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The horror of the Mobil win – why anti-oil protestors are right

By   /  March 31, 2015  /  20 Comments

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This month research shows the Gulf Stream, which regulates global temperature, has dramatically slowed due to the huge amount of fresh water melting from the Ice Caps, and that research is joined by new research showing Antarctica is at risk of massive meltdown.

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The good people at Greenpeace have been very active protesting the Oil Industry party at Sky City this week.

And they have every reason to get angrier and angrier and angrier.

This month research shows the Gulf Stream, which regulates global temperature, has dramatically slowed due to the huge amount of fresh water melting from the Ice Caps, and that research is joined by new research showing Antarctica is at risk of massive meltdown.

So the Science is proving the climate deniers and minimisers like Slater, Farrar, Karl Du Fresne, the National Party, the Dairy Industry, the oil industry and the coal industry are all wrong. Climate change is happening and it’s being caused by our pollution. The ramifications for our species survival are at stake here and all National can seem to do is grant more oil exploration permits and undemocratically steal more water for their Dairy polluting mates.

Need more? Take a look at the recent win for Mobil against the Auckland Waterfront. The so called safe guards that officials and the Oil Industry sing so sweetly to us in regards to them cleaning up any pollution they cause has been horrifically laid bare by this case…

Publicly-owned Waterfront Auckland must pay Mobil almost $1 million in court costs for its failed attempt to get the oil company to foot the bill for cleaning up a heavily contaminated area of Wynyard Quarter.

Mobil Oil leased two properties in Auckland’s waterfront ‘tank farm’ for more than 50 years.

When Mobil’s lease for the two sites ended in 2011, it was found the land they were on had been heavily contaminated.

While it was established the company was not solely responsible for contamination to the land – other oil companies as previous tenants and neighbouring tenants all contributed too – Waterfront Auckland claimed Mobil had to deliver the land in a completely “uncontaminated condition” at the end of its lease term.

It took the oil company to the High Court at Auckland, where it was decided that if Mobil was liable, it would pay the council-controlled organisation $10 million in damages.

But Justice Sarah Katz in February last year decided that Mobil was not contractually obliged to decontaminate the subsurface of the land.

…that’s right, the army of lawyers the Oil Industry can hire to unpick any contract so that they don’t end up liable is never ending. Even though the land has been returned to us, the people of Auckland, it’s contaminated by the oil companies and they are smart enough to deflect any legal challenges.

For all the claims that the Oil Industry would clean up and compensate any pollution, the bleak reality is that they don’t and even if they did, our Planet’s biosphere can’t take any more pollution.

Our Climate denial is as strong as our poverty denial and only the Greens, Maori Party and MANA are political voices for that. Sadly those Parties aren’t in any position to stop Labour, NZ First, ACT and National.

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20 Comments

  1. R Atack says:

    Alas Martin and Greenpeace, it is all way way to late, these protests should have been happening when the atmosphere passed 300 ppm CO2. @ 403 ppm CO2 and nearly 2. ppm CH4 (and massively increasing) it is over for mammals for at least the next several million years. It will take the planet that long to get back to where we were only 200 years ago.
    It is only because of the current ice on the planet, that we haven’t gone yet.
    It takes as much sun heat to melt a block of ice as it does to bring that amount of water up for 0 to 80C, so once the ice goes the heat will be going into boiling us frogs.
    here are the latest facts on our demise http://robinwestenra.blogspot.co.nz/2015/03/the-changing-media-narrative-on-abrupt.html

    If anyone in Greenpeace had a brain and could work this out, they wouldn’t bother with down town Auckland protests, they would be standing outside maternity wards – because the ONLY way humans are not going to feel the repercussions of climate change is if they weren’t born, we are all in this together )
    A person alive in 2015 has the same life expectancy as someone born in 2015 —- which is fuck all.
    I think 22after.com covers our future well.
    Sorry to sound so hopeless, but being a realest I have to tell it as I see it.
    We are living a Nevil Shute novel.

    • Lara says:

      so the solution to addressing climate change is to halt all births?

      you do realise NZ birth rate is BELOW replacement rate?

      • Though with immigration and returning expats, Lara, our population continues to increase.

      • R Atack says:

        Not at all Lara
        Nothing is going to ‘stop’ climate change, it is just that this specific ‘change’ is going to turn out very very unfriendly for mammals , especially humans.
        It wouldn’t matter (apart from the people alive) if the global population was 10 billion, or 3 billion, @ 403 ppm CO2 and 2. ppm CH4 nothing will change for the better.
        We are locked in to NEAR TERM extinction, as unpleasant as it is all going to be.
        I’m not saying reducing the population will change anything, just that if you aren’t alive you will not have to suffer, and if you profess to love your children then you wouldn’t want to wish this future on them, that is why I don’t have children (+ a lot of luck before I realized how bad it would be to have one, I only became aware about 15 years ago)
        Here are some more facts to ignore http://guymcpherson.com/2014/01/climate-change-summary-and-update/
        And Frank, we should close the borders, lifeboat NZ is full.

