Fracking report is a red flag not a green light for new fracking wells

The Parliamentary Commissioner for the Environment’s interim report on fracking entitled, “Evaluating the environmental impacts of fracking in New Zealand” was tabled today in Parliament.

The report, while not calling for a moratorium, raises enough red flags that it shouldn’t be seen as giving a green light to fracking.

The PCE’s report does not say that fracking in New Zealand is safe; the report concludes that fracking companies do not have a ‘social license’ to operate and that the regulation is fragmented and light-handed. The PCE has identified numerous ways in which fracking can cause environmental harm, and said, “the potential for important aquifers to be contaminated as a result of fracking is very real.” The report’s key recommendation is fracking can be effectively managed if best practice is enforced through regulation, but said at this stage she can’t be confident that operational best practices are actually being implemented and enforced in New Zealand.

I believe these are good arguments for a halt until better rules are enacted especially given the large expansion of fracking planned for New Zealand.

That’s why I am renewing my call for a moratorium on fracking and urging the Government and councils to take a safety-first approach until we have strong regulations in place to ensure the health of people and the environment.

Kiwis are right to be concerned about fracking’s environmental impact. What we’ve seen of fracking with less than 100 well sites in New Zealand, mostly in Taranaki, doesn’t provide much confidence in the status quo.  We’ve seen fracking jobs being done without specific consent, returned fracking fluids dumped in a local stream in Southland, groundwater and soil contamination from storing fluids in unlined earthen pits, shallow fracking and fracking close to aquifers that increases the risk of water contamination, flaring of gas and fracking fluids from ground-level pits (a practice the head of Canadian fracking company Apache Corp. reportedly called abhorrent) and lack of scrutiny and transparency of fracking chemicals.

Renewable energy will always be cleaner and safer than fracking and is a better future for New Zealand.

 

55 thoughts on “Fracking report is a red flag not a green light for new fracking wells

  1. arana – I think you and I are thinking about different time frames. I am looking more than a decade ahead. I expect to be around for several decades and those I care about will hopefully still be around several decades beyond that. The easy gas will have all gone well before that. We are better off building the wind farms and pumped hydro systems and the other infrastructure while we still have some cheap energy to do so, so there is energy available after the gas has run out.

  2. There are a number of Peer Reviewed Research Papers which clearly demonstrate the noise and vibration is harmful to humans, animals and even fish (for offshore obviously)
    You guys like the Pre Cautionary Principle so lets have a moratorium on Wind Turbines until we are absolutely sure they are safe.

    Yeah, missed the point error noted here.

    Lets be a bit silly here, assume that wind turbines really are dangerous, and each one kills two people a year. Who knows, that might be true. But although a few people may die, slay the wind turbines, and a generation later the impact is in the history books only.

    Now lets assume Canterbury fracking leeches into the water table. That is Canterbury’s primary industry gone for a long, long time.

    These are very different scenarios.

  3. Arana. You say we should go along with Jan Wright’s interim report on fracking. So to be consistent about acting on reports from the PCE, her recommendations about NOT digging up Southland lignite should also be followed

    Being consistent appears to be ignoring reports if you don’t like them. So, I will be ignoring every single inquiry/report the Greens hold up in future, unless I happen to like them.

  4. Viv,
    In that case we should suspend all Wind Farm development. There are a number of Peer Reviewed Research Papers which clearly demonstrate the noise and vibration is harmful to humans, animals and even fish (for offshore obviously)
    You guys like the Pre Cautionary Principle so lets have a moratorium on Wind Turbines until we are absolutely sure they are safe.

  5. Arana. You say we should go along with Jan Wright’s interim report on fracking. So to be consistent about acting on reports from the PCE, her recommendations about NOT digging up Southland lignite should also be followed.

  6. arana – I think you and I are thinking about different time frames. I am looking more than a decade ahead. I expect to be around for several decades and those I care about will hopefully still be around several decades beyond that. The easy gas will have all gone well before that. We are better off building the wind farms and pumped hydro systems and the other infrastructure while we still have some cheap energy to do so, so there is energy available after the gas has run out.

    Trevor.

