mar 2019 at 5:48pm

that would be 30% minus 30%, wouldn't it craig?

enjoy the beers

Craig's picture
Craig's picture
Craig commented Friday, 1 Mar 2019 at 8:54pm

Indeed.. Not good.

Lanky Dean's picture
Lanky Dean's picture
Lanky Dean commented Friday, 1 Mar 2019 at 6:15pm

No drilling the bight is the biggest point.

rhys1983's picture
rhys1983's picture
rhys1983 commented Saturday, 2 Mar 2019 at 12:32am

That is the bigger issue IMO.

Ash's picture
Ash's picture
Ash commented Friday, 1 Mar 2019 at 5:16pm

The actual risk is the thin 2000m thread that connects ocean floor to rig above, wrenching off its base in high seas, 300k off shore, or something else like a blowout way down below.

Ape Anonymous's picture
Ape Anonymous's picture
Ape Anonymous commented Friday, 1 Mar 2019 at 5:21pm

We need a physicist in this conversation, where's "Batfink"?

inzider's picture
inzider's picture
inzider commented Friday, 1 Mar 2019 at 8:28pm

No understanding of drilling methods
It is not a fixed line to the bottom

blackers's picture
blackers's picture
blackers commented Friday, 1 Mar 2019 at 9:05pm

So what is it then? A 2000m long hose with a snap lock connector? Educate us. Can't see how something that has to travel through that distance of ocean column is not at risk. Deepwater Horizon ring s bell?

nomad1's picture
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nomad1 commented Saturday, 2 Mar 2019 at 2:56am

"A 2000m long hose with a snap lock connector"
2250m... which makes it 500m deeper than any exploration well in Norway (1721m - 6403/6-1 ) and over 900m deeper than the deepest production well in Norway (1311m - "6706/12-E-1 HT3"). Both of these are Statoil Wells.
This is also 700 m deeper than the Macondo prospect (Deepwater Horizon).

Just trying to illustrate that the depth of the proposal here is a unique proposition.

blackers's picture
blackers's picture
blackers commented Saturday, 2 Mar 2019 at 8:14am

Thanks for the detail Nomad. I can only assume the additional depth adds additional risks. 50% deeper than the source of one of the greatest environmental disasters of all time. What could possibly go wrong? FFS.

inzider's picture
inzider's picture
inzider commented Saturday, 2 Mar 2019 at 12:59pm

Not hard to watch a few clips on YouTube
m.youtube.com/results?search_query=deep+sea+oil+drilling+process

mibs-oner's picture
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mibs-oner commented Saturday, 2 Mar 2019 at 4:38pm

That’s why Aussie’s love hose link

mick-free's picture
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mick-free commented Wednesday, 6 Mar 2019 at 8:44am

hahaha gold !!!!

Mick Free FIFOFOMO

mattlock's picture
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mattlock commented Friday, 1 Mar 2019 at 5:56pm

Thank you Pat for your considered comments on this issue. I personally am against the Equinor project because of the environmental risks involved. Having said that there is nothing wrong with having a pragmatic view regarding the environmental/energy issues facing modern society.

trevortube's picture
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trevortube commented Friday, 1 Mar 2019 at 6:53pm

fuck me. piss n moan bout big oil. Maybe we should consider a few refineries imo to go with.
Meanwhile haarp runs unabated.

mikehunt207's picture
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mikehunt207 commented Friday, 1 Mar 2019 at 8:49pm

Dont let blindboy being on you case get you down Pat, kale shake prices have gone thru the roof on the exclusive northern beaches lately and some guy went surfing without a legrope at whaley so he is back on his high horse.
Nice to have an informed opinion contributing to the forum even if its doesn't suit the echo chamber to do so.
I had similar thoughts myself about pro surfers jumping on the bandwagon, but "big names" get more attention I suppose. It would be very interesting to interview some of them for their thoughts on the matter perhaps.
No drilling in the bight is appropriate with the very real risks involved and another case of Australia selling all its resources to foreign multinationals even less so.

indo-dreaming's picture
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indo-dreaming commented Friday, 1 Mar 2019 at 10:21pm

+1

Please Stunet give me an ignore button for Talking Turkey, Shatners Basoon, Dale Cooper, Factotum, Pupkin, and any new fake profile he decides to create.

Mort's picture
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Mort commented Friday, 1 Mar 2019 at 11:02pm

Who needs that sentimental bullshitt any way.

Blowin's picture
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Blowin commented Friday, 1 Mar 2019 at 11:31pm

Takes more than just a memory to make me cry

oldcoastroad's picture
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oldcoastroad commented Saturday, 2 Mar 2019 at 9:13am

Nearly all unnatural deaths on this planet can be linked to OIL,

bigal's picture
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bigal commented Saturday, 2 Mar 2019 at 10:41am

Just surfers isn't going to hack it. There is a need to mobilize everyone who uses the beach, the ocean and its resources. Commercial fishermen, amateur fishermen, those who eat the spoils of the ocean, anyone who uses the oceans resources, beach goers, tourist industry, sailing fraternity, all coastal dwellers. All the others! Now there is an army who might just be able to shuv" these viking plunderers heads up their arses?

Big Al

san Guine's picture
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san Guine commented Saturday, 2 Mar 2019 at 1:23pm

Haven't commented often but feel inspired to by the nature of the discussion.

