September 11, 2003


And treeees and plaaaaants and buuuuuuugs and animaaaaaaals:

In a rare tribute to the energy industry, scientists have praised one company's record in exploiting an African oilfield.

The scientists, from the US-based Smithsonian Institution, are completing a two-year study of Shell's operations in its Rabi oilfield, in the central west African state of Gabon.

The preliminary survey results show the Rabi field has a higher level of biodiversity than even the surrounding national parks.

By the way, how’s Alaska doing? Destroyed yet?

Posted by Tim Blair at September 11, 2003 01:55 AM

There WAS an attempt at destroying bits of Alaska, after Exxon Valdez disaster, when environmentalists, in goodness of their hearts, started scrubbing beaches and rocks of the spilt oil.

Nature has a sense of humor. The unscrubbed, dirty beaches recovered twice as fast as the treated ones.

Posted by: Katherine at September 11, 2003 at 02:06 AM

I was in Alaska when the pipeline was being built in the early '70s. There was a lot of noise about how terrible this would be for the caribou. Today there are more caribou than ever and given their lifespan, none alive today have known life without the pipeline.

Posted by: Fred Boness at September 11, 2003 at 02:32 AM

See? Even the destruction of Alaska is well behind schedule. Bush can't do anyhting right!

Posted by: Mike Smith at September 11, 2003 at 03:25 AM

This sounds like some good news and encouraging for the oil industry, but who funded this Smithsonian research? The article doesn't say. Who are the scientists involved? The article doesn't say. The only quoted names are flacks from Shell Gabon and Shell Africa.

Are these drilling practices now typical? Does Shell use them in Nigeria and the rest of Africa these days as well? What was the level of biodiversity in the drilling area before drilling began? Has it increased or decreased since drilling began?

What a typically shoddy BBC article, leaving legitimate business interests open to potential criticism of greenwashing from its gooey heart environment-loving viewers/readers.

Posted by: pzorf at September 11, 2003 at 05:20 AM

But, don't you see? The surrounding parks nave a natural lack of biodiversity, not that artificial, evil, human*spit*-made biodiversity

Posted by: Ken Summers at September 11, 2003 at 06:49 AM

BTW pzorf, if the scientists were from the Smithsonian it is almost a certainty that my taxes paid for it.

Posted by: Ken Summers at September 11, 2003 at 06:51 AM

no certainty at all Ken. Only two thirds of the Smithsonian's budget comes from the federal government.

The Smithsonian takes money in all kinds of interesting situations. Like $5.3 million from the American Chemical Society in 1991 for a "Science in American Life" exhibit, like $2 million in cash and kind from K-Mart in 2001, like a 1997 $300,000 payment from Alyeska Pipeline Service Co (the consortium of ARCO, British Petroleum and Exxon that built the Alaskan pipeline) in return for a lovely display about Alaskan oil which said piss all about the Exxon Valdez... the Smithsonian has developed a track record of listening to the pipers and dancing to the tune.

Posted by: pzorf at September 11, 2003 at 07:35 AM

It doesn't matter to environmentalists that there are more trees in the United States right now than 300 years ago. Yeah, maybe there aren't as many old growth trees, but we harvest full on forests for future use.

It doesn't matter to environmentalists that the reason we have large forest fires is due in part that they don't want any trees cut down at all, when it is proven fact that selective cutting can greatly reduce the amount of undergrowth and prevent fires from getting so big.

It doesn't matter to environmentalists that we need wood to build houses that they live in, desks that they write on, and pencils they write with.

We're doing it right.

The tree hugging, enviro-fascist, green nutted, candy asses are wrong.

Posted by: ....a moment with Easycure at September 11, 2003 at 09:22 AM

It sounds like Barrow Island over here in WA. The Greenies are going off their tree because the Government has given approval for the development of the Gorgon Gas fields with a processing plant on Barrow island. The Greenies are going spare because "it's an A class reserve".

What they fail to point out is that Barrow Island oil wells have been operating for about 30 years and the environment is held up as an example of what the natural environment used to be. The Oil companies have protected it by restricting access and monitoring it. The other "pristine" islands in the area are in much worse shape.

The greenies aren't happy with the $40 million trust fund established to protect the already protected environment.

Oh and by the way, it is only the largest ever single resource project in Australia's history and is worth about $11 Billion. But the jobs etc aren't worth it. Its all about the ooooooil. Damn right it is. And this project only accesses about 40% of the resource!

Posted by: Razor at September 11, 2003 at 12:58 PM

Well then, it's good to know that the Smithsonian takes donations. But "dancing to the tune"? Doubt it. I could see the potential conflict in a donation from oil companies if it bought an actual whitewash (and I have never seen anything but condemnation for the Exxon Valdez incident), but what did KMart get for it's money? What did the Smithsonian give those evil corporate devils, oops, scientists at the American Chemical Society?

Come to think of it, maybe we need to investigate PBS, they get lots of corporate donations.

Posted by: Ken Summers at September 11, 2003 at 01:06 PM

It's tax deductible and it makes them look like good corporate citizens so the CEOs can rub shoulders with their wives' friends at dinner parties.

Conspiracy theories are usually just that - theories.

Posted by: ilibcc at September 11, 2003 at 05:01 PM

Scroll down to the photo of the Gambon 'scientists'... it's a hoot :)

Posted by: Steve at September 11, 2003 at 07:19 PM