The Dim-Post

February 22, 2012

The tell

Filed under: blogging — danylmc @ 7:15 pm

DPF’s been on an anti-environmentalist binge recently, with a series of posts about Patrick Moore, a (1) former environmental activist at Greenpeace in the 1970s and (2) lobbyist for the logging and nuclear power industries (DPF omitted one of those two facts, see if you can guess which); a post about ‘global warming dirty tricks’, a post entitled ‘more anti-science from the Greens’. I teased him about this on twitter, writing:

I’m guessing your polls now have soft-National voters leaning towards the Greens?

And he responds here.

This is a half-serious theory I developed during the election campaign. During the final weeks Kiwiblog got pretty weird, with an increasingly hysterical run of posts attacking Winston Peters, culminating in the (inaccurate) announcement that Winston Peters was an ‘illegal candidate’.

Why was DPF so exercised about Peters? All the polls had him well under 5%. My theory was that the public polls were historical, but because DPF is the National pollster he had access to the overnight quantitative polls his company conducts for them, and that showed Winston surging. So based on nothing more than DPF’s posts attacking him, I predicted that Winston was on over 5%, which turned out to be true.

Now, I don’t know what National’s polls actually showed regarding Peters. Or if they show that soft National voters are trending Green. And I believe DPF when he says:

Now the reality is I decide what to blog basically when I read a news item, or if someone brings something to my attention by way of blog comment, twitter or e-mail. I don’t have a library or inventory of stories held in reserve, which I release based on what the polls are indicating.

Because I work exactly the same way. I blog about what I’m interested in, and it’s generally reactive. But you blog about what you read and hear in conversation, either intentionally or unintentionally, and DPF gets to read the internal polls and market research carried out by his company for the National Party and discuss them with the Prime Minister and his staff, and it would be pretty weird if none of that informed his choice of subjects. And the supposition seems reasonable enough: the PM’s popularity is trending down, while the Greens have come out swinging this year on issues that have broad public support.

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64 Comments »

  1. Yeah, I spotted the same pre-election hysteria w.r.t Peters being exhibited by National Party proxies:

    http://www.thepaepae.com/nationals-desperados-get-perfervid-about-peters/20513/

    That said, methinks you do give David a wittle too much credit … but truth is stranger than fiction, I guess, and you’re right, things did get weird.

    -P

    Comment by Peter A — February 22, 2012 @ 7:28 pm

  2. “while the Greens have come out swinging this year on issues that have broad public support” like castigating those dirty chinks who want to steal our land.

    Comment by stephen — February 22, 2012 @ 7:51 pm

  3. Danyl, you have a power that almost nobody else in the NZ blogosphere, or indeed NZ politics has – when you poke DPF, he reacts. Usually quite hysterically – you can tell he’s pissed off because he goes into self-righteous self-congratulation about how independent and free-spirited he is. He obviously has read enough of his own press that his status as an independent commentator (as opposed to a part of the Tory apparatus) is very important to him, and when it’s challenged by somebody with an audience, he tends to lose his shit.

    So, I urge you – use this power wisely.

    Comment by Hugh — February 22, 2012 @ 8:00 pm

  4. I agree with Hugh. Although he loses 100 credibility credits for labelling the current NZ National Party (or any major modern NZ political party) as ‘Tory’

    Shit, that’s lazy.

    Comment by Andrew M — February 22, 2012 @ 8:18 pm

  5. Tory really sums DPF up well, ‘God, King and Country’. One out of three is good for socialists.

    Comment by Pete George — February 22, 2012 @ 8:52 pm

  6. I call a cellphone a “mobile” too! Infuriating, innit?

    Comment by Hugh — February 22, 2012 @ 9:33 pm

  7. PS: Pete, DPF is actually a Republican Atheist.

    Comment by Hugh — February 22, 2012 @ 9:42 pm

  8. That’s why it’s one out of three.Hugh. Gotta give him Country.

    Comment by Pete George — February 22, 2012 @ 10:28 pm

  9. I’m not sure what greater point you’re driving at, Pete. Why can’t you write a blog post elsewhere explaining it all and linkwhore it here like in the old days?

    Comment by Sam F — February 22, 2012 @ 10:34 pm

  10. It’s clear that DPF has a problem with environmentalist and anti-environmentalist alike.I’m not really sure if Hugh is right but he’s clearly all about king and country.