      • Dennis Dorney says:

        Lara, you obviously dont understand what R atack is trying to say. even assuming that he is wrong, and there is a chance of survival, we will still have to have a birth rate below replacement rate. What is wrong with that? The alternative of endless growth, which you implicitly support, is mathematically impossible.

      • Murray Smith says:

        Whoa pull up. Solution? I thought the whole point being made by the comment was that there isn’t one. Without a solution child bearing does seem at the very least worthy of careful consideration. Human suffering is the avoidance object in that case, not climate change. In that same context, surely net population growth and birth rates have little relevance.

    • Kate Kate says:

      Let the sea bear witness
      let the wind bear witness
      LET THE EARTH BEAR WITNESS
      Let the stars bear witness
      Mr Yeats

      I not sure if this will be posted but I am having an exhibition for the month of April on Climate Change, called ‘Let the earth bear witness’.
      At Moray Gallery Dunedin http://www.moraygallery.com please don’t see this as an ad I am not worried about sales. It would be nice to know these works have been witnessed like the Yeats exhibition name.

      It would be great if people can come and have a look as this serious issue seems to have been ignored by many artists and media for far to long. And listening to Simon Bridges on the Radio about more oil exploration is an insult so grave I can’t explain in words. The only way I feel I can do anything about this is through my art. I hope my paintings can help with the grieving process of environmental hurt/harm and loss. It is depressing but I hope my works strike the human emotion of this issue (which makes us above the filth like Simon Bridges doing his life on earth killing job), if that makes sense. As probably like most of us on this site I feel like I am not even related to the species of human who can with a flick of a pen draw up oil exploration blocks in the face of the facts out there.

    • Ross Clark says:

      My comment later – assume it will be further down – refers to your sentiments expressed.

    • cleangreen says:

      1000% R ATACK

      The energy conglomerates spend a lot of money employing Nay Sayers to deny anything is amiss knowing it takes far more to discredit them than it is for them to just say a lie.

      They work on “Catch me if you can” and this as Rome burns!!!!

  2. Blake says:

    The BP gulf of mexico spill ( 5 years ago ! ) has still not been cleaned up properly nor the economy repaired yet BP is doing well financially.
    The fossil fuel industry owns most of the US politicians ( not Senator Elizabeth Warren ) and they are working on owning ours and Canadas government. John Key and the National party have given the green light go ahead for exploration and mining. Its all about greed and PROFIT BEFORE PEOPLE. The environment means nothing to them. TPPA is about protecting their rights.

    If we do not wake up and protest this, then one day we will be faced with a deep sea oil catastrophe and they will not clean it up properly and our economy will be devastated. Short sighted and ignorant, we blindly keep
    a government in that is in bed with these fossil fuel industries giving them the ” go ahead ” to rape us and take our goods and then to hell with our economy and environment and the people.

    Yes – the fossil fuel opponents are right and more need to stand up and speak out. Once a deep sea oil spill happens, it will be too late.
    Fracking should be banned from this country as well.
    Take back our country. Our economy can grow and be healthy with more investment in healthy green renewable energy production and industrial hemp.

    Many are mistaken to think that industrial hemp has anything to do with using or promoting drug usage. It could greatly and positively impact NZ economy and produce hundreds of excellent quality local and export products and provide many thousands of jobs on both islands.
    Google – INDUSTRIAL HEMP and check it out.

  3. Blake says:

    I just edited my comment and it did not go through and my name was changed to Undefined. Is it possible for you to submit my edited version of the above comment. Please also delete this comment too. Thanks

  4. cleangreen says:

    Yes Key is acting like a “spoilt brat” said Winston Peters over this RMA bid for changes and other issues (TPPA).

    Michael Wilson asked Key on TV3 news today about the RMA/ changes issue and will Key go talk to Winston for support?

    As usual, arrogant Key said he talked with Winston for an almost an hour on a flight home from Parliament front day, and said to Winston “You know how this works you’ve been in Government for years”?

    This shallow type of bland thinking Key we always hear from him without any references to any substance issues surrounding RMA and to actually talk about the serious issues of sustainable policies before for Keys preference to only consider the economic advantages for consideration as placing more importance of the Key brand economy firstly would undoubtedly turn Winston off as a solid supporter of placing the global acceptance of setting up firstly solid environmental balanced policies, before the economy.

    So there is the difference between Key’s slash and burn policies he is pushing at a feverish unhealthy pace ahead of Winston’s careful consideration of the environment before Key’s only a rough economic principled planning is a bridge too far for Winston Mr Key now do you get that?

    Probably not as Key acts like an android, as if he has been pre programed to send and not receive.

    While Winston hails Government failing of support for rail as a model of sustainable transport for environmental reasons, Key just runs rail into the ground saying as English and Joyce do, that we cant afford rail and road at the same time.

    You be the judge,
    rail is 5 to 9 times more efficient the road for moving every tonne one KM

    Rail only produces a fraction of the amount of Green house gasses per tonne per KM than Trucks do,

    Rail does not cause air pollution either in our crowded Cities where trucks do cause massive air pollution, and shredding of many amounts tyre particulates that cause cancer so Winston’s right and Key is wrong here end of story….

