Greenpeace Plea Against Deep Sea Oil Drilling NZ

Say No To Deep Sea Oil Drilling

Greenpeace have just sent me out an email with a protest message against deep sea oil drilling in NewZealand.  We have just another six days left to muster up the numbers for the protest against deep sea oil drilling – It closes on the 20th June 2012.

It is important that Greenpeace get as many signatures as they can, to try and stop the overseas companies drilling in our waters.  Some companies have already been given the OK, and have begun drilling in our waters, despite protests from local iwi and the wider population.

Remember the BP Gulf of Mexico oil disaster only a couple of years ago?  Clean-up from the BP oil spill is still on-going in the region, with the incidence of cancer and other diseases on the rise since the accident.

The recent Rena  shipwreck disaster in Tauranga, NZ.  should be enough of a warning about the  damage which could be caused by a massive spillage of oil on and around our little coast-line.  The Tauranga Rena disaster was very mild compared to the devastation which would be wreaked if one of these oil drilling operations was to go wrong.  The Rena disaster alone has caused much environmental destruction, with thousands of birds and fish dying on the East Coast of New Zealand’s north island.  The pollution factor is still a concern today, and this has affected a wide region of the coast-line, and the many communities which rely on the sea for food.

Oil drilling in the ocean is simply not safe, no matter how good and how advanced your technologies are.  Because a human error can cause the whole operation to go ‘hay-wire’ in an instant, causing instant damage to the environment and its wild life.  Last year, an oil rig off the coast of Scotland began leaking oil.  It was still gushing out oil into the ocean months later, because it was too dangerous, in those wild seas, for men to dive down and get the problem sorted.

New Zealand is a tiny country made up of two main islands.  We do not have the land mass to survive a major environmental disaster.  Everyone in New Zealand, and the wild-life too, will be affected if an oil rig should spill a quantity of oil into the sea anywhere around New Zealand.  The vulnerability of our little country should make us all the more aware of the problem of ocean oil drilling, and other destructive mining practices, and make us excellent ambassadors for the world-wide movement against deep sea oil drilling and other risky ventures.

Here is a copy of the Greenpeace pledge which you can sign and send off.

Go to

Please make deep sea oil drilling a prohibited activity in New Zealand’s exclusive economic zone and continental shelf.

The Greenpeace letter goes on to say, and I quote the letter:

“All aspects of oil development cause some amount of environmental impact and pose substantial environmental risk.

The greatest environmental risk in deepwater oil exploration is the loss of well control, or a “blowout”. Most well blowouts are encountered in the exploration phase of offshore oil drilling and introduces more impact and risk then perhaps any other component of offshore drilling. The Deepwater Horizon was an exploratory well.

If there is a leak or blowout from a deep sea oil rig there is no easy way to stop it. The Deepwater Horizon environmental disaster in the Gulf of Mexico resulted in 5 million barrels of oil leaking for 3 months, with clean up costs estimated to be US$40 Billion. The risks to New Zealand’s marine environment, our coastline, our communities, our economy and our reputation would be catastrophic.

Seismic surveys used to locate potential oil and gas reserves pose a particular risk to marine life including marine mammals, fish and seabirds. They can cause injury to whales and dolphins as well as affect migration, feeding, communication and reproduction. They can also damage fish eggs, cause disorientation and even mortality in fish and have been known to affect seabird diving and foraging success.

Discharges from drilling can include drilling muds which are often discharged in to the ocean. Some of the toxic pollutants released can include heavy metal pollution such as mercury, lead, arsenic and chromium which are known to be harmful to marine organisms.

One sure way to protect our climate from more fossil fuel exploitation and our precious beaches and oceans from oil spills and other harm is to say no to deep water drilling and yes to cleaner, smarter economy.”


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