Westward Ho: Day 2 – the luxury cruise

What sacrifices, what deprivations we have to suffer to chase away the planet destroyers!

Woke to Mt Taranaki sharp against a clear sky. Breakfast in the sunshine on deck on a near flat sea after a night rocked to sleep by a gentle roll as we motored up the west coast from Wellington. Downside of so little wind was having to burn some fuel but it did give us time to get our sea legs. And the Ignoble Bob Douglas (did I tell you that is the name of the drilling ship? I added the Ig bit for truth enhancement) will be burning enormously more than we ever could.

Last night we picked up Niamh and James from Dunedin just off Mana Island. They had agreed at a few hours’ notice to join us on behalf of their generation, the twenty-somethings, and give us some age balance.They’ve been active in Oil-free Otago which will be the next recipient of Anadarko’s attention, in January – but 35 miles off their coast, compared with 120 miles off Raglan.They have the same concerns, the same issues as us – the potential for devastation of the coast, and the certainty of climate change if this crazy project goes ahead. So now we are seven.

Sipped excellent coffee (I said this is a luxury cruise) and watched a skua, several small albatross and huge flocks of maybe terns (that was the general consensus but none of us are ornithologists) wheeling and feeding as the water boiled with fish. Looking in vain, so far, for whales and dolphins. Tried to banish the mental image of them all spread out on the beach covered with oil.
This afternoon the wind picked up and we’ve had wonderful sailing at 6-7 knots past Cape Egmont and now veering out to sea. We haven’t even lost cell phone link with the mainland yet, but will soon. These sweet conditions may not last, but having been conditioned to expect storms and wet and cold I’m feeling very fortunate.

It feels very like the calm before the storm. We will sail all night and link up tomorrow with the other boats at “the spot marked x”. (You won’t find it on any map.) Then it’s anyone’s guess.


28 thoughts on “Westward Ho: Day 2 – the luxury cruise”

  1. Having taken a cruise, I’m happy for ya, but, given the *enormous* carbon footprint of a cruise ship–never mind fleets of them–and my activism in solving our climate emergency, I could never do it again.

    Unless it was all wind-power!

  2. Enjoy the good conditions Jeanette. And good on you. I sailed in 1995 to Moruroa to protest. It was very effective. Your presence there will be achieving a lot!

  3. It’s more than a little ironic that you had to use the very fuel your protesting against to get there. I think the general public would take more notice if the protesters did not use oil all the time. Importing oil form corrupt regimes that persecute woman is apparently much more acceptable than drilling and providing jobs here in NZ to these people.

    1. “This afternoon the wind picked up and we’ve had wonderful sailing at 6-7 knots past Cape Egmont and now veering out to sea.”

      Did you learn nothing in primary school Murray? – where those English comprehension exercises all a complete waste on you?

      1. I think we could agree that N.Z. will get , at best , a mere pittance from any oil discoveries in our EEZ. Maybe a couple of hundred temporary jobs and the income tax thereon ; a bit of GST, and a trifling royalty, but in total nothing of any significance.

    1. Supporting ‘corrupt regimes’, eh? As you and all your ‘skeptic’ mates do every time you put fuel in your cars, tractors, SUVs, launches or quad-bikes, ‘Murray’? And deliberately and consciously undermine the renewable sector? You mean like that?

      And perhaps you’d like to publish your list of ‘hundreds of scientists’ who you claim are on your side, ‘Murray’?

      Perhaps you’d like to acknowledge the SkS paper is, indeed, ‘peer reviewed’?

      Or point out where the NIWA defense states what you say it does, albeit you’re merely channeling RT?

      Need I go on, ‘Murray’?

      Final question: do you really imagine you’re the first person we’ve had here who’s spent 3 days skimming contrarian blogs and thinks he knows better than actual real-live qualified climate scientists?

  4. AND, I think it’s boorish to leap onto a guest post like this and start tossing around the usual disrespectful crank insinuations. You did it immediately on the other post, too. In my mind that makes you a lout.

    1. Talking of disrespectful crank insinuations , you seem to have a deliberately monocular perspective Bill . .

      “What sacrifices, what deprivations we have to suffer to chase away the planet destroyers!”

      1. Show me then some solid evidence that producing and burning the fossil carbon stores of the planet is not contributing to the anthropogenic destruction of the same!

        1. Thomas, solid evidence is hard to come by of course, given the current state of our knowledge, but your scenario is puzzling. You appear to be saying that humanity is inevitably destroying this planet in some ways , of which the return to the atmosphere of “buried sunlight ” is just one.
          Homo sapiens is probably only a temporary phenomenon on this planet , which seems to have had a remarkable resilience so far. But that does not mean that it will support life infinitely , does it? As a physicist , you know this cannot be so.
          Your knowledge of biology , and in particular ecology, tells you that every species alters its environment in (usually) unforeseen ways. The effects become extreme as specific populations grow beyond the life-supporting capacity of their respective niches.
          It seems to me to be unlikely that human population can grow to the point where there are no longer any niches able to be inhabited by Homo sapiens (or whatever that species evolves to be [ maybe Homo sapiens sapiens ] ) because of the incredible adaptability of this species.
          But the idea that humans could overpopulate to the extent that no life form could persist on this planet seems to me to be very unlikely , notwithstanding that we do have the ability (nuclear war) to make things less than conducive to healthy existence for many.
          There are no examples in nature of an indestructible super-species with no Achilles heel. It’s reasonable to assume that humanity is self-limiting just like other species. I assume that you know what % of species that have ever existed are no longer existent.

