Sean Doherty: Why Fight for the Bight?

Stu Nettle
Swellnet Dispatch

It's a campaign to protect a lone region, yet it cuts across the big issues of our age.

Surf journalist Sean Doherty is one of the organisers of the Fight for the Bight campaign, and for many months he's spoken to and read comments from surfers who feel conflicted supporting the campaign.

Here, Sean sits down with Swellnet to unravel the knotty issues.

Swellnet: What are the risks of Equinor's proposal?
It’s frontier drilling. It’s almost 400km out in the Bight in over 2km of water and in some pretty wild latitudes. If they drill it’ll be the deepest and most remote well in Australia - and one of the deepest and most remote anywhere in the world. Ultra-deep drilling like this, while not common, happens around the world but is a fairly recent phenomenon as they chase deposits out into deeper water.

I know the Bass Strait wells get wheeled out to prove drilling happens safely in Australia but it’s apples and oranges. This well would be 20 times deeper than most of the wells currently in production in Bass Strait. The danger here isn’t so much the depth though, it’s the remoteness. Most oil and gas production is clustered, like on the NW Shelf and in the North Sea. That makes it economic enough to keep contingency infrastructure localised nearby. There’s nothing in the Bight.

One of the main sticking points of Equinor’s plan is that their capping stack isn’t even in Australia, it has to be shipped from Singapore. The capping stack was invented after the Deepwater Horizon blowout to be used to cap deep wells, but Equinor’s will take 15 days just to get to Australia, and then it can’t be deployed in any real sea state. They could be sitting there for weeks in port unable to do anything…and there’s no guarantees once they get out there they’ll be able to stop it.

In their EP and all our conversations with them they appear to be grossly underestimating the sea state out there in the Bight and there’s almost an arrogance to their manner. “We drill in the North Sea, this is nothing.” They’ve actually said that. We’ve got guys like Camel and Heath Joske down there who are right across Equinor’s EP and their claims around sea state just don’t match the reality. In a 1500-page plan it’s covered in just two pages. 

So what would a spill look like? We’ve seen the modelling but how close would that be to what you’d see?
That spill modelling map you’ve probably seen is a worst case 102-day flow. It would mostly move predominately east on the Leeuwin Current, although if it happened in summer it would move west as well. The modelling map you’ve seen was dismissed by Equinor as sensationalised, that it was a composite of 100-odd spill scenarios, but what they didn’t tell you is that those spills were all concentric, all within each other. That modelling map shows everywhere that Equinor themselves believe a worst case spill would end up. Any kind of spill would be bad news.

Why protest against this particular well? There are dozens of oil and gas prospects being looked at all around the country. 
This one has some unique points to it. Aside from the frontier nature of the drilling exercise itself and the attendant risk, the company behind it makes it an interesting case. Equinor are two-thirds owned by the Norwegian people – not bloodless shareholders – and as such Equinor have to operate with, as they put it, more of a “social license”. They have to be seen to be doing the right thing by the Norwegian people, which is half the reason they’re here in Australia half a world away doing their dirty work.

Just two years ago they were known as Statoil but have undergone a rebranding as Equinor to pass themselves off as a progressive energy company to Norwegians. It’s all bullshit of course. They actually do have the highest percentage of capital expenditure on renewable projects of any major energy company in the world, but you know what that percentage is? Two per cent. The other 98 per cent is spent developing new fossil fuel sources.

The campaign here in Australia has also been aimed strongly back at Norway. Equinor are really sensitive about bad press at home. 

Are you against all oil drilling and oil use?
I’m personally against any new oil and gas development, as New Zealand has done. There’s enough in production to keep us going for decades, well beyond the threshold where climate change becomes irreversible. That change and that transition to a sustainable system needs to happen in some serious way right now… and it doesn’t involve drilling a dirty hole in the floor of the Southern Ocean and burning up whatever comes out for the next 50 years.

Most of the technology and tools are there to do it right now, there’s just a lack of political will.

Talk to me about industry subsidies.
How long have you got? In Australia the coal, oil and gas lobby are so far up the arses of politicians on both sides that it’s hard to tell where one stops and the other starts. At the moment the fossil fuel industry here in Australia is subsidised to the tune of about $4 billion annually. The Adani mine alone has been promised something in that ballpark to get started. Most of these subsidies take the form of tax breaks and royalty holidays. The system just haemorrhages revenue and appears to have been actually designed by the fossil fuel companies themselves.

How’s this? The Petroleum Resource Rent Tax has a provision that in the event of an oil spill that allows the company responsible to use whatever they spend on cleaning it up as a future tax deduction. The taxpayer foots the bill from future tax earnings.

And then the companies themselves are notorious tax dodgers. Exxon turned over $33 billion in revenue between 2013 and 2016 and didn’t pay a cent of tax, and that kind of thing is fairly common. Most of the big energy companies offshore profits in tax havens, or minimise tax by loaning money to themselves from parent companies and charging themselves above market interest rates. The whole thing is a scam and the government allows it to happen under their nose as they are in the pocket of the fossil fuel companies.

That’s the nexus that needs to be broken. Nothing meaningful will happen until then. Australia meanwhile has become a First World quarry. We’ve had a couple of resource booms and have nothing to show for it - it’s all sailed overseas. That’s the irony of the Norwegians coming here to drill. They set up a sovereign wealth fund and squirrelled away all their oil earnings. It’s now worth almost a trillion and a half dollars, a quarter of a million for each Norwegian. And what are we handing our kids? 

Will you be riding a horse to the protest, wearing hemp boardshorts and paddling out on a piece of driftwood?
Unlikely. I drive a dual cab ute and own several PU boards. The hypocrisy criticism is pretty base level though. Fossil fuels have got us this far and that’s great, but it’s patently clear we can’t keep going the way we are. This has to start somewhere. Making changes to personal behaviours is a start, but there’s only so much individuals can do when the whole system is gamed to keep the fossil fuel companies in business. The big changes need to come from the top and that’s just not happening right now. Quite the opposite in fact.

The leaders of this country are essentially agents of the fossil fuel lobby who are now threatening to arrest anyone who stands in their way. Good luck to them on Saturday. The crew turning up for the paddle-outs aren’t radical activists. They’re just people going to the beach; young, old, mums, dads, kids. That’s an Australian way of life, right? And it’s not a crime to want to pass that down to your kids. 

Find a paddle-out near you.

Comments

Blowin's picture
Blowin's picture
Blowin commented Wednesday, 20 Nov 2019 at 11:15am

I don’t see what the problem is if there is a spill.

Black sand beaches are very popular tourist destinations everywhere you find them from Hawaii to Indonesia. Apparently the reflected sunlight from the darkened silica is much more conducive to a deep tan than those boring old white beaches.

And if there’s anything that the quieter southern coastline would benefit from it’s the vibrancy and diversity provided by industrial scale tourism. I hear that the company has presented any potential spill cleanup campaign as a positive for the local economy and so they should , Thousands of volunteers flying in to scrub crude from humpback blowholes will need feeding and accomodating.....what a boon for local towns !

Won’t anybody think of the poor children suffocating in lives of drab monoculture with nothing but pristine beaches , uncrowded waves and healthy oceans to fill their dreary days ?

If the project does go ahead , Equinor should be required to pump a percentage of its product directly into the surrounding seas. Why should our people have their hopes for attractively oiled sands pinned on a major spill event which is only a fair-good chance of ever occurring ?

Tiberious1's picture
Tiberious1's picture
Tiberious1 commented Wednesday, 20 Nov 2019 at 11:26am

I have seen the might of that ocean from afar.
I have not seen welding that would hold up long term in those conditions.
Who are the certified welders willing to take on this obligation and what schools did they go to as I work in the construction industry
I know about the Bass Coast and there gas docks.

Mindora's picture
Mindora's picture
Mindora commented Wednesday, 20 Nov 2019 at 11:58am

Well that was comprehensive.

jasper99's picture
jasper99's picture
jasper99 commented Wednesday, 20 Nov 2019 at 12:02pm

Thank God for Sean Doherty

Craig's picture
Craig's picture
Craig commented Wednesday, 20 Nov 2019 at 12:06pm

Thanks Sean, covered all of it!