  7. DBuckley – when oh when have I ever promoted the idea that we are NOT doomed? :-) Yet that condition is a real one.

    I do not think that the world can properly change gears and achieve sustainability or even avoid popping 4 degrees or more, while it has a monetary system that demands growth and concentrates wealth and power.

    I’d like to be wrong about that, but we need a tax change that punishes consumption of carbon based energy, and the concentration of wealth and power is already what it is and simply getting worse. I don’t say the world will escape us, or we will escape taking a huge set of lumps. I say that when… and that is not an if but a when… the situation with climate and energy becomes horrible enough, the wealthy and powerful WILL fail and fall and there will be a chance to change – here. Maybe we’ll even manage to save some portion of our civilization in the process.

    However it happens, it should be written in stone, engraved in titanium and tattooed on the eyeballs of coming generations. Thou SHALT NOT use debt as money. Real money is work DONE. The dollar should be backed by renewable electric generation capacity. It isn’t like we aren’t moving things… did you notice this?

    http://seekingalpha.com/article/1016161-basel-iii-and-gold?source=email_the_daily_dispatch&ifp=0

    Gold is “money” again…

    It is still the “wrong” answer overall, but it is a step back from the idiocy that has consumed the last 40 years.

  8. Perhaps we could exchange a “consumption driven” world economy to a “production driven” one. In this circumstance, the less you contributed through productive effort the more you would be required by law to consume of production output. Something tells me that would not have the ‘knee jerk reaction” impact, but quite the opposite.

    Any thoughts?

  9. Which is why I bang on so much about the fact that the monetary system is so corrupt and corrupting of the economic system

    Not going to argue with that…

    and why we have to change IT if we are to have a snowballs chance of changing anything else.

    Now that is a genuine example of what almost everyone is going to call an extreme position.

    Unusually, I genuinely hope you are wrong, because if scrapping the existing monetary systems is a prerequisite to improving matters then there is zero wiggle room, we are all doomed.

    A perfect solution that works once mankind is wiped from the face of the planet is altogether less helpful then making change prior to The End. Thats the challenge.

  10. The changes in US power generation because of fracking

    http://content.usatoday.com/communities/greenhouse/post/2012/07/natural-gas-sets-record-in-equaling-coals-electric-output/1

    The economics of the coal vs gas rivalry (and wet vs dry gas economics)

    http://www.forbes.com/sites/energysource/2012/05/30/shale-gas-takes-on-coal-to-power-americas-electrical-plants/

    So if the dry gas areas (crack methane) are left to last, as they are the less economic of the gas sources, that is one positive.

    Interestingly there is as yet no focus whatsoever it seems on using the gas to either power cars (LPG/CNG) or to convert it into methanol or synthetic fuel.

  11. Which is why I bang on so much about the fact that the monetary system is so corrupt and corrupting of the economic system, and why we have to change IT if we are to have a snowballs chance of changing anything else.

    Right now we aren’t even in the game economically. The professional shirkers of responsibility currently in charge are not the first lot to ensure that our economic system is stuffed… that’s been going on for decades

    Fixing things here is going to be awfully unpleasant… but better than the alternative for our kids. My time perception is not typical of the general public… I attach importance to problems I may create, that will happen long after I am gone.

    Not a common attitude…

  12. BJ and Taxes – yep, almost everyone can see the benefits of taxes.

    Your average voter (and don’t make this about “those at the top”) simply doesn’t see a benefit to being in the “paying for climate change” camp. They’re out there, shouting (a la Jerry McGuire) “SHOW ME THE MONEY”.

    Once the Maldives, Tuvalu, Kiribati, Marshall Islands etc are under water then some countries voters might get it. But they wont be the voters that are in a position to amke a difference. And one could argue that the horse is some way down the road with the stable door flapping in the breeze…

    But all this still leaves the problems of the big emitters, and the USA isn’t going to shut down its coal power plants overnight. The voters simply wont let them. You’ve lived there, can you see your former Republican and Democrat mates doing the equivalent of tukeys voting for Christmas?

  13. Back on topic – Fracking.

    The discovery of vast quantities of usable energy about 200 years ago led to what (as far as we know) has been the universe’s most prolific period of progress. The vast stores of coal, oil and gas have enabled mankind to acheive wonders, and for the planet’s population to explode.

