Mailbox: In defence of Hersov – Karoo farmer’s son weighs in on the fracking debate 

BizNews community member KC Erasmus:

Once again I have seen an unjustified attack on both Alec, BizNews and Rob Hersov following the interview with Rob Hersov in regard to his comments vis-a-vis Gas Powered Electricity Generation.

Attacks which are most definitely undeserving given that Alec, representing BizNews in almost all cases that I know of, has offered alternative views and rights of reply on any issue which might be considered controversial, and to a greater extent on Rob Hersov.

Let me start out by laying some of my Bona Fide’s on the table, by stating that I am the son of a Karoo Sheep Farmer from the region of Spitskop, an area close to the centre of the triangle layout of Graaf-Reinet, Middelburg and Cradock, where I spent many a school vacation and experienced the many trials and tribulations of the region, from locust plagues to droughts to the 1975 Fish River Floods, and the ecological sensitivity of the region, although it has endured tremendous variations in conditions, the region has shown a tremendous resilience and always come back fighting fit. From my engineering studies, I also have an understanding of the Geology of the Karoo Supergroup, the youngest geological structure in South Africa, and have personally found many a fossil, and shells on my father’s farm, from the era in which much of this region was a inland “Great Lake”.

Although I have often not agreed with all statements made by Rob Hersov in the past, which I previously wrote you in regard to, and the fact that he may not always have his facts 100% straight, we have to consider that Rob Hersov has become a well know public Influencer, for whatever reason, and he is very good at coming up with ideas, which either provoke further thought, investigation or debate, which makes him an excellent initiator of brainstorming sessions, so badly needed in South Africa right now, and of which there is most definitely a drought.

Lets face it, Rob Hersov says the things most people are either too afraid to say, or lack to capacity to think of.

While in the current incident under discussion here, I believe that Rob Hersov erred in his reference to Green Activists/“Greenies” preventing the exploitation of Karoo Shale Gas, given that it is the local farmers in the region resisting an uncertain impact on the region and their livelihood, which in my opinion is well justified, as I also know and have physically seen how the subterranean water fissures feed into both the Klein and Groot Burgersrivier and Wolwerivier, river tributaries which became the Fish River at the lower border of my Father’s farm.

However, this being said, nobody in their right frame of mind can deny that most activist bodies globally on environmental issues have become a money making racket, employing on many an occasion, the previously unemployed not necessarily the properly educated, to further their financial cause, Not the welfare of the environment.

(Greenpeace being a case in point, and one just has to listen to Dr. Patrick Moore, one of the erstwhile founders to come to grips with the reality.)

The “Greenies”, in the majority of cases globally, misrepresent the facts and stir emotions, rather than providing data based facts and actual benefit analysis of their claims, and could almost be labelled terrorist organisations, ‘hell bent’ on the destruction of the future of the human race, and this is all done out of funding from virtue signalling wealthy people or companies who write the funding off against their taxes, or those who have an ulterior motive or agenda.

These organisations are quite often supported by local paid and unpaid participants whom they emotionally and or financially inspire, who then act out of sheer ignorance as to the facts, and the actual resultant impact of their actions. ( There has been much of this in regard to other oil and gas exploration surveys along South Africa’s coastline )

It has literally become an irrational situation whereby these “Greenies” want you to green the planet, but won’t allow you to dig a hole to plant a tree, or to waste water giving it to the tree to promote its growth, and now they want to starve the global vegetation of that essential building block of nutrition, CO2.

This brings us to Mr. Derek Light, and his attack on Rob Hersov which is rather a case of the “The Pot calling the Kettle black”, and Mr. Light in my opinion has also erred, bringing his credibility on this matter into contention, no matter how much of an expert on “Fracking” he supposedly is.

Lets me start out by questioning Mr. Light’s statement that there is no commercially viable reserves of Shale Gas in the Karoo basin, based on the fact that Royal Dutch Shell would Not have progressed to the point of application for a license to drill and extract natural gas though a fracking process, had they not initially conducted a proper and reliable Geoseismic survey, and which would have been followed up by the drilling of pilot sample holes to confirm the results shown by the Geoseismic survey.

Furthermore, despite the fact that natural gas is light and would rise, my limited knowledge and experience in regard to physics, mining and geology makes me question why anyone would drill along the periphery of the Karoo basin for Shale Gas, when the greatest concentration of biomaterial from which the gas originated, would be at the centre and deepest part of the basin, and most of which would have been covered and trapped by subsequent layers of inflow deposits.

Next up, Mr. Light states that 50% of the country’s Red Meat is provided by this Karoo region, which is highly questionable, given that the region is suitable by and large only for sheep and goats, and Not cattle, while Beef is the Red Meat most consumed in South Africa, and I can only assume that he meant 50% of the country’s mutton, which would be far more credible.

Finally, I would like to challenge Mr. Light to produce the verifiable Empirical data ( Not the modelled or hearsay dope from unnamed Scientists, NASA, NOAA, the IPCC or any other self-conflicting body for that matter ) proving that Climate Change, be it due to Natural Variability or Anthropogenically caused, is actually harmful, or that Extreme weather events have increased either in number, or in intensity across the planet over the past hundred and fifty years.

So, just as Rob Hersov has erred to an extent, so has Mr. Light, and no doubt have I somewhere along the line, however I do not believe that this merited the nature of the attack launched against Rob Hersov, Alec, or Biznews, and having said this I do understand and agree with the Karoo Farmers on the merits for their resistance to drilling and fracking in the Karoo Basin, whether or not there is or isn’t any shale gas to be found.

This brings us back to Rob Hersov’s initiation of a brainstorming session, which in my opinion is so badly needed in South Africa to counter so many threats against our country and the future of all of its people, which I believe is a starting point upon which we ALL should be building, by adding thought provoking ideas to the pot to start with, no matter how radical, to bordering on insane they may appear to be.

These brainstorming ideas are the starting point, from which we can start our thinking, and further investigation, after which we can throw out those which are unfeasible for whatever reason, and from those that remain, we can mind-map the workable and feasible ideas to gain the best solutions to the problems our country faces, but we have to start somewhere.

Prior to the era of our current political dispensation, South Africans were masters of their own destiny, finding solutions to the numerous problems brought about by the apartheid political dispensation and its policies, and we urgently need to return our country to a situation where all of its people contribute to finding workable solutions to the problems brought about by the current political dispensation through ideas, debate and a rationality which bridges all political, racial or religious divides, to meet the needs of our country and all of its people, both now, and for future generations.

Let us for a moment put the rhetoric in regard to renewables, the supposed harm of CO2 and other questionable, modelled and data unsupported philosophical arguments on the back burner and look to address our real needs and problems with pragmatic workable solutions, that do least harm while providing the greatest and most cost effective benefit which uplifts our nation,( As Rob Hersov said ) and stop being the Sheeple who allowed the management of the Covid event to lead us up the garden path, and our country to its present precipice of failure.

The time to start talking about, discussing and debating merited ideas with each other is upon us, and to stop shouting each other down with irrelevant rhetoric and virtue signalling unfounded BS arguments.

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