The Govenor's picture
The Govenor's picture
The Govenor commented Wednesday, 20 Nov 2019 at 12:13pm

Onya Seano. Australian of the year! You have done a great job in driving this huge issue into our homes and keeping in our thoughts.
I'll be paddling out and so should 25 million others.

brett68's picture
brett68's picture
brett68 commented Wednesday, 20 Nov 2019 at 12:48pm

"I’m personally against any new oil and gas development, as New Zealand has done. There’s enough in production to keep us going for decades, well beyond the threshold where climate change becomes irreversible."

Wrong. Look up oil well decline or depletion. While you're at it, look up how the PRRT works

The lack of understanding of O & G is understandable but the amount of people devoted to this cause and spouting off wrong (so called) facts here and on the other thread is ridiculous. Everyone drinking the Kool aid

... ah whatever, only come here to see the surf vids, not going to go to an O & G forum and discuss surf - there'd be no point

Blowin's picture
Blowin's picture
Blowin commented Wednesday, 20 Nov 2019 at 1:05pm

Why not ?

I think you’ll find that the majority of adult learners are from highly paid and professional environs.

If Jed Clampett had watched that Texas Tea bubbling up from his yard in 2019 , guaranteed he’d be swapping surf spot tips and fin recommendations with Dirk Ziff’s missus up in first class.

Unless you’re referring to the hillbillies running pipe .....they’ve always surfed .

ojackojacko's picture
ojackojacko's picture
ojackojacko commented Wednesday, 20 Nov 2019 at 2:54pm

"Fossil fuels have got us this far and that’s great, but it’s patently clear we can’t keep going the way we are. This has to start somewhere. Making changes to personal behaviours is a start, but there’s only so much individuals can do when the whole system is gamed to keep the fossil fuel companies in business. The big changes need to come from the top and that’s just not happening right now. Quite the opposite in fact.

"The leaders of this country are essentially agents of the fossil fuel lobby who are now threatening to arrest anyone who stands in their way."

Onya Sean. There are self-interested people and groups who obfuscate about this, and there are people (surprisingly a lot of them) who swallow the bullshit of those self-interested people and groups. But this is the state of affairs.

TAB's picture
TAB's picture
TAB commented Wednesday, 20 Nov 2019 at 4:15pm

I took up your advice to look up oil well depletion which by estimates is 50 years (that's 5 decades) which as Sean states takes us past threshold of irreversible climate change. Not sure where you think that statement is wrong. I prefer raspberry kool-aid!

tango's picture
tango's picture
tango commented Wednesday, 20 Nov 2019 at 4:18pm

TAB and brett68, I'm interested in your references for these opposing claims - care to post the links so we can see the wood for the trees?

brett68's picture
brett68's picture
brett68 commented Wednesday, 20 Nov 2019 at 4:50pm

TAB, you've looked up world oil depletion by the looks which is impossible to estimate but I guess people want a number so they've said 50 years. Yes, we are running out but there will always be some left, it'll just be a matter of having a price high enough that'll make it profitable to extract ( kind of related to the question asked here by someone - isn't there easier places to find and produce oil? The answer in short is no, all the low hanging fruit is gone in the century we've been oil gluttons so 30% of production has now moved to the oceans and seas of the world - this well will cost well north of $100 mil so if they could find the oil onshore and nice and shallow they would of course take that option) anyway blah,blah..

- well decline refers to a well when it first produces will plateau at first at let's say 10,000 barrels per day, by year 2 this might be 9000 with a subsequent exponential drop off - you get the picture
- further wells must be drilled into untapped areas of the same field to keep production levels up but eventually as in running up the downward moving escalator, the escalator eventually wins when the field reserve profile makes it uneconomic to drill more wells
- extrapolate this to all the fields combined ie world reserves and production and then Sean's statement :
"I’m personally against any new oil and gas development, as New Zealand has done. There’s enough in production to keep us going for decades, well beyond the threshold where climate change becomes irreversible."
- If we stopped drilling right now around the world, I guarantee POO (price of oil) would be $200+ in a year and probably more like $1000+ if we knew drilling was banned for good - renewables or whatever magic potion would not keep up with the decline
- and climate change would be the least of your problems

TAB's picture
TAB's picture
TAB commented Wednesday, 20 Nov 2019 at 7:35pm

Brett68, thanks for the detail. From a laymans point of view renewables are not a magic potion and are a increasingly more reliable and effiicient way of producing energy. Opposingly oil and gas are getting more expensive to mine as the low hanging fruit has been picked. From any angle i see (economic or environmental) it makes sense to try and be leaders in the inevitable energy revolution rather than just relying on Australia's normal action of dig it up and ship it out. This is even more pertinent for the proposed bight oil rig with its dangers to our pristine environment down there.

tango's picture
tango's picture
tango commented Wednesday, 20 Nov 2019 at 11:02pm

Thanks for this - it all sounds plausible, but from my perspective anyone can say anything without decent references and expect us to take them at face value. It would be handy if you could identify the sources of your points to back em up, otherwise it's just your opinion. And that's where we are stuck in the debate on so many levels - it's hard for anyone who's not an expert to differentiate between fact and jargon-rich opinion when they are presented in the same light.

I think one of the pithy bits of the debate is that many people keep stating that we have to keep on using fossil fuels because the economy is so dependent on them and we are locked in/couldn;t keep up with demand/proces will go thru the roof etc. But there have been so many similar debates - think banning CFCs, of course on a different scale to fossil fuels - where the status quo have tried to retain their income source in the face of inevitable change.....

It's also interesting how the concept of a market suits some people some of the time and not others...

brett68's picture
brett68's picture
brett68 commented Thursday, 21 Nov 2019 at 7:41am

ok, mix the words around a bit and google 'production well decline' and you get

Oil well production decline
An individual oil well usually produces at its maximum rate at the start of its life; the production rate eventually declines to a point at which it no longer produces profitable amounts. The shape of the decline curve depends on the oil reservoir and the reservoir drive mechanism.

and lots of pretty graphs there as well

Don't know why you'd think I'd make this stuff up, my motivation is you have Sean here who can write about surfing thinking he can write about anything without first doing the most basic of research. I don't bother with social media time-wasting because it gives a voice to the unintelligent who prove the saying 'those who know the least, say the most' - but here we have someone who is supposedly a leader of a well-populated movement, just shooting from the hip saying stop all drilling as if oil is some sort of luxury. It's shown here that the disciples just soak up the misinformation and then go forth and propagate.
Unfortunately, the world is addicted to oil but cold turkey is not an option - most people realise that but even then it's become a case of yeah we need it but don't do it in my backyard

Couple of facts :
- there's been a lot deeper (and safe) drilling than Macondo (Deepwater Horizon) and this Equinor well
- and the Deepwater Horizon incident had nothing to do with the depth, it was a botched cement job on the casing amongst other things, something that could happen on shallow wells

Back into cyber insignificance I go, made more posts in the past week than I have in 10 years or whatever on Swellnet and prob achieved nothing like most social media time wasting I imagine - keep the good vids coming - apologies to earth for my future surf trips and subsequent emissions

Disclaimer again as I know that's the sceptics first thought - have no interest in Equinor and will make the same amount of $ in life no matter what happens here

tango's picture
tango's picture
tango commented Thursday, 21 Nov 2019 at 9:18am

I don't know you from a bar of soap, brett68, you could be anyone from anywhere. If you don't provide refs there's nothing to back you up and it's just opinion.

When I have a quick look at the info on google about oil decline I seem to get nothing but industry spin which I don't trust as far as I can kick it, but when I search global oil supply I get things like this:

"According to the U.S. Energy Information Administration's (EIA) International Energy Outlook 2019 (IEO2019), the global supply of crude oil, other liquid hydrocarbons, and biofuels is expected to be adequate to meet the world's demand for liquid fuels through 2050."
https://www.eia.gov/tools/faqs/faq.php?id=38&t=6

Seems to support Sean's point.