    The energy we use to acheive these things (to any reasonable degree of precision) has all come from the sun, a bit of it in real time (hydro, wind, solar), and most of of stored and sequestered over millions of years.

    Sadly, that bequethment of stored energy is not infinite. Its almost like a “when its gone its gone” bargain. However, we will never “run out” of this stuff; when the earth is gobbled by the sun in a few billion years, there will still be some of that oil and coal left.

    The problem is that we’ve extracted the easy stuff, and now extraction is getting harder. So extraction measures are going to get more extreme. In Arabia they’ve been pumping water down wells for years to displace oil, and now we’re going to continue to frack.

    We (and I, as I am in a to-be-fracked area) don’t want fracking. Apparently it casues small earthquakes, like the two.whatever that “rocked” Blackpool a while back. Do I care about a few more 2.x earthquakes? Heck, geonet says we had a 2.7 just up the road a couple of hours ago, and I didn’t even notice it. Canterbury folk are a bit like that.

    But what I do worry about is impact on water. Water is important in Canterbury, and if the water gets damaged then we really are “fracked”.

    Of course, short of hell freezing over, fracking is coming. Some countries and territories have banned fracking. No they haven’t – they’ve simply not chosen to frack yet. They will.

    Why will fracking happen, even in places where its currently banned? Its all about the money, stupid. As energy prices continue to rise, people will say “something has to be done about it”. And fracking is one such something.

    As a Canterbury dweller who is likely to get fracked, this all saddens me greatly.

  14. DBuckley… my taxes are a microscopic percentage of the monetary base of the government, yet I not only am obligated to pay them I feel MORALLY OBLIGED to pay them and yet voluntary payment of taxes will always fail as I don’t feel that moral obligation nearly so clearly if other people of similar or greater income are free-riding on the system.

    As they do.

    And on this planet, there are a very few nations that are shouldering their responsibilities and vastly more who are shirking… and to my shame I live with shirkers despite having moved to New Zealand.

    Professional and serial evaders of responsibility would be an excellent characterization of successive Kiwi governments.

    Does this reflect our population at large? I don’t really know to say, even after a decade here. It seems to reflect those at the top though… a population divided into a working class and a shirking class.

    Our moral obligation with respect to actions on climate change is NOT altered by the existence of the shirking class. Neither individually nor as a nation. Our effect may be limited by their actions… but our obligations are not advised by their inaction.

    Responsibility is something you TAKE.

  15. You will find Arana, that we are quite conversant with the strengths and weaknesses of the US market in fracked resources.

    Including the rapid depleting nature of them and the need to drill more wells.

  16. Arana is – unfortunately – almost exactly right on one issue, when he says (speaking of AGW) “… I’m glad most people – most voters – simply don’t buy it.”

    It’s not that most voters “don’t buy it” – they think that (loose term) “climate change” is nothing to do with them, its someone elses problem. Your average voter is thus not required to take any action.

    In one respect, the New Zealand voters could absolutely right. If NZ was to cease to contribute to (loose term) climate change tomorrow, what effect would that have on the planetsphere? (rhetorical question) Pretty much none, is the answer we all know to be true, as New Zealand is responsible for 0.11% of the worlds CO2 emissions, and nearly half that is from cows.

    Thus, in effect, we are adopting a wait-and-see approach. We collectively will do nothing until the science is “prooved”, one way or the other. Unfortunately, if the majority of the scientific opinion is correct, then we’re in a bit of a mess…

  17. Everything we do and have is based on energy. Raise the cost of energy, and you lower your standard of living.

    You may realize that you’ve got the monetary arrangement backwards? You are very close to my definition of the way the monetary system SHOULD work here “Money represents work done”… and what we HAVE represents debt. How one can reach a state where work done is defined in terms of debt, rather than the other way around, is interesting. Steve Keen has answers… but now *I* digress.

    What you fail to understand is that the time frame I consider includes the standard of living OF MY CHILDREN’S CHILDREN, and yours is all about you and now. If you consider that the standard of living we enjoy reduces the chances of living that they will enjoy, you may work out why there are different values put on these things here.

    For example, the earth emits heat back towards the vacuum of space as infrared radiation without a net gain in energy content.