          1. Murray, I do not suggest that we are about to ‘sterilize the planet’ or anything like it. But the exponential growth of humanity since the invention of the heat engine and the discovery of fossil fuels to power them is in my mind entirely unsustainable. We are about to kick the planetary systems into a very sorry state of affairs. I simply think you fail (like many of your peers) to understand the gravity of the situation we are in. Do you have children? I do.

            1. I have grandchildren.
              But do you not agree that populations which destroy /deplete/ degrade their habitats experience dramatic declines?
              Do you see a reason to believe that this will not happen to humanity?

            2. Do you have a view on population policy for Godzone?

              As an aside here is a small extract on climate change :-

              In the words of Professor Steven Mithen, 2003 in “After the Ice…2” (page 507)

              “The next century of human-made global warming is predicted to be far less extreme than that which occurred at 9600 BC. At the end of the Younger Dryas, mean global temperature had risen by 7°C in fifty years, whereas the predicted rise for the next hundred years is less than 3°C. The end of the last ice age led to a 120 meter increase in sea level, whereas that predicted for the next fifty years is a paltry 32 centimeters at most,…”

  5. http://www.listener.co.nz/…/oil-and-gas-explor...
    Taranaki, whose oil and gas are the country’s fourth biggest merchandise export earner, is only one of 18 basins with petroleum potential. The others are only lightly explored. Find another basin like Taranaki and the economy could grow by an extra $2.1 billion, or 1.7%, a year over 30 years, with an extra 5500 jobs.

    Only time will tell it is that many, but it’s obvious drilling will produce more jobs than not drilling.

    [Snipped: Off topic under this post. GR]

  6. Only a climate alarmist would scoff at the opportunity for 5500 men and woman to be given a chance to support their families. People mean very little to you do they? How is the ocean going to get destroyed? Talk about hysterics! The Bay of Plenty was destroyed to remember, yet it’s still such a wonderful place. Let’s keep a little perspective here guys.

    1. Murray, your rhetoric is wasted upon me. I do realize you know nothing about ocean acidification, but many species are already suffering from seawater that is too corrosive. On current trajectory, according to experts, the upper ocean will be too corrosive for marine calcifiers to survive by century’s end. We are talking a marine extinction event.

      This is taking place because the emission of carbon dioxide from human activities dissolves into the oceans. This not only lowers pH (the increase of hydroniums ions), but also decreases the availability (activity) of carbonate ions. It just so happens that carbonate ions are one of the key building blocks of the calcium carbonate shell/skeleton. Once seawater is undersaturated with respect to calcium carbonate it becomes corrosive to calcium carbonate forms.

      Ocean acidification only occurs when carbon dioxide is released in a geologically-rapid manner. Normally, chemical weathering of silicate rocks returns carbon back to the Earth via subduction at the edge of the ocean plates (carbon-containing marine sediments build up on the ocean floor).

      Sadly, ocean acidification is already progressing faster than previously anticipated. Oyster larvae off Washington and Oregon have been killed since 2007 because of it, and a key species in the Antarctic marine food web (the sea butterfly) is seeing it’s shell begin to dissolve because the surface waters are becoming too corrosive.

      5500 (possible) jobs won’t make up for the loss I’m afraid. This is one reason why Jeanette Fitzsimons and others are out there protesting. It’s one hell of a good reason too.

    2. Well, Murray, it’s not easy to “keep a little perspective” when you’re stacking up these straw men all over the place… seriously, if you keep this up, you run the risk of giving all ignorant trolls a bad name.

  7. Rob Taylor, I’ve engaged cretins like Murray before: they’ll deny the future of their own children and grandchildren, rather than accept responsibility for the callous disinformation they continue to serve up.

  8. The only problem with this hysterical argument is it will happen regardless of if we drill for oil or not (assuming shellfish are that sensitive). A little country called China keeps pumping out CO2 at a rate that makes anything we do here completely irrelevant. However given CO2 levels were much higher in the past, I think shellfish are not that sensitive or they would already be extinct. Another hollow scare story.

  9. Murray – attaching emotive labels cannot conceal the truth. Continuing to burn fossil fuels will lead to a mass die-off in the oceans due to ocean acidification. And it is already underway. It’s not too late to stop this.

    I don’t really care what you think about this matter. By responding you simply reveal your ignorance on this subject. I suggest you go back and read what I wrote about this in my previous comment. Ocean acidification occurs when carbon dioxide is rapidly (geologically-speaking) taken up by the atmosphere and consequently dissolved into the ocean.

    Marine calcifiers appear to have evolved to tolerate low pH (as a result of sustained high carbon dioxide levels – such as the Cretaceous Period), but repeatedly have become extinct when seawater has become corrosive (calcium carbonate undersaturated). That’s what the fossil record shows – the preferential extinction of ocean acidification-vulnerable marine organisms. Ocean acidification is a kill mechanism.

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