Fully support the stand against Equinor.

Mea culpa. I am guilty of flying all over the world, riding PE and PU boards and wetsuits and travelling to work in a petrol driven vehicle. Petrochemcal products are integral to my work in health care.... however we need to reduce our reliance on these products, embrace new technologies and materials, but most importantly keep our beaches clean and safe for all water users. This is a timeless land we need to keep that way......

As an aside, chatting to my US based brother (who has been in drilling O and G and terrestrially based mining for the past 25 years) gave me a different perspective of the scale of the O and G business. He states that 1 Alaskan operation he worked on (set up and extraction costs approx $US 6B, over a 6-10 year time frame) would only yield in total, "one days worth of oil consumption for the world, at current levels of demand".

Lanky Dean's picture
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Lanky Dean commented Sunday, 3 Mar 2019 at 3:02pm

Oil and water don't mix.

I f you have time do an experiment this weekend.

Use a long and wide container
About a foot deep. Fill it with wayet about all the way to the top.

Get some desiel/ veggie oil. preferably in a spray bottle and spray it on the water ( in a natural environment.) Watch what happens.

Empty the container, clean and wipe.
Fill container with water again.
This time, place veggie oil or diesel in a small sealed container.
Place at the bottom of container and open.
Watch what happens.
This is an oil spill. Try and clean it up..........
Wake up to the nightmare people.

Lanky Dean's picture
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Lanky Dean commented Saturday, 2 Mar 2019 at 2:26pm

@ pat.
Can you do the experiment please.

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strrretch commented Saturday, 2 Mar 2019 at 2:37pm

Maybe the headline should read..."an open letter from SOME surfers in Australia"
Not that I necessarily would agree to drilling and I assume most people Would disagree regardless of their unsubstantiated fears or given the degree of their emotionally driven ideological ignorance.
The worse case scenario of drilling, although scary and potentially destructive, is not the end of the world and not the end of the southern environment. Those who say otherwise are just scare mongering knee jerkers.

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philosurphizing... commented Saturday, 2 Mar 2019 at 4:51pm

Meanwhile at Fuckyoushima or should that be Shimafucksyouwith cancer.
https://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2018/10/16/japan-plans-flush-fukushima-...
Of course for publicity reasons? this will be done after the Olympic Games.

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Nisa Bella commented Saturday, 2 Mar 2019 at 6:54pm

https://www.facebook.com/events/388760451883923/ Tomorrow morning....paddle out for the Bight at Victa 10am

sypkan's picture
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sypkan commented Saturday, 2 Mar 2019 at 8:07pm

I see the bight thingy as just dumb and unnecessary, but I do like the points pat is making.

I'd like to nominate pat for a nobel prize.

not for the points he's making here, but for this...

"...and in my second job using science to minimise workplace accidents and remove the unnecessary and soulless bureaucratic constraints that are so rife in organisations today) makes me a hypocrite?"

"remove the unnecessary and soulless bureaucratic constraints that are so rife in organisations today"

That may just save the world more than stopping big oil the way things are heading

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GuySmiley commented Saturday, 2 Mar 2019 at 8:27pm

More insanity.
Unrelated but, I remember after the Otways were burnt, last big fire, 1983, ash and pieces of burnt branches covered the Victorian east coast for weeks, the water was full of it and the beaches covered. The power of ocean currents and storms, yeah if there is an oil spill in the Bight the whole coast will never be the same, so why even think about it? It's total madness.

That coast and the fishing communities have never recovered after the Exxon Valdez.

velocityjohnno's picture
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velocityjohnno commented Sunday, 3 Mar 2019 at 2:42pm

Same thing hapened after the Wye River fire, black eucalypt leaves at the high tide line for weeks.

Blowin's picture
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Blowin commented Sunday, 3 Mar 2019 at 2:57pm

Unrelated , but it reminds me of when the first rains in a year hit a station I was staying at . Water was cascading from a slight escarpment and a couple of backpackers we’re enjoying a waterfall despite being pelted by the thousands of gumnuts suspended in the runoff.

I didn’t have the heart to tell them that the “ gumnuts “ were really the masses of goat droppings which had accumulated in the washouts during the extended dry.

Those pellets covered the high tide line for days after.

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Gaz1799 commented Saturday, 2 Mar 2019 at 9:50pm

It's a bit of a tragedy that so much energy is being directed at Local government when we should really be directing it at our state or federal MPs. Theres a few councils in the drilling area that are actually in favour or declined to form an opinion so it seems strange that councils from other states are weighing in considering they wouldn't have heard both sides. There's so much more to this topic than what seems to get publicised. The state Labor government approved the drilling years ago. The feds approved it too all subject to environmentals. Both sides of government are all for it but they're letting local government take the heat. I've spoken with Equinor and Nopsema in depth over the past 6 months and it's important to note that Nopsema are absolutely pro drilling, however they want it to be environmentally friendly. Without drilling they wouldnt exist. So when we fight this we need to do it knowing that right now its approved and it's happening and it's only the feds that can stop it. Whatever contractor Equinor uses for the testing will also contract for the 8 other drilling companies backed up behind Equinor by 6 months who aren't receiving any political heat and they'll likely get some direction when they build their own environmental plan for Nopsema. The drilling in the bight will be worth more in royalties to the government than everything else in SA combined so it's going to be a tough slug.

