A glorious win? Yes?
Big news in the surfers vs corpo overlord files today.
If you frequent social media you’d be familiar with the #fightforthebight campaign that’s been waged against Norwegian resources company, Equinor.
The Nords wanted to extract oil deep below the seafloor of the Great Australian Bight marine park, a couple hundred clicks off the South Australian coastline, in one of the wildest and most pristine environments you’ll find anywhere on earth.
A $200m project to deepwater drill in the conservation-listed area.
Funny thing is, Equinor could have maybe snuck under the radar with their plans if it wasn’t for a self-inflicted PR blunder, an own goal, that saw them release a map showing every possible oil spill dispersion from the proposed site, based off all the conceivable combinations of wind, swell, ocean current etc.
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Okay, it’s on. These Norwegian scumbags @equinor have officially announced their intentions to drill in the Great Australian Bight later this year. They’ll be 300km off the coast and drilling 5km down and it’s sketchy beyond belief. This is a map of their own spill modeling. Pretty much the whole surfable Australian coast would be covered in oil. It would be Australia’s own Deepwater Horizon. We’ve got 30 days to stop this and if you surf you need to lend your voice. We need to bury these kooks in protest. There’s a formal submission before NOPSEMA who are making the call on it… public comment link in bio, takes five minutes, let em know how you feel. Equinor are two-thirds state owned by the Norwegian government, so you need to get your Norwegian friends to make some noise at home. Equinor are particularly sensitive to criticism at home as they paint themselves as a clean energy company in Norway, but hide their dirty work half a world away in Australia. If you want some short term gratification send @equinor a message. They’re getting lit up over there at the moment. I apologize in advance for the next 28 days but I’ll be going hard to stop this. #fightforthebight
When looked at without context it appeared that a single spill would sully the waters from Port Macquarie in the east to Albany in the west, all at once. In American terms, that’d be from North Carolina to Baja.
Immediately the strategic initiative was lost.
That single image galvanised a groundswell of public support, led by former Tracks editor Sean Doherty and South Oz core lord Heath Joske.
Everyone from Taj Burrow to fastidiously manicured eco-warrior-influencers got behind the push, along with a bunch of NGOs. There were insta shares, IRL paddle outs across the affected areas. It was even successfully weaponised as a local issue in last year’s federal election.
The campaign worked.
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Just got the news through that Equinor have pulled their plan for the Great Australian Bight and are currently kicking a can back to Norway. Best Tuesday news I’ve had in a long time. They’ll try and save face and say it was the economics and the oil price, but the real reason is what you see right here. For every single person who paddled out around the country, and for all you legends down there in the Bight who’ve been fighting this for years, take a moment to fully appreciate what you’ve done. By paddling out and speaking up and fighting this colossally stupid idea, you’ve kept the Bight wild and free and saved it for future generations. Couldn’t be more proud of you mob. Go have a beer. I just cracked one at 10.45am. #fightforthebight
Equinor said in a statement today that it has pulled out of the project for economic reasons after a “holistic view of its exploration portfolio.”
The Australian government ain’t happy.
Its wonderfully named resources minister, Keith Pitt, had recently doubled down on his predecessor’s love for the project and the sector in general, declaring Australia’s doors open for business to offshore oil and gas.
For him this withdrawal is a hit to the economy.
Jobs, growth ‘n all that.
You won’t see any such sad faces from me though.
I reckon it’s a great win. What grass-roots political action should look like.
You can make your jibes about surfers and their carbon footprints, burn your smartphones if you wanna be a greenie etc.
It’s a strawman argument.
Things ain’t black and white.
The resource sector is still an important part of the economy, but it needs to be managed in an environmentally sustainable way.
Deepwater drilling in a marine national park ain’t that.
This is a good outcome.
A couple of Qs were shot to Doherty but there was no response at the time of writing, assuming the gloried surf writer slash activist is enjoying a celebratory beer or three.
What do you think?
Is it a glorious win for surfers and the environment?
Or self-sabotage from a bunch of dewy eyed hypocrites during a time of increasing economic uncertainty?