    Comment by yolanda — February 23, 2012 @ 12:06 am

  11. Sam F – because there’s simpler ways of attracting petty bitching.

    Is there a great point you’re driving at? Are you making an indirect dig at Danyl for writing this blog post explaining it all and linkwhoring? To save staying off topic here can you please explain in your own blog. Or on Kiwiblog General Berate.

    Comment by Pete George — February 23, 2012 @ 7:00 am

  12. DPF is a National Party tribalist. If National started to say nationalise the private health sector he would be all for it. If Labour made the same move DPF would declare it crime of the century. Whale Oil blog is also a National Party tribalist.

    As the National party is soft left of centre both these blogs are useful propaganda for National as the blog owners hold themselves out to be right wing. However if you believe in limited government, personal freedom, property rights blah blah blah both of these blogs are a joke though Whale Oil is frequently better entertainment than HBO.

    Comment by Simon — February 23, 2012 @ 7:08 am

  13. With the number of polls Danyl suggests DPF does I’m surprised Labour didn’t propose a poll tax to redistribute some of his wealth.

    Polls done well may be an asset. Even other people’s polls may help. Instead of an obsession with reading Whale Oil and posting on The Standard the Labour election strategists could have caught up with an Aussie poll. The main campaign focus for Labour was on asset sales and minimum wage. Roy Morgan does a poll on Most Important Problem Facing New Zealand. October results:

    Low Wages 1%
    Foreign Ownership/ Selling our Assets 1%

    If DPF is indeed on “an anti-environmentalist binge” he may not have checked up on Roy Morgan either:
    Environmental Issues/ Degradation 2%
    Environmental Pollution/ Water Pollution 1%

    But surely all DPF’s polls will be on to that. It’s an old 1/3 Tory trick, diversion, to make the opposition think that’s what they’re worried about. It would be interesting to see what DPF blogged on just before Labour decided on their anti asset sale and minimum wage obsessions.

    Comment by Pete George — February 23, 2012 @ 7:27 am

  14. If it was just the posts of the last few days I would side with DPF. But his record diring the election campaign have shown him up. He can’t expect to be able to go back to independent blogger mode now.

    I recall the election night coverage where the first few votes came through showing NZ First above 5%. DPF was on the panel and commented, almost as a resigned admission, that Peters would certainly be back.

    Comment by Swan — February 23, 2012 @ 7:34 am

  15. I thought coups were usually launched by challengers when the incumbent was out of the country. Playing his hand from the other side of the world is odd. MAybe he is chucking his hand in and wanted to be as far from the media as possible.

    Either way it looks selfish and totally inconsiderate of his position and reason for being in Washington.

    Comment by Pete George — February 23, 2012 @ 7:53 am

  16. Whoops,typed ^ in the wrong blog.

    Comment by Pete George — February 23, 2012 @ 7:54 am

  17. Still, DPF’s main complaint about the Greens is their attitude towards science, a concern a lot of people who would be more sympathetic to the Greens share.

    They continue to pick and choose which science they like depending on how it suits them which, for a party which is supposed to be more concerned with science as a core position of the party, is a major failure.

    Whatever DPF’s motives, he’s right.

    Comment by NeilM — February 23, 2012 @ 8:04 am

  18. The greens view the plantet as some sort of god. so talking to them about green issues is like talking to ian wishart about god.You will never change their view they see you as being a unbeliver(just like in the movie whicker man)

    Comment by graham lowe — February 23, 2012 @ 8:25 am

  19. “16.Still, DPF’s main complaint about the Greens is their attitude towards science, a concern a lot of people who would be more sympathetic to the Greens share.”

    It’s strange though, that he doesn’t have as much of a problem with the Republican Party on that same score, or the National or ACT parties for that matter.

    Comment by Pascal's bookie — February 23, 2012 @ 8:28 am

  20. They continue to pick and choose which science they like depending on how it suits them which, for a party which is supposed to be more concerned with science as a core position of the party, is a major failure.

    Substitute economic science (eg cost benefits of particular kinds of infrastructure spending) for ecological science, and this could apply to rather larger and presently more dominant and influential parties than the Greens.

    Comment by Sam F — February 23, 2012 @ 8:30 am

  21. Yes, all parties pick and choose science, surveys, polls, opinion to suit their own policies. The bigger Green orientated problem that is mentioned in DPF’s post is how they try to use science as an absolute to support their ‘stop everything’ stances.