And it must be true - it's US government and if it was fake news The Donald would have been all over it.

inzider's picture
inzider's picture
inzider commented Thursday, 21 Nov 2019 at 9:20pm

Wrong
NZ is honouring any exploration permits still held until expiry date. 7 yrs.
Austrian oil giant OMV drilling offshore in southern basin this summer. (Maybe)
No new blocks on offer.

Smorto's picture
Smorto's picture
Smorto commented Wednesday, 20 Nov 2019 at 4:25pm

Brett68 dont argue ok, he's a surf journalist meaning that he's obviously way more educated on climate change and the economy than you or anyone else are.

Just shut up and paddle out on the weekend ok! If you disagree then you must work in the oil industry and obviously want billions of kids to die in the future.

Polly2's picture
Polly2's picture
Polly2 commented Tuesday, 26 Nov 2019 at 1:23pm

Brett68
You are a fuckwit

Ajp

Polly2's picture
Polly2's picture
Polly2 commented Tuesday, 26 Nov 2019 at 1:25pm

Have a nice day anyway... lol
Go surf or do whatever makes you happy..
why not?

Ajp

Spearman's picture
Spearman's picture
Spearman commented Wednesday, 20 Nov 2019 at 1:04pm

The short term self interest on both sides of politics is becoming as blatant as the US.
Only if we had the balls of the Hong Kong people, what else does it take.

indo-dreaming's picture
indo-dreaming's picture
indo-dreaming commented Wednesday, 20 Nov 2019 at 1:25pm

If your going to jump on the current protest trend, this one is probably it, but please just keep the super glue at home, paddle outs are fine (no not mentioning that again)

You all get a free protest pass from me, cause it does seems pretty high risk with the location and depth, surely there must be better locations where there is still decent oil reserves.

Im cool with another in Bass straight not far from my hood, track record as far as i know there is good, actually in the mid to late 90s there was some spill in north Tassie area (i think maybe a ship spill though?), i know cause i earnt some good karma points volunteering cleaning/feeding Penguins fir a few weeks while they got their natural oils and strength back (those little guys sure do eat a lot of pilchards a day too)

Okay i stretched the truth a bit there, it was actually like a work for the dole scheme, before work for the dole was a thing, my far left very green auntie made me do it because i was living with her, i did actually vote green in those days too, we still get on well but just don't talk politics these days.

andrew-pitt's picture
andrew-pitt's picture
andrew-pitt commented Wednesday, 20 Nov 2019 at 2:13pm

i put a driveway in, local council made me stump up $10,000 cash as a bond, so the works would be completed and made good. We did the works, got the cash back.
So some consistency....
What is the total cost to the community of a spill? Say $2 billion? Add another 0 if you reckon. Surely then, the develoment conditions should include Equinor handing over, $2billion in cash, as a bond, to make good on any future mess. Which would probably make the whole project unprofitable and not worth proceeding with. Bummer that.

tango's picture
tango's picture
tango commented Wednesday, 20 Nov 2019 at 4:12pm

That's assuming you can actually quantify (monetise) the impacts across the area affected by the spill and the duration of the impacts (which can be years). It would all come down to your ability to establish the value of all the things impacted and their market and non-market economic values. I reckon $2b would need a few more zeros depending on the nature of the spill. If they all had to stump up a bond which reflected these kind of real costs there'd be a lot less stupid ideas getting airplay. As it is, the future costs are externalised and society picks up the tab in one way or another, now or in the future, sadly.

indo-dreaming's picture
indo-dreaming's picture
indo-dreaming commented Wednesday, 20 Nov 2019 at 4:22pm

Wow never heard of that before, bond for driveway, no offence that would suck if say the cost for you to do the drive was much less, say they wanted $10K bond based on commercial contractor price and if you did the drive yourself for $5K thats $15K up front, instead of just needing to fork out $5K (I bet you live in NSW? always seem to be strict on things there)

There use to be similar laws for electricity providers, they use to have to ensure their was certain level of stability and reliability, but Rudd changed it to encourage renewables that don't have back up systems to ensure stability.

Hence one reason why we now have electricity stability and reliability issues.

batfink's picture
batfink's picture
batfink commented Monday, 25 Nov 2019 at 6:05pm

"There use to be similar laws for electricity providers, they use to have to ensure their was certain level of stability and reliability, but Rudd changed it to encourage renewables that don't have back up systems to ensure stability."

Just completely not true ID.

The Rudd thing, the reliability thing, blaming renewables for outages. Just not true, but probably gets a good run on sites you might visit.

Reliability has gone down because of clapped out coal plants, except the SA gig where transmission lines were blown down.

With the renewables and battery in SA they now have the cheapest wholesale power and the most reliable.

daisy duke kahanamoku's picture
daisy duke kahanamoku's picture
daisy duke kaha... commented Wednesday, 20 Nov 2019 at 2:34pm

Dohboy's not hollow.

Clam's picture
Clam's picture
Clam commented Wednesday, 20 Nov 2019 at 2:58pm

"In their EP and all our conversations with them they appear to be grossly underestimating the sea state out there in the Bight and there’s almost an arrogance to their manner. “We drill in the North Sea, this is nothing.” They’ve actually said that. We’ve got guys like Camel and Heath Joske down there who are right across Equinor’s EP and their claims around sea state just don’t match the reality. In a 1500-page plan it’s covered in just two pages."

Can anyone help with some true info regarding the north sea vs southern Ocean for sea conditions ?
Will it matter that north sea doesnt have nearly the fetch size of the southern Ocean?
Can these floating rigs handle the biggest seas ?
Whats the truth here with this ?

Craig's picture
Craig's picture
Craig commented Wednesday, 20 Nov 2019 at 3:05pm

Looking at the North Sea, it looks to be mainly fetch limited swells, so lower period and not having as much energy deep through the ocean column.

Contrast this to Southern Ocean swells which store much more energy below the surface.

Island Bay's picture
Island Bay's picture
Island Bay commented Wednesday, 20 Nov 2019 at 4:18pm

I used to do forecasts for oil rigs in the North Sea (at Danish Met Office). I think the highest wave measured was 17m, and it often gets very rough. No big swells, however. The closest you'd get to a solid groundy would be from northerly fetches west of Norway (same ones that light up the Yorkshire slabs).

Lanky Dean's picture
Lanky Dean's picture
Lanky Dean commented Thursday, 21 Nov 2019 at 5:02pm

Sounds very hectic island bay,
How the he'll did you end up working there?
Do you still forecast for rigs?
What's the chances of the southern ocean/ bight being toppled?
My feelings as a non forecast read high risk for low yield
Don't bother at all !

Island Bay's picture
Island Bay's picture
Island Bay commented Thursday, 21 Nov 2019 at 5:31pm

My first job as a meteorologist was at DMI (Danish Met Institute), and I did a lot of marine work. Weather routing for ships, marine forecasting for Greenland and North Sea, etc etc.
In NZ now, doing mostly severe weather forecasting: Synoptic scale stuff like heavy rain/severe gales/snow warnings, and small scale work like thunderstorm warnings. We get the lot over here!
Not an expert on The Bight, but bloody hell the Southern Ocean is a very active place!

Spuddups's picture
Spuddups's picture
Spuddups commented Friday, 22 Nov 2019 at 1:56pm

Boom. Finally someone who knows what they're talking about.

Clam's picture
Clam's picture
Clam commented Thursday, 21 Nov 2019 at 9:04pm

Yeah ok craig i thought so.
its so deep that swell might not feel the bottom out there? 2 km deep . Swell supposed doesnt reach that deep?
So what extra risk is a bigger peroid swell for a floating rig. I think a north sea storm will have winds and sea that tested the rigs even without swell peroid energy.
Are the sea heights are the most extreme condition possible for a floating object ?
Everytime i come back to this thought that strong winds create a big period swell to begin with and this oil rig platform will be most likely damaged from the wind & sea rather than deep energy being the threat, (to equinors plans)

Jamyardy's picture
Jamyardy's picture
Jamyardy commented Wednesday, 20 Nov 2019 at 11:44pm

I don't know how they can compare the North Sea (570,000 km2) with the Southern Ocean (20.3 Million km2).
Channel Coastal Observatory has current and historical buoy data for several buoys near the coast in the North Sea. You can get summaries per buoy since inception, with average monthly wave heights, period, direction, or you can download all the data month by month for each 30min interval. That data could then be compared to say data on the closest buoy to the bight I guess. The comparison may prove indicative, but certainly will not be representative. North Sea rigs are probably not near the coast, the drilling in the bight won't be either, and Southern Ocean depths are sure to surpass the North Sea's by orders of magnitude.

