Comparing oil and gas to munitions

January 10th, 2014 at 2:00 pm by David Farrar

Pete George blogs:

Dunedin City councillor suggests and gas is unethical, and she wants council guidelines that rule out using staff time or resources on anything deemed to be unethical.

Her exact words are:

Working to attract unethical industry to our city (and expending ratepayers’ resource to do so) feels to me a highly dubious activity for Council to be engaged in. I would very much hope we wouldn’t do it for cigarettes or munitions – what’s the difference with oil and gas, when science tells us the fruits of that industry will also erode the livelihoods of, and cause misery for, millions of people?

I can only presume that Cr McTavish lives up to her noble principles and not only does she refuse to smoke or own guns, but she also refuses to travel on any vehicle that uses oil, and go to any house that uses gas.

It’s one thing to oppose a specific project, but McTavish says the entire oil and gas industry is akin to munitions and causes misery. Surely then she is not such a hypocrite that she allows herself to benefit from them?

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37 Responses to “Comparing oil and gas to munitions”

  1. lolitasbrother (353 comments) says:

    why do we vote for idiots, there must be some reason
    and when we find they are idiots can not we be rid of them ,
    may be it is time for a violent upheaval

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  2. tknorriss (326 comments) says:

    Bicycles have bearings that require oil/greasing so she shouldn’t use one of those. Most plastics are comprised of oil as well. So, unless she has all-leather shoes, she should probably be going everywhere barefoot.

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  3. Pete George (21,828 comments) says:

    Jinty has since added a few comments on this.

    I’m suggesting that it’s unethical for us not to do what we can to reduce our societal reliance on fossil fuels as quickly as we can. For me, that means trying to limit the amount of fossil fuels I consume, but also working to change the system upon which we all rely, to ensure everyone is able to make those choices more easily.

    On oil/gas royalties:

    Hence why I think I feel pretty comfortable with the DCC using resource to advocate for regional distribution of royalties.

    So she accepts some fossil fuel use as long as we reduce our reliance as quickly as we can, but in the meantime any royalties from them should be shared amongst the regions.

    I wonder what her (and the Green and GenZero) position would be if offshore drilling here would provide resources that would enable us to reduce our reliance on fossil fuels more quickly? Green alternative energy policies need investment, that money has to come from somewhere.

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  4. Joanne (177 comments) says:

    Another local body wally. These wallies seem unable to connect an increase in jobs and promoting the industries. They are the NIMBYs people.

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  5. flipper (3,274 comments) says:

    It is Dunedin 2014, sadly worse than everywhere else – except for the Coromandel.

    Someone mentioned the other day how wonderful it is to have an “independently minded, locally-owned newspaper”, namely the ODT. Nutters like McTavish, Curran, Parker and the failed (lapsed?) parson, Clark, seem to get plenty of support from the silly (circa 2013/4) ODT.

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  6. RF (1,132 comments) says:

    Dunedin’s version of Penny Bright.

    Where do these idiots come from ?

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  7. Pete George (21,828 comments) says:

    A Pro Oil and Gas Facebook page has been set up – https://www.facebook.com/pages/Pro-oil-and-gas-Otago/202345206637605
    They are seeking Likes.

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  8. flipper (3,274 comments) says:

    **** “…Green alternative energy policies need investment, that money has to come from somewhere.” ***

    Absolute rubbish.
    Please name one “alternative/green” power source that competes without a massive taxpayer subsidy.
    And all those “green jobs”…. 2.3 LOST, for every one created. Way to go, Dunedin. But don’t complain when you catch the Spanish-Greek-Portugal-Italian and USofA et a,l disease. :-)

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  9. dime (8,778 comments) says:

    nut job

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  10. the deity formerly known as nigel6888 (856 comments) says:

    What’s wrong with munitions anyway? I guess Wanganui is quite pleased that belmont ammunition has been operating from their town making money and employing people for years? Rotorua has (or had) Kilwell

    NZ has over 400,000 citizens with firearms licenses, are they evil too?

    There are many local gunsmiths and retailers all of whom pay rates and taxes and employ people, are they all evil too?

    Or it could be just some local government numpty on the best earning wicket of their entire lives who suddenly thinks their opinion matters.

    I guess as she digs and smelts the iron to make her bicycle without using any evil fossil fuels, she can enlighten us further on how she plans to remove our dependency on abundant cheap energy…

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  11. Pete George (21,828 comments) says:

    flipper – not power sources necessarily, but power conservation. For example if all houses in Dunedin were insulated and doubled glazed it would substantially reduce energy requirements and emissions.

    If I got a better paying job in the gas industry one of the first home improvements I’d make would be double glazing.

    DCC have sent someone to the US to investigate LED street lighting (it must have been in Tuesday because he forgot to turn the lights off, they were on all day). I’m not sure why that travel was necessary, but if investing in LED lighting had a reasonable chance of saving money (on power and replacement bulbs) in the medium term then it would be a worthwhile investment.

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  12. Ed Snack (1,539 comments) says:

    Pete, power conservation NEVER delivers the savings claimed for it. I would bet that most houses in Dunedin are already well insulated, but few are double glazed because of the cost of doing so especially on old houses. Yes you could save some, but less than you think. And there are drawbacks as well.

