What do Greens love to use but hate to see?


Russell Norman

Russell Norman, soon to be ex-co-leader of the Green Party. Ah well, never mind.

Russell Norman told me in the Greens newsletter today: “John Key and National aren’t listening to New Zealanders, and what’s worse they are putting Maui’s dolphins at risk of extinction.”

He was talking about the Government’s decision to offer more oil exploration blocks. The connection, of course, is the fairly low possibility of accidental spills from oil drilling, production or transport. In any other industry, they’re happy to put safety regulations in place. For oil drilling, even just exploring, nothing is safe enough.

The Greens love to use it, hate to see it.

You’d think BP or Anadarko want to spend millions to get at it just to spill the stuff and lose it.

Energy Minister Simon Bridges is quoted in the Herald today saying: “I think the protestors have a real point. We should be excited about the renewable possibilities or, as I call it, the renewable advantage that we have – it is immense.”

The areas being made available are vast, mostly off-shore. And so the maps from New Zealand Petroleum & Minerals (NZP&M) confirm.

From their web site:

New Zealand Petroleum & Minerals (NZP&M) manage New Zealand’s government-owned oil, gas, mineral and coal resources (“the Crown Mineral Estate”). We are a part of the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment (MBIE) and we report to the Minister of Energy and Resources.

NZ oil licence exploration areas announced 2015

NZ oil licence exploration areas just announced.

The Herald went on:

Bridges says the government is hoping more big overseas explorers will be attracted to the country. Since 2012 the government has granted 35 exploration permits throughout the country.

Figures released last week figures showed more than 80 per cent of the country’s electricity was generated using renewable fuels – water, wind and geothermal heat. Bridges is a supporter of using electricity to power vehicles but he said today it would be wrong to ignore the non-renewables.

“I do think—like the protestors—we have to transition to a lower carbon economy, but we can’t turn off the tap on non-renewables overnight,” he said. “It is very clear that the world will continue to need both renewables and non-renewables.”

New Zealand had the fifth largest exclusive economic zone in the world but only one of 18 basins had been significantly explored. The minister said it was important to do the seismic work and other pre-drilling work to get a sense of what’s there and overseas companies were largely funding this.

It doesn’t end there. [say the Greens!]

The Government’s opening up an area almost twice the size of New Zealand for the oil companies to undertake risky oil drilling, some in very deep water. And they get the right to do it for free. But it gets worse. Our forests are at risk too. Areas of the Victoria Forest Park, home to the threatened Kaka and Rock Wren, will be opened up for drilling, despite the public outcry over a similar proposal last year.

Then, of course, the Greens play the global warming card too.

This isn’t just about protecting our precious places though. It’s also about protecting our climate. We know that internationally we must keep 80 per cent of all known fossil fuel reserves in the ground in order to have a chance of staying below 2 degrees warming. So every time National opens up more and more of our pristine water and beautiful forests to mining they are also chipping away at our ever decreasing carbon budget.

All right, this has gone far enough. I call a halt right there, Dr Norman, as these claims are beginning to sound somewhat wild.

“We must keep 80 per cent of all known fossil fuel reserves in the ground in order to have a chance of staying below 2°C warming.”

Please answer the following questions:

  • What is the scientific justification for this nonsense about 2°C ‘safe’ warming, Dr Norman?
  • Why does science say exactly 2°C warming, and not, say, 1.4°C, or 2.5°C?
  • Who are ‘we’ (internationally)?
  • How much is 80 per cent of all known fossil fuel reserves?
  • Since reserves are constantly increasing, when would you consider them known in order to calculate the 80 per cent to leave in the ground?
  • Can we instead use any NEW reserves we find in the next, say, 80 years?
  • What ‘chance’ do you imagine we might have? Would you say 10%, 80%, 2% or some other figure?
  • How do you calculate our chance?
  • Since when is the warming to be measured, and when will you stop measuring?
  • If we did nothing, when would you expect the warming to have occurred?
  • When will we know we have succeeded?
  • If we have succeeded, can we start using the 80% of oil still in the ground?
  • If by then we’ve started using the new-found reserves, what will happen to the Green Party?
  • Will we still have a government?
  • Will it be legal by then to take them out and shoot them?

Oil is life!

The whole world is better fed, healthier and safer than ever only because of the miracle of petroleum products. To deny them to us is to kill us. The only thing that tells you our carbon dioxide will endanger the earth are computer models of the climate that have never come true, have never been verified and don’t know there’s been no warming for about 20 years.

There is, therefore, no reason to stop the search for oil. Oil is life!

This is where our prosperity, our living, comes from, Russell—from the earth, the water and the air. There IS nothing else.

We are forced to use the earth to live. We will do it more and more efficiently, safely and profitably.

But we will do it. You cannot stop us.

In truth, you cannot even stop yourself.

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6 Thoughts on “What do Greens love to use but hate to see?

  1. Andy on 31/03/2015 at 9:37 am said:

    These block offers have been going on for ages, and there is a very long lead time between exploration and any possible production (decades possibly)

    Norway has been very successful in turning a country that is very similar to NZ in many ways (population, hydro power for example) into the wealthiest country in the OECD. They get to pay for all those school lunches and other things that the Greens desire.

    The Greens Facebook page is full of outraged Greens huffing and puffing and banging on about “National”.

    They fail to comprehend that Labour are also in favour of Oil and Gas exploration, and the Greens will be too if they ever get into power

  2. Richard C (NZ) on 31/03/2015 at 10:39 am said:

    Seen at WUWT:

    Proud Skeptic – “Enviro-Hajj 2015!”

    RobRoy – “Good one. Thousands of pilgrims come and march solemnly around the holiest wind turbine.”


    Interesting Paris discussions in this thread. And I don’t mean COP21.

  3. Andy on 01/04/2015 at 9:32 am said:

    With respect to my Radio NZ link above, I see the Green Party NZ Facebook page is awash with people huffing and puffing about the proposed seismic exploration in the Maui dolphin sanctuary, yet as the Radio NZ piece implies, there is no evidence to support the theory that dolphins will be harmed by this technique

    Actually, I think the government needs to up their game a bit, in terms of informing the public about these issues. The activists (as always) get the last say, regardless of any actual supporting evidence

  4. Andy on 01/04/2015 at 12:31 pm said:

    Quite a good April 1st spoof from The Guardian on Jeremy Clarkson joining their campaign for fossil fuel divestment

    Of course, the joke’s on us as we learn that The Guardian has 600 million pounds invested in fossil fuel assets

  5. Richard Treadgold on 02/04/2015 at 2:51 pm said:

    “spoof from The Guardian on Jeremy Clarkson”

    Yes, a good one, thanks.

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