    That is true IFF the system is in equilibrium. However, the infrared radiation is related to the surface temperature of the body that emits it… which is the upper atmosphere of the planet… which has cooled because the CO2 has trapped heat closer in. The upper atmosphere has to reach a sufficient “temperature” for the radiation gozintas to match the radiation gozoutas again, and to do that the temperature beneath it will rise enough to REACH equilibrium, no matter how much GHG we contribute. You remembered some thermodynamics, which is good… but we aren’t AT equilibrium.

    The peer reviewed Remote Sensing shows that increases in atmospheric carbon dioxide trap far less heat than alarmists have claimed.

    If you rely on remote-sensing you still have to cite the study you are asserting refutes 25 years of science. Given that I have contributed to some of the work in it (relating to AVIRIS) I know the journal well enough. This isn’t irrelevant, as my objection to fracking and the objections of most of the party represented here, are around the emissions, not the risk to the water table. Review the thread if you doubt that. There are not a lot of actual climate scientists out there who argue it…

    http://www.skepticalscience.com/climate-of-doubt-strategy-1-deny-consensus.html

    The consensus is quite real. The scientists who study it are quite scared. The public (you included) is following the denialist troll’s line because it is convenient for the wealthy, and the truth is decidedly “inconvenient”.

    Gareth has been trying hard to get the industry regulated, rather than relying on self-regulation. His calls are related to the proper measures that the state must take with respect to issues of the environment and certain sorts of risks.

    The Fracking industry has no actual incentives other than regulation, public image and the ethical values of individual managers , to dispose of its waste in a safe manner or to control its fugitive emissions. The profit motive erodes the last, and renders the second irrelevant in the long term. Safe Fracking, just like safe nuclear power, has to rely on regulatory incentives – which are currently not much, here in NZ.

    this means that no one else has to abide by the findings of any inquiry he happens to disagree with

    Truth is, nobody HAS to abide by anything but a law, and even that is a matter of some debate… we all do make up our minds what to do all the time… law or no.

    There is probably enough gas for us to deal with our future without fracking, fracking can be used safely if real regulation is in place to ensure that it is, and can be used if the gas displaces coal burning.

    …but until the regulatory framework is properly done I see no reason why there should be ANY fracking permitted here.

    There is another reason why they are shutting down their wells too you know…

    http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2012-07-23/drought-helps-fracking-foes-build-momentum-for-recycling.html

    Since the water isn’t there. Here there isn’t such a shortage.

    Their prices are low partly because their business practices are far short of ours too… the unfortunates who happen to live above the formation are subject to the “state” destroying their property to gain access to it. This has to do with corporate control of the state in the USA… which is National’s ideological goal.

    …and the financial situation will resolve soon enough.

    My preference is not to ban fracking, just to regulate it… and to put a CO2 charge on emissions of about $230/tonne – something like 20 times this government’s “incentives”, and equivalent tariffs on imports made in CO2 emitting countries to raise them to the same level. Return the money to the population as a dividend.

    WE have to start paying down the ENVIRONMENTAL debt we’ve incurred.

  18. “The debate here is not about fossil fuel use and its relationship to AGW, but the safety of fracking. Further, it’s about Gareth’s dubious position of calling for, then ignoring inquiries where the conclusions don’t go his way.”

    Only half of the report has been released, Arana.
    (Refer to my conclusion above).

  19. “…you believe that fossil fuel use leads to catastrophic global warming. I do not.”

    Then you are a fool. Nothing personal, Arana. Just an observation.

  20. Perhaps you haven’t been following shale oil and gas developments in the US, Trevor.

    http://www.ft.com/intl/cms/s/0/066d959c-12e1-11e2-aa9c-00144feabdc0.html#axzz2DY8bPuhp

    “Squeezed by the collapse in US natural gas prices, which hit a 10-year low earlier this year, Devon has been cutting back its activity and redirecting the rigs it still operates away from “dry” gas wells and towards natural gas liquids

    For Devon, read the rest of the industry. While the number of rigs drilling for gas in the US has plunged, dropping 53 per cent in the past year, according to Baker Hughes, an oil services group, gas production has continued to grow. This production boom has sent prices tumbling”

  21. Fracking does not lead to a long term drop in energy prices. It just gains a bit more gas in the short term, and once that is gone, the need for more energy remains.

