On August 23, 2012 the Sydney Morning Herald published an article, http://goo.gl/NjQd7
, that the O'Farrell government approved a coal seam gas project for AGL in Sydney, without public consultation and against concerns from the NSW Environment Protection Authority.
John Howard said, he can live with his decisions to go to Iraq and Afghanistan.
He is able to justify them. He believes, given the available information at that time, it was the right thing to do. Very likely, John Howard is still convinced, action needed to be taken, even though much of the information proved to be wrong, inaccurate or skewed.
While the immediate consequences, the death of diggers and hardship for their families, of his decision are not reversible, and will never be justifiable to some, he made the call and stands by it.
You might agree or disagree with his judgement, but I don't think one could call it unethical.
The current coal seam gas approvals present to me a different ethical dilemma. I think it is far more complicated than the typical run of the mill decisions governments have to take.
Issues such as water contamination and other environmental damage through fracking are not theoretical, they are substantiated facts. There are plenty of examples of localised, environmental catastrophes where fracking has affected water supplies, poisoned the ground, affected the food supply, the list goes on. Faulty coal seam gas wells are causing a chain reaction of negative impacts on health and living conditions of people.
The industry claims it is safe and that they are constantly improving the technology. The fact remains, fracking requires a cocktail of highly poisonous and dangerous chemicals to be pumped into the ground. If something goes wrong, disaster looms.
Does the Office of Premier come with an expectation of care attached?
When the first accident happens, sometime in the near future, or when “mysterious diseases” need to be investigated in 10-20 years time, I believe it obvious that the drilling companies will be taken to task in lengthy litigation, similar to the asbestos saga.
Doesn't the buck ultimately stop with Premier O'Farrell, who, as the leader of the government that, despite being alerted to the possible long term danger and environmental implications, facilitated the licence to drill?I would like to know, can I call the NSW Premier unethical?