Message delivered, flotilla heads back

Supporters wave to SV Tiama (left) and Erewhon as the yachts sail past Ravensbourne on Saturday. Photo by Peter McIntosh.
Supporters wave to SV Tiama (left) and Erewhon as the yachts sail past Ravensbourne on Saturday. Photo by Peter McIntosh.
Two Oil Free Otago flotilla yachts came ''face to face'' with Anadarko's drill ship last night and delivered a protest message, Oil Free Otago said in a statement last night.

At 8pm, SV Tiama and Erewhon ''occupied'' the intended drill site, about 60km off the coast, while observing the 500m legal exclusion zone around the drill ship Noble Bob Douglas. They are expected to return this morning to the Birch St wharf.

''Via radio, the Otago community leaders on board the SV Tiama voiced their opposition to the drilling plans to the captain of the drill ship as it approached.

''Each person spoke to their area of expertise, ranging from climate change to concerns for fisheries, but all came together to share a common message - stop deep-sea drilling off our coast,'' the statement said.

The Rev Dr Peter Matheson told the captain of the ship: ''Anadarko's actions are criminally irresponsible, and, from my religious perspective, structurally sinful. There will be no blessing upon them.''

Asked what the short trip achieved, group spokesman Dwayne Daly told the Otago Daily Times the flotilla delivered the message that many local people opposed the exploration.

The group had no interest in obstructing the drill ship's work, and Mr Daly did not see any point in staying longer than needed.

''I don't think there's a great deal of point in staying out there for days on end,'' Mr Daly said.

The flotilla, including a third yacht, Evohe, was farewelled from Birch St wharf on Saturday by about 50 people. Many cheered the flotilla, calling out messages of support, but a few people jeered at the protesters.

Anadarko New Zealand manager Alan Seay declined to comment when contacted last night.


Should we all hold our breath?

Maybe if the seven billion inhabitants of planet Earth all held their breath for let's say a week the level of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere would drop to acceptable levels, as regular exhalation must also be a contributing factor, perhaps we could all carry an exhalation bag to capture those nasty gases.

With petrol prices at all time lows I didn't think we were anywhere near peak oil production, I have a company fuel card and drive everywhere with the A/C on and will continue to do so, while holding my breath to offset the carbon.

Thinking oneself off the planet

This can cause lasting damage - it's a form of escape.

Think practical - do you forget DHB issues from the real world?

Versions of reality

Yet more whinging and moaning about how oil is bad but NO alternatives put forward and a bunch of very subjective links. Check out for a more balanced view.

Yes, oil exploration and production is becoming more expensive and it should be. Once it becomes too expensive, then maybe, just maybe there will be a shift towards a greener future. Start working on alternatives now and start cutting energy use now, but there will still be a role for hydrocarbon products for many years to come - if not we'll be back to being a nation of earthy crunchy subsistence farmers bartering with shiny beads.

Industry - How do you persuade industry to cut emissions and build more friendly offices and factories? Profit is king.
Transport - more eco friendly cars. Emissions in the UK have been cut by 10% in the last 10 years with smaller more efficient cars and variable road user fees.
Power generation - no more coal fired power stations. Incentivise small scale home generation.
Buildings - insulate. Bring building standards out of the 1950's so that less energy is used.

No I blinkin' don't

Think it's a good idea. At The End, a lone person will wander in a waste howling wilderness from which everything has been extracted, looking for an electric socket, just to play the last Lady Gaga record. I deplore all of it, but prefer alleged humour to conflictual comment.

Reality is hard to accept

Boldor, speedfreak43, Albert Square - I guess you think this is a good idea then? 

It's hard to accept that oil reserves we're having to access are becoming uneconomic to extract, but it's the sad reality I'm afraid... As we move to harder to get to oil reserves, the amount of energy input relative to the energy out (Energy Return On Investment, or EROI) is decreasing. Globally we've come down from an EROI of 100:1 for 1930's Texas to an average somewhere around 20:1 at the moment.
As the declines in the giant conventional fields in Saudi and elsewhere continue, we're getting to a point where it will be a zero sum game or worse - as much energy needed to extract the fuel as the energy from the fuel reserve you're accessing (we're already there for 'biomass to liquid transport fuel' projects...) and so it won't be worthwhile.
As you seem unconvinced, I'd love to hear what you think of the facts presented in some of the essays here Or you could perhaps try some moving pictures to help you see the bigger picture.
Don't worry, there's lots of useful low tech subsistence farming devices that can be cobbled together from dismantled cars...