Island Bay's picture
Island Bay's picture
Island Bay commented Thursday, 21 Nov 2019 at 4:04am

The oil rigs in the North Sea aren't near the coast; they are all smack in the middle of it. FYI.

rooftop's picture
rooftop's picture
rooftop commented Wednesday, 20 Nov 2019 at 3:24pm

Great work, Sean!

simba's picture
simba's picture
simba commented Wednesday, 20 Nov 2019 at 3:36pm

Great article .

simba

tango's picture
tango's picture
tango commented Wednesday, 20 Nov 2019 at 4:03pm

There's a long-forgotten concept called "public interest" which our major federal political parties are having a lot of trouble getting their gun-for-hire heads around. Despite being elected to run the joint for the benefit of us all, they are all too often ostensibly acting in the interests of their donors or the mob promising their next consulting job when they leave politics.

Sean's nailed it. 10 Points.

A risky idea in a dangerous location led by a bunch of corporate profiteers to extract yesterday's fuel source and owned by a country which should know better.

evo maniac's picture
evo maniac's picture
evo maniac commented Wednesday, 20 Nov 2019 at 4:48pm

We’ve had a couple of resource booms and have nothing to show for it.

I do not agree with this statement, i live in Australia and think it is the best place in the world to live. What else do you need?
I have not been a worker in the mining industry but im pretty sure most of them have something to show for it. Others like me have benefited from govt spending on infrastructure, gleaned from mining royalties.
However i do not think we should be investing in more fossil fuel mining. As suggested, if there is 50 years worth already in the tank then we should be phasing out in to renewables.

Bsm17's picture
Bsm17's picture
Bsm17 commented Wednesday, 20 Nov 2019 at 5:12pm

A recent sale of a central queensland mine for 4 billion netted the queensland government 25 million for a simple transaction cost. That doesnt factor in the millions of royalties the government receives each monthfrom one mine alone. My point being i dont get the arguement of the government granting subsidies being an issue, the amount they receive back over the life of the mine or rig far out does any help with the initial setup costs.

thermalben's picture
thermalben's picture
thermalben commented Wednesday, 20 Nov 2019 at 5:13pm

How about when things don't work out down the track?

Exhibit A, linked below (published 9 days ago): "Taxpayers could face $200m bill if buyer cannot be found for rust-riddled oil platform"

https://www.abc.net.au/news/2019-11-11/offshore-oil-rig-timor-sea-operat...

bill-poster's picture
bill-poster's picture
bill-poster commented Wednesday, 20 Nov 2019 at 5:18pm

Old saying... "It is difficult to get a man to understand something when his salary depends upon his not understanding it."

The granting of subsidies is an issue because it means there isn't a level playing field among all energy sources. Fossil fuels will forever have the upper hand when their market prices are subsidised.

indo-dreaming's picture
indo-dreaming's picture
indo-dreaming commented Wednesday, 20 Nov 2019 at 7:46pm

I don't know exactly what the grants are for but you can guarantee they don't just throw money at fossil fuels suppliers for nothing.

For instance the transition from fossil fuels to renewables cant just be done with a flick of switch, it's a super complicated balancing act of keeping grid consistency and stability and keeping pricing in check etc while we transition. (and most likely heaps of other crap)

If suddenly a fossil fuel power station become unviable or the whole industry collapsed, in reality we would screwed because we wouldn't have the energy generation or ability to keep the grid consistent or reliable, it would be similar to many areas in Indonesia where you lose electricity for hours a day regularly or all night or it always seems in Indo when it rains.

This would be a disaster for business or just private home owners, freezers full of food wasted, business tossing big dollars and every spoilt westerner would be winging like there is no tomorrow trying to live without internet etc

Id say subsidies would be there to ensure things keep running as they should while we transition.

And then off course subsidies to encourage investment for coal mining etc like Adani (but lets not get into that here) but again you can guarantee that what ever subsidies they give they get back god knows how many times.

Everybody always thinks they can do better than the government, but reality is all of us are clueless we don't know how to run a country or an electricity grid etc

sean-doherty's picture
sean-doherty's picture
sean-doherty commented Thursday, 21 Nov 2019 at 6:34am

Hey Indo. The problem here isn't the current grid being subsidised to maintain a reliable power source, it's the Feds continuing to throw money in the direction of the fossil fuel industry to start up new projects that belong in a previous century, when the market and all the environmental markers are telling them they need to be going in the opposite direction. These projects are long term investments with 30,40, 50 year lifespans. Doing this when you're 20 years behind the rest of the world already is signing the next generation up for some problems. Out of interest, the National Energy Market (the grid for NSW, Vic, Qld, Was and SA) last week cracked 50% renewables for the first time. SA alone has been running close to 100% for a number of weeks now. All this however has happened despite the Feds, not because of them. Investment in renewables surged a while back but has recently collapsed, almost exclusively because of the signals coming out of Canberra about the direction they are heading (eg talks of new coal fired power stations) and the lack of a cohesive energy policy. Angus Taylor, Lord of the Squattocracy and Energy Minister is a walking, breathing example of what's holding this country back.

indo-dreaming's picture
indo-dreaming's picture
indo-dreaming commented Thursday, 21 Nov 2019 at 6:39pm

How are we 20 years behind the rest of the world?

Per capita we have the highest uptake of household rooftop solar in the world, we have about 100 wind farms, a decent number of solar farms (even Adani have two) our renewable industry is flying along, good recent article

https://theconversation.com/australia-is-the-runaway-global-leader-in-bu...

Labor might have started the ball rolling but reality is 90% of progress has been made under the Liberals.

The big issue is grid reliability and consistency, like i was just saying in the other thread, i guess the solution could be new battery tech, but with any tech related product it's a catch 22 situation, buy now and then in 5 years time what you bought is outdated and if you had waited you can could have bought batteries twice as good for half the price. (realistic possibility)

I guess like any tech product, it's finding that right time to buy in.

batfink's picture
batfink's picture
batfink commented Monday, 25 Nov 2019 at 6:17pm

"Labor might have started the ball rolling but reality is 90% of progress has been made under the Liberals."

Standing around doing nothing while others do your work doesn't mean you get any credit ID. The LNP have been a force for preventing solutions and trying to cut back what Labor and Greens implemented.

Yes, there are latency problems still to be solved. Best we get on to it I'd say.

SA battery has made heaps and will have a very short payback period. They sell at the top of the market and cost bugger all to maintain, the cost is the capital expense up front.

Libs in SA are going to expand battery by another 50%. SA libs aren't bought and sold like the feds.

Murrayoliver's picture
Murrayoliver's picture
Murrayoliver commented Wednesday, 20 Nov 2019 at 6:35pm

Sorry haven't had time to read all the comments just the article,the very fact that this absoltuley fucked up idea has gotten this far is just insane ,smart people in high paying jobs who are paid a fucken shit load make decissions on issues they specialise in for the good of all Australians and our country the every day person are the ones who should tell these people to fuckoff back home
But I am doubtful they will
This world has some big issues

SurferSam's picture
SurferSam's picture
SurferSam commented Wednesday, 20 Nov 2019 at 7:41pm

Why no protest against the oil rigs dotting the horizon up at Exmouth / Ningaloo. Surely a spill there would be worse considering the reef nearby?

Robo's picture
Robo's picture
Robo commented Thursday, 21 Nov 2019 at 8:28am

No ex pro surfers live there :)

Clam's picture
Clam's picture
Clam commented Thursday, 21 Nov 2019 at 12:33pm

There is,
Look up "protect ningaloo"
Its on instagram and there's people speaking about it, at some of the fightforthebight events they have spoken.

Blowin's picture
Blowin's picture
Blowin commented Thursday, 21 Nov 2019 at 4:19pm

SurferSam - There’s been protests at Exmouth for years. Here’s a shot of an onshore rig behind the Lighthouse in 1998

Protesters surrounding the rig. Not many people....but there wasn’t many people in town in those days. No media . Ningaloo was virtually unknown outside of WA then .

