What's wrong with deep sea oil?

The part oil has played in modern human history, how oil can’t have any part in our future, if there’s to be one … and what the alternative is.

Video details



The problem

Our hundred year reliance on oil is at a turning point. The BP Deepwater Horizon oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico put the spotlight on the far reaching consequences that our addiction to oil is having on the natural world and on the climate.

Today, oil is being used to power most of our vehicles, making us all dependent on it in some way - to get our food, to see our loved ones or to go on holiday. There are millions of cars, buses, trucks, ships and planes moving around our cities, our country, oceans and skies, connecting people and moving stuff around the world. But all of these vehicles need millions of gallons of oil to keep them going every day. And that’s taking a toll on the air we breathe, on our energy security, our economy, the environment and our climate.

But the giant oil fields that the industry hoped would last forever are starting to run dry. Faced with increasing restraints on access to the easy oil, companies are pushing in to areas previously considered too inaccessible, expensive or too risky to exploit. And this means going to greater and greater extremes to squeeze the last drops of oil from the earth - scraping the barrel in the tar sands of Canada, potentially violating the fragile ecosystems of the Arctic and now the pristine coastlines of New Zealand

This map shows current and proposed areas of oil exploration, drilling, and coal mining, and the climate-changing potential of those coal deposits. *The size of the oil deposits – and so the amount of potential CO2 emissions - within the new permit areas and block offers is not yet known.

If these places are exploited, and the oil burnt, we will be on track for a six degree rise in global average temperatures. Two degrees is generally accepted by scientists and governments as the tipping point of dangerous climate change. Scientists say a rise of six degrees in average global temperatures would have cataclysmic and irreversible consequences for the planet and threaten our very survival. This is the path we are on right now. But if we transform our transport and energy systems this doesn’t have to be the pathway we follow.

At the moment, millions of dollars of our money is going into subsidising risky oil, and keeping us stuck in the oil age. Our governments are propping up the oil companies with tax breaks and subsidies, and they’re allowing oil companies to exploit our natural world. In the long run, our addiction to oil will cost us far more.

If we do nothing, climate change will cost us around 20% of total gross domestic product (GDP) over the next half century. That's more than the cost of both world wars and the great depression put together. But if we act now to mitigate it, the cost would only be about one per cent of total economic growth. That's the same amount of money we spend on global advertising. Surely our survival is more important than billboards and TV adverts.

The latest updates

 

Seven of us climbed up that drillship to stop Arctic drilling, but 133,000 of us came...

Blog entry by Bunny | February 27, 2012

As we sat anxiously in the office last Friday waiting for the 'we made it' call we never dreamed that four days later we would have witnessed such a massive media storm, such overwhelming global support and such tenacity from our...

In 30 years we've lost 75% of the Arctic sea ice

Blog entry by James | February 14, 2012

If there's one fact to remember which underlines the urgency in protecting the Arctic it's this: in 30 years we've lost 75 per cent of the Arctic sea ice. That ice is not only a pristine environment supporting threatened species...

VW: 500,000 Jedi can't be wrong

Blog entry by jamie | February 3, 2012

Our VW campaign has passed a significant milestone, as the Jedi ranks swell to over 500,000. That's an incredible half a million people demanding that Volkswagen gets behind the sort of climate laws we need to save our planet. So...

Enthusiasm for oil requires cognitive shut-down

Blog entry by Steve Abel | January 24, 2012

Recently some commentators have revealed something about the way their brain functions in singing the praises of new fossil fuels. We shouldn’t be surprised that oil companies are excited about oil, though the Sunday Star Times...

Conversations with Greenlanders (and non-conversations with oil companies)

Blog entry by Jon Burgwald | January 23, 2012

I’ve passed north of the polar circle on our trip visiting the west coast of Greenland. The temperature has dropped to minus 15 Celsius; snow is mounting outside my window and in the beautiful harbour city Sisimiut, the fjord is...

Obama stands up to Big Oil and polluter politicians

Blog entry by Phil Radford and Daryl Hannah | January 20, 2012

Yesterday, President Obama stood up to Big Oil and its puppets in the US Congress, denying a permit for the Keystone XL tar sands pipeline. This is encouraging news for the communities whose air and water would have been directly...

Out Of Our Depth: Deep-sea oil exploration in New Zealand

Publication | December 11, 2011 at 14:08

- A sea change in government strategy - Safety concerns - The risks of deep-sea oil - Where is deep-sea oil exploration taking place in New Zealand? - International oil companies in the dock

Telling the oil companies the truth

Blog entry by Jon Burgwald | December 2, 2011

Today, the Greenland Bureau of Mineral and Petroleum invited the world’s biggest oil companies to a meeting that can have extreme importance for the future of the Arctic. Greenland wants to open up an untouched area of the North-East...

Arctic lightning strikes yet again as Cairn Energy strikes, er, nothing

Blog entry by Ben Ayliffe | December 1, 2011

zoom     © Jiri Rezac / Greenpeace Fair play to Cairn Energy. It may not be any good at finding oil under the Arctic, but its press releases are guaranteed to raise a smile. Take today’s news on its 2011...

No oil in the Arctic for Cairn, but hazardous chemicals aplenty


Blog entry by Bex, Greenpeace UK | October 3, 2011

zoom   Yesterday brought the news that yet another Cairn well off Greenland - the sixth so far - has come up dry . The Delta-1 well will be plugged and abandoned and Cairn now has to pin its hopes for this...

41 - 50 of 110 results.

Categories
Tags