    If you want long term prosperity, you need long term solutions, built on sustainable, i.e. renewable resources.

    BJ – we are no where near 70% renewable for our energy sources. We hover around 75% for electricity generation and could easily be more if it weren’t for the NACT policies, but we use a lot of coal and gas for direct heating, and of course we have a high transport fossil fuel usage.

    Trevor.

  22. Everything we do and have is based on energy. Raise the cost of energy, and you lower your standard of living. You feel we must make this sacrifice, and I do not.

    You feel we must do it because you believe that fossil fuel use leads to catastrophic global warming. I do not. There’s no point revisiting this debate here, because your position is clearly fixed. You will just need to accept I do not share this view as I, and reputable scientists, have arrived at a less extreme view. For example, the earth emits heat back towards the vacuum of space as infrared radiation without a net gain in energy content. The peer reviewed Remote Sensing shows that increases in atmospheric carbon dioxide trap far less heat than alarmists have claimed.

    I digress…

    The debate here is not about fossil fuel use and its relationship to AGW, but the safety of fracking. Further, it’s about Gareth’s dubious position of calling for, then ignoring inquiries where the conclusions don’t go his way.

    Regardless of which side of the fence you’re on, this means that no one else has to abide by the findings of any inquiry he happens to agree with. The lesson here is some politicians will give inquiries validity ONLY if they happen to agree with the conclusions, which, in this case, appear to have been arrived at before the inquiry was undertaken.

  23. What an odd thread, with all those down-ticks on the comments of regular Frogblog contributors.
    How do they do it, those ring-in righties, click the thumbs-down button, while keeping their fingers in both ears?

  24. @Arana

    Your position would send energy costs through the roof, which does result in a lower standard of living for us all.

    Well yes, and no… it DOES result in higher energy costs and we DO have to adjust, but it does not necessarily impact our “standard of living” unless we absolutely insist that that standard is based on being allowed to waste energy. There is a vast amount of renewable energy resource here in NZ, we are at 70% renewable now, we are quite wasteful of what we have and we could replace all the coal generation with gas in a very short time. We could replace the gas with wind/tidal/hydro over a somewhat longer time. That is how we regard fracking as “possibly” useful over the short term. However we have still, a decent supply of conventional gas, which is why I regard the fracking as unnecessary.

    In the MEANTIME however, the rest of the world is going to be wrestling with far more difficult issues around energy supply. Energy prices are going to be rising no matter WHAT you wish to happen.


    Prosperity is not a given.

    We must earn a living.

    Our earning of a living is not based on energy, cheap or otherwise. It is, thanks to the shortsighted kiwi delusion that we are going to out-compete the rest of the world in some manner, restricted to our farm sector, which is a basically renewable energy capturing enterprise, or was until the intensive dairying insanity was created.

    I disagree with your position that fracking leads us to doom.
    Feel free… however, to pick a slight difference here, I didn’t say fracking did that. I discussed the burning and release of the products of fracking. Slight difference because you redirect at the next sentence but I have NEVER given fracking more than a qualified skepticism as such. It is like nuclear power, it CAN be done safely, but one does NOT trust the industry to do it safely on its own, for profit.

    based on an extreme view of the worst predictions of AGW, and I’m glad most people – most voters – simply don’t buy it

    Well… my view is, most unfortunately NOT extreme among climate scientists. 3.6 degrees is about as low as the current range of predictions are going now. It is a level described as catastrophic by the extremists at the world bank

    http://climatechange.worldbank.org/

    and the IEA

    http://www.worldenergyoutlook.org/

    and the insurance industry

    http://tamino.wordpress.com/2012/11/03/unnatural-catastrophes/#more-5923

    and understood as accurate because that is what the data itself tells us

    http://www.sciencemag.org/content/338/6108/792.abstract

    So no. I am not actually being extreme. The fact that we’re seeing these changes with only 0.8 degrees of change in our global temperature argues that two degrees being allowed is already too much.

    There IS no denial science that matches this…. not even close anymore… and I haven’t actually heard a new denialist argument in most of a decade now. You have claimed I am extreme. I have demonstrated that I am not extreme in terms of the science.

