Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Apathy, silence and non action are our greatest threat

The most important outcomes for Redhand attending the IWC were:
• connections made with many wonderful committed passionate creative individuals;
• global network building with major conservations organisations;
• raised awareness of where the Kimberley is, that it is one of the last wilderness on the planet and the threats of industrialisation that this very small intact corner of the planet is facing and
• increased awareness of the impacts of oil and gas exploration and expansion is having on all marine life and all the oceans of the planet

This following video is dedicated to all the magnificent people Redhand has just spent the last week with, protesting, advocating, lobbying, laughing, connecting, crying, singing, activating and achieving.

As the full moon rose over Agadir, the International Whaling Commission meeting for 2010 came to a close. The Commission spoke about the quota of whales that can be slaughtered, the technical methods of capture and slaughter. Even the issue of who are the most aggressive in the Whale Wars of the Southern Oceans, Sea Shepherd or the Japanese whalers?

However, some of the most vital associated issues and concerns currently heavily impacting on the surviving whales and other cetaceans around the world were never really given the vital attention they deserve : the toxic levels of contamination currently being identified in all marine meat, climate change and the impacts of the oil and gas industries on our oceans.

The cancerous growth of the oil and gas industries all around the planet, with their thousands of massive (often rusty) tankers that meander around the oceans, the thousands of kilometers of piping, thousands upon thousands of oil/gas platforms and exploration rigs and all the associated drilling and seismic testing with all its underwater interfering noise pollution has never been really looked at from a birds eye point of view or heard from a fish’s ear.

One outcome of IWC62 was a workshop on oil and gas exploration - prompted by the ongoing problems of gray whales around Sakhalin, by long-term concerns about oil exploitation in the Arctic feeding grounds, and more immediately by the Gulf of Mexico oil leak crisis.

WWF pointed out that conservation achievements were made, in particular praising the decision to investigate the impacts of oil and gas exploration and development in the Arctic, which the group describes as "critical in the wake of the disastrous oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico". Considering these multinationals octopus like invasions around the whole planet, why has this study going to be limited to the Arctic only?

How hypocritical of the Australian Federal Government to pontificate on the world stage about the well-being of whales when their current Use It or Loss It policy imposed on the current oil and gas lease holders is already playing madden havoc in the underwater world, particularly off the west coast of Australia.

I had word from a friend from Broome today “was in JPP yesterday and I can hear the thoomp thoomp of the seismic testing in the rocks. Woodside have two or three boats off the JPP and Quondong coast at the moment. That sort of noise will surely upset the whales and muck up any whale survey figure”

So Woodside, supported by our State Government are currently undertaking illegal seismic testing without the appropriate and necessary environmental approvals. If this company can do this, operate outside legislative laws and procedures, without fear of the prosecution, right under our noses, and in full view of the world, then what else are they doing that is out of sight and out of mind?

But what Redhand wants to know is where are the voices of the Broome’s Tourism Industry, the professional and amateur fishing people and the cruise boat operators. Now is the time that these people to start educating themselves about the effect this proposed invasive of the oil and gas industries into their economic territories is going to have on their businesses and lifestyles.

I know the Tourist Impact Report said “that the largest proposed LNG precinct in the world will have no consequences as long as the tourists don’t see it”. However, I was kind of hoping that maybe some of the membership of these interests groups would have enough sense to look a little deeper than that. Redhand would like to suggest that maybe the Bob Masters of the world could undertake a field excursion and visit peers in the Mexico Gulf, maybe Florida just to collect some hardcore facts. This could be a good place to start.

Now is the time for all of us to activate, to get out there in your boats and boots, meet these seismic boats when they come in for supplies, write letters to the all levels of Government and all their relevant departments, ring your radio talk back shows, write letters to the editor, sing really loudly, connect with like-minded people, hold information days, talk about it to everyone you meet and basically start to make a general nuisance of ourselves.

If Woodside (on behalf of all the joint ventures) can operate outside the law than Redhand suggests that we challenge their every illegal move.

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