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Tempest in Tanon

Discussion in '☋ Diving and Marine Life ☋' started by paulbaguio, Nov 26, 2007.

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  1. paulbaguio

    paulbaguio DI Member

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    I hope I'm not off topic.... But this is related to marine life's survival

    Tempest in Tanon
    By Ma. Ceres P. Doyo
    Inquirer

    MANILA, Philippines -- "The State shall protect and advance the right
    of the people to a balanced and healthful ecology in accord with the
    rhythm and harmony of nature." -- Article II, Sec. 16 of the
    Philippine Constitution.

    I imagine the lord of the sea wading to shore, wearing raiment of
    corals and sea grass and -- flotsam surrendered by the sea.
    Thundering, roaring like the wind in a lost empty city, he seeks the
    despoilers of his ocean home and the home of gentle sea creatures
    that
    inhabit the earth and provide food for its inhabitants. Where are
    they? he roars. Who are they, they who laid waste the ocean garden?

    This scenario plays like a movie in my mind, it surges in my
    consciousness like the thoughts and images I had long ago while
    beholding, somewhere, the sea in its threatening beauty. And I
    imagine
    now the threatened Tanon Strait in the Visayan Sea as it waits to be
    visited by turbulence in the form of exploratory drilling for gas.

    The sea is a-boil. A slow, symphonic movement takes a sudden turn and
    climaxes with a roll of drums and a clash of cymbals. The sea quakes
    to a crescendo, then hurls itself against the wind. Here before you
    is
    a concerto at its most tempestuous peak. Water breaking into a
    million
    crystalline pieces -- it is pure music and fury. Salt melts in your
    eyes. Suddenly you are no longer afraid.

    A battle royale is set to unfold if Japan Petroleum Exploration Co.
    (Japex) starts exploring for oil on Tanon Strait, without having
    hearkened to protesting communities, scientists and environmental
    advocates who are asking that exploration be put on hold while the
    sea
    itself is to be explored to find out how much of it will live and how
    much will die.

    Former Environment Secretary Angel Alcala, director of Silliman
    University's center for marine and environment research in Dumaguete
    City, and his team have come out with a paper explaining what the
    drilling will mean. They also proposed a technical survey of the
    strait as a safeguard against potential adverse effects of the
    exploration. (Drilling was supposed to start last week.)

    What and where is Tanon Strait? It is part of the Visayan Sea, the
    body of water that separates the island provinces of Cebu and Negros,
    includes the Cebu-Bohol Strait, separates the provinces of Cebu and
    Bohol, and includes the waters of Antique, Leyte, Palawan, Mindoro
    Occidental, Albay and Camarines Sur. The Visayan Sea is one of the
    richest marine habitats in the world.

    Tanon Strait is a protected area, having been declared such under
    Presidential Proclamation 1234 issued by President Joseph Estrada.

    The drilling is supposed to be done off Aloguinsan and Pinamungajan
    in
    Cebu, not far from Dumaguete City, the university town in Negros
    Oriental. According to Alcala, several community-based marine
    protected areas (MPAs) have been established in both the Cebu and
    Negros side of the strait and the local government units have been
    investing funds in the management of these MPAs.

    Alcala adds that oil exploration (both the seismic exploration and
    drilling itself) has been proven in other countries to be detrimental
    to marine life. The Philippines has yet to come up with findings to
    back this up. Does this mean we don't wanna know?

    Here is the proposition: "To gather data on marine mammals and fish
    catch; do oceanographic studies (total suspended solids, oil and
    grease, current patterns) before the actual drilling is conducted, so
    that there will be proof that can stand in any court of law later on
    should there be adverse impacts on the environment because of the
    drilling. An economic valuation study will also be conducted to prove
    that NOT drilling for oil and gas is beneficial to the communities in
    the area and to the country in the long run."

    And, by the way, the strait is one of the few places in the world
    inhabited by special species of marine mammals, among them, the
    elusive pygmy sperm whales. More importantly, the strait is fishing
    ground for communities in Cebu and Negros.