    …and I already know that I am not like most of the population… I came to NZ from NASA JPL. I personally met some of the guys studying the ice… and the cold journal articles reflect very little of their actual fear of what is actually happening.

    What that means is that as Mother Nature proves to “most voters” that the denialists are the ones who have been dishonest bastards who are lying in their teeth… there is going to be a broader acceptance of what is necessary for the survival of civilization here.

    YOU can think of me as extreme, but you will have to show me how we can have 4 degrees of warming and retain civilization as we know it, or show me why all the science is wrong AND prove that we aren’t going to hit a tipping point…

    http://xa.yimg.com/kq/groups/18383638/1525161196/name/480032a.pdf
    http://www.nature.com/ngeo/journal/vaop/ncurrent/pdf/ngeo1480.pdf
    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/science-environment-18120093

    … and that’s NOT counted by the IPCC, any more than several of the other feedbacks are.

    You think I’m being extreme… no. I am being cautious. I am being the engineering pessimist I always am. I am not so enamored of making wealthy people wealthier that I can’t see the problems it causes.

    You haven’t made a case here Arana, and I doubt you can. There isn’t any actual science you can use, and public “beliefs” do not alter climate change any more than a royal decree can stop the tide from coming in.

  25. Also Frog, I do wish to have an “ignore” button for the fools contribute nothing here. I use it on the “Motley Fool” and I find it GREATLY reduces the noise. Photonz at least provides stats of some sort and makes arguments. Arana just yammers.

  26. On the bar separator between the OP and the comments here… there is a hide posts with score tool. Just set the bar higher.

    The clue is that there is one person commenting here. There’s a weakness in the blog software is that it allows multiple accesses to the voting.

    Arana has shown his/her stripes. There’s no reason to actually pay any attention at all given the lack of actual quality to the arguments presented.

    Frog… logins need to be used to restrict the voting and voting needs to be restricted to the people who actually have accounts and have logged in. Otherwise this sort of nonsense will continue. I don’t need to know what cowards and non-contributors think.

  27. What the ‘frack’.. has this blog string been hijacked by the climate change deniers & National party supporters ? oh dear !

    Kia-ora

  28. I never accused YOU of inconsistency Arana… you have a consistency… sort of slimey and unpleasant, but definitely consistent. Nor are you living in the real world by any means…

    http://www.worldenergyoutlook.org/

    This is where fracking leads.

    3.6 degrees by the end of the century, and very likely the end of human civilization.

  29. No worries BJ… you just have to remember what mine is when you try to figure out whether I am being consistent.

    I am…and your claims otherwise are false as a result.

    You believe what you like to believe. I have to work with the real world… and your unfamiliarity with its extent in time and space is the measure of your comments… falling well short of reality.

    This stuff is so easy…..

  30. No worries Arana… you just have to remember what ours is when you try to figure out whether we are being consistent.

    We are…and your claims otherwise are false as a result.

    You believe what you like to believe. We have to work with the real world… and your unfamiliarity with its extent in time and space is the measure of your comments… falling well short of reality.

  31. Anyone who agrees that ‘fracking’ is OK & the planet is just a pile of resources to be exploited with no consequences, needs to wake up & smell the air !

    Only one thing to say to them : “FRACK YOU”

    Kia-ora Greens

  32. You’re entitled to your frame of reference, and I’m entitled to mine. I think your position is extremist – an outlier.

    Your position would send energy costs through the roof, which does result in a lower standard of living for us all. In concrete terms, it means we can afford less healthcare, welfare and education because the extra money we’re spending on energy must come from somewhere. Prosperity is not a given.

    We must earn a living.

    I disagree with your position that fracking leads us to doom. It is an extreme view, based on an extreme view of the worst predictions of AGW, and I’m glad most people – most voters – simply don’t buy it.

  33. @Arana

    Our environmental standard is not the same as the “safe if properly regulated and best practices are followed” standard of the person making this partial judgement. We count the Carbon. We also count the Carbon from the Coal, and in that we are alone here.

    It is an important difference and one that people who think to judge our actions need to remember. WE are thinking about our children’s children. They are thinking about their quarterly profit statement…. and I include this government in that short-sighted company.

