Last night I went to a meeting in Dunedin where people gathered to discuss whether we should be agreeing to the exploration of our waters for oil and gas.
We did focus a little on the risks from exploration and later from the actual wells.
But something troubled me.
We seemed to be missing the basic question. Why are we actually looking for more hydrocarbons?
Why is not our focus on replacement of these hydrocarbons. Let’s manage this replacement as quickly as possible.
The only Green MP in England, Caroline Lucas has made a similar comment, but hers is on fracking.
“For Lucas, the big problem with fracking has nothing to do with the risk that it will cause earthquakes, contaminate the water table or pollute the soil. In fact, she thinks it possible that stringent regulations could minimise those risks. “It’s not that fracking itself is necessarily worse than ordinary gas extraction. It’s the fact that we’re just about to put into place a whole new infrastructure for a whole new fossil-fuel industry, at exactly the time when we need to be reducing our emissions.” The problem, in other words, is climate change”
In New Zealand, our households and industry are mostly powered by renewable energy, although we should be growing that percentage much much faster.
But it is our transport that is fuelled by oil and gas. Where is the research on alternative fuels? Why are we not harnessing the methane produced by hour livestock? What about the use of algae?
I want a clear statement from political parties on the way forward to reduce our dependence on oil and gas and the timeline in which we are going to do this.