    It is worth noting that 11 congressmen and -- women have filed a
    resolution directing the House committee on natural resources to
    investigate the impact of offshore mining in the Visayan Sea. This
    resolution was triggered by gas companies (Japex of Japan and The
    Forum Exploration Inc. of Canada) entering into a seven-year contract
    with the Philippine government for oil and gas exploration, and
    another 25 years for the extraction and controlling process.

    The province of Cebu did not take this sitting down. The Sangguniang
    Panlalawigan approved last July a resolution exhorting Congress to
    proclaim the Visayan Sea a Marine Reservation and Heritage Site, that
    sea "being host to the world's richest marine biodiversity area."

    The Sulu Sea had been identified as a disposal site for drillings.
    Alcala howls: "But the Sulu Sea is a prime fishing area and has high
    biodiversity! "

    He adds that the Initial Environmental Examination (IEE) was not
    sufficient and based on old data and "cannot be used as baselines for
    future monitoring of drilling effects and therefore not acceptable."

    How did Japex gather the data? How are the data and their credibility
    to be verified? Alcala and his team have discovered holes in the IEE
    and concluded: "We found the IEE document wanting in the critical
    survey data and information needed for determining the environmental
    and socio-economic impacts of the proposed drilling operation of
    Japex."

    After the tumult dies down and the threat is gone, we hope to hear in
    the Tanon Strait only the music of the cathedral waves eternally
    folding and unfolding.

    * * *

    Send feedback to cerespd@info. com.ph.
     
  2. RHB

    RHB DI Senior Member

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    wondering what your take is on the thread about the Reuben James visit to dumaguete and speculation it has some involvement in this?
     
  3. Mam A

    Mam A DI Member

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    Whoever is involved in this venture need to step back and THINK AGAIN and yet again to the nth. B4 any such drillings, there has to be a CONSEQUENTIAL FORUM OF THINKERS: environmentalists, general preservists, educators, community leaders, et. alia. The panel has to THINK FAST because drill disasters are irreparable. AND what if the thing of value being sought for is not found? Of course there would only be 2 things i can surmise at the moment: the drillers will keep drilling until the area is conclusively exhausted of being void of gold--but that the paradox will stand; all of those valuable marine life worth more than gold would then be gone; the other thing is for the drillers to just pack and leave ruins behind. RUINS would mean marine life, the people dependent on them and the future.
     
  4. Mam A

    Mam A DI Member

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    Excuse me, I used gold allegorically to mean the sought-for item of value. AAR, oil or gold or whatever, disasters loom and what else will there be left for the young ones in the future. Rebuilding a house is easier said than done but can be done; rebuilding marine sanctuaries??? Forgive me but i sound it out like the voice of doom--can't help it.
     
  5. yabs

    yabs DI Forum Adept Restricted Account

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    sounds like a disaster
    can't believ how hypocrtical Arroyo
    is on the one hand promoting ecological awarenmess, sustainability and eco tourism in the area and on the other hand allowing this to happen
    sooner she is out the better.
    she makes estrada look harmless
     
  6. garbonzo

    garbonzo DI Senior Member Veteran Marines

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    So yabs...you're shooting seismic for Greenpeace? LOL, I'm just asking...any good tips?

    Tanon Strait...I'd be a lot more worried about the rust-buckets running up and down every day - than a possible platform. Not to mention the over-fishers...raw sewage...garbage....etc and more etc...
     
  7. RHB

    RHB DI Senior Member

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    mr. Bean

    The point exactly, the natural resources are under enough stress already, why add the potentialitly for unknown additional damage to ecosystems? Exploratory oil drilling is optional, a choice that can be forwarded or abated by direct human descision making based on impartial scientific investigation.

    The things you mentioned are existing by products of hundreds of years of human impact. At this point the options are limited to what we can do today to improve things in the future. Resolving residual environmental issues, especially in the Philippines, depends on enforcement. your comments about the state of oversight by the DENR in a previous post is to me rather optimistic in a political system wher graft and corruption determines policy rather than the best interests of the environment.
    To the extent we all use petroleum based products daily makes us hypocrates by default, it doesn't mean we can't desire a cleaner environment.

    just to balance the argument.:wink:
     
  8. garbonzo

    garbonzo DI Senior Member Veteran Marines

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    Hi RHB...I'll get to your point tomorrow evening. Getting a bit late here and just wanted you to know we're doing our bit for climate change...

