'David and Goliath' quest

David killed Goliath, and the Oil Free Otago flotilla set to sail tonight can stop the Anadarko drill ship, the Rev Peter Matheson says.

Mr Matheson (75) said he would be aboard the lead flotilla yacht SV Tiama when it left Dunedin tonight to confront the Anadarko drill ship Noble Bob Douglas at the drill site 65km from Taiaroa Head.

Although confronting the drill ship of an oil giant on a small yacht was as ridiculous as David fighting Goliath, the outcome could be similar, Mr Matheson said.

''Anyone remember who won?''A similar fight was won by anti-nuclear protesters in the 1980s, he said.

Also set to board SV Tiama is Bob Lloyd, associate professor and director of energy studies at the University of Otago physics department. Prof Lloyd (65) said he would ask the drill ship crew, via radio on the protest yacht, to halt its New Zealand drilling operations.

He would ask they stop their search and focus on discovering renewable energy, such as solar panels and wind turbines.

But the money to be made would make their hearing selective, he predicted.

''The amount of oil, gas and coal in the ground is worth around $100 trillion to $200 trillion. That's a lot of vested interest.''

Oil Free Otago spokeswoman Niamh O'Flynn said Noble Bob Douglas was expected to arrive in Otago to drill this weekend.

The boats in the flotilla include SV Tiama, skippered by Henk Haazen, and Erewhon, skippered by Invercargill teacher Carlos Legaz.

- shawn.mcavinue@odt.co.nz

Definition of a hypocrite

A good answer Ian and I see you have cleverly avoided the fact that a gradual change to more efficient energy use in the future will require oil to produce new products and technology. Be that as it may, I wouldn't call those efforts hypocritical. It is much better to play the ball and not the man.

Recent climate events

John: We shouldn't ignore the problems, but put a solution in place before we throw the baby out with the bathwater - and no matter how much anyone protests that the green economy is burgeoning and fantastic, there is no viable alternative to hydrocarbon (or mining) based products for our modern gadgets and lifestyle.
To continue to use these things whilst protesting against them is (in my mind) hypocritical. And what's the alternative? A return to a simpler, closer to the land lifestyle? People have spent the last x years trying to get away from that, so good luck selling it as an option.
My solution? Incentivise green energy production and make it mandatory for new builds. Make it cheaper for lower emission cars to use the roads (the UK does this). Hit up oil companies for research money into green energy that must be spent in country - Brazil do this with their oil JV partners, BG are forced to spend $600m a year on research in Brazil.
Getting away from the need for petroleum products for consumer goods and electronics is trickier - I have no answer for that one and haven't heard any answer from the green side either. 

What problem is that?

What problem is that? The one that some people choose to believe , and the rest of us don't. I remember 30-odd years ago it snowed in the small town I lived in on the West Coast on Xmas Day, but it has not happened since. Maybe if this happened more often I would agree, but it hasn't nor have I seen any real warming or cooling in Duunedin over the last 20 years. Oh sure, from time to time we get a warmer drier winter or a colder wetter summer. But if warming was really happening this would happen every year, not just once in a blue moon, and every year it would get wrose. But then maybe pigs do really fly.

Cause and effect

I have a question for you Ian. In view of recent climate events in the Philippines, USA and UK and this weekends fire problems in Victoria caused by high temperatures, do you think we should continue to ignore the problem?


Don't get on your iPad as John suggests - they're made of hydrocarbon products. Get in your car and use a computer at the library.... oh wait, you'd use petrol to get there and are still going to use a machine made of oil....

Bit of a dilemma here. Someone asking us to protest by using the very products we'd be protesting against.


That's his title. Since when did we expect all to hold the same view?

David and Goliath

Please do not use the honorific "Rev" or a biblical illustration in this political protest as the issue is complex and many in the church will hold a different view and will take a different approach. If the status of the ordained ministry is to be used and scripture appealed to then please address the catastrophic decline of Presbyterian affiliation in Dunedin and the public's apparent loss of confidence in the ministry of the church.

On the contrary

On the contrary. I consider these 'fossils' very brave. They have lived long enough to witness the consequences of remaining passive. (Oh, and why do those with another opionion have to insult others in order to say have their say?).  

Godspeed protesters

Showing which side you're on at this stage of the climatic catrastophe which faces us will be judged by future generations as an heroic act against the unfettered greed of big oil and their political poodles. Please wake up people and use your iPads to research what is at stake if we continue to release Co2 into the earth's atmosphere.

So the objective here is confrontation

The first sentence in this report makes it clear that the objective of this group is confrontation. What a foolish decision. As if the shipboard crew have any say on investing in alternative energy sources.

If these people really want to make a difference, they should talk to the management of the oil and drilling companies. But this won't make headlines, will it?

And, if these people get injured it will be everyone else's fault but theirs, I imagine.

Despite their age, it may be time for these fossils to grow up.

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