    I a study recently from the US Department of Transport found that on the average road of over 12 000 vehicles a day with a 10% flow of trucks they collected 9kgs of tyre dust particulates per mile along an urban highway.

    Scary stuff, that so we are breathing in not only truck exhaust but also the Butadiene styrene dust the is a well known cancer causing chemical say the National Institutes of Health (NIH) in Bethesda Maryland USA..

    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1757573/

    So Mr Key that was one good reason why we ask for a meeting with you over five years but you ignored our 105 emails that went unanswered, and you criticise Winston for stonewalling you!!!!!!!!

    We asked to meet you at your convenience while in Napier but your office said you was to busy?

    Do you now please care to fix the Napier Gisborne rail that you destroyed when you “redirected funds for other areas” (Auckland) stated Kiwirail in the press in 2013.

    You must reinstate rail as one part of a plan as part of real long term plans to protect the environment and all who live within it.

    Then Winston may talk to you about the RMA.

    Key is just a plundered, a liar, a traitor, a carpetbagger, a crook and a Judas priest. Sooner gone the better I say.

    • grumpystilskin says:

      “In a study recently from the US Department of Transport found that on the average road of over 12 000 vehicles a day with a 10% flow of trucks they collected 9kgs of tyre dust particulates per mile along an urban highway.”

      That’s why it’s recommended to drive with your windows up and A/C on, to help filter out the contaminants from other road users.

      • cleangreen says:

        Good answer grumpystilskin slightly in error.

        The problem with your using the windows up and air conditioner on is that the average dust particle (Particulate) is 2 microns to 20 microns about 100th of your hair width, that sheds off these 32 wheeler monster trucks.

        (NIWA) states in their Dr G Fisher report that one truck produces 100 times more air pollution than one car.

        Those particulates get through all the standard air filtration filters and you would need a filter that traps at least a 20 micron particulate particle.

        We operate a Environmental monitoring Company and use a Weddings (US) model gravimetric Hi-Vol Weddings Gravimetric air monitoring unit.

        As the gold standard these are similar to the model used at Auckland council and all the larger regional councils.
        They re very costly and in order for us to measure how much tyre dust is collected within the standard 24hr time frame we need to use a specially designed collector filter that has to be laboratory weight prior and after the 24hr collection by the air monitor that operates as a large vacuum cleaner down a vortex and through the special fitter at a certified rate of 40 cubic meters a second.

        These eight feet high conical towers sound like a jet engine when operating.

        Most times the colour of the filter when carefully collected after the 24hrs will tell roughly weather the air is full of pollution from particulates when the colour has gone from white at the beginning to black at the end.

        This filter is designed to collect any particulate matter 10 micrograms and larger and there is the scary part.

        We don’t have filters that trap 10 micrograms or less yet here.

        So please don’t feel safe driving around in heavy traffic with windows up and the air conditioner going as the fine particles
        will pass through the air condition system and into your lower lungs and get trapped permanently there in the lower lung area, this disease destroys the alveoli, and lung tissue similar to the mechanism that causes Pulmonary diseases such as (PAM)

        http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3669555/

  5. Save NZ says:

    I was disgusted to find out that Mobil has escaped responsibility for cleaning up the tank farms.

    Even if they only partially polluted the site, they should still be responsible for that share of the clean up.

    It also shows what idiots the council or people who drew up the contract in the first place that they did not put that in.

    Also how pathetic current RMA laws are.

    However who knows, as Mobil has so much money that they can out litigate any one any way.

    Why would oil polluters change to clean up the environment when they don’t have to.

    I say, don’t buy Mobil petrol. It is actually only consumer pressure of profit loss that companies listen to now.

    Fucked. Fucked. Fucked.

    I hope NZ First, Labour and Greens STRENGTHEN RMA, far from making it easier to pollute as National want.

    How can paying to clean up pollution be good for Kiwis??

    • Dennis Dorney says:

      You’re being a bit tough on the failings of the Councils. 50 years ago how many people were thinking environmentally?

    • insider says:

      the contamination on this land goes back to the council owned gasworks early last century. The council knew all about the issues but did nothing because it was all contained on industrial land and so not a concern. It’s only since the council decided it could make a lot of money by developing the land that this has become an issue.

      The rma had a period of years after its introduction where councils could lodge claims for historic issues. Aucckland council did nothing and there has been no contamination in the 20 years post rma that action could be taken on. So this is not a contractual issue it is a lapse in governance by council, again…

      There have been a number of similar cases and every judge has been scathing about the approach and actions of the council and its development company. They have wasted tens of millions and achieved nothing. Get angry with those idiots.

  6. Ross Clark says:

    There is only one choice for the future – a green one. And even that may be too late …… but for the sake of our sanity, we have to assume it is not too late and go for it. And I have not seen any alternative to the Transition model of building from the grass roots up, creating a new way of living that will eventually make the present system obsolete (to steal the concept from a Buckminster Fuller quote)

  7. justin says:

    climate change has been and will continue to occur throughout the earths life cycle. we have merely accelerated the next change. we will either evolve or expire. i hope it is the latter! we do not deserve such a paradise!

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