I was living out at the van park when the rig rolled into town. Not doing much .....if you count surfing, fishing, diving and pulling bongs flat out as not much . When the rig set up they were a man short and asked if I’d fill in after I’d run into them a few times. The gig sounded like it would compliment my foil moving routine nicely and so I had a look . Started out being the bottom of the totem pole ....literally feeding the toxic shit into the hopper which fed down the well to lubricate the drill etc.

Definitely the least environmentally friendly job I’ve ever had . And I’ve had some fucking shockers. Now , I knew what I was doing , even in my bong-addled state , and I managed to overlook due to the dollars they were throwing at me . I’d gone from technically unemployed to 84 hours a week on a very good wicket .

Corruption is insidious ....but only if you allow it .

And I allowed it. Thinking of the months of surfing that it’d afford me.

Anyway , a couple of weeks in and the driller has gone crazy one night . I mean literally nuts. Bent the fuck out of the drill during the long night hours ( it was a 24 hour gig ) when he was left alone to ponder the deeper recesses of his strange mind.

Back then Exmouth was fucking nowhere. The road in had only been paved a few years previous. Consequently , there was no one to replace the driller for a thousand kms or so. Nothing for it but the reserve driller stepping up and the rest of the totem pole all shuffling a spot north. Including myself.

So now I’m on the deck. Shuffling back to camp on the false onus of checking on the welfare of my very-capable missus , in reality to smash enough bongs to last another few hours till I could excuse myself again.

I was given a lot of lee- way due to my proclivities as a surfer and a ring-in.

We ran pipe to a depth of about 1100 metres if I recall correctly- which is doubtful- and struck nothing but water. Which may have been a dead end for those seeking oil and gas , but not such a loss for those existing on a hydrophobic peninsula in Norwest WA. The riggers had done their sink and shut shop ready to move on , they urged me to come with them , describing the riches that the next decade would provide as the world searched for new resources.

Fuck that....who wants to work for a living. Little did I know that I’d prostrate myself before a lesser god than rigwork before too long.

The roughnecks left and there was nothing but a literal hole in the ground which had been capped by a device that looked exactly like a large gas bottle. The owner of the Lighthouse van park was an otherwise extremely shrewd operator, who never put a financial foot wrong , bought the remnant well with its promise of water . Unfortunately for him , and coincidentally enough , the encased pipe had the exact same diameter as a stubbie of beer. As the rig had been situated on a spot with an elevated overview of the peninsula it became a popular drinking / bong pulling / spectator spot.

Within a couple of months the 1100 metres of encased pipe was literally brimming with the broken glass from thousands of stubbies of beer . It’s seriously hard to believe that there wasn’t a beer drank in town that WASNT dropped into that hole, the rate it was filled was incredible.

Anyway....the protesters came whilst we ran the pipe . The entire school came out at one point. I managed to avoid it being on the night shift. The hole was a dud . I made enough to sustain me for a nice period thereafter and the town lived on.

My point - if I have one beyond an appreciation of times past - is that my exposure to the corrosive influence of the dollar which comes at the expense of the environment , is an attempt to illustrate how easily shitgoes weird when the carrot of riches is dangled.

I’ve learnt, but the reality is that I knew at the time that what I was doing was wrong and there was no excuse beyond avarice.

velocityjohnno's picture
velocityjohnno's picture
velocityjohnno commented Thursday, 21 Nov 2019 at 4:03pm

Nice pic.
No protests for either onshore or offshore O&G in Dongara area that I'm aware of, but, it's there...

Bsm17's picture
Bsm17's picture
Bsm17 commented Wednesday, 20 Nov 2019 at 8:22pm

Couldnt have said it better indo-dreaming, its good to read some rationality.

indo-dreaming's picture
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indo-dreaming commented Thursday, 21 Nov 2019 at 6:46pm

Thanks : )

bongsalot's picture
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bongsalot commented Wednesday, 20 Nov 2019 at 8:44pm

anyone who argues against this shit now is either a fuckwit oil barren or gives no fuck about the future for our oceans or kids or kids kids or earth as a whole..the time is now..these boomers will be dead soon then our kids will be left to try and fix our massive fuck ups..and dont worry, the kids are fucken smarter than the smart arse oil fucking fuckwits on here..fuck arrogant equinor fuck right off, make a change, save the fucking planet..i cant believe (well actually I can) the fuckwit politicians havent canned this..but there is no votes for them in our regions..we need the big cities/populations to help us..we are a small but loud voice that needs to be heard, or else nothing is safe..#fuckequinor

evo maniac's picture
evo maniac's picture
evo maniac commented Thursday, 21 Nov 2019 at 5:18pm

Good point Indo, on the renewable power transition, we in WA have a huge uptake of solar panels on the roof where excess is fed back in to the grid. The problem being for power generators is this constant power is not welcome in a system that ramps up and down depending on demand. There are , or will be enormous costs associated with changing systems to non fossil fuel. That does not mean we shouldnt be exploring those options but it is a complex issue.

blindboy's picture
blindboy's picture
blindboy commented Thursday, 21 Nov 2019 at 9:34am

This is just another excuse used by the fossil fuel industry to undermine the move to renewables. Existing battery technology can be used to store any excess power produced. The combination of solar and battery is much cheaper than building coal burning plants to meet peak demand.

Robo's picture
Robo's picture
Robo commented Thursday, 21 Nov 2019 at 9:42am

Do you have solar and battery on your house?

blindboy's picture
blindboy's picture
blindboy commented Thursday, 21 Nov 2019 at 10:21am

We installed solar as soon as we moved in and are investigating a battery at the moment. At this time of year solar meets the bulk of our needs and there is no problem feeding the excess into the grid, but a battery will come.

Robo's picture
Robo's picture
Robo commented Thursday, 21 Nov 2019 at 10:40am

Yeah we have cut our bill by 2/3, would like battery but very expensive now.

j-flo's picture
j-flo's picture
j-flo commented Thursday, 21 Nov 2019 at 12:24pm

BB, the situation is far more complex than the picture that you've painted here. If your interested, my own more comprehensive treatment is available here: https://beyondthisbriefanomaly.org/2018/10/18/carbon-civlisation-and-the.... The e-book version is available on a "pay what you like" basis, so free if you like, because we think it's more important that these ideas be considered, than that we make a buck out of making them available.
On the storage question down thread, there's also much more to be said. Again, I've contributed more comprehensively to this, but current book is still in production. Details available here, and if you read between the lines, you'll find a way of getting ready access to it when it's out: https://beyondthisbriefanomaly.org/2019/09/13/energy-storage-and-civiliz....
Cheers,
Josh Floyd

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blindboy's picture
blindboy commented Thursday, 21 Nov 2019 at 1:06pm

My response was to the simple technological aspect of the issue ....... that we can meet our energy demands from renewables. Beyond that, the broader political and social impacts are complex. I am aware of the argument that shifting energy sources does not solve the fundamental problem of the destructive exploitation of Earth's resources.

j-flo's picture
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j-flo commented Thursday, 21 Nov 2019 at 1:47pm

The idea that there's a neat and discrete "simple technological aspect to the issue" is really THE issue here. Similarly, what makes up "our energy demands" can't just be separated out from the whole social, political, economic etc context for what we're doing at the moment with fossil fuels. That's what we deal with in the book, and why I say that the situation's much more nuanced than "we have the technology, the politics just has to fall into line". We've got to make this transition away from fossil fuels -- and it's almost certainly going to involve overhaul of expectations around "our energy demands".

blindboy's picture
blindboy's picture
blindboy commented Thursday, 21 Nov 2019 at 1:54pm

Nuance? In this political climate? Sign me up for the revolution comrade, but on this issue you can put me with the praktiki. Emissions are number one. If we can make progress there, then other issues will rise in importance.