    However, Gareth Hughes, Green Party spokesman on energy and fracking, said the process should be halted “in the interests of caution”, including an investigation by the parliamentary commissioner for the environment.

    ‘In the interests of caution’ means:
    – there is no evidence of risk in Taranaki, we need to prove there is no risk (scientifically impossible)
    – nothing could ever be done because science is never settled

    Greens seem to be trying to use ‘caution’ about fracking to halt drilling – isn’t it obvious they just don’t want any drilling and will use any excuse to oppose it?

    They don’t want deep sea drilling until there is no risk – which also in effect means NO DRILLING. Science doesn’t matter when all you want to do is stop things.

    Comment by Pete George — February 23, 2012 @ 8:46 am

  22. Pete @ 8:46. It is obvious that you han’t actually viewed the report in question.

    Firstly there is a disclaimer stating that “The hydraulic fracturing and geological information in this report has lergely been supplied by oil and gas compaines”

    Secondly, the Executive Summray points out three times that there are risks involved with hydraulic fracturing and ultimatly recomends that resource consents will be required for all subsurface fracturing. This is taking a more precautionary approach than what was applied in the past. Perhaps the Taranaki Regional Council being taken to the environment court had something to do with this.

    I say good on Gareth Hughes for asking for fracking to be halted until independant investigations are undertaken. By the oil compaines own information there are acknowledged risks and given overseas experience we need to be 100% that fracking is the right thing to do.

    Comment by Paul Bailey — February 23, 2012 @ 9:20 am

  23. It’s strange though, that he doesn’t have as much of a problem with the Republican Party on that same score, or the National or ACT parties for that matter.

    I aggree his concern isn’t evenly spread. But that doesn’t make up for Gareth Hughes proving him right at regular intervals.

    Comment by NeilM — February 23, 2012 @ 9:23 am

  24. Pete I think you will find the greens use far more science to back up their arguments than any of the other parties.

    Where you might quibble with them is that they take a cautious approach towards extractive industries rather than the rip it out of the ground for economic reasons championed by the National Party.

    I think you will find too that some of the complaints people have of the greens stem from MP’s such as Sue Kedgely who are no longer around.

    Comment by squirrel — February 23, 2012 @ 9:38 am

  25. SUe may be gone but her spirit lives on in some of the new fruit loops

    Comment by insider — February 23, 2012 @ 9:44 am

  26. Give me some examples, the cautious approach to fracking does not demonstrate an unwillingness to listen to science.

    When I disagree with Green MP’s I contact them and they are very open to listening and reconsidering their position this includes where I believe they may have erred on the science – which I think happens a lot more frequently in other parties.

    Comment by squirrel — February 23, 2012 @ 9:51 am

  27. Christ you’re boring Pete. The old ‘the Greens are anti-science’ shtick is the last vestige of the tired right-wing hack. Which, incidentally, Kiwiblog is. I don’t think there’s any real conspiracy in his posting re: the Greens, he’s just somebody who identifies much more with the ACT party than he’d like to let on, but lets it slip every now and then when promoting the views of climate change deniers on his blog. This is, after all, somebody who quotes Ian Wishart when tailing about how this whole global warming thing is really all exaggerated and made up.

    Comment by Hobbes — February 23, 2012 @ 10:03 am

  28. Farrar is creating a straw man by saying that fracking is safe because there is no evidence it causes major earthquakes. The main safety concern about fracking is groundwater contamination, not earthquakes.

    Comment by kahikatea — February 23, 2012 @ 10:03 am

  29. “I aggree his concern isn’t evenly spread. But that doesn’t make up for Gareth Hughes proving him right at regular intervals.”

    but it does provide strong support for the thesis that dpf’s concern isn’t about ‘science’ at all. His main complaint seems to be that the greens exist in opposition to his beloved nats.

    The greens are both weirdo fundamentalist religionists of gaia who probably want to exterminate humans to save some cows, and, they are actually just unreconstructed communists using genuine environmental concerns to dupe useful idiots. Goddamn human hating watermelon cultists abusing science like that. Why, they ougtta be ashamed.

    Comment by Pascal's bookie — February 23, 2012 @ 10:27 am

  30. One of DPF’s co right wing conspirators compliments a Green MP, and this one isn’t rocket science.

    Help from The Greens

    Let us look at the actions of Jan Logie first. The good news.

    Credit where credit is due, this new MP is actually trying to make a difference. Even during no doubt what is a busy time as she tries to get her mind around being a new MP and the responsibilities and workload that brings in a small Party.