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upnorth commented Sunday, 3 Mar 2019 at 4:55am

Raising awareness, obviously a good thing. Just all seems a little tame given what's at stake. High profile surfers lending their name to an open letter requires zero effort on their part while giving them envirokudos, win win.
How about if Mick and Steph rock up at Equinor wearing big oil does not belong in the great Australian Bight singlets, handcuff themselves together through 3 feet of concrete pipe and refuse to move. Immediate national and international awareness of the environmental disaster waiting to happen.
It only sounds far fetched because we know they care more about their sponsors than the Bight. But they have clout, 10 world champs worth, they could be the figurehead's of the fight.
Not to pick on these two, there are any number of high profile Aussies who could get involved. Surfers are the obvious candidates but if putting a few names on a letter is considered a good effort there's little hope of anything meaningful happening. Where's the outrage? Or is this just going to go the same way as the draining of the Murray-Darling and the sale of state owned forest harvest rights?

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blindboy commented Sunday, 3 Mar 2019 at 9:30am

Great comment upnorth. For me the big question is how do you fight these sociopathic ideologues with their brand of utilitarian rationalism that is neither useful nor rational? We need some sort of pagan, Dionysian uprising so that the kind of actions you propose became constant across the whole spectrum of destructive and oppressive actions that are being authorised by government. We also need to be clear that there is a line, a clear well defined line and if you step over it, take the dollars and become an enabler, then you can no longer be part of the solution because you are part of the problem. We need a form of utilitarian irrationalism, a creative madness if you like, to highlight the comic and pathetic absurdity of our current cultural path.

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indo-dreaming commented Sunday, 3 Mar 2019 at 10:39am

Good little bit on RRR this morning on this...what shocked me more is this is a Norway owned company that is 2/3rds government owned.

So we would get next to nothing out of it, while the Norway people benefit.

This is one area where Labor have much more common sense than liberals.

I mean WTF it makes no sense to let other countries dig up and take our resources and we get jack shit half the time they even pay little tax, i mean even Indonesia has secured a majority share in Freeport for Indonesias peoples future. (with a nice percentage going direct to West Papuan province who can spend as like as have special anatomy.

Imagine if our mining was majority owned by Australian companies or even our government.

Please Stunet give me an ignore button for Talking Turkey, Shatners Basoon, Dale Cooper, Factotum, Pupkin, and any new fake profile he decides to create.

stunet's picture
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stunet commented Sunday, 3 Mar 2019 at 10:58am

This is a huge aspect of the debate. Norway started their sovereign fund in the early 90s, topping it up with profits from state owned resource companies. The fund has over $1 trillion in it, or nearly $200,000 for every Norwegian citizen. That will increase with Bight drilling.

Meanwhile, we've gutted state-owned training services such as TAFE, uni fees put students in debt for half their working life, the gig economy is a ticking time bomb as people aren't putting money into super, and we're giving our resources away.

What Norway have done is take the strand of socialism the average person thinks is just and fair. Our govts can't get their act together cos of an abiding loyalty to free market thinking that serves the companies and shits all over the citizens.

Lanky Dean's picture
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Lanky Dean commented Sunday, 3 Mar 2019 at 3:09pm

Wow.
I like this rebuttal / explanation
Stu net.
Looks like there were some interesting topics spoken at the dinner table growing up.

velocityjohnno's picture
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velocityjohnno commented Sunday, 3 Mar 2019 at 3:30pm

+1

Added to that: we sell CNG at reputedly 3c a litre; we're making domestic gas importation terminals near our cities while a sufficient domestic reserve system isn't really happening; it's possible to export the gas then re-import the same gas at markup; a large proportion of our domestic refineries have been shut so we better hope the Straits of Malacca stay open; base load electricity plants (coal) shutting too so SA/Vic/Tas/NSW juggle demand (Tassie burnt out the basslink cable pumping extra hydro for $ ouch); water restrictions kill the fruit bowl; foreign ownership was last reported at 95% in the 1990s, not reported any more. We've shut down a lot of our industry (no follow-on of great scale for TAFE technical skills) as carbon policy and grid goldplating in private ownership has left us with some of the most expensive power prices in the world rather than some of the cheapest. Add lots of red tape, DFAT encouraging businesses to import rather than make it here (exporting pollution and CO2 emissions, as well as local jobs) - perfect storm of idiocy. Mass selling of housing to foreign buyers at expense of young locals has jet fuel of negative gearing poured over the fire, leading to anomalous 10:1 price to earnings in places. 5000 year low interest rates turbo charge that fire.

Howard and Costello paid off Keating's debt and got the Future Fund (Federal public service pensions) in the black 20Bn by 2007 (they sold Telecom, Commonwealth Bank, the majority of the nation's gold, etc to do so which is not ideal) - not in the black any more. Rudd fired the stimulus cannon and Rudd-Gillard-Rudd left us with quite a debt which has only got bigger under Abbott-Turnbull-Morrison so the financial position is nowhere near as solid as Norway despite far greater gifting of resources. They have socialism with a national benefit. It's nationalist and socialist. I could simplify that further but you'd all freak.

At least we've got nice beaches. Oh, we're selling offshore drilling rights outside them too.