Bustard's picture
Bustard's picture
Bustard commented Thursday, 21 Nov 2019 at 2:32pm

there's plenty of stuff coming.....just not equal to the consumption rate of fossil unfortunatly.

https://edition.cnn.com/2019/11/19/business/heliogen-solar-energy-bill-g...

j-flo's picture
j-flo's picture
j-flo commented Thursday, 21 Nov 2019 at 2:47pm

BB, I believe we are on the same page entirely in terms of imperative of putting into practice effective immediately. Especially with the depth and rate of emission cuts needed though, the toolkit's going to have to be broader than technology change. The nuance I'm talking about is first and foremost about practicality on that front.

blindboy's picture
blindboy's picture
blindboy commented Thursday, 21 Nov 2019 at 3:05pm

No doubt we need change on a broad front but we currently have a government with two defining characteristics: fundamental conservativism and fabulism. They have gone down the Trumpian rabbit hole of "....what I say three times is true." For some this is a persuasive philosophy since it relieves them of the need to think. They can just regurgitate the latest soothing propaganda secure in their ignorance. Others, secure in their middle class lifestyles, simply have no motivation to act on their beliefs. Historically, radical change only occurs in radical circumstances. We are probably on our way there.

Blowin's picture
Blowin's picture
Blowin commented Thursday, 21 Nov 2019 at 10:21pm

Let’s be honest , BB.

You said that the world was on a nuclear precipice over two years ago. If what you said was true , the climate change thing is a long term distraction,right ?

I mean ,you assured us that Trump was headed for imminent nuclear war .....two minutes to midnight, remember ?

So that whole two minutes deal , that obviously wasn’t literal , huh ?

So...when’s this nuclear destruction due these days ?

cough ....ridiculous HYPERBOLE ....cough.

Wrong about.......everything.

Remember when “ your research “ said that China wasn’t a nefarious influence on our country.......

Let’s be honest , mate...you’ve told more untruths than Trump in the past few years and you’re accountable for every single one of them on these pages. So it’s best to remember that the character slur is a two way street . You talkshit and it’s permanently written on these pages.

I hear Trump is threatening to sue anonymous forum posters for defamation......

That’s not true , obviously . He’s got testicles and has no need for such bitchy activities.

indo-dreaming's picture
indo-dreaming's picture
indo-dreaming commented Thursday, 21 Nov 2019 at 6:51pm

@Evo Yeah it's a super complicated topic, not as simple as people make out, heaps of challenges ahead, im sure as we transition most issues will be worked out with new technology which improves all the time.

Numbatt's picture
Numbatt's picture
Numbatt commented Thursday, 21 Nov 2019 at 9:57am

This is an awesome debate, but what will come of your opinions if your actions aren’t well thought out.
A loud voice sends a message to a deaf government. More police, less resistance.
Dear government (I don’t even know the prime ministers name) start acting on behalf of all people’s best interests or get ready for a real uprising.
Saying that, I rely on the system to put food in my families belly and to power the machinery for the work I do. I get paid fuck all to be a P&W Firefighter, I do it because I have good intentions, and even took a pay cut for this position. However Im extremely aware the pollution caused by prescribed burns and the disturbance to the environment I love may have irreversible negative effects on our planets biosphere. So what do i do, stay on the poverty line trying to cover the cost of living while slaving away 12 hour plus days to save a few baby boomers properties or jump on a rig and get paid a shit load to power the industries that protect humanity from burning while glamorously surfing the worlds best waves in the hope my spoilt son can be some wannabe pro surfer selling product for another corporation that only gives two fucks about economic growth.

Robo's picture
Robo's picture
Robo commented Thursday, 21 Nov 2019 at 10:30am

Yeah interesting the cashed up retired or about to retire pro surfers are jumping on the wagon. Already made the big dollars out of the WSL carbon trail.

Dillosurf's picture
Dillosurf's picture
Dillosurf commented Thursday, 21 Nov 2019 at 12:15pm

Hi All, I have 30 years experience in oil and gas including oil spill response and a Masters in Environmental science so I am across the technical arguments. However I think the most important point is that the majority of Australians voted to return a bunch of environmental Neanderthals to government despite being obviously incompetent. Hence the government thinks the majority of people don’t care about environmental issues particularly if they threaten standard of living or way of life. I doubt a paddle out will influence the gov or the population. Possibly our big challenge is to overcome the influence of the Murdoch press, that might swing the balance. Wish I knew how!

Vic Local's picture
Vic Local's picture
Vic Local commented Thursday, 21 Nov 2019 at 12:27pm

"I doubt a paddle out will influence the gov"
The first Torquay paddle out certainly influenced the local Liberal Party member. When Sarah Henderson saw the crowd she jumped on the green band wagon pretty quickly. She lost her seat in May and then found her way back into parliament via a senate vacancy / jobs for the boys arrangement. Her job security is now dependent on the dregs of society that are Liberal Party rank and file members, so she sold out all her "green" principles and now supports every fucking fossil fuel development going.
So a paddle out won't change this shitful government's position at all, but it will send a very strong message to the new local member. Don't sell out our ocean our you'll be out of a job next election.

"angry online, smiley in the brine"

sean-doherty's picture
sean-doherty's picture
sean-doherty commented Thursday, 21 Nov 2019 at 6:04pm

This only came to light last week. The original Torquay paddle outs actually got pretty close to influencing the government and having the Bight nominated for World Heritage listing... only problem it was the government that didn't get elected.

https://www.theaustralian.com.au/nation/shorten-world-heritage-plan-risk...

garyg1412's picture
garyg1412's picture
garyg1412 commented Thursday, 21 Nov 2019 at 1:18pm

Dillosurf overcoming the Murdoch press will be a generational thing I hope. I think a large part of the Murdoch Empire's demographic is currently baby boomers who lap up the self indulged bullshit that Rupies little elves like Andrew Bolt spew out every night. Once they die off hopefully the next generation of "Communists" who watch more engaging stations like the ABC and SBS will be in the majority and Murdoch and Co. will just fade to grey, and we will get a more balanced view of not just political issues, but life issues as well.

Andybox's picture
Andybox's picture
Andybox commented Thursday, 21 Nov 2019 at 1:09pm

I was hit by 7 metre waves when sailing from Bluff NZ to Hobart. It wrecked the inside and deck of the ship I was working on at the time. I spent a scary night sliding from one bulkhead to the other, on my mattress, listening to the laundry washing machines and driers desintegrating in the corridor outside my cabin. The catwalk on deck was mangled, cargo was lost overboard and the railings had been snapped and bent. I’d like to see what these drill ships look like. Are they planning on permanent rigs or will they use an FPSO system? The ferocity of the Southern Ocean should never be underestimated.

james.groundswell's picture
james.groundswell's picture
james.groundswell commented Thursday, 21 Nov 2019 at 1:15pm

It's sacrilege!
Why mess up your own backyard, when you can mess up someone else's. So where are the profits going? Where is the petroleum going?
Who's actually benefiting from this venture? What's the Up Side?
More transparency would be appreciated, less dodging and weaving.

Tim Pak Poy's picture
Tim Pak Poy's picture
Tim Pak Poy commented Thursday, 21 Nov 2019 at 1:33pm

Things aren’t looking good for the Bight. The Australian fishing industry has significant concerns for the tuna, scallop, lobster & oyster fisheries; researchers from the Institute of Marine and Antarctic Studies and Curtin University found in 2017 that noise from seismic airguns significantly increased mortality in scallops and zooplankton. Environmental managment planning of the effect on breeding southern right whales and other species is crucial to preserving these pristine waters. Nopsema is the govt agency responsible for environmental management in our waters, whose CEO Stuart Smith was previously responsible for facilitating major mining and oil and gas projects, attracting investment, and promoting trade and economic expansion for the WA Govt, while their Head of Environment Division Cameron Grebe is ex-Woodside Energy and Shell Global Solutions International. Will they be planning for the long term health of our waters or the short term health of our lifestyle.
With whale populations are increasing we have the opportunity to leave our waters in better condition for coming generations than we inherited it.

inzider's picture
inzider's picture
inzider commented Thursday, 21 Nov 2019 at 9:36pm

Blue whales have been foraging around the rigs off my coast in NZ for 50 years.
Rigs don't push life away they actually bring it in

Spuddups's picture
Spuddups's picture
Spuddups commented Friday, 22 Nov 2019 at 2:04pm

Nice anecdote. Any science to back this up?

inzider's picture
inzider's picture
inzider commented Friday, 22 Nov 2019 at 9:31pm

Actually yes

https://i.stuff.co.nz/environment/104046268/genetically-distinct-blue-wh...

http://blogs.oregonstate.edu/gemmlab/category/new-zealand-blue-whales/

https://www.doc.govt.nz/nature/native-animals/marine-mammals/whales/blue...

