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

 
About The Author

Ralph Maughan

Dr. Ralph Maughan is professor emeritus of political science at Idaho State University. He has been a Western Watersheds Project Board Member off and on for many years, and also its President. For many years he produced Ralph Maughan's Wolf Report. He was a founder of the Greater Yellowstone Coalition. He and Jackie Johnson Maughan wrote three editions of "Hiking Idaho." He also wrote "Beyond the Tetons" and "Backpacking Wyoming's Teton and Washakie Wilderness." He created and is the administrator of The Wildlife News.

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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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