I stumbled on a tweet this morning.
It included this video.
Curious, I watched the video.
Shocked, I took a screenshot and added a bright yellow arrow to highlight the bubble of gas that has just been set alight. What you see under the flames is the water flowing from a bore drilled into the Great Artesian Basin [GAB for short].
This is the complete video:
Why is this so shocking? Because without that bore water, much of the food production in the arid parts of Australia simply would not be possible:
Prior to European occupation, waters of the GAB discharged through mound springs, many in arid South Australia. These springs supported a variety of endemic invertebrates (molluscs, for example), and supported extensive Aboriginal communities and trade routes. After the arrival of Europeans, they enabled early exploration and faster communications between southeastern Australia and Europe via the Australian Overland Telegraph Line. The Great Artesian Basin became an important water supply for cattle stations, irrigation, and livestock and domestic usage, and is a vital life line for rural Australia. To tap it, water wellsare drilled down to a suitable rock layer, where the pressure of the water forces it up, mostly without pumping.
Quote taken from Wiki: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Great_Artesian_Basin
By Tentotwo – Basin extent: Geoscience Australia Revised Great Artesian Basin Jurassic-Cretaceous boundaryCoastline, rivers, state borders: Natural Earth dataset, 1:50MShaded relief: Kenneth Townsend, Shaded Relief Archive, CC BY-SA 3.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=26822532
I know that everything in life is a balancing act between opposite and competing priorities, but destroying Peter to pay Paul is simply insane.
Yes, we do need gas to generate instant electricity until our power generation switches fully to renewables and storage [wind, solar, batteries]. But we also need to eat. If the water goes, so will much of inland Australia.
What makes this all so much worse is that we wouldn’t need to extract coal seam gas from the GAB if our offshore gas hadn’t been sold overseas for peanuts. Industry, AEMO*, and Federal and State governments are all to blame: Industry for not giving a shit about anything except shareholder profits, AEMO for allowing Industry to game the bloody system, and governments for putting short term gains ahead of long term planning.
When are we going to accept that Industry will NEVER self-regulate for the good of society as a whole?
It’s like leaving the door to the hen house wide open and expecting the fox to leave the chickens alone. Really?
Yet isn’t that exactly what all Western governments do? They allow multinational corporations to self-regulate and then go ‘tut tut’ when said corporations engage in shonky business practices. And let’s not sugar coat reality: the Global Financial Crisis was caused by criminals on Wall Street. Closer to home we have the findings of the Banking Royal Commission. Apparently we have white collar criminals in the ANZ and Commonwealth Bank too. And then, of course, we have the thieves fronting social media and hiding behind the scenes in the ‘ad networks’. They just spy on us and steal our personal data for profit…
In a balanced ecology, you need foxes as well as chickens, but it is the role of government to protect the chickens from the foxes. Western governments are failing, in spectacular fashion. And in the process, democracy itself is under attack as never before. If we don’t stop the rot now, future generations will not be living in a democracy, they’ll be living in a corporate state, as peons**.
* The Australian Energy Market Operator (AEMO) is responsible for operating Australia’s largest gas and electricity markets and power systems