The Alberta Tar Sands (Saudi Arabia of the North) as it is proudly referred to in the oil industry, has proven to be a financial boon to the Canadian economy. It has also proven to be an environmental nightmare. Most of the oil that is being pumped out - or actually mined out to be fried; sprayed clean and then dried; pressed and squeezed so the dirt can ultimately be liquifying - has come at an extremely high cost to the environment.

Dead lakes are being created to store all the dirty water residue from the oil extraction process and natives are worried that it’s only a matter of time before that toxic sludge finds its way into the local drinking water.

The Oil Sands in 2007 produced 40 million tons of ‘greenhouse gas emissions’ which equals to about 10 million cars on the Canadian roads. This could grow to 142 million by 2020 if left unchecked. It is also estimated that within a couple of years, 50% of Canada’s greenhouse gas emissions will be attributable to the Athabascan Oil Sands. The province of Alberta, with 10% of Canada’s population is now responsible for 50% of Canada’s pollution!

The environmental disaster that is playing out in the Alberta’s Oil Sands, - all in the name of Canadian Prosperity and US insatiable demand for oil, has made Canada one of the worlds worst contributors of ‘carbon gas emissions’.

Demand for the sticky, dirty-to-extract crude of the tar sands (called bitumen) has soared. The sector has exploded. The pressure to develop keeps mounting, with no political will to curb it, despite the serious climate and financial risks involved.

The US demand has triggered the need/greed for more capacity out of the tar sands. It’s a massive infrastructure change, the advent of a whole new fossil fuel supply chain, or a “pollution delivery system”. The building of a continent-wide network of pipelines, some thousands of miles long, to transport the crude, as well as refinery expansions on the US side of the Great Lakes to process the raw goo into gas. Pipeline and refinery expansion applications are being made and approved right now with little general awareness of the potential long-term damage to the environment.

Alberta Oil Sands - the most destructive project on Earth.

-Oil sands mining is licensed to use twice the amount of fresh water that the entire city of Calgary uses in a year.
-At least 90% of the fresh water used in the oil sands ends up in ends up in tailing ponds so toxic that propane cannons are used to keep ducks from landing.
-Processing the oil sands uses enough natural gas in a day to heat 3 million homes.
-The toxic tailing ponds are considered one of the largest human-made structures in the world. -The ponds span 50 square kilometers and can be seen from space.
-Producing a barrel of oil from the oil sands produces three times more greenhouse gas emissions than a barrel of conventional oil.

Current Canadian Minority Prime Minister Stephen Harper is looking like ‘the fool on the hill’ on the global stage with many nations using hard words like ’saboteur’ to explain Harper’s actions when it comes to the global climate change debate, but in reality, he’s only protecting his own interests. He won’t be prime minister forever and when he does return to the fine province of Alberta he’ll be able to rightly share in that province’s modern day ‘black gold rush!’ Stephen Harper refuses to show leadership and put hard caps on Canada’s global warming emissions — all so the tar sands can keep growing. No matter how much Canadians clamor to join the global fight against climate change, we are being held hostage by the tar sands.

The tar sands have quickly grown to become the most destructive project on Earth. Their greenhouse gas emissions are the main reason Canada’s emissions keep rising, the main reason we cannot live up to international agreements, the main reason we are becoming an international pariah on the most important issue facing humanity.


Is it really worth it to literally destroy the environment? The World’s fresh water supply is fast disappearing, not the result of human consumption but from wasteful oil extraction from Alberta’s oil sands. The water is being contaminated by the oil extraction process. Millions of liters of fresh water per day are used by the oil extraction refineries. That water will never be fit for human or animal consumption ever again. It is a loss of the most essential element on Earth. Fresh water is essential for the survival of humanity and every living thing on Earth. Water is a ubiquitous chemical substance that is composed of hydrogen and oxygen and is vital for all known forms of life. It is essential for growing the food we need to survive. Approximately 70% of freshwater is consumed by agriculture.

Oil is not essential. It isn’t essential for the survival of all humanity. Oil only puts money in the pockets of a very select few. The amount of money they receive for destroying the environment and humanity can never be fully spent and it can’t be taken with them when they die. Perhaps the only way these greedy politicians and business people will see what they are destroying is to force them to live the rest of their lives on the banks of the oil sludge lakes they created. Force them to live off of the land they destroyed and drink from the waste water they created. Only then would they realize that even their own existence is being destroyed by their greed.