Confused malcontents swilling Chardonnay while awaiting the Zombie Apocalypse.
An Indonesian oil company has denied responsibility for a major oil slick off the coast of Borneo, which appears to be spreading and contaminating new stretches of coastline and local fisheries.
At least four fishermen died in Balikpapan Bay on the weekend when part of the slick ignited. A fifth fisherman is missing.
The toxic slick is at least 4 kilometres long and fishermen say it has already killed at least one protected dugong that washed up on a local beach yesterday.
Fishermen in the town of Balikpapan, in the Indonesian province of East Kalimantan, said they would hold a protest on Wednesday over the lack of responsibility shown by the Indonesian Government and the state-owned oil company Pertamina.
"We demand the stakeholders investigate and punish the culprit who's caused this ecological disaster and caused the loss of lives," Maspele said.
Pertamina said the spill had nothing to do with its nearby refinery or undersea pipeline.
The general manager of the nearby Pertamina Unit V Refinery said the company's divers had not been able to find any pipeline leaks.
"That's the reason why we're still running the refinery facility normally," manager Togar Manuring said.
The fishermen and environmentalists were sceptical about Pertamina's claim it was not responsible for the slick.
"We think there must be a leak from the Pertamina pipe because it's located very close to the oil — maybe 100 metres," Pradarma Rupang, from the local environmental group Jatam, said.
"There is no shipwreck, no collision, no sinking ship, no burned ship, nothing. Suddenly oil appears in the middle of the sea.
"People in the coastal area smelt oil at midnight on March 31, then there was a fire at 10:00am. There's an offshore refinery of Pertama nearby."
Indonesian police are questioning the crew of a bulk coal carrier over an oil spill off the island of Borneo that killed four fishermen and continues to pollute local waters.
Police have taken fuel samples from the Panama-flagged MV Ever Judger, which remains in Balikpapan Bay.
The ship, which is crewed by Chinese nationals, had been due to take a load of Indonesian coal to Malaysia.
The spill continues to affect the bay, with aerial footage showing it has spread across a wide area.
A police forensic team has taken fuel samples from the ship as well as from a nearby refinery operated by state-owned oil company Pertamina, East Kalimantan provincial police chief Inspector General Priyo Widyanto told ABC News.
Pertamina pipelines run across the bay.
"We're questioning some witnesses including the boat crew of MV Ever Judger, also the local residents, workers from Pertamina — and we're waiting for all the results," Inspector General Widyanto said.
I don't care who's fault it is, I care about who is cleaning it up!
Indonesia's state-owned oil company Pertamina has finally admitted it is responsible for a major oil spill on the coast of Borneo.
Pertamina said one of its undersea pipelines was severed last week, causing crude oil to pour into Balikpapan Bay.
The pollution spread throughout the bay killing local marine life including protected dugongs and dolphins, and has caused an overpowering stench across Balikpapan, a city of 700,000 people.
The admission by Pertamina follows four days of denials by the company.
Until Tuesday the company continued to claim that Pertamina's own testing showed the oil was marine fuel, not the crude oil that runs through the company's pipelines.
The company also claimed that it had sent down divers and they had not spotted any damage to their pipes.
The refinery continued operating as normal for several days after the initial leak.
But now Pertamina says its sonar equipment revealed a punctured pipeline as the source.
It said it knew this information on Tuesday but it did not make it public until late on Wednesday.
"When we checked on the first day it all looked normal," said refinery director Togar.
The tests showed that one of its pipes had shifted 100 metres from its original position.
Togar said the pipeline had been dragged out of position and ruptured "by a heavy force".
He didn't elaborate but the bay is used by bulk coal vessels.
When they first warned more than 30 years ago that human activity could create an enhanced greenhouse effect, scientists hoped it would lead to decisive action to lower fossil fuel emissions.
Instead, levels have continued to rise to a point most scientists agree that climate change accelerated by fossil fuel emissions is changing the weather and intensifying storms.
"Plan A was the hope governments would step up and social movements would be powerful enough to put pressure on governments," University of Adelaide Law School Associate Professor Peter Burdon said.
"But that hasn't happened, so Plan B is to try the courts," he said.
Across the world a shift towards climate change litigation is gathering steam as low-lying island countries and even United States' cities take aim at governments and big oil companies for failing to act proportionately on emission reductions.
One of the most recent cases involves 21 teenagers in the US state of Oregon, who have been given judiciary permission to sue the federal government for failing to uphold their constitutional rights.
"They assert that the actions of the [US] government and their delays and failure to take meaningful action against climate change has violated their generation and their constitutional rights to life, liberty and property," Professor Burdon said.
"They've gone through several layers of hearings and at every stop, the government has sought to throw it out, and have been joined by companies like ExxonMobil and Chevron, but it was decided they had a legal case and it can be heard."
Elsewhere in the US, cities such as San Francisco and Oakland have filed lawsuits against big oil and gas companies to pay damages caused by rising seas, while in the Netherlands, Friends of the Earth have threatened litigation against Royal Dutch Shell if it doesn't bring its business in line with the Paris Agreement within eight weeks.
It follows a landmark ruling in the Hague District Court during 2015, which forced the Netherlands government to reduce emissions by 25 per cent by 2020 after it was found to be breaching a duty of care.
The precedent is set... RELEASE THE LAWYERS!!!