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Gaz1799 commented Sunday, 3 Mar 2019 at 12:34pm

Indo you can take Labor/Liberal out of it Tom Koutsantonis of the Weatherill govt rolled out the red carpet to BP and abused them when they couldn't meet the environmental standards. He told them they were turning their backs on SA when they pulled out. Rumour is BP had to abandon $5mil in infrastructure built on crown land in Ceduna and this has been offered to Equinor. The Libs that are in now are absolutely frothing at the idea of drilling in the bight too. You won't get an opinion out of Rowan Ramsey or Peter Treloar though because it's political suicide.

Ash's picture
Ash's picture
Ash commented Sunday, 3 Mar 2019 at 11:15am

I think it was John Howard who started the free market, or to be more precise "let the market decide" reign that we're stuck in now. I'm going to be wrong on that but Stu or BB will correct me. My problem is which party will actually do the right thing in all the environmental BS we've got happening at the moment. I bet the Murray/Darling basin commission are glad summers over and would be hoping for rain to help wash away the dust and dead fish and that we all are beginning to forget what happened. We get taken for dummies far too much.

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blindboy commented Sunday, 3 Mar 2019 at 11:41am

Ha ha Ash, ..... let the markets decide? As long as they pump dollars into our mates pockets! Otherwise subsidise them. The Australian Government subsidises the fossil fuel industry to the tune of billions. Without the subsidies the renewables would have built a huge market share. Y now. Globally governments are divided between straight out plutocrats (US, Russia et al) and sociopathic ideologues (Australia, UK et al).

Ash's picture
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Ash commented Sunday, 3 Mar 2019 at 12:13pm

Had my right ear operated on Thursday to remove 40years of bony exostosis, right now I'm on endone and panadols to keep the pain at bay, so a plutocrat sounds a very strange cat indeed, but I get your drift. Crazy to think a government would let the market decide when it's the governing authority.

Blowin's picture
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Blowin commented Sunday, 3 Mar 2019 at 12:54pm

The difference between Norway and Australia isn’t political, it’s about the acceptable level of corruption that the society will tolerate.

stunet's picture
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stunet commented Sunday, 3 Mar 2019 at 1:01pm

Nah. We just got sold a lemon by free market ideologues who's notion of a healthy society is pure Hobbesian.

In fact, despite seeing other countries do much more with the same resources we continue to be sold the same lemon.

Blowin's picture
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Blowin commented Sunday, 3 Mar 2019 at 1:30pm

The idea that politicians are free market ideologues is just gentrifying their propensity for greed. The concept of ideology within pro business politics is a ruse .

You think that the likes of Scott Morrison, Malcom Turnbull , Andrew Robb or even Anna Bligh were attracted to politics due to a desire to implement an ideology ?

Fingers in the till and snouts in the trough is the unromanticised beginning, middle and end to their overarching principals.

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blindboy commented Sunday, 3 Mar 2019 at 1:19pm

Probably depends on your definition of corruption Blowin. If it is based on the law, then Stu is right. If it is based on ethics, you are spot on.

Blowin's picture
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Blowin commented Sunday, 3 Mar 2019 at 2:02pm

The laws have been drafted to accommodate a political class who wants to graft unearned and undeclared money clipping the tickets of those with more ambitious ways to privatise the public wealth.

Gladys Berejiklian and Mike Baird being textbook examples.

Lanky Dean's picture
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Lanky Dean commented Sunday, 3 Mar 2019 at 3:12pm

Lets get back to oil shall we,
I don't talk poli to no one....ever.

velocityjohnno's picture
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velocityjohnno commented Sunday, 3 Mar 2019 at 3:39pm

OK lets.

Was at the local paddle out today and the feeling was very special. The risk to our shoreline and our life and work by the sea was known. So many people there, the water was thick with boards and everyone fanned out, like a spill might do. There were surfers everywhere.

There's that old Oils song "Burnie", one of my favourites:

This is my home
This is my sea
Don't paint it with the future of factories
This is my life
this is my right
I'll make it what I want to
I'll stay and I'll fight

blindboy's picture
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blindboy commented Sunday, 3 Mar 2019 at 3:40pm

Fair enough. I think one of the issues that needs to be raised here are the related ideas that, one; you need expertise to be entitled to an opinion and two, you need to use near zero fossil fuels before you can criticise the industry. These are long term standard cynical industry tropes to disempower people and make them reluctant to speak up. You don't need to know much to know that deepwater oil wells are a seriously bad idea and the issues about our use of fossil fuels are beyond the power of individuals to solve. Yes, yes, in a perfect world evryone would be a perfect environmental citizen........ but that is never going to happen so let's hassle the fuck out of the energy companies, their enablers and governments until they make the necessary changes. No expertise required, no blessing from some environmental saint. Just do your bit and if that boils down to signing a letter or a petition, no worries, it all helps.

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stunet commented Sunday, 3 Mar 2019 at 3:47pm

Same as those that rabbit on about 'virtue signalling', the notion that people are hypocrites because they don't like fossil fuels but still drive around in cars, is a modern day version of shooting the messenger. Nothing less, just deflection from the issue at hand.

Blowin's picture
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Blowin commented Sunday, 3 Mar 2019 at 4:04pm

I don’t agree.

BB and myself used to go at it about this very subject. It’s entirely possible and achievable to MINIMISE your personal imposition on the planet.

