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Frack off

Written By: - Date published: 8:19 am, July 3rd, 2011 - 41 comments
Categories: climate change, energy, International, Mining - Tags: , , ,

Bravo France, the first country in the world to ban fracking:

The French parliament voted on June 30 to ban the controversial technique for extracting natural gas from shale rock deposits known as hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, the web sites of Le Monde and other French media reported. …

Fracking requires the injection of vast quantities of water and potentially hazardous chemicals into the ground to force the release of natural gas. The U.S. government is investigating the environmental impact of the technique, which critics say produces toxic waste and pollutes water wells.

From another account:

Fracking, widely used in North America, uses a mixture of water, sand and chemicals injected under high pressure to break dense rock to release trapped oil and gas. Green groups and politicians led protests across France, saying the method could cause environmental damage. Government ministers and industry representatives say it is the only method currently available to extract hydrocarbons from the rock. …

Oil companies operating in France “deplore” the French ban, according to the Union Francaise des Industries Petrolieres, or UFIP, which represents Total SA (FP) and other explorers and refiners. UFIP, it said in a statement, “considers that the law will prevent an evaluation of shale hydrocarbon resources and their impact on the French economy.”

Nice to see one country stand up to the power of the oil companies, and take environmental concerns seriously for a change. But for every step forward in this world, we seem to take two steps backwards:

In the northern reaches of Alberta lies a vast reserve of oil that the United States views as a pillar of its future energy needs. China, with a growing appetite for oil that may one day surpass that of the US, is ready to spend the dollars for a big piece of it. The oil sands of this Canadian province are so big that they will be able to serve both of the world’s largest economies as production expands in the coming years. …

Critics dislike the whole concept of oil sands, because extracting the oil requires huge amounts of energy and water, increases greenhouse gas emissions and threatens rivers and forests. Keystone XL, the pipeline that would bring Alberta oil to Texas Gulf Coast refineries to serve the US market, compounds the issue.

There is a vast reserve of oil in these oil sands, but we have to leave it there. We are supposed to be reducing greenhouse gas emissions, not increasing them. We are supposed to be finding new, sustainable, green sources of energy, not turning to ever more expensive and polluting methods of extracting ever more climate destroying hydrocarbons from the earth. New Zealand is as bad as Canada, thanks to the “sexy coal” Nats and John “mine the lignite” Key. The world needs to follow France, and say when enough is enough, not follow Canada and New Zealand on the road to madness.

41 comments on “Frack off ”

  1. The skit from End CIV shows the tar sands in Alberta …………. it looks like something from the Lord of the Rings, Mordor was it?

    This is the biggest industrial operation on the planet, and it is only getting bigger, and will continue to do so until it can’t ……… voting will help lol 😉
    Oh and Kiwi Saver is dependent on it.

    • Draco T Bastard 1.1

      Culture-less, plastic civilisation

      I think that’s an apt description of our civilisation.

  2. Slightly out of context, but possibly the best place to share this
    http://www.pundit.co.nz/content/mike-joy-answers-the-pm-with-hard-facts

    Fresh water ecologist Dr Mike Joy responds to the Prime Minister’s ‘hardtalk’, debunking his bland assertions, and calling his advice “rubbish science”, that would fail a first-year student

    and

    On fresh water biodiversity: more than 60% of NZ native fresh water species are threatened. The global average is 37%. We are similar to South Africa (63% threatened), worse than both Europe (42% threatened), and the USA (37% threatened). On a series of lake quality measures (chlorophyll, total nitrogen, total phosphorus), New Zealand rates quite a lot worse than Canada on each measure, better than the United States on all three, worse than Europe on two.
    Turning to causes, he challenges the sustainability of intensive dairy farming in New Zealand, and the myth that the Resource Management Act protects the environment.
    Nitrogen fertiliser use has risen 700% in a decade; nitrogen levels at 77 fresh water sites are up. Lake pollution levels rise in correlation with more pastoral land — without factoring in land use intensity — and decline where there is a higher proportion of native land cover. And whereas the major impact on rivers is diffuse pollution, the RMA controls point source pollution. “What cows do in the shed [for which discharge consents are issued] is only a tiny proportion of what cows do.”