    As for LED street lighting, as soon as the economics stack up everyone will do it, simple. And the economics are pretty easy to work out, so it’s just the practicalities, such as do LEDs yet make good street lights ? The same holds for a lot of Solar power, now is the wrong time to invest in anything but research on it. There are significant advances happening in the efficiency (and in lowering the cost) of solar electricity, and also advances in battery technology for that critical task of storing electricity. Subsidizing spend (and I’m accusing you of supporting that) is simply cronyism disguised as “saving the planet”.

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  13. Nigel Kearney (747 comments) says:

    Everyone has missed the point so far. Intelligence is a bell curve so there will always be idiots spouting nonsense and the thing to do is just ignore them. The only problem here is that the idiot is a councillor and the solution to that is to stop using STV.

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  14. Pete George (21,828 comments) says:

    The only problem here is that the idiot is a councillor…

    No, that’s not the only problem (and she’s not an idiot, she’s very clever albeit a bit impractical, misguided and ideological). There are other councillors with similar views and they mayor isn’t far off that position either and seems to be significantly influenced by or in agreement with Jinty. There are also sympathetic council employs. And a strong Green and GenZero lobby in Dunedin that knows how to work the democratic system.

    …and the solution to that is to stop using STV.

    That’s not a solution. It’s unlikely to change, and even if it does it won’t help this term which still has nearly three years to run.

    But it has been heartening to see what looks like very strong public support for boosting Dunedin business, and media coverage has so far been favourable as well.

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  15. Sidey (231 comments) says:

    Perhaps some gentle stalking is in order Pete, a few photos of this silly bint climbing out of an oil-guzzling car, riding a bike made using oil in the steel-making process, taking a big smokey, diesel bus, walking on shoes made from processes that use oil in the materials and made on machinery that needs oil to keep running.

    I’m sure our local fire-starter rag will be only too happy to print such a montage to assist in pointing out how mental some of these plonkers are….

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  16. Pete George (21,828 comments) says:

    Ed – not subsidising. I’ve had a good look at cost effectiveness and over recent years have installed a more efficient wood burner, a heat pump and far better insulation. I’ve costed double glazing and it will easily pay for itself but will take a decade or two (and will continue to save for many more decades) and requires quite a bit of investment up front.

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  17. Pete George (21,828 comments) says:

    Sidey – there may be some photo opportunities at Hands Off Our Harbour – National Deep Sea Drilling Protest.

    Ironically apart from the dredged shipping channel the harbour is very shallow, much of it is mud flats at low tide.

    There will be boats, kayaks, canoes, waka, dingys, blowups, and all other water faring vessels in the water to protest against deep sea drilling planned for Aotearoa, most immediately the drilling planned off Otago’s Coast, in early 2014.

    Specifically, we will be conducting a blockade of the commercial channel for our Harbour; between Goat and Quarantine Island.

    This nonviolent and legal protest is a symbol and a practice run to show Anadarko and Shell that we will not tolerate them in our waters.

    Do you have a any kind of water vessel that can be involved, big or small? PLEASE comment on this page and we will contact you.

    No vessel? No problem! We have places for you on vessels and on the island to be in the action!

    They have been careful to exclude oil from those craft mentioned, except for the plastics.

    They have a right to protest, fair enough. But I think they’ll find it difficult to convince most of the citizens against business and jobs.

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  18. Pete George (21,828 comments) says:

    Dene Mackenzie ‏@mackersline

    Five people turn up to oil free Dunedin campaign launch. Worth the trip @GarethMP ? #jobsareimportant

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  19. Kleva Kiwi (267 comments) says:

    And when a LNG or fishing trawler goes past goat island on their way to dock up in the basin, all those useless idiots will need to get out of the way as maritime law dictates small vessels must make way for large ones, especially in commercial shipping lanes.

    There is no way a commercial LNG tanker can safely stop around goat island without major risk of grounding.

    In many ways I hope the protest works and the Oil & Gas industry looks past Dunedin and settles in Invercargill, a much more suitable and welcoming city

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  20. holysheet (196 comments) says:

    Sidney said Perhaps some gentle stalking is in order Pete, a few photos of this silly bint climbing out of an oil-guzzling car, riding a bike made using oil in the steel-making process, taking a big smokey, diesel bus, walking on shoes made from processes that use oil in the materials and made on machinery that needs oil to keep running.

    Don’t forget her knickers and bra are oil based, unless she doesn’t wear them. Nowdays almost everything has a component of oil in it.
    From the milk bottle to the computer she uses at work or do they use an abacus in the DCC?

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  21. tvb (3,945 comments) says:

    Dunedin survives on the confiscated wealth of mainly north island taxpayers. This oil industry gives Dubedin a chance to be a winner instead of a loser city it currently is. This feckless councillor is a real tosser.

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  22. alex Masterley (1,439 comments) says:

    The gap where these idiots plan place their blockade has pretty strong tidal currents. On a windy day wind against tide throuws up a nasty chop and wind with tide means any one who can’t hold station will end up well up or down harbour before they know it.
    There is also the small issue of the harbour regulations which give priority to vessels in excess of 500 tonnes within harbours. If there are shipping movements in the channel then those movements will have priority. In theory.

