Black gold’s tarnish seen in Canada. Cash and jobs flow bountifully from Alberta’s oil sands, but they come at a cost to the environment and native peoples.
By Tim Reiterman, Los Angeles Times Staff Writer.

Northern Alberta is being destroyed environmentally by pit mining for oil sands. Worse still, the pollution doesn’t stay in Alberta, but flows north into the Arctic Ocean. You can see some of this devastation on Google Earth. Look at the area around Fort McMurray.

Although a great amount of oil is produced, once again the net energy is not all that great because it takes so much energy to extract the energy in the oil sands. This fundamental fact — that the world energy situation is not better off, worse off, counting the negative externalities, if there is little or no net energy, is very slow to sink into the minds of decision-makers.

This web site has some good (meaning awful) photos of the endless pits.  http://www.borealbirds.org/tarsands.shtml

 
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About The Author

Ralph Maughan

Dr. Ralph Maughan is professor emeritus of political science at Idaho State University with specialties in natural resource politics, public opinion, interest groups, political parties, voting and elections. Aside from academic publications, he is author or co-author of three hiking/backpacking guides, and he is President of the Western Watersheds Project.

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‎"At some point we must draw a line across the ground of our home and our being, drive a spear into the land and say to the bulldozers, earthmovers, government and corporations, “thus far and no further.” If we do not, we shall later feel, instead of pride, the regret of Thoreau, that good but overly-bookish man, who wrote, near the end of his life, “If I repent of anything it is likely to be my good behaviour."

~ Edward Abbey

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