I remember the first time I saw a straw dispenser at a pub with a handwritten note attached saying “ Every straw you take could kill a turtle “. I had a good little chuckle about that and thought something cynical at first , but then I realised that the only way to make a dent in virtually any field is through regular and consistent application. Saving money , voting , not rubbishing the environment.....if you just do your one little piece and so does everyone else then there is no longer a problem.

Sure ,the big Hail Mary achievements grab headlines, but it’s the day to day contributions by as many people as possible that make the difference. Education is the answer.

Maybe this isn’t the thread to discuss it though as it will deflect from the worthwhile discussion regarding this particular issue.

stunet's picture
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stunet commented Sunday, 3 Mar 2019 at 4:01pm

I agree you can minimise your footprint but only co-operation can achieve wholesale change.

blindboy's picture
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blindboy commented Sunday, 3 Mar 2019 at 4:23pm

OK but just a couple of points. Obviously it's better if people are making an effort in their personal lives just as it is better if people are well informed. My point is that these are not essential to the cause and to use them as barriers to any level of participation is to play straight into the hands of the fossil fuel industry. This is done across many other issues also by calling genuine goodwill virtue signalling or using similar methods to deny people a voice.

rhys1983's picture
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rhys1983 commented Sunday, 3 Mar 2019 at 4:25pm

I think the term virtue signalling is generally used when people think in black and white based on emotive good vs evil arguments rather than recognising that like most things in life these issues are general slightly more complex. Generally the less you know the more you think you know.

Blowin's picture
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Blowin commented Sunday, 3 Mar 2019 at 4:30pm

Virtue signalling has nothing to do with whether you care or not , whether you are effective or not.

It’s using an issue for self aggrandisement .

rhys1983's picture
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rhys1983 commented Sunday, 3 Mar 2019 at 4:36pm

100% agree and generally done by people with very limited understanding of the respective issue at hand (and no real desire to properly inform themselves). Life’s easier when it’s good vs evil.

stunet's picture
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stunet commented Sunday, 3 Mar 2019 at 5:50pm

Point being: much of modern social commentary focusses on 'virtue signalling' as a diversion from engaging with the issue. Yes, there are shallow farkwits who advocate on certain issues, but that doesn't delegitimise the issue.

Read Fred Pawle's latest piece at the Menzies Research Centre (Big Oil Do Surf) for a classic case of it.

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rhys1983 commented Sunday, 3 Mar 2019 at 6:49pm

I don’t think they are necessarily farkwits. Just don’t think critically.

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stunet commented Sunday, 3 Mar 2019 at 7:54pm

Agree. Sometimes I just like typing 'farkwits'.

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damo-b commented Saturday, 9 Mar 2019 at 8:03pm

White Horses published a story in issue 27 called Sea Time. I wrote it. I hadn't been privy to the Menzies article, but the premise of my article was Big Oil Does Surf. Check it out and see what you make of it.

A gig in the Timor Sea collecting seismic data on a pristine reef changed my life. My conscious was never going to allow a career in oil and gas. Not after that extended stint at sea. Three quarters of the crew surfed and hailed from little Australian surfing and fishing towns. What made my decision to bar it was that I didn't have a big debt or dependents to care for. In other words, most of the blokes (and a few women) need the oil money.

No one wants a spill. Especially in a marine environment. And I don't know if big oil schemes such as the one planned for the Bight is bigger than us civilians protesting from afar, I think that it is.

If the Australian public were aware of the reefs I helped map for oil and liquid gas, would they have arced up as much as the Bight project? They should have. The place is the most magnificent natural wonder. And a spill there would be devastating. Because there was so much distance on the Timor Sea project (and scores of other projects in Australian waters) no one said boo. At least the Norwegian company made their proposal public. Why, I don't know.

This issue is a behemoth conundrum. As for me, I'll try to limit my footprint as much as practically possible. Is that all any of us can do? Does the world really need the Bight's oil? Is drilling it from one place worse than another? Is this oil too deep to get at safely? Is extraction from any depth safe?

Damo.

DamoB

blindboy's picture
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blindboy commented Sunday, 3 Mar 2019 at 8:47pm

It's always worth standing back and thinking about neologisms. Why have they appeared? Do they merely replace existing words or add a new idea? In the case of virtue signalling it represents a concept so closely related to existing words like "smug" and "self-righteous" that in the end it may not be sufficiently different to survive. The reason for its current widespread use then probably has less to do with its actual meaning, than the purposes of those using it. It is, of course, a pejorative, and deriving, as it does, from academic theories about signalling, it would seem its main purpose is to add an intellectual veneer to an old fashioned insult.
In terms of its long term survival, it faces one huge problem. Numerous commentators have pointed out that the use of the term is essentially reflexive in the sense that the intended insult bounces back just as forcefully on its user since they are also signalling virtue - their moral or cultural superiority in not signalling the virtue they find offensive. When it disappears from the language, as it almost certainly will, it will leave no linguistic gap.

Blowin's picture
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Blowin commented Sunday, 3 Mar 2019 at 9:05pm

Language evolves with the times.

The advent of social media has allowed smugness to be actively misconstrued as a contribution. Smugness has been quantified.

Previously if you signed a petition it was quite anonymous. Now a days your contribution is no more or less effective , but you’re #ineverycunt’sfacewithit.