    In short, I did follow the science. The Green Party in general, does follow the science. I simply cast a broader net to look at costs and benefits… and I would not do a moratorium. I’d ban the use of coal and only allow Fracking if it were ABSOLUTELY necessary as a short term replacement of the coal… which is something I sincerely doubt could be shown, even now… out of the conventionally available gas.

    I would also require a lot more gas testing, though this is not directly related to the question of “fracking” – owing to this…

    http://phys.org/news/2012-11-natural-gas-leaks-boston.html

    I would TRUST a bunch of children in a schoolyard better than I trust this government when they think that “money is at stake”.

  34. Dave – that’s a very good post. Not sure it is entirely relevant to fracking and the resulting emission of additional CO2, but I have to like the post.

    BJ
    (remembers milk bottles and milk delivery… and RE-USE! in a suburb of NYC)

  35. Don’t you think this is a silly stance to take in the internet age? These posts will remain “forever”. They are only ever a link away.

    Again, how can you expect others to abide by those findings you do agree with in future, when you do not abide by those you don’t?

    Every claim you now make on opposition parties who don’t agree with the results of inquiries you hold up – for your entire political career – they can simply reference this post, or your media releases, as justification for ignoring the findings of inquiries when YOU ask about them.

    And what can you say? You will have no more moral authority than they do.

  36. @arana why shouldnt we be on the side of caution when the only people to truely benefit are large corporations and our environment is at stake.

    Because that is a lie. Many people benefit, including workers, the local economy and the end user of the product. We must weigh the benefits against the costs, and in this case, the benefits outweigh the costs.

    There is no human activity that has no effect on the environment. It’s a case of achieving a balance where both humans and nature co-exist. This does not mean we revert to an existence whereby we never impact on the environment, if that’s even possible – which it isn’t.

  37. Checking out at the store, the young cashier
 suggested to the older woman that she should bring her own shopping bags because plastic 
bags weren’t good for the environment. The
 woman apologized and explained, “We didn’t
have this green thing back in my earlier days.”
    The cashier responded, “That’s our problem
 today. Your generation did not care enough to
save our environment for future generations.”
 She was right — our generation didn’t have the
 green thing in its day. Back then, we returned 
milk bottles, pop bottles and beer bottles to the
 store. The store sent them back to the plant to 
be washed and sterilized and refilled, so it could
 use the same bottles over and over. So they really
 were recycled. We refilled writing pens with ink 
instead of buying a new pen, and we replaced the
 razor blades in a razor instead of throwing away 
the whole razor just because the blade got blunt. 
But we didn’t have the green thing back in our day.
    We walked up stairs, because we didn’t have an 
escalator in every shop and office building. We 
walked to the grocery store and didn’t climb into
a 300-horsepower machine every time we had to
 go two blocks. But she was right.
    We didn’t have the green thing in our day.
    Back then, we washed the baby’s nappies because
 we didn’t have the throwaway kind. We dried
 clothes on a line, not in an energy gobbling machine 
burning up 220 volts — wind and solar power really 
did dry our clothes back in our early days. Kids got
 hand-me-down clothes from their brothers or
 sisters, not always brand-new clothing. But that
 young lady is right. 
We didn’t have the green thing back in our day.
    Back then; we had one TV, or radio, in the house
— not a TV in every room. And the TV had a small
screen the size of a handkerchief (remember
 them?), not a screen the size of a rugby field. In the kitchen, we blended and stirred
 by hand because we didn’t have electric machines 
to do everything for us. When we packaged a fragile 
item to send in the post, we used wadded up old
 newspapers to cushion it, not Styrofoam or plastic 
bubble wrap. Back then; we didn’t fire up an engine
 and burn petrol just to cut the lawn. We used a push
 mower that ran on human power. We exercised by 
working so we didn’t need to go to a health club to 
run on treadmills that operate on electricity. But
 she’s right. 
 We didn’t have the green thing back then.
    We drank water from a fountain or a tap when we
 were thirsty instead of demanding a plastic bottle
 flown in from another country. We accepted that
 a lot of food was seasonal and didn’t expect that 
to be bucked by flying it thousands of air miles 
around the world. We actually cooked food that
 didn’t come out of a packet, tin or plastic wrap, 
and we could even wash our own vegetables and
 chop our own salad. 
But we didn’t have the green thing back then.
    Back then, people took the tram or a bus, and kids 
rode their bikes to school or walked instead of 
turning their mothers into a 24-hour taxi service. 
We had one electrical outlet in a room, not an 
entire bank of sockets to power a dozen appliances. 
And we didn’t need a computerized gadget to 
receive a signal beamed from satellites 2,000 
miles out in space in order to find the nearest
 pizza joint.
    But isn’t it sad that the current generation 
laments how wasteful we old folks were just 
because we didn’t have the green thing back then?