    Jan Logie meanwhile, from Wellington has managed to provide a level of pastoral care to Tania Wysocki that would put most MPs to shame. It really isn’t any wonder that The Greens are currently out-performing Labour in parliament and acting as though they are the real opposition.

    This is from a revealing series of posts on Pimping the Poor starting here that aren’t so complimentary about other things. It started from the Mum: Prostitution to pay for studies story in The Herald.

    Comment by Pete George — February 23, 2012 @ 10:56 am

  31. A comment from the post that started this on fracking:

    Fracking is neither new nor unusual. Fracturing in one form or another is almost as old as oil exploration itself. In the 1860s drillers in the US used nirtroglycerine to crack underground rock formations to assist with oil extraction, in a process known as “shooting” a well.

    Hydraulic fracturing was first used in the late 1940s, patented in 1949, and today water remains by far the most common substance used in this method of opening up bearing strata to allow the release of hydrocarbons. The second most common material used is sand.

    Somewhere in the order of two-thirds of oil wells worldwide employ fracturing to one degree or another, including those in New Zealand.

    Bogeyman stories about earthquakes and groundwater contamination are largely the product of baseless scaremongering on the part of the poorly informed and those with agendas to push. Hydrocarbon bearing rock exists for the most part in the zone far deeper than water wells and aquifers, and far shallower than the zone where seismic activity begins. In nearly five years in the irrigation industry I had involvement with literally hundreds of clients’ water bores, not one of which ever struck oil.

    Fracking has been standard practice for more than two generations without causing any problems, and it isn’t about to make the sky fall just because the Greens have only just heard of it.

    Maybe it will be the weight of hydrocarbons that caves the sky in.

    Comment by Pete George — February 23, 2012 @ 11:17 am

  32. Yawn. Pete George hates the Greens so much he quotes Richard Prosser, New Zealand First MP and complete drongo, at face value. Boring. Take it to your own blog mate.

    Comment by Hobbes — February 23, 2012 @ 11:30 am

  33. @ kahikatea

    Let’s be honest, the concern about fracking is not with water contamination, because if it were the concern would be about every single drill bore that goes through a water table and fracking would never have entered the green fear vocab. Fracking in and of itself as a process is highly unlikely to be a risk to water. The risk is that casings at the top of the well bore are not robust, and that is a risk common to all wells.

    This is about the general campaign against hydrocarbons.

    @ squirrel

    The Greens are using no science on this, only fear. If they were truly using science they wouldn’t rely on popular movies for their information nor disseminate them as guides to the issues. What they would do is look at the history of fracking, its widespread use over time and geography (1 million wells over 60 years- but hey it’s ‘unproven’, a bit like the computer), including in NZ, and they wouldn’t equate deep shale fracking in the US with oil well fracking in NZ. If they were truly based on science they would have known about this process decades ago not just in the last few weeks cos it;s got a cool name.

    Comment by insider — February 23, 2012 @ 11:43 am

  34. Hobbes – I don’t hate the Greens. I agree with some Green things and not with others. As a party I prefer Greens (I’ve voted Green electorate and party vote) far more than NZF.

    But I don’t think along party lines and dismiss anything simply becasue of it’s source. I thought what Richard Prosser said added to the discussion here and seemed more informed abaout fracking and drilling than many of the commenters here (including me).

    Do you disagree with what he says, or are you just in auto-anti mode?

    Comment by Pete George — February 23, 2012 @ 11:52 am

  35. I disagree with what he says, and am in “auto-anti” mode because unlike you, I & most people regard the Kiwiblog comments section to be an assorted collection of crazies, racists and loons as opposed to some sort of perfect model of Athenian democracy which should be breathlessly and uncritically regarded as the truth.

    Comment by Hobbes — February 23, 2012 @ 12:26 pm

  36. All of what he says? Factually incorrect? Or just the history and science that doesn’t suit what you breathlessly and uncritically regarded as your truth?

    At least Prosser has contributed his knowledge and experience to the discussion (on KB), and not just attacked the messenger without any attempt at reasonable discussion (you, here).