    So whether it is oil, coal, gas or cows, we are basically allowing the country to be screwed. Oh, and DOC, who are overseeing conservation have just culled 100 jobs.

    • Chris 2.1

      Awesome comment Ian! That’s a mint article. Isn’t it incredible how blinded we are to the realities of our times, we apparently want change and then put our faith in the hands of a banker after the financial crisis!
      I really think there needs to be some kind of massive shift in the education of people, as a society now not enough people give a stuff to pay attention to the things that will drastically affect them in the future. I almost think that more young people are once again awakening to the importance of being involved in the matters which will affect us all, but I think the real hope lies in the kids. Education has to be changed accordingly and kids should be taught the importance of critical thinking, the big problem with this is that there has to be a massive change in the people running the education system in order for this to work. We need something to bring about a change in consciousness I think, hah if only it were that simple…

      • Afewknowthetruth 2.1.1

        ‘Education has to be changed accordingly and kids should be taught the importance of critical thinking’

        The main purpose of formal education is to provide the slaves of the financial-industrial-military empire with enough information and skill to make them useful to the empire, while witholding information that would make them question the agendas of the empire.

        Over the past few decades we have witnessed a dumbing down of the content and a ramping up of political correctness in educational establishments.

        Change will come after collapse of the present system. Collapse is underway throughout much of the world and will come to NZ some time fairly soon.

        • ZeeBop 2.1.1.1

          Windmills kill eagles, so fracking is okay? But fracking kills ecosystems which eagles are the top off. Yet, on Kim a few weeks back that’s what the guest said, that fracking was better than windmills as windmills killed eagles.

          Sorry, but critical thinking can only work in a principled environment.

          But we don’t live in such a culture, our media is all about lying and we pay for it via adverts, adverts designed to get us to buy excesses, nicer packaging.

          We forgot our basic humanity, and are routinely told to by the MSM because profits matters more. The argument being if we don’t make profits we won’t be able to afford to live, house, heat our houses. Wait up, lots of people are going hungry, lining up at the food bank, living in damp homes, heating or food but not both.

          Sorry but all profits are not ‘good’ profits, and that’s the truth. We select our profit makers poorly, we choose shitsters over substance. So turn off your damn TVs already until the MSM get a backbone, principles and critical thinking too.

          We live in an age of lying and ignorance, we reward the best liars and dumbnuts!

        • KJT 2.1.1.2

          Nz’s new curriculum was designed to encourage critical thinking, research and interest in learning according to best practice after many years of research.

          This must have thrown the heebie jeebies up our Masters because in the middle of its implementation they have thrown in a spoiler in the form of NACT standards. An ideologically driven emphasise on a narrow range of skills.

          Not only has Teachers focus been taken away from the new curriculum, but all the information we could have gained on its effectiveness (or otherwise) as it is implemented will be muddied by the introduction of NACT standards. An ideological initiative which has actually been a proven failure overseas.
          BUT. As both were introduced at the same time we will never know for sure what the effects of either are.

          Oil companies will not have to worry about a population opposing fracking because they will not have sufficient critical skills to assess and understand the impact.

    • Draco T Bastard 2.2

      “The response from central government has been denial and misinformation.” The government, instead, is “emaciating DOC”, and “subsidising cows”.

      That pretty much sums up our government for the last 100+ years. 100 years ago it was kinda acceptable as we just didn’t know any better, now that we do know better continuing with those same policies is unacceptable and we need to wise up to that fact and stop doing it.

  3. Afewknowthetruth 3

    The government of France my not be quite as much under the thumb of the oil companies as the governments of the US, Britain, Canada, Australia, NZ etc.

