You have seen the hashtag and you probably already know: The Norwegian company Equinor is planning on drilling for oil in the Great Australian Bight. Of the species living in the bight, 85% of them are found nowhere else in the world. Equinor’s plan has met resistance from the Australian community, and it has been organised paddle outs along the south and east coast of the country to show that Equinor is not welcome here. For you, my Norwegian friends, you can give a vote for the ocean and fight for the bight on the paddle out arranged in Oslo TODAY.
If you need a refresher on what it is about, you can read more on fightforthebight.org.au
I was joining a paddle out one April morning in Burleigh Heads, Australia. The ocean was dark and stormy, while the sun was shining on the beach. I was surrounded by posters saying “No Way Norway”, “Big oil don’t surf” and “This is not a drill”. On my way out I heard a couple of surfers, of the age of maybe 9 and 10, talking about the country that wants to drill in their oceans and also questioning why Thea would do that. I continued paddling out, a bit late for the whole gathering and ceremony, but surfers were still out showing their support for as long as they could. For every paddle, I could feel how strongly I would like “Norway” to just get out of there. I was paddling for the ocean, it’s life and I was paddling for the waves.
Being a Norwegian in Australia I can’t help but feel embarrassed and sad that’s how we profile ourselves to the rest of the world. Even though, at the end of the day it is not about our profile, it’s about an already vulnerable ocean and ecosystems that wouldn’t be able to handle such a disturbance or any oil spill. It’s about disturbing a whole ecosystem for our economy. It’s about a battle BETWEEN human and nature, when all it should be is working along with it.
Paddling out for the bight gave me the feeling of belonging and unity, we were all strangers gathered and standing up for the great blue and what lives in it. And for our future waves, and the earths future in general. Every paddle, for a oil free and healthy ocean.
Today you can join in on the paddle out arranged in Oslo. Find the event on https://www.facebook.com/events/291475698451985/?ti=icl . Write what you want, or “Tavaha” with big letters on your posters or clothes, because that’s what it’s all about - Ta Vare På Havet. Or just show up. Show Equinor and Australia that we don’t want the big oil - not in our own country, not on the other side of the world.