Sunday, 1 November 2009

NASA images show Australian Government failure to curb oil & gas companies

A NASA satellite image of Australia's north-west coast, said to show the sheen of the Timor Sea oil leak. (NASA Earth Observatory) courtesy of ABC News 31 October 2009
Oil slick in the Timor Sea on 30 August 2009 from NASA Earth Observatory
Click on images to enlarge
After seeing the scale of the oil slick, which is spread over 4223 square kilometres, Dr Watson told the Herald: ''I am amazed at how little Australia really cares about this. This is a huge oil slick.'' (WA Today 31 October 2009)

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Now in week 10 the spill, of course, continues to flow out into the marine environment and atmosphere (not forgetting that light crude and gas are both leaking), the Government’s rapid assessment has reported significant number of animals within the slick … oh, and now the rig is on fire!

By anyone’s standards this is now a major environmental disaster, and politicians are baying for blood. The next week will almost certainly focus on who is to blame, and less attention will be focused on the enormity of the tragedy.

After so long of uncontrolled and continuing oil and gas spill from the Montara wellhead, with anywhere from 10 to 20 million litres of oil spilled into the ocean, the Rapid Assessment of the Impacts of the Montara Oil Leak on Birds, Cetaceans and Marine Reptiles has positively identified at least 4 species of cetaceans – 462 individuals (along with 23 species of birds, 2 species of turtles and 4 species of sea snakes).

Andrew Crook, on, has asked will Timor Sea oil slick be curtains for bluefin tuna? Good question really, given the tuna’s status is already precarious after decades of over fishing and the spill is in the bluefin spawning grounds.

WDCS has said this week: “We still don’t see the commitment we expect from the Australian Government. If they were serious about mitigating the threats of oil spills they would immediately freeze all new oil and gas exploration applications; develop much stronger conditions and controls over all oil and gas rig and shipping activities including contingency plans before approvals are given; and identify and fully protect all whale and dolphin critical habitats in a network of marine sanctuaries before any oil and gas acreage is released again” Another good point.

Shame we wont hear much media discourse about any of this, as we drag ourselves towards week 11 of this disaster.