Tuesday, 12 April 2011

Swimming in the path of progress

Pelican So a ragtag bunch of anti-industrialists has headed out to sea in boats made with petro-chemicals and powered by fuel oil to protest about oil exploration and the prospective production of petr0-chemicals 30km off the coast of New Zealand.

Meanwhile, a year on from BP’s Deepwater Horizon explosion, the Gulf of Mexico (the former economic Dead Sea) has been oil-free for seven months and enjoying more fish stocks than it has ever had, and the Gulf Coast itself has largely recovered.

_Quote “The spill was a disaster, but it was not the catastrophe that many people were portraying,” said Ivor van Heerden, a marine scientist who once headed the Louisiana coastal restoration programme for the state’s fragile eco-system of wetlands.

It’s the catastrophe that wasn’t. A non-catastrophe that will still help make offshore drilling better, cleaner and safer. A non-catastrophic oil spill that is still nonetheless the touchstone for most of the unwashed. Sure, as Don Boudreaux points out,

_Quoteoil spills are compellingly photographable – and, hence, attention-getting and emotion-stirring.  In contrast, lower prices for – which, by the way, mean fewer resources used to bring to market – clothing, children’s toys, digital cameras, camping equipment, kitchen appliances, groceries, and other goods that we routinely enjoy are not photographable in any compelling way.  The result is that the social benefits of corporate innovations and competition are easily overlooked, ignored, taken for granted, forgotten.  But these benefits are enormous.

petrobras-protest So why are there so many previously unwashed anti-industrialists swimming around in front of other people’s boats off East Cape ?

Precisely because the logic of environmentalism, as practiced by the anti-industrialists, is to deny man’s needs and the requirements of his survival—to deny the benefits they themselves enjoy—to follow instead a path which would logically lead to a society without technology. Even the technology that allows these people to sit, quite literally, in the path of progress.



  1. Give me strength! Half the East Cape is out of work, on the dole, and crime is ramapant.

    New Zealanders in work are paying to live here and paying for these drongos as well. Picture NZ without the Taranaki oilfields and what our parlous economy would look like with no oil resources. How many catastrophies have occured there in the last 40 years since Maui was discovered?
    There's different grades of idiots out there, but these ones are on a level of their own.


  2. I heard a few of them on talkback radio, they were just plain thick, or as Stalin used to say, "useful idiots"

  3. To say nothing of the Maori politicians and tribes saying stupid things.

    The irony is if anything substantial is discovered they will be the first ones in the queue looking for a cut.

  4. You also missed the protest about tidal power turbines, also apparently not wanted by certain groups.
    How do these turbines result in 'dire' consequences for the environment?


    We are getting to the stage where daily there are protests against anything and everything. God help anyone who wants to invest here.

  5. You'd think they would be happy, their lord and savior, the great Obama, is giving Petrobras billions of US dollars to develop their business at the expense of the US oil and gas industry.

  6. I'll be impressed when they use rowboats and sailboats to do their missions, and bikes to get to the waterfront - but that would require effort.

  7. I blame Capitalism for these jerks...Capitalism that created so much wealth and raised man's standard of living so high that waste of space drop kicks like this are now able to sit about talking bullshit rather than scratching the basic resources to remain alive from a hostile and unforgiving nature as their ancestors had to do.Capitalisms stunning success sows the seeds of its own destruction by facilitating the existence of those who would pull it down....maybe we need to rethink that law of non contradiction thing again..

  8. "or as Stalin used to say, "useful idiots""

    Is learning a bit of history considered some sort of commie heresy by you guys? It's easier just to make things up I guess (as Ayn Rand used to say).

    Jol Thang

  9. And Jol will now produce the evidence that Stalin never used the "useful idiot" line, ever... but will no doubt try the sophisticated 1st year uni drunken bait-and-switch technique of trying to claim that B Whitehead said that Stalin invented the phrase.

  10. Jol has never contributed anything useful on this blog. Everytime he makes a comment here, it is a snide.

    Such behavior fits in with her expertise as a staff at the Women's Affairs Department, where everyone there is a dork.

  11. The term "useful idiots" is attributed to Lenin, not Stalin as Jol suggests, I couldn't find any reference for the Ayn Rand quote as stated by Jol.., would they care to enlighten us?

  12. The term's attributed by some to Lenin but there's no evidence he said it either. Try harder.

    Ayn Rand probably didn't say that. I made it up. Sorry, I thought that was the modus operandi around here.

    Jol Thang

  13. @Jol, if you DO have anything to actually say then it's certainly not been in evidence these past weeks.

    But when you do try to not say it next time, please put your name in the NAME field so at least we can see who's not saying it.

  14. Jol Thang
    Judge Holden
    Joe Hendren


  15. A non-catastrophe that will still help make offshore drilling better, cleaner and safer.

    The real scandal is actually the failure to learn from previous incidents. BP managed to avert a similar near-blowout in the north sea a few years earlier, but critically, did not take the lessons from that incident and apply them to the deepwater horizon.

    Yes; this will make it "safer", but it should have been safer anyway.

    That said: don't judge the entire oil industry by BPs track-record.


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