    In Anglo-American countries the oil companies own the government, and what the oil companies want gets written into law…. higher speed limits, more roads, more drilling onshore, more drilling offshore, fracking, turning the landscape into a moonscape, turning the oceans into dead zones…. whatever the oil companies want they get.

    France is not standing on any moral high ground, of course. It’s just that France would rather buy natural gas from Algeria, or bomb Libya into submission and steal its natural gas, than have local environmental catastrophes.

    You’re right Robert, the corporations will keep doing it until they can’t. And it very much seems that people will keep voting for destruction of the planet they live on until they can’t.

  4. John D 4

    Shame really. Shale gas is a low carbon fuel (compared to coal)

    Of course, it is an easy decision for France to make, since it is ramping up its nuclear programme (presumably to provide power for those countries such as the UK that have decided to opt out of domestic production)

    • Reality Bytes 4.1

      I think the problem is not simply the carbon quotient of the end result fuel, but the means and costs of extracting it (toxic chemical leech-ates, energy costs etc).

      Some forms of energy actually require a very large amount of energy to extract them in the first place, obviously it’s not 100%+ or there would be no point, but it could easily exceed 50%+. And all this has a cumulative effect on the ultimate waste products of that production and consumption of fuel unit. i.e. if it takes half a litre to extract a litre of oil (or gas or whatever), then that litre of fuel in you car (or bbq etc), then it’s really doing the damage of 1.5 litres of fuel use. Lets not forget there is shipping, energy required for refining etc… Reality is a litre of car fuel is a lot more carbon getting dumped into the ecosystem than the immediate amount of carbon that litre of fuel produces.

  5. Viv 5

    L & M mining want to exploit shale gas here in NZ. France banning the process is big news. NZer’s should know that a country that does permit nuclear, won’t allow fracking.

    John D- you have to look at all the huge energy and resource inputs that are required to extract shale gas and not just claim that it is low carbon because the end product releases less carbon dioxide than coal. And what about the release of methane from fracking? Sure methane is a shorter lived greenhouse gas (10-15 years compared to CO2 100years), but the next 10 years are critical in trying to slow global warming.

    Fracking is just further evidence of the desperation of energy companies, going down even more extreme paths like an alcoholic turning to meths when what they really need to do is stop & change direction.

    • ZeeBop 5.1

      Its both supply and demand, if we put a true cost on the prices of goods and services, as reflected in the future price of oil in 10 or 20 years, then we’d all be buying a large chunk of meat and cutting it up at home not having the super markets butcher it, put chemicals in it, etc and then package it with plastic. Our whole economy is rigged to create churn jobs, jobs that we all could do more cheaply and efficiently at home if we had one bread winner per family, and we had contiguous low cost public transport and free broadband to everyone. There’s huge savings to be had on the energy front by people who heat their homes only to go out all day and work in a heated office, who drive to work when they could cycle (and save healthcare costs), who have to supermarket dive to find the lowest prices of basic commodities because we do not have a free market in retail in NZ. The whole way we run our economy is to provide the luxury of profits to a landlord global class, and its not worth it, really not worth it on so many levels, social, economic, cultural, environmental.

      Our proto fascist government is desperate to loss the next election by any means because they know victory will hurt them, their families and their nation, if only middle NZ would also wake up to the fact that stupid people who argue against climate change, CGT, welfare, are not in any shape or form good for their wallet, their society or their economy, in the present or future. The past is littered with debt and lost opportunities.

      Anyone who votes National in November is a cruel inhumane being without a smidgeon of conscience. Taxs cuts fair and balanced, won’t touch kiwisaver until next term, oh, please the list is growing by the week, how can anyone think National can be trusted.

      • Colonial Viper 5.1.1

        jobs that we all could do more cheaply and efficiently at home if we had one bread winner per family, and we had contiguous low cost public transport and free broadband to everyone.

        In order to suck labour back out of the workforce and back into the home we need sufficient wage levels and working conditions where

        – One full time bread winner (or 2 half time ones) can support the whole family.
        – It is quite possible for a single adult to support themselves with just 3-4 days work a week.

