C a n a d i a n T a r S a n d sGrowing scarcity of global fossil fuels supplies make the Canadian Tar Sandsa n d a p p e a l i n g f u e l s o u r c e .However, thick bitumen within the Alberta oil sands contains significantlygreater quantities of sulfur, nitrogen, lead, nickel, mercury and arsenic leadingto widespread health concerns and environmental damage.
barrels of oil in theAlbertan Oil SandsrepresentingThere are provenreserves ofofglobal oil reserves.
s e r v i n gp u b l i ci n t e r e s tremaining within the Earth’s carrying capacityE q u i t a b l eW e a l t hD i s t r i b u t i o npromoting universalhuman rights and socialj u s t i c e .G o v e r n a n c e
A CLSC (Centre for the Studies of Living Standards) study published in 2010 concludedthat the most significant determinants of individual happiness in order of greatest toleast impactful were: , belonging to a , the relativeof an area, and lastly, the individual income.
There were 151,000Albertan’s employed in the oiland gas sector in 2011.National inthe oil and gas sector isexpected to increase to905,000 in 2035 withcontinued expansion of thetar sands.However…The Tar Sands industrialcommunities, such as Ft.McMurray, exhibit some ofthe highest crime, drug abuseand drunk driving rates inCanada. Only those workingin the industry benefit whileothers are left to suffer fromincreased inflation while their
“Weve got a sort of brainwashing going on in ourcountry”, Morrie sighed. “Do you know how theybrainwash people? They repeat something over andover. And thats what we do in this country. Owningthings is good. More money is good. More property isgood. More commercialism is good. More is good.More is good. We repeat it--and have it repeated tous--over and over until nobody bothers to even thinkotherwise. The average person is so fogged up by allof this, he has no perspective on whats reallyimportant anymore”- Mitch Albom
Proposed Tar Sandsextraction will alsodestroy 29,500hectares of Peatlandin Alberta, which willresult in additionalcarbon dioxideemissions of 11.4 to47.3 million metrictonnes of carbondioxide per year.r e m a i n i n gw i t h i n t h eE a r t h ’ sc a r r y i n gc a p a c i t y
The bitumen that is transported in these pipelines is thickerand more likely to spill than conventional oils. According toCornell Universitys Global Labor Institute, “Between 2007and 2010, pipelines transporting tar sands oil in thenorthern Midwest have spilled three times more per milethan the U.S. national average for conventional crude.”.
A Lakota Grandmother,White Plume, notes thatproposals for theKeystone Pipeline serveas a continuation to thedestruction of her cultureand nation: “To us this oilpipeline [is] coming inacross our drinking waterand surface water source,if our water line iscontaminated by that oil itwill be genocide forour Oglala Lakota people.There are 50,000 of us onthe Pine RidgeReservation.”promoting universal humanrights and social justice
The government should be responsible for facilitating research on the potentialhealth effects of such a potentially hazardous resource. Current knowledge oftheenvironmental impacts of the Tar Sands is far from extensive. Dr. JohnO’Connor, provider of medical services in Fort Chipeqyan since 2000, noticedsignificantly higher proportions of rare cancer rates in native communitiesdirectly downstream from TarSands facilities. In spite of his urges to the government, it wasn’t until 2008 anda significant amount of media pressure that the government funded a study bytheAlberta Cancer Board. The Board did find a proportionally higher cancerburden and recommended further research, but no further inquiry has takenplaceG o v e r n a n c e
In 2011, thepublic receivedless than 4 billionin the form ofroyalties andland sales, whilethe oilcompaniesreceivedE q u i t a b l e W e a l t h D i s t r i b u t i o nWhile oil priceshave increased400%; theroyalties paidby the oilindustry to theAlbertagovernmenthavedecreasedfrom 3 to 2dollars perbarrel, leadingto corporatedominanceand unequaldistribution ofwealth.
“Well, for one thing, the culture we have does not make peoplefeel good about themselves. Were teaching the wrong things. Andyou have to be strong enough to say if the culture doesnt work,dont buy it. Create your own. Most people cant do it.” – Mitch Albom
• Alberta government. “Alberta’s Oil Sands.” Last modified 2012. Accessed Oct.29, 2012. http://oilsands.alberta.ca/.• Centre for the Study of Living Standards (CSLS). “Does Money Mattter?Determining the Happiness of Canadians.” Published November 2010, updatedFebruary 2011. CSLS Research Report No. 2010-09. Accessed online:http://www.csls.ca/reports/csls2010-09.pdf• Albom, Mitch. Tuesdays with Morrie. New York: Doubleday, 1997. Print.• Climate and Capitalism. “Emission from tar sands will be worse than expect.”Last modified March 26th, 2012. Accessed Oct. 29, 2012• http://climateandcapitalism.com/2012/03/26/emissions-from-tar-sands-will-be-worse-than-expected/?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+climateandcapitalism%2FpEtD%28Climate+and+Capitalism%29• Angus, Ian. “Leave the Tar Sand in the Ground!” Last modified Aug 22,2012. Accessed Oct. 29 2012.http://climateandcapitalism.com/2012/08/22/leave-the-tar-sand-in-the-ground/?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+climateandcapitalism%2FpEtD+%28Climate+and+Capitalism%29.
Continued• Droitsch, Danielle. “Report: Keystone XL Tar Sands Pipeline More of anEconomic Liability than Benefit.” Last modified March 13 2012. Accessed Oct29, 2012.http://www.alternet.org/story/154529/report%3A_keystone_xl_tar_sands_pipeline_more_of_an_economic_liability_than_benefit?akid=8413.78664.6YJ94D&rd=1&t=15.• Redman, Janet. “3 Reasons Why the Tar Sands Pipeline Has to Be Stopped.”Last modified Aug 19 2011. Accessed Oct 29, 2012.http://www.alternet.org/story/152107/3_reasons_why_the_tar_sands_pipeline_has_to_be_stopped?page=entire• O’Connor,John. “Ethical Hypocrisy: Windmills, the tar sand and human health.”Last modified Aug 15, 2012. Accessed Oct 29,2012http://rabble.ca/news/2012/08/ethical-hypocrisy-windmills-tar-sands-and-human-health.• Canadian Broadcasting Corporation. “Tar Sands- Selling of Alberta.” Videoavailable online 13 March 2008.http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Pu6wl98m8zI. (27:00 mins).• Hansen, James E. “The White House & Tar Sands.” Last modified Sept 4 2011.Accessed Sept. 29 2012. http://truth-out.org/news/item/3118:the-white-house--tar-sands