Monday, August 16, 2010

The Canadian Ecocide.

Canada, through its tar sands industry, is engaged in a callous, venal and mercenary rape of the environment on an almost unimaginable scale. An area the size of England will be denuded of boreal forest in order to extract the dirtiest oil on the planet. Tar-sands oil has three times the emissions of conventional oil because of the energy used in extracting and processing it. In the process air and water are poisoned with disastrous consequences for the local population.

The industry is the reason that Canada cannot meet its emission reduction commitments. Defence of the industry has turned Canada into a spoiler and saboteur of climate change negotiations.

Contrary to the claims of the Canadian government, there is no way to make this industry environmentally sustainable. It should simply be stopped.

When I moved to Canada in June 2006 I knew almost nothing about the tar-sands, but by the end of that year I was wondering if moving here was any better than emigrating to South Africa during apartheid, and I've been wondering that ever since.

The EU Fuel Quality Directive, when implemented, should stop tar sands oil entering Europe, but Greenpeace say the oil companies are lobbying hard to weaken the legislation. Greenpeace are asking people to write to Theresa Villiers to ask her to support a strong law.


3 comments:

Anonymous said...

"Contrary to the claims of the Canadian government, there is no way to make this industry environmentally sustainable. It should simply be stopped".

On the contrary, according to National Geographic it would seem remarkable progress has been made over the past 5 years. Perhaps this is just a personal bias Jane, and not based on the scientific advances being made?

It would seem to me more pressure is required from the government and citizens of Canada to use this vast economic gold rush to pour billions into green energy technology.

Jane said...

Anonymous, perhaps you'd like to reference the article you are referring to. The only article that comes up when I do a search is this one: http://ngm.nationalgeographic.com/2009/03/canadian-oil-sands/kunzig-text/8 from March 09, which did a lot to raise consciousness about the issue.

Jane said...

No, thought not.