    Comment by Pete George — February 23, 2012 @ 12:55 pm

  37. I really preferred it when the subject of discussion was DPF, not The Greens.

    Comment by Hugh — February 23, 2012 @ 1:58 pm

  38. that well pretty quickly went dry Hugh ;-)

    Comment by insider — February 23, 2012 @ 1:59 pm

  39. 2 PG #20:

    ‘In the interests of caution’ means:
    – there is no evidence of risk in Taranaki, we need to prove there is no risk (scientifically impossible)
    – nothing could ever be done because science is never settled

    Greens seem to be trying to use ‘caution’ about fracking to halt drilling – isn’t it obvious they just don’t want any drilling and will use any excuse to oppose it?

    I could change a few of your words as quoted and summarise United Future’s attitude to drugs, so it’d be great if you’d dismount from that that high horse.

    Comment by The Green Blazer — February 23, 2012 @ 2:05 pm

  40. The Green Blazer, that’s an odd sort of request/threat to try and nobble a horse. I suggest that Peter Dunne’s knowledge of drugs (legal and illegal) is far more substantial than Gareth Hughe’s knowledge of fracking and drilling. (I acknowledge there’s plenty of debate about drugs, but that’s getting way off topic.)

    Comment by Pete George — February 23, 2012 @ 2:17 pm

  41. There is a lot of drivel in these comments about the Greens being anti-science or worshipping the planet like god. It’s almost funny….but not quite. It’s very simple. Where the science is in dispute, the Greens were err on the side of prudence and caution with respect the environment and our general welfare. In contrast, the two major parties (national more so than labour) tend to err on the side of prudence and caution where any change disturbs some vested interest or may impede some goal of a corporate backer. The difference is obvious enough to me, but as you would expect those with vested interests – and their supporters – find it less obvious than I do.

    Comment by Steve (@nza1) — February 23, 2012 @ 2:25 pm

  42. Are you saying PD has illegal knowledge of drugs Pete? That would explain the hair I suppose

    Comment by insider — February 23, 2012 @ 2:26 pm

  43. I used to really enjoy reading the comments here, some good discussion went on, now it just seems to be getting sucked into the vacuum of ignorance that surrounds PG, and at this rate, never to return.

    Comment by Chris Bull — February 23, 2012 @ 2:36 pm

  44. Are you kidding, Insider? DPF’s fatuous self-regard for his supposed “independence”? Dude, that is the gift that keeps on giving, subject-matter wise.

    This whole “Greens – Super Rational Nice Guys or Crazy Hippy Luddites?” debate got old in October 2002.

    Comment by Hugh — February 23, 2012 @ 2:39 pm

  45. Steve, science is not simple, the essence of science is that it is always in dispute. It’s a matter of balancing knowledge and risk. I would hope you’re not overcautious about the theory of gravity, it’s unlikely you’ll ever fall off the planet.

    Has the safety of filling buildings with unnatural fibregass products been proven beyond doubt? Or is as safe as houses? Has fibreglassing been trialled for as long as fracking?

    Everyone in politics – and their supporters – has vested interests. I thought that would be obvious to you.

    Comment by Pete George — February 23, 2012 @ 2:40 pm

  46. Steve, science is not simple, the essence of science is that it is always in dispute. It’s a matter of balancing knowledge and risk. I would hope you’re not overcautious about the theory of gravity, it’s unlikely you’ll ever fall off the planet.

    Has the safety of filling buildings with unnatural fibregass products been proven beyond doubt? Or is as safe as houses? Has fibreglassing been trialled for as long as fracking? (I had my house filled topped up with fibreglass last year, benefiting from a Green initiative).

    Everyone in politics – and their supporters – has vested interests. I thought that would be obvious to you.

    Comment by Pete George — February 23, 2012 @ 2:45 pm

  47. i’m not sure it is all it’s fracked up to be Hugh

    @steve

    They err on the side of caution when it suits (and are so no different from the rest). For example their support for ‘complementary’ medicines and Maori witch doctors.

    Comment by insider — February 23, 2012 @ 2:49 pm

  48. While we’re talking about bloggers who doth kinda protest too much, Danyl, why not just come straight out and call Farrar a dishonest party hack? You’ve taken the very long way round to not quite arrive at the obvious destination. :)

    Comment by Craig Ranapia — February 23, 2012 @ 3:03 pm

  49. The thing is Craig, by stopping short of calling DPF a hack, Danyl retains his ability to needle him. The Standard and Red Alert call DPF a National party drone, and he doesn’t care. DPF was initially a big booster of Danyl when this blog was mostly comedy-based, and he hasn’t quite given up on Danyl as JAOOTLMWAUTTRISIDOMFBFEWO* yet. If Danyl were to go after DPF all guns blazing, he’d lose the ability to puncture DPF’s self-regard. And when DPF’s self-regard gets punctured he comes out with high dudgeon and bombast which is a joy to behold. Which is what I was trying to encapsulate when I said to Danyl – use it wisely. With great power comes great etc etc.

