The town of Athabasca is located in central Alberta just two hours north of Edmonton. It is found on the Athabascan River which runs north into the Arctic Ocean. Approximately 2750 people populate Athabasca but several more are coming to visit to profit off of Athabasca's main resource; oil sands.
Athabasca's Oil Sands
Corporations worldwide are traveling to Athabasca in search of it's abundance of oil. Being that oil is a great canadian commodity it has created tremendous provincial and national economic gains however, the exploitation of this resource has been detrimental to the environment. Through protests, studies and demonstrations, Athabasca's environmentalists prove that the capitalization of their oil sands goes beyond the removal of oil; mining the oil sands is destroying Athabasca's rivers and ecosystems, accumulating mass amounts of dust, and negatively affecting social programs. Does the ecological cost outweigh the economic benefit?
“ The relationship between the economic expansion and environmental preservation remain fundamentally contradictory” (Novek & Kampen, 1992, p.250).
Increasing value of Canadian Dollar
Indigenous peoples living on/near oil sands experience increased business
Owners of trucking & construction companies
Increase in housing costs in resource towns
Large & wasteful consumption of water used to produce oil
Increased greenhouse gas emissions
Exploitation of Indigenous land
Aeolian dust accumulation
Deformed fish in Athabasca river
Increase taxes – less focus on social programs
ie. health care, education, crime prevention etc.
Oil being exploited is 'dirty'
Wasted because no one wants it.
Described as nature's deathbed
Unwanted oil because it is deemed 'dirty'
“ Greenhouse-gas emissions from the production of synthetic tar sands oil are three times as large, barrel for barrel, as those from conventional oil” (Cosh, 2010)
Exploited & Polluted River
High levels of Poly aromatic compounds found in river which act as toxins in
The cardiovascular and blood systems
Deformed the aquatic population
Parallels to The Golden Spruce
Grant Waldin's expertise at his job = corporations love for money