        • ZeeBop 5.1.1.1

          Profits aren’t made by mollycoddling businesses and banks. That’s the mistake we’ve made.

          Because we wanted more profits we went soft on capitalists and they pocketed the common wealth had we gone the other way, stress over performing areas more, and supported under performing – manufacturing, broadband. Hey even roading back in the 50s, why exactly didn’t we have a dual carriageway from Auckland to Wellington back in the 50s????

          Sorry, but when you heard enough people who say trains are inefficient, even as you point out Buffet is investing in rail. And rail contours the land by the most direct route meaning the low energy route, and trucks just cost more, they just don’t want a bar of it. That’s growth right there being flushed away by ignorance.

    • grumpy 5.2

      So, are you saying that Nuclear is preferable….????

      • joe90 5.2.1

        Bio-fuels aren’t looking too flash either with corporate land grabs in Kenya and elsewhere in Africa.

        • ZeeBop 5.2.1.1

          Council pump shit into lagoons, all we need is to brow algae and make it into fuel.

          Council debt will be wiped out.

          Put people to work rebuilding the housing stock properly, double glazing, insulated, and the economy would be buzzing.

          If the project to get algae to fuel works, and massive dumping of the private motor vehicle, then there is no reason to worry excessively.

          But worry we do because National are incompetent.

          • joe90 5.2.1.1.1

            Energy: the new thirty years’ war.

            Why 30 years? Because that’s how long it will take for experimental energy systems like hydrogen power, cellulosic ethanol, wave power, algae fuel, and advanced nuclear reactors to make it from the laboratory to fullscale industrial development. Some of these systems (as well, undoubtedly, as others not yet on our radar screens) will survive the winnowing process. Some will not. And there is little way to predict how it will go at this stage in the game. At the same time the use of existing fuels like oil and coal, which spew carbon dioxide into the atmosphere, is likely to plummet, thanks both to diminished supplies and rising concerns over the growing dangers of carbon emissions.

            • Colonial Viper 5.2.1.1.1.1

              Yeah no sorry, the author is well intentioned and right about many things but he’s missed a small little detail.

              It takes a massive amount of power to develop and test new energy sources like hydrogen, thorium and fusion.

              And there’s the rub. If we had expended materials and energy on this while they were extremely plentiful and cheap, we might possibly just get there. In fact the Club of Rome suggested that the 1970’s or the 1980’s was the time to really get stuck in to it.

              Its a bit late now. Trying to develop these energy programmes to full scale commercialistion while suffering ever increasing energy costs and shortages as you do it won’t just blow budgets and slow development. Its likely to torpedo the chances of final success.

              Similar to trying to learn to swim on the Titanic as the water reaches your neck, in other words.

              Imagine trying to deploy a new generation of electric or hydrogen cars when you don’t have the coal left to refine steel or oil left to ship the finished product.

              Most energy analysts expect conventional oil output – that is, liquid oil derived from fields on land and in shallow coastal waters – to reach a production peak in the next few years and then begin an irreversible decline.

              Wow. Peak conventional oil production happened. Five. Maybe six. Years ago.

            • Kiwiiano 5.2.1.1.1.2

              30 years? The Manhattan Project took maybe 5 years from the first meetings to Trinity. I would have thought that the opportunity to save civilization would demand similar enthusiasm. Wind power really only took off as a serious contributor to grids in the last decade and we’re already seeing problems arising with too much wind power being generated. The others you cite could be just as productive if the huge sums being devoted to persisting with fossil carbon could be redirected to more useful ends.

              • Colonial Viper

                30 years? The Manhattan Project took maybe 5 years from the first meetings to Trinity. I would have thought that the opportunity to save civilization would demand similar enthusiasm.