    *Just Another One Of Those Lefty Morons Who Aren’t Up To The Rigorous Intellectual Standards I Demand Of My Fellow Bloggers, For Example Whale Oil

    Comment by Hugh — February 23, 2012 @ 3:13 pm

  50. Everytime I see someone go on about how ‘the Greens are antiscience’ and when pressed, citing a dubious example of something which actually HAS some science behind it, I want to hunt them down and beat a brain into them with my postgrad environmental related degree.

    (And the laughable thing is, I think what they MEAN is ‘the Greens keep using Science stuff to decide what to turn into issues! Waaah!’ while other parties only go and look at the science when they are being forced to defend their issues. Obviously nobody is right all the time, and using Science from the get go exposes one to more public ridicule if it’s wrong – but they’re often ridiculed for the stuff they’ve been right about, too.)

    Comment by Flynn — February 23, 2012 @ 3:23 pm

  51. Now Flynn, if you had done your degree in a real science like physics you’d know that a rolled up piece of parchment is unlikely to inflict the damage needed to beat a brain into someone, even if it did have ‘postgrad environmental related degree’ written on it. Not even a degree with ‘structural engineering’ written on it could do that. Even if it did penetrate the scalp, the blood would make the paper go soggy. I weep for the Greens if this represents the quality of their science advice :-)

    Comment by insider — February 23, 2012 @ 3:37 pm

  52. There is a lot of drivel in these comments . . .

    It’s got to be more a case of sifting the drivel here for worthwhile comment.
    A WordPress plugin or suchlike to eliminate the droning Dunne fetishist would help.

    Comment by Joe W — February 23, 2012 @ 5:40 pm

  53. The Greens (and others) continue to ignore mounting evidence of negative feedbacks in our climate, holding out for the day that a study provides evidence of positive feedbacks. ‘Sorry to keep banging on about it, though.

    Comment by Clunking Fist — February 23, 2012 @ 7:00 pm

  54. Surely the real news is that Farrar pees sitting down.

    Comment by Sacha — February 23, 2012 @ 7:34 pm

  55. @insider #32

    Could you explain the difference between oil well fracking in New Zealand and deep shale fracking in the States?

    This is quite an interesting point. All of the opposition to fracking in NZ is so far derived from problems (and there do appear to be problems) with natural gas fracturing in the states. If these processes are not comparable then I would agree the greens should be focusing on the bigger problem which is carbon. However, if fracking here is comparable to fracking in the states then there really is reason to be cautious about contamination and earthquakes.

    http://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2011/02/27/us/natural-gas-documents-1.html#document/p1/a9895

    Oh, and then I found this from Dr. Michael Blanpied, Associate Coordinator for the USGS Earthquake Hazards Program
    (at http://gallery.usgs.gov/videos/441)

    “Dr. Mike: Well, we know that the fracking process, that’s where we’re inducing fractures into rock within a well in order to increase the ability to extract things from the rock. That process can cause very small earthquakes but the fracking process doesn’t really, we don’t think, induce large earthquakes.

    The thing that can induce large earthquakes is the high pressure fluid injection, waste fluid injection, that’s done in some places. However, as far as we’re aware there’s not really the mining or the fluid injection processes going on in Virginia that would have connected this earthquake with anything like that. And just to be clear, the connection between fracking and fluid injection and earthquakes is an area of active research and really we’re only starting to learn about how those things are connected.”

    So is there any high pressure fluid injection in NZ, or at least near Wellington?

    Disclaimer: I am a green party member and have cringed slightly at some green party policy which is not particularly science based (e.g. blanket opposition to nuclear power). But in this instance I am so far happy with my representatives’ relationship with science.

    Comment by Tobias — February 23, 2012 @ 8:03 pm

  56. @insider Actually, I was thinking of the framed version. You can do quite a lot of damage with a large framed certificate.

    Comment by Flynn — February 24, 2012 @ 2:47 am

  57. @ Tobias Here, this is the best source I’ve found on a five minute Google search

    http://www.listener.co.nz/current-affairs/fracking-in-new-zealand/

    It’s a very long article and only deals with earthquakes at the end (as opposed to contamination and history and industry opinion) so I’ll quote the relevant bit for lazy people. As earthquakes appear to be the issue du jour.