Whaleskin hubcaps and NEW Ambergris. It's Grey and Amber! A whale product that bars leaks and lubes. See Cash McCall, Parts2Go.

Whaleskin hubcaps

Lol Boldor, I'm with you on that. Do those custom hubcaps come in 17 inch to suit a V8 Commodore? I must have me some of them.

Keep protestants out of protest

What's this? Talk of morality and Structural Sin? This is not what the Reformation promised. On the other hand, 'Radical' preachers make the cover of Newsweek, so go to it, Revs, make the story International.

Confusing language does not help

"Criminally irresponsible" really, if that is the case Anadarko crew would be arrested and the government most certainly could not have authorised the drilling. "Structually sinful" interesting concept and worthy of more discussion. "There will be no blessing upon them" ah yes, the speaking on behalf of God temptation asserts itself here, brave and presumptious, but most likely seen as hyperbole, perhaps even by God himself, but I dare not assert that. 

The real story...

Heaven forbid you actually report on the other messages, and the thoughtful, verifiable truth they contain instead of focusing on the religious one that is bound to be controversial... 

e.g Associate Professor Bob Lloyd,  Otago University's message: 

"Deep Sea Oil Drilling in NZ : just who is crazy?

I think the time has come to ask the question just who is crazy, regarding exploring for oil off the NZ coast? The numbers coming from climate change scientists vary from being very scary to the “oh s**t it’s too late” variety. The very scary numbers suggest that we have around two decades to completely decarbonise the world’s economy. This decarbonisation must be done while there are over 1000 large coal fired power stations on the world’s drawing boards, non-conventional tight oil and gas are being exploited by fracking and the deep ocean scoured for new resources.

The “too late” variety include NASA scientist Jim Hansen, who has researched the earth’s past climate to obtain a safe limit of 350 ppm of CO2 in the atmosphere. We are now close to 400ppm and so according to Hansen’s numbers we should stop all CO2 emissions immediately and then start sequestering carbon by tree planting and burying biomass as carbon in the soil.

The main task in ensuring a habitable climate for future humanity and at the same time providing energy for our continued social existence is to stop carbon dioxide emissions and transition to a sustainable energy economy. With the present (unsustainable) world economy so closely linked to fossil fuel use it would be clearly very difficult to stop all emissions immediately.

Even Jim Hansen realises this and so some years ago he suggested a transition program which envisaged developed countries closing down all coal fired power plants by 2020 and developing countries doing the same by 2030. In addition Hansen is opposed to any further exploration or exploitation of non-conventional hydrocarbons and has been arrested several times for opposing the pipeline to transport oil from Canadian tar-sands to the US. There is of course no evidence that his advice is being followed."

The rest of his message here


They already got their blessing when they left home, go find some oil boys the world needs more, so they don't need the rev's blessing and like everybody else don't really care. Ahh time to gas up the Hummer with the 60 gallon tank and custom whaleskin hubcaps and the 350 HP outboard on the boat two stroke of course nothing less will do.

From modern times..

Message delivered

Gave it to the captain, who threw it out the window. Now where's that drill.

Yes indeed

Yes indeed, I'm thinking let's not go back to medieval times.....

Resonsable response

The fact that you responded at all to the article Adam was reason enough for the protest to go ahead. You might not agree with the protesters but at least you're thinking about the subject now.

The mouse that roared

I'm absolutely sure that now this message has been received, Anadarko will be having second thoughts on oil exploration in the Southern basin.

In fact, they've likely weighed the anchor and set off for a more isolated location,so they may drill in peace (with God's blessing). 

Sorry I missed coming down to jeer at at your 'flotilla' on Saturday, by the way. I was far too busy changing the oil in my car.

Thank you

Thanks for this action.  Please keep it up.

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