Permits for offshore oil and gas exploration will no longer be issued by the New Zealand Government as part of its commitment to a clean energy future.
The move will not affect existing permits for exploration or extraction, meaning the industry is likely to continue in the nation for several more decades.
The decision under Labour Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern is a change in direction after nine years of conservative leadership which favoured expanding the industry.
Ms Ardern, who was elected Prime Minister last year, has pledged to reduce the country's net greenhouse gas emissions to zero by 2050.
Her Government also plans to plant 100 million trees each year and ensure the electricity grid runs entirely from renewable energy.
The oil and gas industry is relatively small in New Zealand, employing about 11,000 people and accounting for about 1 per cent of the overall economy.
It is dwarfed in importance by farming and tourism.
But the industry is important to the Taranaki region, where most of the activity is centred.
New Plymouth Mayor Neil Holdom told Radio New Zealand the move was a "kick in the guts for the future of the Taranaki economy".
But Ms Ardern said no-one would be losing their job as a result of the move.
"We're striking the right balance for New Zealand," Ms Ardern said.
"We're protecting existing industry, and protecting future generations from climate change."
But New Zealand National Party MP Jonathan Young described the move as "economic vandalism".
"This decision is devoid of any rationale. It certainly has nothing to do with climate change," Mr Young said.
Petroleum products are really too valuable to just burn - - IF (very large IF) there are viable alternatives for use under all conditions.
Unfortunately, current and foreseeable near-future energy technologies will be unlikely to achieve the reliability, availability and affordability of petroleum-based fuels. And even if such technologies were to appear today, there are other sources of known "greenhouse" gases that are produced by all living organisms, so the promise of zero emissions is a blatant, deliberate lie. The only way to reduce "greenhouse" emissions to zero would be to have NZ sterilized and its surface turned into glass.
However, I appreciate the goal of reducing unnecessary "greenhouse" and other emissions as far as is practical, as I also support reducing, refining, and recycling the materials in the organic waste stream as much as is practical to do. Mostly that last challenge is ignored.
The only way to reduce "greenhouse" emissions to zero would be to have NZ sterilized and its surface turned into glass.
Can we leave Russel Crowe there?
I also support reducing, refining, and recycling the materials in the organic waste stream as much as is practical to do. Mostly that last challenge is ignored.
I read an interesting article about a challenge that was to look in your bin and change ONE thing per week.
I've turned a disused garden bed into a compost pile, so all my tea bags and vegie scraps go in there. Early days for it, though. I'm rinsing out tin cans for the recycling bin, instead of just chucking them away. I had to look to myself, ultimately, and really examine how I was contributing to the problem.
In the end the big picture is just too big. Act locally, but also think locally. To try to think globally will just give you an ulcer!
Today I'm planting coriander and a new tree.
Any tips on compost would be appreciated.
Fine with me if you leave Russel Crowe there, I'm not one of his fans. Although he did fairly well in "Spartacus."
As for the global organis waste stream - incredible source of all kinds of useful products, IF handled properly. Yes, it's an enormous challenge, but IMO definitely one well worth taking on. As you said, to do that we have to think locally, right down to what we as individuals contribute toward it. Composting one's own organic, biodegradable waste is certainly one way of using some of it!
You probably want to throw in all grass clippings, if any. Tea bags - take out the staples. I don't use tea bags. I don't know about coffee grounds, either, not using the stuff. I throw in unused food, plant trimmings, but no wood twigs over maybe 5mm diameter. Orange peels, avocado bruises and rinds, fat trimmed off meats, raked-up leaves, apple cores, the inedible portions of artichokes, lettuce leaves if they're not quite what I want to eat. Micro-shredded (crosscut shredder) paper. Keep it a bit damp, turn over the top 8-15 cm of it about once a week to once a month. I use a bin 2.5 meters square by one deep, half buried in the ground. At the bottom is some of the richest, most wonderful topsoil imaginable, and I use that in the greenhouse for dirt farming. Throw it back into the pile at the end of every year, take new off the bottom - - -
Use the same topsoil when planting new roses. Hole one meter in diameter, one meter deep - - the roses seem to absolutely love it, and do will in those areas, but not do at all well in our usual, very alkaline soil. My compost bin here has been going for going on 15 years, so it's had a chance to mature and start producing really good soil.
VERY FEW people seem to use compost bins or piles out here.
Thanks for the tips!
My compost pile is quite shallow, so I was going to go to Bunnings (major hardware chain here) and look for some filler.
I have some stuff to help break it down, and I keep a bucket in the bottom of the shower to catch wasted water and throw that on it when it gets full.
I don't want to put meat in there, though. I do put egg shells in, but I worry about meat attracting my dog.
My concern about grass clippings is the spread of weeds. Our lawn is full of them.
My coriander died yesterday. I suck at gardening.
Good point about your puppy, so - no meat in the compost pile.
Weeds, if you turn over the top foot of the pile once a week or so, simply won't be an issue. So the best filler possible is grass clippings - - including the weeds. Turning over the top foot of the pile will cut them apart before they can become a problem.
You don't want the pile being too wet, or there won't be enough oxygen reaching the lower compost for proper bacterial action. The one thing you absolutely do NOT need is for anaerobic bacteria to get started in there. I only sprinkle my pile fairly lightly as necessary to keep it mildly damp.
Sorry to hear about your coriander. I never tried to grow any, so don't know the proper conditions to maintain for it.