Also smugness and self righteousness are not specifically externalised unlike virtue signalling.

That’s the difference.

blindboy's picture
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blindboy commented Sunday, 3 Mar 2019 at 9:12pm

So what about the bounce back Blowin? You have been guilty of numerous instances of virtue signalling simply by using the phrase.

Blowin's picture
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Blowin commented Sunday, 3 Mar 2019 at 9:21pm

There’s no more bounce back than employing the term “smug “.

And it’s always possible that both sides of an argument can be occupied by wankers.

stunet's picture
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stunet commented Sunday, 3 Mar 2019 at 4:03pm

Conservatives used to say the environment is too big for humans to effect it.

But acid rain and hole in the ozone proved that wrong.

Conservatives used to say that climate change was crap.

But they've been dragged kicking and screaming to a consensus.

Conservatives now say climate change can only be fixed by personal responsibility.

But acid rain and the hole in the ozone were fixed by government legislation.

Conservatives dont care about the issue(s) at hand. They'd rather keep their rusted on ideologies of small government and personal freedoms intact irrespective of the cost.

 

Blowin's picture
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Blowin commented Sunday, 3 Mar 2019 at 4:16pm

It’s not just government and it’s not just personal responsibility which holds the solution.

It’s a combination of both . Neither can achieve it on their own.

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stunet commented Sunday, 3 Mar 2019 at 5:54pm

Yeah, nah. When government writes legislation then personal responsibility - at least on the matter at hand - is null and void.

See the hole in the ozone layer: Consumers no longer had to scrutinise if their fridges, insulation, and such, used CFCs as governments outlawed them. Safer alternatives were found and life carried on.

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rhys1983 commented Sunday, 3 Mar 2019 at 7:22pm

Imagine if they banned hydrocarbons tomorrow. At least social media would disappear

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Pops commented Monday, 4 Mar 2019 at 4:44pm

"Safer alternatives were found and life carried on."
Yes and no - it's a little more complicated than that. Alternative refrigerants with lower ozone-depleting potential (ODP) were developed, but were unfortunately rather less efficient than CFCs (meaning the newer refrigerants required more electrical power to be consumed per unit of cooling - not great for reducing greenhouse emissions). Those newer refrigerant will also be phased out soon, and replaced by a new generation with near-zero ODP, slightly lower efficiency. The new generation are also flammable (which older refrigerants generally weren't).
Having said that, your point r.e. legislation stands.

He who hesitates is lost

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spuddyjack commented Sunday, 3 Mar 2019 at 4:31pm

I'm vehemently opposed to the Norwegian project in th Bight. But if the Feds sell us out . . . as is still highly likely . . . they must do so with agreements that are truly beneficial to the Australian populace. Historically, this has never happened and we've been veritably screwed over by foreign interests for forever and a day with little or nothing to show for it.

The Norwegians maintain a brilliant sovereign savings fund from fossil fuel and other areas of profit to help its citizens through good and bad times. (Something we should have established ourselves decades ago). As part of a genuine binary agreement, if they believe in their technology and the potential it purportedly offers, notwithstanding cultural goodwill, there is no reason why they should not sign off the contract with guaranteed Australian access to this should the shit hit the fan with an ecological disaster in the Bight.

But overall, really, is there nothing sacred anymore???!!!

Stay salty

Blowin's picture
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Blowin commented Sunday, 3 Mar 2019 at 4:34pm

It’s not worth a trillion dollars to pollute the entire Southern half of the Aussie coast.

But the government will still risk it for a couple of million a year in royalties.

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spuddyjack commented Sunday, 3 Mar 2019 at 4:35pm

Apologies to Stu - just realised he had already mentioned Norway's sovereign savings fund!!!

Stay salty

stunet's picture
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stunet commented Sunday, 3 Mar 2019 at 6:02pm

Australia:

"I love a sunburnt country,
a land of coroprate gains."

Norway:

Bleak and cold but the blue-eyed sons and daughters share the fat of the land.

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velocityjohnno commented Sunday, 3 Mar 2019 at 6:04pm

I noticed with a little disquiet a couple of things during the rally and paddle out.

Almost every board was PU foam and urethane resins. (A fair few were epoxy maybe with extruded styrofoam). Mine was too - an interesting mix of high density PU foam and epoxy glass, it's proved more durable than any one I've done so far. Got a compliment for it which is always very nice, thank you. There were some amazing vintage boards being paddled out, and quite a few individual craftsmen took their own logo-less midlength creations, all looking really nice. We're a creative community. There were a couple of the timber laminate polystyrene core construction too. Damien really spoke up and I realised he's stood up as the voice of this surfing community. Everyone clapping and whistling, splashing water, it opened the eyes - amazing and that was the greatest bit. I ran out of time to head home, grab our wood board, and paddle that out. Maybe I wanted to virtue signal, but mostly I wanted to show people there's another way. Oh well.

The second part of disquiet was all the cars, the foreshore was packed. Like the boards, all this comes from petroleum products. There's hope on this one, as the adoption curve of electric technology and distributed solar power is taking off in Australia. But no matter what we do, if overall world oil demand keeps going up (try stopping Asia and industrialising nations with massive populations) then companies are going to have incentive to go further with better technology to supply this demand. As to what can replace the demand for this transportation and energy, worldwide, that will also leave a light footprint on the earth, I'm scratching my head.

