Blog: Path of my Life
by Karlin

Tar Sands - Not the Whole Problem

The Tar Sands are indeed ugly and awful and dangerous, but they are not threatening the entire world, whereas Global Warming IS. Our environmental groups are putting too much effort into protesting the Tar Sands, and we are being distracted from the bigger problem of global warming.

Date:   2/11/2014 9:22:00 AM   ( 8 y ) ... viewed 2019 times

       Tar Sands - "a risk no sane person would take" - But Not the Whole Problem

   Whereas the Alberta Tar Sands is an obvious focal point where our values can be defined, we should keep in mind that the Tar Sands is NOT THE WHOLE PROBLEM.

    People who defend or invest in the Tar Sands are on the wrong side of so much that is wrong with our world.

Some Examples:

 - the assault on nature could not be more stark with the toxic pollution forest destruction, and that the tailings ponds are world's largest dam and that it happens to be full of toxic waste that kills on contact;

 - the toxic emissions of the Tar Sands are KILLING locals who live downstream, and the Indigenous Peoples, the 1st Nations of Canada, are having their lands taken away and their way of life is being destroyed. There is a specific cancer, directly related to the Tar Sands toxins, that is off the charts as per the number of natives in the area that are stricken with it. This is a human rights issue as blatant as any in the world.

 - the willingness to take risks if there is a potential profit in it: if one rainstorm such as occurred last year in Calgary, Toronto, and Colorado [three "1 in 1000 year" storms in one year] were to occur at the Tar Sands, the tailings ponds would be flushed down the Athabasca River and into the Arctic Ocean. This is a risk no sane person would take.

- the Tar Sands are an example of how Capitalism allows very few rich and powerful Elites to make decisions to do things that the majority of us are against, and therefore how Capitalism erases the promises of Democracy.

- the carbon emissions from extracting, refining, transporting, more refining, and then burning this heavy and very crude form of hydrocarbon fuel are much higher than any other source in North America and nearly as high as the "gasoline from coal" that South Africans produce. Carbon emissions are something we cannot ignore as the world tips towards uncontrollable, runaway global warming.

  And then these same people would be so vile and stubborn as to be working towards EXPANDING the Tar Sands and ramping up production!! Besides the environmental assault, they are risking even MORE of Canada's economic stability and prosperity by refusing to recognize that the product they are producing is not wanted, and may soon be outlawed in most of the world [as a way of defending against climate change, there are "Clean Fuel laws" being enacted which would reject bitumen based gasoline].

   Really - STOP ALLREADY - In the name of all that is decent and fair, for the sake of basic survival YOU MUST NOT MAKE IT BIGGER!!

But Then There Is....

   But then there is the distraction from the problem of Global Warming - our heroic environmental groups are putting all their time and effort into protesting the Tar Sands and the pipeline proposals that would carry it's vile production. Meanwhile, runaway global warming is merely inches away and shutting in the Tar Sands completely would not make much difference to that problem.

   There is much work to do in a very short time to avoid climate catastrophe - we have to shut in coal and replace it with renewable energy, we have to stop making gasoline engines for vehicles and get at least 50% of people into Electric Vehicles [or other clean transportation], and we have to retrofit our big buildings so they use less energy, and we have to stop making concrete as we do now. And we have to do all this in the next 5 years, or perish.

  Lets please keep our eye on the bigger picture. I lived in Alberta most of my life, it was a nature lovers paradise just 40 years ago, and I weep for Alberta on a daily basis, the pain I feel for Alberta is immense and I feel crushed by what I see now. So, indeed, I support Forest Ethics, Dogwood, Friends of the Earth, Greenpeace, the Pembina Institute, and all the individual efforts to show the true ugliness of the Alberta Tar Sands.... but it isn't the whole problem, it is at most 3% of the whole problem.



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