Discussion in 'Politics' started by Cutter, Aug 17, 2011.
An interesting report from the ABC.
This is going to become a big issue. It needs attention. The development of new boreholes/drilling should be shut down immediately and the miners should cease existing activity until it is concluded beyond reasonable doubt that the water supplies won't be damaged. It's crazy considering any other option.
And thanks for posting Gnostic.
And that is why we are concerned about the 'testing' that the companies are doing. Because it is quite clearly bullshit.
Yeah, thanks from me too, Gnostic. Very interesting.
Maybe it's the cynic in me, but when companies release statements trumpeting that they are doing everything according to Government Authority Guidelines as a means of reassuring us all, I feel more disconcerted!
This will bite us in the arse big time, I feel, if allowed to continue apace.
What worries me, is that none of these thousands of submissions are actually reviewed critically by anyone before approval.Unless the locals know what is required by the bureaucracy.These applications are basically automatically approved.
The only real hurdle ATM is that it must be economically viable for the mining company.
This is wrong on so many levels.
A big issue for me and one that those not versed in the science will probably not pick up, is the flawed testing regime being used by the Official Testers. From all the evidence I have seen they test for Hydrogen Sulphide, C02 and Methane. Whilst it would be expected that these compounds would be present in any escapee gases from the seam, science demands we do not make our observations on our expectations. The objective evidence of physical effects on livestock, plants, people and the flaming of water bore means that such things need rigorous investiagtion. Not a brief sampling of narrow parrameters and then a pronoucement that all "tests" are clear as defined by Government Standards and there is therefore no contamination of the aquifer from the seam. That is not a scientific approach to proving the cause of the cases described. They have not examined the observed phenomena and explained what subtances are present in the water and gasses released from the bore. It should be noted that such events are not isolated incidents in Oz and indeed they have received some significant exposure.
Extrapolate to my second post about the vanishing of the Thirmere Lakes. Eminent Scientists have expressed concern regarding the depressurisation of the aquifer and the permeability of the previously (thought to be) impervious rock strata. Notice that these scientists never speak in absolutes, they remain questioning and seeking the facts. They say they do not know whilst the Authorities and Comercial interests tell us all is well and the mining and drilling operations have had no discernable impacts. It is the same approach, the approved testing regimen is too narrowly focused and ignores or disregards information which does not fit the parameters. This is not science and such results as posted by narrow testing means accompanied by absolute statements as evidenced in those clips should be met with scepticism.
The core issue remains for me, if the industry scientists are wrong, and the evidence has not really been tested to say one way or the other, it is impossible by any means I am aware of (I was a Biological Science grad. not engineering) to remediate an aquifer. To my mind the only sensible course of action is to err on the side of caution with a finite resource (water) in our country where this resource means life itself. That would mean we don't allow any further drilling until the weight of scientific evidence supports the industry's claims of minimal to no impact on aquifiers.
Spot on again Gnostic. Irrespective of any criticisms of it, Gasland shows pretty frightening consequences based upon the types of government testing and standards you criticise.
Science doesn't have absolutes, but governments deal in probability and money. They're relying on their scientists who are undoubtedly under resourced. Responsiblity for this should be shifted to the mining companies who should have to(if they don't already) make a statement warranting that not only do they comply with the relevant standards, but that there are no other consequences of the activity which will have a detrimental effect on the environment or the community and that they have made investigations which satisfy them beyond reasonable doubt that this is so. If they breach these warranties, they should be required to make good the damage caused.
Any damage is likely to last far longer than the royalties and taxes.
This video highlights a number of other issues I have with CSG.
I know where this well is at Casino, Northern NSW.
1. Maintenance - the well head itself is in poor condition. Then look at the evaporation pond and then "high security" temporary fencing around the sites.
2. Escapee gases are very high effect Green House gasses. Given the push evidenced by the Carbon Tax shouldn't we be ensuring that we capture all the gas and not waste it.
3. Flaring - as with capturing the escapee gasses I struggle to understand why this practice is still happening. Another CSG installation I regularly see flaring is less than 100M off the Summerland Way, Grafton (NSW). Think of the gas and other flamable fuels wasted in this practice.
We've had protests & petitions against CSG up my way. The links for the newer Herald articles won't seem to work. If they sort it out I'll post them here.
Two words "clean coal"
It's a myth.
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Or an oxymoron.
Yep, it is either dirty or a little less dirty.
Now the term "Coal seam gas" is replaced by "Natural gas from coal seams" (or somesuch).
Sounds like a PR stunt.
This comment says it all:-
so - let me see if I've got this right - We allow the greedheads to fracture the earths crust, potentially damaging water courses, releasing toxic gases into the local environment, and rendering good arable land and/or forests unusable, so that we can a) charge locals more for the end product, and b) sell the end product overseas, making the producers and middlemen rich. The potential benefits look very small, and the risks very high - we get some short term employment, higher prices, and a damaged environment.Why is the government allowing this? if we need the gas, I can see that there may be a case - but if we're just going to break up the farm and sell it, I don't see the point at all.
Well the simple answer is the purported environmental effects of CSG are still yet to be proven. There has been study after study into the effects of fracking, and still there is no conclusive proof it causes any damage.
Looking at Victoria, they put a moratorium on all CSG activities until studies could be carried out into its potential effects. It now looks like they will start opening the state up for CSG.
Until they do comprehensive "before and after" studies, there will never be evidence of damage.
How do you prove the water table is damaged,if you do not have data that was collated before the damage occurred?
The problem with this logic is that you neglect the social impacts of any proposed CSG development. This is something that is qualitatively measured, generally as an Social Impact Assessment.
In regards to your claim of 'proof of damage', might I direct your attention to the attachment to my post. It reports that leakage rates of higher than 2% are hazardous to a number of environmental outcomes - including water quality. To assume there is no associated impact on water tables from fracking is naive at best. If you wish for further documentation from peer reviewed sources, I am more than happy to oblige.
Considering your state government has taken a precautionary approach to marine park management, where action is not taken until the science is proven, why would you think that the circumstances surrounding fracking and water table degradation should be different?
Not to mention my initial point. If it is proven that fracking negatively impacts on the water table, then what of the social impacts? Do you simply say "oh I am sorry, you no longer have potable water", or do you adapt a precautionary principle, or better yet, do a proper fucking assessment to avoid telling people that their water is now contaminated?
Also once an aquifer is contaminated how does it get remediated? Better ask how Orica is going trying to stop the contamination in the Botany aquifa.
Another POV on this is also to consider a massive issue that is happening right now in the Hunter Valley with water pollution. The run off, tailing leachates, Mine overflow etc from what are being termed "legacy" mines is poisoning the waterways in the Hunter Valley. Some of the waterways, such as those near the old Rothbury mine are almost completely sterile due to the toxins. Who is responsible you may ask. Well that would be the people of NSW as all the mines are from companies that no longer exist. Gues how much the state government is spending to remediate those mines to prevent the contamination?
I would refer back to my post #87.
So there has been no proof of damage from fracking. Who has done the research? What were the parameters of their research? If they used the parameters in the examples I discussed, that isn't science, that is a manipulation of people using half truths paraded by "industry experts".
Separate names with a comma.