                – But how long after Trinity before the first 1GW civilian reactor was commissioned? It’s one thing to have an uncontrolled reaction or a pilot reactor in a lab. It’s another thing to have a viable energy source of scale. Put another way: hydrogen bombs have been around since the 1950’s. 6 decades later and we still do not have a working fusion reactor.

                – No ones interested in saving civilisation if there ain’t money in it. If we were really interested in saving civilisation we would phase private road transport out at 4%-5% per year and replace it with trains and other public transport. Something so easy – few have the stomach for it.

                – Notice how the private sector didn’t build CERN? Only governments do this kind of work because the private sector won’t outlay on million to one risks with no hope of improving this or next financial years’ results for their shareholders. And currently, governments around the world have no fiscal appetite for putting tens of billions more into fusion and similar.

  6. Alice 6

    I will write later.

  7. Alice 7

    Your days as a multi media star (cringe) are over; congratulations you have killed yourself off. The best move of your life. Sometimes you have to hit rock bottom to see the light.

    Rebirth-

    Who wants to be a multi media star when you can be a REAL Investigative journalist?

    Life is looking better already don’t you think?

  8. Alice 8

    Your days as a multi media star (cringe) are over; congratulations you have killed yourself off. The best move of your life. Sometimes you have to hit rock bottom to see the light.

    Rebirth-

    Who wants to be a multi media star when you can be a REAL Investigative journalist?

    Life is looking better already, don’t you think?

  9. Alice 9

    Stop worrying, stop worrying, stop worrying.

    Everything is going to be alright!

    If you wonder why I get a bit sad, I just am upset about minor issues, every now and again girls (and boys) cry, no big deal. But I am not worried about either you or I dying, as I know it isn’t going to happen.

    Stop worrying.

  10. Colonial Viper 10

    Well, human beings who think that they will be able to carry on the next 10 years like the 10 just gone have another think coming.

    A long lasting rollercoaster of financial crises and economic instabilities is nigh.

    • U 4 United 10.1

      Well the French certainly knew how to frack the hell out of Mururoa. (Slight pun intended.)
      I predict a long lasting rollercoaster of ignorant doomsayers predicting economic calamity is nigh! Nothing new and original in negativity is there?

      • Colonial Viper 10.1.1

        Hmmmm. If you are one of the millions of Greek and Irish citizens facing long term unemployment and the destruction of your retirement savings, then economic calamity is not merely nigh, its already happened.

        The US has several million long term unemployed (>12 months out of work) , also its suffered millions of home foreclosures. For them economic calamity is not merely nigh, it's already happened.

        • Kiwiiano 10.1.1.1

          Welcome to New Zealand. My retirement savings are almost all road-kill, in spite of being in several different baskets and while the OAP is still enough to get by on, I’m waiting for the other boot to drop, when the US economy tanks and takes NZ with it. Meanwhile I’m faced with working until I drop. I’ll concede that it’s great that I am still able to work, that I do have a job, but there is a sinking lid policy in place.
          It’s a pity the powers-that-be aren’t pursuing a few more fraudsters with the same vigour they’re hounding Hubbard, not that it would get any of the magical mysterious missing money back.

  11. Alice 11

    I don’t believe you ‘want’ to rape me, because I don’t believe you want to hurt me- I believe you have hit rock bottom and you have thoughts of rape- as well as- suicide, murder, and having a nervous breakdown.

    I believe that you are sexually attracted to me and I believe you fantasize about rape but in actually ‘reality’ I think you admire me too much to hurt me plus you are too enchanted by me, I doubt you would be able to actually come into my physical space.

    You feel you have reached a point in your life where you are dissatisfied with yourself, your career, your marriage and your fraudulent existence and to make it even worse- you know you have brought it all on yourself.

    But you now have a person, on your side- who believes in you, and you are finding it all too overwhelming and like usual you want to take the easy way out.

    But you won’t take the easy way out because the rewards are too great and everlasting- if you do the right thing.

    You will what is right, because you now have a reason to live, and for once in your life- you are truly needed.