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sharkman commented Monday, 4 Mar 2019 at 2:06pm

VJ , what you are seeing is an evolution of the human race....we are now aware of the lies and BS coming from Governments and big Multi-Nationals , to the point we can all see the Climate changing now , the internet provides us with long buried information on the a lot of these issues ...w

would you trust an oil Co......?? https://www.newyorker.com/news/daily-comment/what-exxon-knew-about-clima...

x

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velocityjohnno commented Monday, 4 Mar 2019 at 4:17pm

Thanks sharkman you should be proud. Re evolution of human race, yep it's happening more than we know. The noise sent a tingle up the spine, so many people with the one focus. A bit like a massive meditation group together, only way less quiet! When you add up all the electromagnetic and plasma changes going on (including changing Schumann resonances) - something remarkable is going on and we are all quite privileged to be here to witness it. That's part of the reason I've done that thread in the crystal ball section of the site linking papers describing just how solar plasma immediately changes the weather column at all levels when it hits in an event. There are many papers on this, just not many yet from Western universities. I haven't got to the electromagnetic link to it all, but it's out there. Aurora fans were recently surprised by energy jets they had never seen (they called them 'Steve') which appeared as ionized Birkeland currents. Yep the times are evolving and we are all linked.

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sharkman commented Monday, 4 Mar 2019 at 2:45pm
blindboy's picture
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blindboy commented Monday, 4 Mar 2019 at 4:51pm

Old news sharkman. Money speaks for money.

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sharkman commented Monday, 4 Mar 2019 at 8:39pm

I thought you might see the irony of me using Wikpedia , even if it's only to quote Exxon knowing fossil fuel heats the planet so there is no real argument......

x

blindboy's picture
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blindboy commented Monday, 4 Mar 2019 at 8:51pm

I forgot that you were a Wikipedia skeptic. There was never any doubt about the process. They figured the physics out in the 1890s. It has only ever been a matter of how quickly the gases were accumulating in the atmosphere and how quickly the temperature would rise.

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sharkman commented Tuesday, 5 Mar 2019 at 8:43am

damn you and wikpedia are smart! Seano says Hi!!

x

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sharkman commented Tuesday, 5 Mar 2019 at 8:43am

damn you and wikpedia are smart! Seano says Hi!!

x

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JackStance commented Monday, 4 Mar 2019 at 9:29pm

Although good on them for giving it a crack - so they should, of course.

However, could some one please correct me if I'm wrong:

From what I understand, don't most of these pros promote companies that exploit people and the environment?

As well as objectifying women through their advertising?

Do 'the surfers of Australia' consent to having occy as part of a group people representing them? Please correct me if I'm wrong, but isn't he a piece of low life shit?

Breath. Murdoch's empire will one day fail to control our minds.

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stunet commented Tuesday, 5 Mar 2019 at 8:54am

There are others who could answer this better than I, however the goal in public campaigning is not to start a debate - such as what happens here on Swellnet - but rather to achieve instant cut through, to get yourself heard above the relentless din of morning TV and radio shock jocks.

That means stripping the campaign down to its fundamentals, picking just one message, then employing known people (read: celebrities) to carry that message.

Keep in mind this "surfers of Australia" campaign was meant for Joe Public, not for us surfers. Hence the inclusion of Mick and Joel et al.

 

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Spuddups commented Tuesday, 5 Mar 2019 at 1:36pm

I know this topic has been thrashed out to the 'nth degree but I'm gonna jump in nonetheless.

The real problem here is that we as a society are addicted to fossil fuels. Drilling for oil is just one symptom of that problem. (Another symptom is climate change, where Australia stands to pay a heavy price, but that's another story isn't it) If you want to treat the symptom then solve the problem. Use less fossil fuels!

Stopping oil drilling in Australia is a great idea. However if we stop that without reducing our own oil consumption then we're merely moving the problem somewhere else (like Nigeria for example). That's pretty bad when you think about it, considering that the average Australian uses a shit load more oil than the average Nigerian.

I think it's good that surfers are making a stand against the big oil, but charity begins at home as they say. Guys like Mick Fanning live just about the most carbon heavy lifestyle imaginable. Numerous airline trips all round the world every year, jetskis, surfboards... etc etc. If they want to solve the real underlying problem then I reckon they should think about cutting back their own fossil fuel usage. Otherwise they're basically very public hypocrites; which is actually in many cases a lot worse than doing nothing at all. I think if Mick cut was to cut his airline travel back by say 95% and publicise this then he'd be making a stand worth listening to. In the mean time I reckon from a moral point of view he's better off keeping his mouth shut.
I think these guys are well meaning but I don't think they've really thought the whole thing through.

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stickyson commented Tuesday, 5 Mar 2019 at 4:48pm

@spuddups. Very well said

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truebluebasher commented Tuesday, 5 Mar 2019 at 4:53pm

I'm with surfers 100% on this protest...let's burn all surfboards or tbb's toenails!
Each pristine ocean oil protest...surfers give birth to more pure evil Toxic slabs.
Suffragettes burned their bras just as our surfers will burn their Equinor slabs?
Proudly we set surfboards alight vowing never to spoon Equinor Barrels ever again.

