The Great Australian Bight has all of the hallmarks of a place you really don't want to mess with — incredible marine diversity, endangered whales, awesome natural beauty. But the Australian government decided that this would also be a good place to let BP prospect for oil, and gave the company a tax break to ease their way on that project. As Australia's ABC Environment points out:

Even the method used to hunt for oil reserves is destructive for sea life. Seismic testing is used by oil and gas companies to explore beneath the ocean floor for oil and gas sediments. In order to measure these sediments, large ships fire high-intensity air guns deep into the ocean.

Grist relies on the support of generous readers like you. Donate today to keep our climate news free. All donations matched!

Clearly the best use of this area. Clearly.

Grist thanks its sponsors. Become one.