Tuesday, 28 January 2014

Why we don't need buried carbon.

Some say we could not build our society without coal oil and gas for energy sources, construction materials, chemicals for agriculture and industry. Others say maybe we could but it would be difficult and it would lead to an "inevitable" reduction in the quality of life or that it would be a difficult and morally dangerous experiment.

Well, that "experiment" has been done. And despite themselves the United States of America played a big part in setting up this experiment.

After the fall of the Soviet Union, much of the economic support Cuba received from the USSR, including oil imports, stopped coming. In the years following USA's government doubled down and tripled down on it's embargo's, at one point barring ship's that had entered Cuban ports in the prior six months from entering US ports.

This led to huge shortages of fuel needed to run electricity generation, run farm equipment, public transport, parts for machinery, agricultural chemicals and food.

Through community effort fostering innovation, education, and the use of low tech solutions Cuba now meets 90% of its energy needs from local production through biofuels and renewable energy. Urban farming supplies most of the food Cuban's need. and farmers are now among Cuba's affluent upper middle class. In short, Cuba thrives if not despite US embargo's but perhaps because of them, having forced Cuba to make the most of the resources they have while developing methods that respect the complex natural systems they were presented with after being forced to abandon industrial farming techniques.

This is a story fit for that "the opposite of what America does" punchline.

This could be easily one of those satires I write but here is the doco...

My guess is US Republicans  will continue to punish Cuba for this success, because in their minds if the American public understood this, it would demonstrate the counter factual nature of their rhetoric not only concerning Cuba specifically, but of the Republican narrative concerning jobs, economics, clean energy, even Socialism.

Actually the millennial generation are already looking more favourably on socialism, Republicans spent so much time bad mouthing socialism, the savvy bunch went and looked it and found it was nothing like what they were hearing from the GOP. Seattle just elected its first Socialist council woman and at less than only half the running cost of a regular council officer.

Hey Hey ho ho, Anadarko's got to go.

It has been an event filled week in Wellington. First the MV Duke slipped quietly into port at 12 noon on Friday and 30 minutes later a rally marched from Midland Park to the Todd building where Anadarko's offices are located. The Rally had been scheduled for over a wee, so let's not have right wing conspiracy nuts making fools of themselves claiming the harbour was being watched and the whole thing was organized in ten minutes. Cool as it would to be able to plan an action involving an estimated 800 people like that, it just did not happen that way. On second thoughts, I enjoy watching buffoon's be idiots, I get the biggest laughs from Pat Robertson, Bryan Fischer (2013 Dim bulb of the year), Colin Craig and Simon Bridges.

Various protests designed to send the message. The message that Anadarko's "legitimate" business is not welcome in the Wellington are expected. For ethical reasons we can't use DGSE frogmen. But, oh - the irony. Anyway street theatre, and promoting public debate are more effective. Polls are saying that "don't knows" are migrating to the "too risky" camp pretty fast. There is good reason for that.

At a rally on Friday, Regional Councillor Paul Bruce spoke of the regional Councils letter to the government that any disaster from the Pegasus Basin exploration would surely have consequences in areas for which they were responsible creating a situation they are distinctly ill equipped and under-resourced to handle, asking that no such exploration put the region at such risk.

Gareth Hughes of the Green party spoke of how Anadarko's own executives admit that it would be at least 80 days before capping operations could begin after a gusher. Citing how Maritime New Zealand were so useless in the wake of the Rena grounding that kids with buckets and spades were more effective.

Exploratory drilling is the most dangerous phase of the extraction process, oil and gas under pressures of the order of 2000 atmospheres can be encountered. These cause blow outs like that seen at Deepwater Horizon.

We rely rather more heavily on fishing than the US spill will devastate our fishing industry. Kaikoura Whale Watch would also be hard it, perhaps even destroyed. Look out for more whale strandings. Seismic testing can damage the sonar of Whales and dolphins for quite some distance as sonic energy from the explosions remains dangerously loud over distance because water is 800 times denser than air.

Vapours from a West coast spill may affect agriculture, as is reported to have happened in Florida as off gassing dissolves into water vapour at sea and later falls as acid-rain.

There is no safe deep-sea drilling there is already too much carbon in the extractive industries' plans, 5 times too much.

So yeah, Hey hey ho ho Anadarko's got to go.