    “It has happened. “In Colorado at the Rocky Mountain Arsenal, they were injecting fluids along a fault over a period of a few years and they noticed increased seismicity in the area. On August 9, 1967, they had a magnitude 5.5 event.” The project, which was to dispose of wastewater, was shut down as a result.

    In the Swiss city of Basel, fracking at a geothermal project is claimed to have triggered several earthquakes in the magnitude 3 range between December 2006 and January 2007. It, too, was subsequently shut down. And in 1979 through to the late 1980s at a geothermal field in Baja California, there were several magnitude 5 events allegedly triggered by fracking, with the largest measuring 5.4. So, should fracking go ahead in Canterbury without first checking the earthquake safety of the region?

    “No,” says Hasting, who stressed he was a supporter of fracking if it is done well. “You shouldn’t do it. It would be absolutely irresponsible to go out in an area like Canterbury, which is a known area of tectonic fractures, and start injecting fluids without understanding the reservoir, the system, and where you are injecting these fluids. You want to determine where these faults are and how close they are to failure before anything is done. You can’t 100% guarantee that you won’t induce a large event in a tectonically active area like New Zealand.”

    A series of small earthquakes last year near Blackpool in England has been linked by the British Geological Survey to a fracking project run by Cuadrilla Resources. A subsequent study commissioned by Cuadrilla confirmed the link. There have been suggestions that a recent series of earthquakes in Oklahoma – including a magnitude 5.6 – may be linked to fracking in the state.”

    Comment by Flynn — February 24, 2012 @ 2:56 am

  58. Flynn, you could get your hands on the GNS Science report released this week for data on fracking/earthquake activity in Taranaki. Here’s a news story about it: http://www.stuff.co.nz/business/industries/6457264/Fracking-not-to-blame-for-quakes

    Comment by Ataahua — February 24, 2012 @ 9:36 am

  59. And when DPF’s self-regard gets punctured he comes out with high dudgeon and bombast which is a joy to behold.

    Agreed. It totally works when one is both short and fat.

    Comment by Gregor W — February 24, 2012 @ 10:43 am

  60. A series of small earthquakes last year near Blackpool in England has been linked by the British Geological Survey to a fracking project run by Cuadrilla Resources. A subsequent study commissioned by Cuadrilla confirmed the link.

    It’s worth keeping in mind that the size of these ‘earthquakes’ we’re approx 1 and 2 magnitude… this isn’t similar to having a large truck roll by your house.

    So yes, it’s true that Fracking generates shock in the surrounding rock which registers on a seismograph (that’s kinda the point, after all) but this is very different to the earthquakes that come from the movement of tectonic plates.

    Comment by Phil — February 24, 2012 @ 11:29 am

  61. approx 1 and 2 magnitude… this isn’t similar to having a large truck

    should say “isn’t dissimilar”

    Comment by Phil — February 24, 2012 @ 1:00 pm

  62. The full box of lefty tools jump out of Handy Manny’s box.

    Comment by stephen — February 24, 2012 @ 6:03 pm

  63. From what I’ve read the earthquakes are probably not the major issue. The greater problem is that fracking (at least as it’s practiced in the USA now) involves drilling a higher density of wells, each of which produces gas for less time than bores into fields which don’t require fracking. Economics then drives the amount spent per well down, which has resulted in poor sealing in some cases. Also, the drilling fluid and tailings returned from the well haven’t always been disposed of carefully.

    Comment by AVR — February 24, 2012 @ 7:17 pm

  64. Pete George, perhaps you should see the documentary, Gaslands. Sad, really. They should show that on tv before the elections. The oil companies are trying to discredit it with all their money and power. They aren’t doing a good job of it. Japan’s tsunami should illustrate how insignificant man’s understanding of nature should be. And if the oil companies screw up with the fracking, they’ll walk and we are left with nothing. I live in Hawkes Bay and am against fracking. But to Key and his mates, it’s all about $$$$$$$.

    Danyl, thanks for your original post about Farrar. My respect for him has plummeted 100 percent since he was using scare tactics to sway voters against Winston Peters. Anything he writes is extremely biased. David Farrar’s Kiwiblog is like watching FOX news. I don’t go there anymore and I can see he is loosing interested readers.

    Comment by jack — February 26, 2012 @ 9:55 am


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