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  23. Pete George (21,828 comments) says:

    No shipping movements scheduled at the time of the protest noon-3 pm Sunday.

    Response to “It’s a bad time of year, short term citizens who don’t need jobs here are out of town for holidays.”
    Dene Mackenzie ‏@mackersline

    Rent-a-mob on holiday. Sad but true. Real people see through the BS. We have our own Green MP, don’t need a fly-in.

    There’s a SW change due through on Sunday.

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  24. alex Masterley (1,439 comments) says:

    And I forgot to add the harbour, is you fall in, pretty cold. Back in the dark ages when I sailed in dunedin exposure was a risk if you capsized your p class.

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  25. alex Masterley (1,439 comments) says:

    PG, if there are no movements scheduled it will be a waste of time with idiots milling around aimlessly.

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  26. alex Masterley (1,439 comments) says:

    PG, again, the Sw change will happen about the turn of the tide. Could be fun. Wish I could potter down to watch the fun.

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  27. Pete George (21,828 comments) says:

    Mike Stanley
    “Also if there is no shipping due how can it be called a blockade. Wouldn’t you need something to block?”

    Oil Free Otago
    “Hi Mike, this action is a symbolic blockade which is a message to Anadarko and Shell that we are prepared to stand up to them if they choose to set up here commercially.”

    More Green Peas
    “I will be coming from Portobello side. What time are people due at the blockade? What if the weather is really bad?”

    “You will get seasick and fall out of your boat”.

    Lifejackets are being insisted on. Even that got a comment:
    “Won’t the lifejackets be made of oil by-products?”

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  28. Colville (1,780 comments) says:

    Where can I get a “Drill here now – Welcome Andarko” bumper sticker?
    My sainted ole Mum might set fire to my (gas guzzling 4WD) car tho if I park outside her house :-)

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  29. peterwn (2,939 comments) says:

    The lefties in the Anglican Church in the Wellington Diocese persuaded the Synod (the governing body) to take this attitude with regards to investment of church funds. Some economist there rationalised this by saying oil and gas exploration was a poor investment as consumption would drop dramatically with global warming energy restrictions. Never mind that a bounteous supply of gas in the South Island would enable coal fired boilers in schools etc to be converted to gas with obvious environmental advantage.

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  30. J Bloggs (100 comments) says:

    All the better for Invercargill…..

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  31. Johnboy (13,424 comments) says:

    If it gets too rough for the protest on Otago harbour on Sunday here’s a tip: :)

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  32. Pete George (21,828 comments) says:

    Cr MacTavish has been asked on Facebook “Presumably you are going to take a principled stand and boycott all the products of the oil and gas industry as you believe they are unethical?”

    She responded:

    I personally don’t own a private motor vehicle – I ride, walk and bus as much as I possibly can – and I take other measures to reduce my carbon emissions as far as practicable.

    Yes, because of the society we live in and the systems our society has built over time, all of us rely on fossil fuels to some extent or another, and I’m no different. I’m super aware of that, and it’s entirely possible I will look back in 10 years time and wish I’d taken steps to further reduce my carbon consumption.

    An option that’s available to me would be to try to avoid any part of our society that uses fossil fuels…but making that call would mean I couldn’t contribute much to changing the system!

    For me, it’s not about judging people for their use of fossil fuels, it’s about acknowledging that we’re all in this boat together, and that we collectively need to be moving away from damaging fuel sources.

    In my view, it’s a challenge for our whole society, and we need a society-wide response – to change this to the extent that we possibly can, to avoid the misery that would be associated with climate change over 2 degrees of warming.

    I’m not perfect, I don’t claim to be – but I don’t think that makes additional fossil fuel exploration a more sensible or ethical thing to be investing ratepayers’ resources in.

    That acknowledges the reality of the pervasiveness of oil use in our society. It also appears to soften her stance on “unethical”.

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  33. Dave Mann (1,127 comments) says:

    I know that you and many others have made this point, DPF, but I think it bears emphasising again. Fuckwits like this woman are actually saying, by their statements, that human civilization should go back to a middle ages standard of living. OK, we can laugh at that…. but its no laughing matter when you consider that this is the core belief of an increasing proportion of people as the sick perversion of greenism takes over their minds.

    On one level its hilarious that somebody could be so absolutely stupid: on another level, though, its terrifying to think of the consequences that this can have on our whole civilization. Its like a cancer.

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  34. jonnobanks (140 comments) says:

    Met her once in Wellington, she certainly did not walk and swim up here.

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  35. niggly (779 comments) says:

    Tim Shadbolt and the Invercargill City Council must be rubbing their hands in glee and the DCC doofus’!

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  36. Monique Angel (229 comments) says:

    I just don’t know if women should be in politics. And is she WCC Iona Pannett’s missing twin sister?

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  37. jaba (2,069 comments) says:

    don’t get too happy for Invercargill just yet .. they have a nut-job from Riverton on their council as well.

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