  12. Alice 12

    I don’t believe you ‘want’ to rape me, because I don’t believe you want to hurt me- I believe you have hit rock bottom and you have thoughts of rape- as well as- suicide, murder, and having a nervous breakdown.

    I believe that you are sexually attracted to me and I believe you fantasize about rape but in actually ‘reality’ I think you admire me too much to hurt me plus you are too enchanted by me, I doubt you would be able to actually come into my physical space.

    You feel you have reached a point in your life where you are dissatisfied with yourself, your career, your marriage and your fraudulent existence and to make it even worse- you know you have brought it all on yourself.

    But you now have a person, on your side- who believes in you, and you are finding it all too overwhelming and like usual you want to take the easy way out.

    But you won’t take the easy way out because the rewards are too great and everlasting- if you do the right thing.

    You will do what is right, because you now have a reason to live, and for once in your life- you are truly needed.

  13. Alice 13

    Reality bites-

    For fucks sake you are so negative no wonder your life is a load of shit.

    Look on the bright side, is it really so bad, you’re a little scared but is it really so bad?

    Chin up. You will never get anyway facing the ground.

    Positive attitude is important!.

    Stop feeling sorry for yourself and get to work!

  14. Alice 14

    Reality bites-

    For fucks sake you are so negative no wonder your life is a load of shit.

    Look on the bright side, is it really so bad, you’re a little scared but is it really so bad?

    Chin up. You will never get anyway facing the ground.

    Positive attitude is important!.

    Stop feeling sorry for yourself and get to work.

  15. Alice 15

    Looking at life from a different angle is new.
    You like exploring and I’m sure you will be interested to see where this direction takes you.

    So each time you feel down, don’t give in, if you fall down- get up, on your feet again!!

    Never give in, never give up and never stop believing in yourself.

    Stay positive, always, and once again NEVER stop believing in yourself.

  16. Alice 16

    Looking at life from a different angle is new.

    You like exploring and I’m sure you will be interested to see where this direction takes you.

    So each time you feel down, don’t give in, if you fall down- get up, on your feet again!!

    Never give in, never give up and never stop believing in yourself.

    Stay positive, always, and once again NEVER stop believing in yourself.

  17. Alice 17

    Don’t give me this Anthony crap.

    Look your merging into ARES now, and one thing ARES does (this I know) he respects his Mother, honours Her and loves Her wholeheartedly.

    ARES is a Man, not a ditzy twisted little child.

    Rule Number One- You don’t diss your Mother!

  18. Alice 18

    Your so disgusting and you are a fucking pervert.

    I have natural bran and oat bran in my porridge every morning. I eat certain foods ‘purposely’ to clean out my system. After being on the Methadone where you are always constipated- I found it felt much better if I ate foods that cleaned out the system daily.

    I don’t like storing shit in my system; I prefer to get it out, as it is healthier and much more refreshing and I never feel bloated or stodgy or sick.

    I live ‘by myself’ as a single girl and I want to remain ‘feeling’ healthy and having a system that ‘works’ properly.

    If I fart that is of my concern and it is none of your business. If you had been on the Methadone yourself you would know that it fucking sucks and living life with a clean bowel daily is a much better option.

    I may have a slight irritable bowel, but at least I have a fucking clean healthy bowel.

    And no I have never had anal sex, somehow I never felt the need, I was satisfied by my previous lovers and I didn’t need to go there and my greatest lover Matthew always desired me as a female, and was satisfied loving me as a female. Unlike you I don’t desire to have my arse fucked or to fuck a sheep ass!

    You are so disgusting.

  19. Alice 19

    Some people are attached to the land, my homeland, I feel, is everywhere.

  20. Alice 20

    If there is one team that works, that really truly works, it will be- you and me!

  21. Go ask Alice !!!

    Alice, Alice ???…who the fuck is Alice ???

    [lprent: Don’t ask me. But the anti-spam doesn’t like it. There were about 40 comments in the spam this morning. But they did appear to be written by a human.. ]

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