Monday, December 2, 2013

Hide on Fitzsimons, oil and the green "cult"

We finally caught up with yesterday's news and opinions this morning. And Rodney Hide's opinion-piece in the Herald on Sunday shone out like a beacon; under the heading Greens' scary predictions fall flat Hide opines:

I have known Jeanette Fitzsimons for more than 30 years. Back then, she was worrying we were running out of oil and gas. She's now popped up as co-skipper of the protest vessel Vega trying to make it difficult for Anadarko to find more.
Her worry used to be that we were running out. Now her worry is that we are finding too much.
It's a total back-flip but her solution remains the same - we must give up the good life and de-industrialise.
At a seminar all those years ago, Jeanette explained that she was awoken to a world of worry by The Limits to Growth. The book had rocked me too. With Rachel Carson's Since Silent Spring and Paul Ehrlich's Population Bomb, it made me a hard-core Greenie and set me off studying environmental science to save the world.
But by the time I got to attend Jeanette's seminar, I knew the studies were deeply flawed. Wider study, plus the failure of their predictions, had revealed that.
I'd also had the benefit of working on North Sea oil rigs and seeing first-hand the incredible ingenuity and engineering that had opened up new and exciting oil fields never thought possible.
All industry is amazing, but the oil and gas industry is especially so. It's the industry that powers all others and provides even the poorest in the modern world a standard of living that kings 100 years ago could not have dreamed of. It's also safer, cleaner and more-productive than ever.

Rodney Hide is dead right here. We never get over the irony of the Greens and Greenpeace availing themselves of all the benefits of oil and gas prospecting whilst opposing it with an almost-religious fervour. 

How much did Kennedy Graham's carbon footprint grow with his recent trip to climate change talks in Warsaw? Gareth Hughes travels the length and breadth of Aotearoa (sometimes more than once a day!) lecturing all who will listen about the evils of drilling and fracking; where does the aviation fuel come from? 

And as Hughes, Russel Norman and Metiria Turei take to social media to oppose anything that looks like progress, have they ever thought how many of the components of their computers and smartphones come from drilling and mining? They probably have, but they don't like the answer.

Hide continues, debunking the myth of peak oil:

Oil and gas continues to power and to feed the world, and to do so against all predictions. The Limits to Growth computer printouts had solemnly predicted that the world would run out of oil in 1990 and gas in 1992.
We didn't. In 1972, global reserves of oil were 455 billion barrels. Since then we have burned through a trillion barrels. That's more than double the 1972 reserves. And today's reserves? 1.2 trillion barrels.
We burn more fossil fuels than ever before and have more reserves than ever before. We are not running out.
Jeanette Fitzsimons has not been cheered by the new discoveries. Far from it. She is now actively working to prevent further exploration. She has shifted the worry from the lack of oil and gas to a concern that the world has too much.
The new worry is the effect of drilling on our beaches and the impact burning fossil fuels has on the world's climate.
I argued with Jeanette more than 30 years ago that her predictions were wrong. I explained using reason and data. I made absolutely no headway. I would have no more luck today.
There is nothing that would convince Jeanette that discovering and exploiting fossil fuels is a good idea. The problem she has with fossil fuels is not one of economics or science. It's philosophical.
Jeanette opposes industrialised living. She wants the world to live more simply and more in harmony with the natural world. It's not enough for her to live as she chooses. Her mission is to force the rest of us to live as she says.

Exactly. The Greens are the classic "do as we say, but not as we do" party. Some would even go as far as to describe their stance as "hippy-crisy".

And Hide closes, using the dreaded "C" word to describe the Greens; cult:

We have green policy after green policy making fossil fuels ever more expensive. We have continuous and hysterical protests in response to surveys and exploration for oil and gas, let alone its continued exploitation.
I long ago parted company with the green movement. That was when I realised it was a cult with always the same answer, no matter the science and no matter the obvious failure of previous scary predictions. I also thought it a failing that green sustainability meant billions of people must die.
Back in the day, the greenies viewed the big human die-off as part and parcel of getting back into harmony with nature. Funny, they don't talk about that so much now.

The Greens reside in a leafy suburb in Utopia, whilst the rest of us inhabit the real world. Unfortunately, things in Utopia aren't as flash these days as they were when Sir Thomas More wrote about it, so they have to interact with the real world, and they are not slow to avail themselves of our technological advances.

Well done to Rodney Hide for pointing this out.


bsprout said...

I'm still in Auckland and using my phone, so let's hope I don't make more mistakes that will be a focus of your eagle eyes KS ;-)

We will obviously never agree on this issue because the crux of it is climate change. You are right regarding the change in focus regarding the oil crisis, Fracking, oil sands and deep sea drilling have extended the availability of fossil fuel and this has extended availability. This has meant the transition to cleaner alternatives can no longer be driven by a future shortage of supply. We now have a situation where the climate will be altered to catastrophic levels if known supplies of oil are accessed.

You call Greens hypocrites for flying or driving cars, but we have always advocated a fair and well planned transition to a cleaner economy. We even protested Solid Energies coal mine closures because the miners and their families had no other jobs to go to.

Sadly to advocate for change and be effective politically one has to operate in the same fossil fuel powered world as everyone else. I openly admit that my carbon footprint may be worse than the average person as I do still drive a car to the many meetings I attend locally (I do car pool where possible) and fly a lot to various national meetings (with my folding bike).

