As the NZ Herald reports the government is offering about 430 thousand square kilometers mostly offshore for tender to the petroleum summit held in Auckland this week. See more details of the offer here.
The Conference attracted protests. Petroleum Exploration and Production Association chief executive Cameron Madgwick responded by saying that he respected the right of opponents of the industry to protest and it still had to work to engage with the communities it operated in, but he wanted to encourage a “mature conversation” about New Zealand’s energy future.
So lets have a bit of a mature conversation and not just corporate spin and political bullshit as in Simon Bridges 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” while at the same time promoting and subsedising the fossil fuel industry.
Naomi Klein‘s latest book This Changes Everything – Capitalism vs The Climate
spawned a new campaign or even movement lead by the Guardian in the UK called : Keep it in the Ground.
Climate scientists tell us the simple and crucial fact that there is far more carbon in existing fossil fuel reserves than we can safely burn. The numbers even taken with a grain of salt tell us the following. Limiting global warming to the agreed global target of 2C means staying within a ‘carbon budget’ of 565 GT (gigatonnes or billion tonnes). That is a fifth of the 2,795 GT that would be released if all the world’s proven oil, coal and gas reserves were burned. Therefore four-fifths of the fossil fuel must stay in the ground. For more details see Duncan Clark in his article in the Guardian “How much of the world’s fossil fuel can we burn?”
In other words the fossil fuel companies have already according to these figures five times as many reserves on their balance sheets than they should be allowed to burn. Even if the figure might be only three times or double of the amount, which can safely be extracted, the last thing the fossil fuel industry needs is more reserves. If the companies would be honest with their shareholders and the stock exchange they would have to advise of the necessary write-downs of the reserves in their balance sheets.
Of course the fossil fuel industry are putting their heads in the sand and effectively sabotaging all efforts to curb CO2 emissions. They stand accused by former top UK climate diplomat of cynically blocking action on climate change by being ‘narcissistic, paranoid and psychopathic’ and being unable to contemplate low-carbon future. (Read more here)
There is a parallel campaign going to divest from fossil fuel companies. One example is the call of Anglican bishops urging fossil fuel divestment.
This is not only an ethical stance but makes perfect business sense as the value of their investment will go down as soon as the adjustments to the balance sheets will be made. The Rockefellers who know a bit about the oil industry having made their fortune in it are now divesting from fossil fuels. They call it their moral duty to divest from fossil fuels.
If the New Zealand government would pull their heads out of the sand they would see that they are not only backing a sunset industry but an immoral business model.
But true to its immoral form they instead ignore the science
and are aping that most infamous far right tea party darling and former vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin’s contribution to the fossil fuel /climate change debate :
Drill baby, drill !!!