There you go
I'm not here to tell lies

You ask anyone who works offshore in bass straight how good the fishing is off the platforms and how many seals hang around on the structure relaxing

If seismic testing was so horrible to marine life why would dolphins follow the boats sometimes while blasting

If you are going to talk shit about things you don't know about just don't bother

Spuddups's picture
Spuddups's picture
Spuddups commented Saturday, 23 Nov 2019 at 4:25am

Cheers man, that clears that up then. I was genuinely interested, not trying to troll you or anything.

inzider's picture
inzider's picture
inzider commented Saturday, 23 Nov 2019 at 7:48am

I wasn't saying you are talking shit just get sick of people on forums in general spouting about things they know fuck all about

Spuddups's picture
Spuddups's picture
Spuddups commented Saturday, 23 Nov 2019 at 1:01pm

All good, I can appreciate that sentiment.

BaSz's picture
BaSz's picture
BaSz commented Saturday, 23 Nov 2019 at 7:48pm

It doesnt clear it up!
There is some more to it by looks.
Check this out from the link.
"The tape revealed a 78-percent drop in the abundance of fish that came to the reef, compared to when there wasn’t blasting, the team reported last April in Marine Policy.
Seismic surveys also affect commercial fish catches, deceasing them by as much as 80 percent, Hoskins notes."

https://www.the-scientist.com/news-opinion/proposed-seismic-surveys-rais...

inzider's picture
inzider's picture
inzider commented Saturday, 23 Nov 2019 at 9:17pm

Oh no
Commercial fishing catches affected
That's a win for the fish I would say.

Andybox's picture
Andybox's picture
Andybox commented Thursday, 21 Nov 2019 at 1:43pm

I’ve seen the whale population at the head of the bight, those waters are indeed pristine and support a healthy marine environment. How far out are the proposed explorations taking place? What happens if they venture beyond Australias EEZ? Who governs drilling in International waters?

adam12's picture
adam12's picture
adam12 commented Thursday, 21 Nov 2019 at 2:17pm

Scomo announced to the Business Council yesterday that he's about to overhaul the environmental approval process for major projects because the current system is too complex, time consuming and duplicative. This is after announcing recently that they are going to extend secondary boycott restrictions to environmental protests. He also denied any scientific link between early increased bush fires and climate change in another statement today.
Rupert stated at the NewsCorp AGM, in answer to a question from Stephen Mayne about the time given to climate change denialists in his papers and tv networks that "there are no climate change deniers around here I can assure you."
We are all fucked.

Andybox's picture
Andybox's picture
Andybox commented Thursday, 21 Nov 2019 at 2:47pm

I heard that on the ABC this morning. Climate change deniers in government, what could possibly go wrong?

stanfrance's picture
stanfrance's picture
stanfrance commented Thursday, 21 Nov 2019 at 2:50pm

There is a major problem here with those arguing the case for oil and gas and that is that they don't believe the world can transition quickly if it has to. I can't locate it at the moment but there was a good resource that described examples over the last century when mankind had essentially pulled a rabbit out from the hat and enacted massive, significant behavioural and technical change in a short time frame in response to crisis....often to the disbelief of many.
I kind of feel we need to induce this crisis (which is what we are already doing) to galvanize enough people to challenge the status quo and throw everything we have got at a better alternative. There are many projections that show that if we burn all available oil reserves currently on the balance sheet we are in deep shit climate-wise....so I say paddle out, be loud, quell your fear of what might happen if oil and gas prices rise, because disruption is coming whether you like it or not. Action now is better than (more) regret later.

Stan France

seanboz's picture
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seanboz commented Monday, 25 Nov 2019 at 2:25pm

stanfrance I think the examples you're looking for may be WW1 / WW2 when countries completely realigned their economies to the war effort. Very similar to the task at hand.

We have the technology now to transition (see BZE link below); the lack, as most of us know, is real personal and political will.

The crisis you mention is now. The question of course is only how bad will it have to get before we act, and will our acts be too little, too late? We have probably already done enough to reduce world population rather substantially over the coming decades... And if we crash the insect populations, plasticise the oceans and keep burning fossil fuels for the rest of the century we'll be doing well to have any survivors at all. Perhaps then the planet will truly be able to recover.

www.bze.org.au
"Beyond Zero Emissions (BZE) is an internationally recognised climate change think tank, providing independent and ambitious climate change solutions for Australia.

Our flagship research shows how all sectors of the Australian economy can decarbonise, repower and benefit from the transition to zero emissions. These Zero Carbon Australia plans cover renewable energy and electricity; energy efficient buildings; sustainable transport; agriculture, farming and land use; and industry.

Through volunteer-powered research we show that a thriving, zero emissions society is achievable and affordable now, and that Australia can become a renewable energy superpower."

Pete Matthews's picture
Pete Matthews's picture
Pete Matthews commented Thursday, 21 Nov 2019 at 2:50pm

Fight the fight with the rules of the constitution and the 'common law" pertaining to LIABILITY
It all comes down to money and those who will personally be liable.
If every human who is passionate about any of the many injustices occurring globally , Use the power of contractual liability against the (Contractors/Company)perpetrators.
Use the law they use of 'business and commerce" - the law they work by of 'contract' and 'contractual liability'
In writing to the Contractors - 'we the people (individual or group) have not seen nor signed any contract stating the proposed drilling for oil in the Bight etc... state your request to see a contract and then your opportunity to accept or decline..
Their language is THE language recognised in Courts of Law
You must speak THIS language.
Protests are visually emotive - but threaten no-one in the Company.
Take five and watch the vid below...
InPower - A Mass Action Of Liablity
People friendly tools to make the fight rise up to the same playing field...
Results follow - the right ones - the Rights of Humanity for Free Speech.

Numbatt's picture
Numbatt's picture
Numbatt commented Thursday, 21 Nov 2019 at 11:14pm

Thanks for the interesting doco, kinda builds on knowledge gained watching Zeitgeist Ammendum.
Unfortunately it seems liability the word and definition are being omitted from any perceived negligence or safety issues in understanding of law. It seems at all levels of legislation liability is quickly being obscondered and used in the contract you agree to under this government/ monarchal life. How do we challenge a contract when we are being held responsible for a corporations decision to do something?

Ignorance must really be bliss.

TAB's picture
TAB's picture
TAB commented Thursday, 21 Nov 2019 at 3:31pm

If only our pollies could have a open minded, respectful and honest discussion like the comments found here. Lay out the facts with all known consequences, good and bad, then work towards an improvement of the current status quo.

Robwilliams's picture
Robwilliams's picture
Robwilliams commented Thursday, 21 Nov 2019 at 3:47pm

Prevention has always been better than cure.

freeride76's picture
freeride76's picture
freeride76 commented Thursday, 21 Nov 2019 at 7:42pm

Doherty was on North Coast ABC radio this morning.

Did a great job outlining the issue.

Queenyenfuego's picture
Queenyenfuego's picture
Queenyenfuego commented Thursday, 21 Nov 2019 at 9:49pm

Thanks Sean for the simple answers. Thanks Swellnet for the questions. I'll be there on Sat

Clam's picture
Clam's picture
Clam commented Thursday, 21 Nov 2019 at 10:48pm

https://youtu.be/mC8bHxgdHH4

Interesting doco about freak waves.
Reference to the dauphner platform 1995 26m wave .