    Here Skippy, do your bit........

    Kangaroo farts could fight global warming: scientists

    Posted Thu Dec 6, 2007 1:19pm AEDT
    Updated Thu Dec 6, 2007 2:28pm AEDT
    Livestock passing wind contribute a surprisingly high percentage of total emissions. (File photo)

    Australian scientists are trying to give kangaroo-style stomachs to cattle and sheep in a bid to cut the emission of greenhouse gases blamed for global warming.

    Thanks to special bacteria in their stomachs, kangaroos' flatulence contains no methane and scientists want to transfer that bacteria to cattle and sheep who emit large quantities of the harmful gas.

    While the usual image of greenhouse gas pollution is a billowing smokestack pushing out carbon dioxide, livestock passing wind contribute a surprisingly high percentage of total emissions in some countries.

    Queensland Government senior research scientist Athol Klieve says 14 per cent of emissions from all sources in Australia are from enteric methane from cattle and sheep.

    "If you look at another country such as New Zealand, which has got a much higher agricultural base, they're actually up around 50 per cent," he said.

    Researchers say the bacteria also makes the digestive process much more efficient and could potentially save millions of dollars in feed costs for farmers.

    "Not only would they not produce the methane, they would actually get something like 10 to 15 per cent more energy out of the feed they are eating," Dr Klieve said.

    Farming view

    Even farmers who laugh at the idea of environmentally friendly kangaroo farts say that it is nothing to joke about, particularly given the devastating drought Australia is suffering.

    "In a tight year like a drought situation, 15 per cent [more energy] would be a considerable sum," said farmer Michael Mitton.

    But it will take researchers at least three years to isolate the bacteria before they can even start to develop a way of transferring it to cattle and sheep.

    Another group of scientists has suggested Australians farm fewer cattle and sheep and just eat more kangaroos.

    The idea is controversial but about 20 per cent of health-conscious Australians are believed to eat the national symbol already.

    Peter Ampt, from the University of New South Wales's Institute of Environmental Studies, says the meat has health benefits.

    "It's low in fat. It's got high protein levels. It's very clean," he said.

    "It doesn't get drenched. It doesn't get vaccinated. It utilises food right across the landscape. It moves around to where the food is good. It's a good food."

    - AFP
     
  9. garbonzo

    garbonzo DI Senior Member Veteran Marines

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    Unfortunately...there's more...from one of the bright-sparks on the stock market forum...

    "This world of our is heating up,as global warming grabs a hold
    we'll be washed away by giant tides,you'll never catch a 'cold'
    we'd like our planet healthy,the thing to which we all aspire
    And it gets a little cooler every time a ROO backfires

    so out amongst the bluebush a program was unfurled
    all the kangaroos as one , will fart to save the world
    every time a big red props and lets a blurter rip
    it gives the environmental scale a tiny little tip

    give a mob of western greys the chance to strutt their stuff
    they can save a dozen islands with a total teamwork 'fluff'
    although the air turns blue and ripe,and breathing is a chore
    it holds the tides a metre back from some far distant shore.

    If we could just transfer it now,this technology to man
    we'd stop our own salvation from going down the 'can'
    and when yours missus glares at you,when you do that cheek lift 'crouch'
    you could tell her ...I'm tryin to save the world love...from right here on the couch!!!

    but if you are upset now....cos roos are leaving skiddies
    just try to grin and bear it....they're doin it for our kiddies
    and if it gets right outa hand,if it gets cold and icey blue
    we can remedy it easily....we'll cull a mob of ROO's"
     
  10. yabs

    yabs DI Forum Adept Restricted Account

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    ok so i shoot seismic
    but i don't agre with it in environmentally fragile areas
    noranlly north sea or Gulf of mexico where i work
    hardly paradises
    i wouyld refuse to join a boat shooting in the phils.
    areas like this should be preserved and the west and other countries should compensate the phils for not exploiting it for oil
     
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