by Gareth Hughes
Lucy Lawless, the ‘warrior princess’ and Greenpeace activists have boarded a drilling rig in Taranaki to stop it sailing to the Arctic to commence an exploratory oil drilling programme.
It’s great to see Greenpeace taking a stand against oil drilling in one of the world’s most remote and beautiful places, the arctic and highlighting this important international issue.
Oil companies have pushed the frontier of oil drilling too far and are now risking our coast with proposals of deep sea oil drilling in New Zealand waters. Drilling in the Arctic demonstrates we are at the end of cheap oil and have to go to the ends of the world to get at the last few drops. It’s the same in Aotearoa, where drillers are investigating drilling the Great South Basin, between the ‘roaring forties and furious fifties’ and the seismically active Raukumara Basin, to get that last fix of oil despite the cost, hostile environment and significant risks. Both could see exploratory wells drilled in excess of 1000m down, which could lead to deep, deep trouble.
If there is a leak from a deep sea oil rig there is no easy way to stop it especially in remote, hostile environments like the Arctic or Great South Basin. The consequence for New Zealand’s environment, economy and reputation would be catastrophic.
However we can create a smart green economy by moving away from mining and drilling, and towards renewable energy. If we were to secure just 1 percent of the global renewable energy market in the next 5 years, we’d create a $5.8 billion new industry here with 60,000 more green jobs. The smart money is on renewables and green innovation not risky drilling in remote and beautiful places.
What do you think?