I'm sorry crew but I can only see 1,000 Scomo's chowing down lumps of Petro Bix
Equinor sponsored polluters save ocean from Equinor ocean pollution.(Sure! Why not!)
Ok so surfboards are cuter than puppies but your offshore oil rigs ain't welcome here.
Bigger the Equinor protest quiver the higher oil stocks climb...Money for Jam!

Protest Surfers defeat themselves modeling proudly made by Equinor banners.
I doubt the oil they suck from southern ocean would meet surfcraft demands.
That right there, is the surfer's biggest of battles...Yep! Their addiction to big oil.
Quit riding for team Equinor...Only natural to free yourself & ocean~Surfjustsurf

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middy commented Wednesday, 6 Mar 2019 at 9:00pm

Equinor’s Environment Plan for Stromlo1, page 261 Risk Assessment Table B6.3 states “The effects of a 102-day release of oil on Australian Sea Lion colonies could have a very long and permanent impact on a population that is already in decline.”
Equinor’s modelling for this scenario shows that the 10 largest colonies which are found on the inshore and offshore islands between Ceduna and Kangaroo Island will be amongst the first places to experience oil shore loading.
70%of the total number of ASL’s population estimated at between 11-13000 are located on these islands. That’s 9000 of the Australian Sea Lion population. This scenario is classed as a Single Catastrophic Event . Female Australian Sea Lions have High Site Fidelity which means they only breed on the colonies they were born on. They cannot migrate to establish new breeding sites. It’s one of the reasons they are the rarest of all pinniped species. Once a colony fails that is it. So we need to contemplate what would be the outcome for 70% of all Australian Sea Lions faced with this scenario. It is an extinction scenario. All seal colonies are wild isolated places. There does not exist a Mitigation or Recovery Plan for the Australian Sea Lion colonies if the 102-day oil release from Stromlo1 was to occur. It is literally an impossible action to implement.
Equinor’s argument is that it rarely happens but it happens often enough, think Timor and the Gulf of Mexico. This is only an exploration drill exercise. Once it becomes an Oil Field it becomes exponentially a more risky exercise with large numbers of Drill Sites relying on “best Practice” but no guarantees. The loss of Australian Sea Lion colonies due to an oil spill is real and acknowledged in Equinor’s Assessment Plan when they say “permanent impact on a population that is already in decline.
The loss of species is common globally due to Anthropogenic interference. When in this case we have all the information in front of us do we roll the dice or not? what Equinor are arguing is that this could happen but the risk is small. I would argue the risk is possible with a exploration drill but probable if the Great Australian Bight becomes an Oil Field.

Middy

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middy commented Wednesday, 6 Mar 2019 at 9:11pm

Equinor’s Environment Plan for Stromlo1, page 261 Risk Assessment Table B6.3 states “The effects of a 102-day release of oil on Australian Sea Lion colonies could have a very long and permanent impact on a population that is already in decline.”
Equinor’s modelling for this scenario shows that the 10 largest colonies which are found on the inshore and offshore islands between Ceduna and Kangaroo Island will be amongst the first places to experience oil shore loading.
70%of the total number of ASL’s population estimated at between 11-13000 are located on these islands. That’s 9000 of the Australian Sea Lion population. This scenario is classed as a Single Catastrophic Event . Female Australian Sea Lions have High Site Fidelity which means they only breed on the colonies they were born on. They cannot migrate to establish new breeding sites. It’s one of the reasons they are the rarest of all pinniped species. Once a colony fails that is it. So we need to contemplate what would be the outcome for 70% of all Australian Sea Lions faced with this scenario. It is an extinction scenario. All seal colonies are wild isolated places. There does not exist a Mitigation or Recovery Plan for the Australian Sea Lion colonies if the 102-day oil release from Stromlo1 was to occur. It is literally an impossible action to implement.
Equinor’s argument is that it rarely happens but it happens often enough, think Timor and the Gulf of Mexico. This is only an exploration drill exercise. Once it becomes an Oil Field it becomes exponentially a more risky exercise with large numbers of Drill Sites relying on “best Practice” but no guarantees. The loss of Australian Sea Lion colonies due to an oil spill is real and acknowledged in Equinor’s Assessment Plan when they say “permanent impact on a population that is already in decline.
The loss of species is common globally due to Anthropogenic interference. When in this case we have all the information in front of us do we roll the dice or not? what Equinor are arguing is that this could happen but the risk is small. I would argue the risk is possible with a exploration drill but probable if the Great Australian Bight becomes an Oil Field.

Middy

Fliplid's picture
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Fliplid commented Saturday, 9 Mar 2019 at 7:40am

This is an extract from a story in this mornings Guardian with the link below. Make of it what you will, however I thought Equinor was part owned by the Norwegian government?

“The world’s largest sovereign wealth fund, which manages $1tn (£770bn) of Norway’s assets, is to dump investments in firms that explore for oil and gas, but will still hold stakes in firms such as BP and Shell that have renewable energy divisions.
The Government Pension Fund Global (GPFG), whose assets exceed those of rival sovereign wealth funds such as China’s, said it would phase out oil exploration from its “investment universe”.”

https://www.theguardian.com/world/2019/mar/08/norways-1tn-wealth-fund-to...

udo's picture
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udo commented Monday, 11 Mar 2019 at 8:21pm

Bight Drilling getting some coverage in Norway-
ABC news.