I hope, however, that my work with others in promoting different ways of operating will eventually make a difference.

But I can understand if one doesn't accept the understandings of 98% of the world scientists, nothing I say will change your views...I will keep trying anyway ;-)

David said...

Well well well, 98% eh? Please provide some credible evidence of that claim and you might actually get some traction. Until then ..............

Keeping Stock said...

At least you make your points in a decent and reasonable manner bpsrout, which is why your alternative worldview is almost always welcomed. Debate is healthy; abuse trolling and lies are not, which is why you remain inside the tent and others do not.

PS: It should have been "Solid Energy's coal mine closures", but hey; it's Monday!

bsprout said...

I spotted that and several other errors as well :-( At least my general message got through.

Keeping Stock said...

Here's bsprout's end of year report card:

Tries hard, but must take more care with his work.

Ciaron said...

Care to quantify your 98% claim there bsprout?

...doesn't accept the understandings of 98% of the world scientists,...

Do you literally mean that 98% of ALL the scientists - in the whole wide world - testify that global warming/climate change is both real and man-made?

Source please.

bsprout said...

Hi David, you may be right, I appear to have been out by a percentage point as the most reputable link I could find was NASA and they claim only 97%. Here is the link

shirazstu said...

That we can rock up to the local gas station and pump 98 octane gas into and internal combustion engine, that now days produces untold power from relatively small displacement, and that fuel had its origins in a primordial black goo 5 miles under the arabian desert is simply the most amazing triumph of science, engineering and logistics. The oil companies contribution to modern life and all we take for granted is immeasurable.

Anonymous said...

I believe that when it comes to oil and politics most avoid the truth.
Often I see polar opposites in the debate. So few exist in the middle ground. For that reason often little ground is made in debating circles. The exaggerators are cancelled by the deniers. It's a circular path to nowhere.

Mr E

bsprout said...

Correct, Shirazstu, and the Egyptians used slave labour, the amazing industrial revolution used coal and now we have solar energy and cars being powered by air pressure. As knowledge and science advances, technology improves. The fossil fuel era is almost over.

bsprout said...

I agree, Mr E, which is why we should be listening more to the vast majority of our scientists, before the oil industry and many of our politicians.

Ciaron said...'_views_on_climate_change

Ciaron said...

STATS, 2007[edit]
In 2007, Harris Interactive surveyed 489 randomly selected members of either the American Meteorological Society or the American Geophysical Union for the Statistical Assessment Service (STATS) at George Mason University. The survey found 97% agreed that global temperatures have increased during the past 100 years; 84% say they personally believe human-induced warming is occurring, and 74% agree that “currently available scientific evidence” substantiates its occurrence. Only 5% believe that that human activity does not contribute to greenhouse warming; and 84% believe global climate change poses a moderate to very great danger.[9] [10]

Ciaron said...

A 2010 paper in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States (PNAS) reviewed publication and citation data for 1,372 climate researchers and drew the following two conclusions:

(i) 97–98% of the climate researchers most actively publishing in the field support the tenets of ACC (Anthropogenic Climate Change) outlined by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, and (ii) the relative climate expertise and scientific prominence of the researchers unconvinced of ACC are substantially below that of the convinced researchers.[14]

The methodology of the Anderegg et al. study was challenged in PNAS by Lawrence Bodenstein for "treat[ing] publication metrics as a surrogate for expertise". He would expect the much larger side of the climate change controversy to excel in certain publication metrics as they "continue to cite each other's work in an upward spiral of self-affirmation".[15] Anderegg et al. replied that Bodenstein "raises many speculative points without offering data" and that his comment "misunderstands our study’s framing and stands in direct contrast to two prominent conclusions in the paper.[16]

Ciaron said...

Farnsworth and Lichter, 2011
In an October 2011 paper published in the International Journal of Public Opinion Research, researchers from George Mason University analyzed the results of a survey of 489 scientists working in academia, government, and industry. The scientists polled were members of the American Geophysical Union or the American Meteorological Society and listed in the 23rd edition of American Men and Women of Science, a biographical reference work on leading American scientists. Of those surveyed, 97% agreed that global temperatures have risen over the past century. Moreover, 84% agreed that "human-induced greenhouse warming" is now occurring. Only 5% disagreed with the idea that human activity is a significant cause of global warming.[17][18]

Ciaron said...

John Cook et al, 2013Cook et al examined 11,944 abstracts from the peer-reviewed scientific literature from 1991–2011 that matched the topics 'global climate change' or 'global warming'. They found that, while 66.4% of them expressed no position on anthropogenic global warming (AGW), of those that did, 97.1% endorsed the consensus position that humans are causing global warming. They also invited authors to rate their own papers and found that, while only 35.5% rated their paper as expressing no position on AGW, 97.2% of the rest endorsed the consensus. In both cases the percentage of endorsements among papers expressing a position was marginally increasing over time. They concluded that the number of papers actually rejecting the consensus on AGW is a vanishingly small proportion of the published research.[21]

In their discussion of the results, the authors said that the large proportion of abstracts that state no position on AGW is as expected in a consensus situation,[22] adding that "the fundamental science of AGW is no longer controversial among the publishing science community and the remaining debate in the field has moved on to other topics."[21]