BaSz's picture
BaSz's picture
BaSz commented Thursday, 21 Nov 2019 at 11:52pm

No problem giving up fuel and oil..
And a lot of people are changing our petro - plastic habits. Get with the program fools! The bights too risky they can fuck iff

warddy's picture
warddy's picture
warddy commented Friday, 22 Nov 2019 at 6:14pm

No paddle out on the Goldie ???
Can’t find any info ...
You have to park on side streets now to get close to the ocean on weekends:(

udo's picture
udo's picture
udo commented Friday, 22 Nov 2019 at 6:22pm

Shows Currumbin in link above..

kaki bibaita

warddy's picture
warddy's picture
warddy commented Friday, 22 Nov 2019 at 7:14pm

Yeh seemed a bit cryptic...
Missus found better info ...
Hope more than 300 turn up as that’s a third of the crowd at the Superwank on an average day LoL

hamishbro's picture
hamishbro's picture
hamishbro commented Friday, 22 Nov 2019 at 9:25pm

Sean, I was with you until Stu’s question “so do you support oil and gas drilling” or something like that. If you want to win this war, you have to make a clean distinction in people’s heads between “conventional shallow offshore oil and gas drilling” and this frontier deep water drilling you speak of / perhaps it’s kind of like coal seam gas vs conventional gas. A big difference, and the devil is always in the detail as you clearly explained. But when you start throwing the “I hate all fossil fuels” argument out there, and we need to “shut down” our fossil fuel energy reliance at the drop of a hat, well unfortunately that’s just unrealistic, and tends to put the many people off who you probably need to bring with you. Respectfully, IMHO.

Logical's picture
Logical's picture
Logical commented Saturday, 23 Nov 2019 at 3:51pm

I SUPPORT BIG OIL
People need to accept the technological limitations of where humanity is now.

If not oil here - where - some poor 3rd world bastards backyard. Perhaps you believe in electric cars - Google the ozzie family hit with a $33,000 replacement cost battery on a Nissan Leaf.

The real issue is " risk management" while we burn and pollute etc until the new fusion reactor proves to work, still 30-50 years before rolled out,

So the reality is climate change is not the problem - we need
GLOBAL POPULATION REDUCTION
7 billion people today
12 billion in about 30 odd years.

Insect, Animal and Fish extinctions are 100% guaranteed WITHOUT CLIMATE CHANGE.
by people clearing land to live on and farm and having to eat.

ringmaster's picture
ringmaster's picture
ringmaster commented Saturday, 23 Nov 2019 at 5:42pm

Absolutely bang on Logical!

Human overpopulation is the critical issue here with daylight second.

Logical's picture
Logical's picture
Logical commented Saturday, 23 Nov 2019 at 3:24pm

Says companies avoiding TAX.
EVERY TRADIE IS A TAX DODGER.
All have the CASH and non cash job price,

So do not play that card.

blindboy's picture
blindboy's picture
blindboy commented Saturday, 23 Nov 2019 at 4:00pm

"So the reality is climate change is not the problem - we need
GLOBAL POPULATION REDUCTION"

So how would you propose we go about that? Global one child policy? Mass murder? Widespread famine? Some nice new epidemic? Love to hear your ideas.

Blowin's picture
Blowin's picture
Blowin commented Saturday, 23 Nov 2019 at 4:46pm

A global one child policy is a great idea.

China accomplished it without drama. There’s nothing onerous or evil about the concept.

The population bomb ,which is the genuine threat to the planet and humanity ,could be disarmed within a generation . It’s global imposition would be utterly fair for all involved. None of this developing nations exemptions. Doesn’t get much more democratic than everyone contributing the same amount to a global problem.

goofyfoot's picture
goofyfoot's picture
goofyfoot commented Saturday, 23 Nov 2019 at 4:41pm

What if you have twins?

Genuine question by the way, since I heard about China’s one child policy I’ve wondered

Blowin's picture
Blowin's picture
Blowin commented Saturday, 23 Nov 2019 at 4:45pm

Obviously , you’d have to sell one on gumtree.

goofyfoot's picture
goofyfoot's picture
goofyfoot commented Saturday, 23 Nov 2019 at 7:18pm

Can’t believe I didn’t know that

BaSz's picture
BaSz's picture
BaSz commented Saturday, 23 Nov 2019 at 7:59pm

"Seismic testing can drive these animals away from important habitat, reduce their ability to feed, cause stress and disorientation, and inhibit their ability to communicate by masking calls or forcing the animals to expend more energy to be heard clearly. At close range, this kind of testing can even produce temporary or permanent hearing damage, which can result in strandings or even death."

https://www.pewtrusts.org/en/research-and-analysis/fact-sheets/2015/09/t...

BaSz's picture
BaSz's picture
BaSz commented Saturday, 23 Nov 2019 at 8:09pm

"Ocean noise can also have economic repercussions: Research in Norway shows that commercial fishermen return to the dock with 40 to 80 percent fewer fish when exploration is underway nearby."

https://www.nytimes.com/2019/01/22/science/oceans-whales-noise-offshore-...

BaSz's picture
BaSz's picture
BaSz commented Saturday, 23 Nov 2019 at 8:20pm

"Seismic airgun blasting in search of oil and gas is shortsighted and dangerous. Seismic airguns create one of the loudest manmade sounds in the ocean. During seismic surveys, ships pull large arrays of airguns that release loud pressurized blasts of air through the ocean and into the seafloor. Noise from airguns can disturb, injure or kill marine animals from zooplankton, the base of the food web, to large whales.
Seismic airguns produce loud, repetitive sounds that can travel underwater up to 2,500 miles. Blasts are repeated as often as every 10 seconds for days, weeks or months at a time.
Airgun noise can reduce catch rates for fish and disrupt essential behaviors in marine mammals, like dolphins and whales. For marine animals, sound plays an essential role in feeding, mating, communicating and avoiding predators."

https://oceana.org/our-work/climate-energy/seismic-airgun-blasting/overview

batfink's picture
batfink's picture
batfink commented Monday, 25 Nov 2019 at 11:05pm

Really pleased to see such a good discussion on these threads. Respectfully though, I'm not sure you have really grasped the situation.

If we USE all the coal and oil from existing fossil fuel mines and wells we, the human species is fucked.

Not any new ones, just the existing ones.

There is around 40 years lag from emissions to effects, by consensus of people who know what they are talking about. The fires and droughts we are experiencing right now are the effects of emissions from late 70s to early 80s.

The fires we are lighting now won't occur till late 2050s.

Scientific consensus and modeling has way underestimated the effects, we are coming in way over budget.

At a discussion at work we asked a climate paleontologist how we are looking in terms of climate change. His answer, after a laugh of derision, was "We're fucked". Seriously.

Brett68 thinks that petrol prices of $200 a litre by next year would be the result of no more petroleum wells, both complete bullshit AND underestimating the cost of what we should be paying if we took into account the 'externalities, what it will really cost us. There is plenty in existing wells, much more than we can reasonably use.

We are headed for large areas of the planet becoming uninhabitable, serious loss of agricultural land, mass migration due to inundation of land, probable world wars as we fight for the last skerrick of resources among 8 billion or so people, all while we have an opportunity to invest in renewables and batteries, that's just existing technology, which if by some miracle we took on a 'war footing', a genuine climate emergency platform, and worked like fucking madmen to avert a crisis unknown in human history.

We could beat this if we got serious about it. 1.5 degrees increase is unachievable, 2 to 2.5 if we went mental and pulled put all the stops, every country, to de-carbonise. 3.5 to 4 degrees rise doesn't just mean the end of just western civilization, it means the end of civilisation. It means the number of humans drops immeasurably, and possibly sees us back to cave man days, literally living in caves and pockets of humanity living hunter and gatherer lifestyles, and possibly worse. At
5 degree rise in temperature might see the end of the human species, and sooner rather than later. My kids, born at the turn of the century, might see world population below 1 billion, possibly much worse.

It gets worse, we don't have the political systems and infrastructure to deal with this problem. We need a ScoMo miracle to get out of this.

Please pile on here with your anti-science conjecture. I can take it.

Our best hope is a huge world wide recession AND all the Christians being taken up by the rapture.

We are that fucked, you just haven't worked it out yet.

Hope you don't have kids. There was still hope when I had mine.

Please feel free to carry on about the complexity of changing our energy generation and distribution systems, and someone please mention that we make up only 1.3% of emissions. That's really addressing the problem.

Good luck Sean.