    We let people get on with improving our lot as a race, and looked after enough of the small things ourselves so that the big things didn’t make as much difference as they do today. Do you want to go back to those days? If so, start walking bacwards to Christmas, yesterday is gone.

  38. @arana why shouldnt we be on the side of caution when the only people to truely benefit are large corporations and our environment is at stake. The word environment means where something lives, us humans live there. corporations dont have feelings or biological health and the trickle down theory is a lie. wealth trickles up. common sense goes well with science and using some in interpretting the info is important. so far there has been many cases of failure to look after our environment. are these companies like children? keep making the same mistakes. i think we need to revoke the ability for them to shit in our water systems because there track record is bad. a police officer wouldnt give this many warnings for littering.
    my cost benefit analyses is that potentially having shit in our water makes no financial sense when the govt sees nearly none of the money.

  39. regardless of all else, they are effectively releasing co2 into the atmosphere by putting this gas on the market. shouldnt we be removing greenhouse gasses from the atmosphere? seems like reason enough to me. apparently 4 degrees celcius average global temperature increase and we are all screwed. tell me who isnt affected by that? it will happen quickly too.

  40. im totally agreed with who saied that ” I think the conclusion – so far – is safe if the industry follows best practice (a bit like mining I suppose). ” thanks for that post

  41. I think the conclusion – so far – is safe if the industry follows best practice (a bit like mining I suppose).

    She raised the issue of trust in the local industry being a factor in the ultimate outcome (whether fracking would be safe or whether fracking should be allowed or not).

  42. Only half of the report has been released. You are jumping the gun, Arana, making broad generalizations and assumptions that are half-baked.

    Following Gareth’s example, I’ll simply ignore it and maintain my stance if I don’t agree with the conclusions.

  43. Between Fracking and Tar Sands we can release enough additional CO2 and CO2 equivalents to push the temperature up a couple more degrees in the next couple of hundred years… enough to get the Antarctic to melt completely in a thousand or so… worth about 80 meters of additional ocean depth… and making equatorial regions uninhabitable by any species currently living. Some of the insects and rodents might adapt fast enough… reptiles will do well… higher life forms… I don’t think so.

    Great stuff except that we don’t have gills either.

    Oh right… we’ll use Genetic Engineering on ourselves.

    The question of why we have to do this remains un-answered.

    It isn’t as though we can’t get enough energy for New Zealand’s need…

    …it is that the energy we can get doesn’t make a profit for the folks in the oil and gas industries.

    Can be done safely is not the same as “is being done” safely… and you will find that trust in/of the oil and gas industries is extremely difficult to find here. Not far removed from bankers in our eyes.

  44. Well Jan Wright did say on the news tonight that her mind could be changed. There also seems to be some room to move within the report depending on what further investigation uncovers.

    I think the main thing here is that the oil and gas industry must not be allowed to continue operating in the same environmentally damaging way it has been. Until they can prove to the public that fracking is safe in every area of concern they will simply not have a social license. That kind of thing is important in a so called democracy.

    Interesting that the oil and gas industry, many MSM articles as well as the Taranaki regional council have spun the report and totally ignored the things mentioned in the article above by Gareth Hughes. They are clearly in favour of carrying on as if nothing has changed. In fact the TRC basically says that they’ve already implemented all the changes the Commissioner might recommend… Pretty amazing considering the latest spill we know about happened in June 2012.

  45. Only half of the report has been released. You are jumping the gun, Arana, making broad generalizations and assumptions that are half-baked.

  46. You called for an inquiry. You said wait for the outcome of the inquiry. It doesn’t go your way, so you renew your call for a moratorium.

    How can you expect others to abide by those findings you do agree with in future, when you do not abide by those you don’t?

    So much for evidence-based decision making.

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