Loading...

Friday, May 3, 2013

Module #17



1. Take a stance on the Alberta Tar Sands Debate. Are you for the continued development of the Alberta tar sands? or are you against it? Write a series of paragraphs that provide evidence to support your stance on this topic (minimum of 250 words). Include links and references to external websites (ideally university or government sites). Your stance should clear, and you must provide specific examples and facts that back-up your claims. This is major issue within Canada, and we will be discussing further in our final unit of the course as it directly related to Global Climate Change. 

2. Comment on at least two other posts from your peers. Describe why you agree or disagree with their stance. Let the debate begin!

Resources


26 comments:

  1. Humans have caused a lot of harm to the environment in recent years. The Tar Sands are contributing to this damage. They damage the environment around the excavation sites, and the products they produce further harm the environment by emitting greenhouse gases and creating pollution. The Tar Sands are doing a lot of harm to the environment.

    The areas surrounding the Alberta Tar Sands have been damaged by the mining of the bitumen. The mining processes have lead to the pollution of the water bodies near the tar sands. This is valuable fresh water that is essential for human life. Also, forests have been clear cut forests to accommodate for further expansion of the tar sands. These forests are essential carbon sinks that help remove carbon dioxide from the atmosphere. Pipelines have been created to transport the oil from Alberta. These pipelines can rupture and spill damaging the environment and costing large amounts of money to clean up. The company Enbridge averages more than one spill a week. Although most of these spills are relatively small, some of them can damage large areas of land. A major spill, like the one in the Gulf of Mexico in 2010, has a huge ecological impact and can devastate an entire ecosystems.

    The burning of fossil fuels have increased the quantity of greenhouse gases in our atmosphere and is causing global climate change. Humans have an increasing dependency on fossil fuels and the Tar Sands is allowing this dependency to continue by continuing to produce oil. Everyday new technology is being produced and this technology can help us cut down our carbon footprint. This new technology is more costly than fossil fuels and therefore more people are inclined to use the fossil fuels. If fossil fuels weren’t as readily available then people would be more willing to switch to this new, more environmentally friendly technology. Also, it is bitumen that is being mined and not oil. Converting this bitumen into oil is a complex process that requires a lot of energy. This process also leads to pollution into the Athabasca River and emits dangerous toxins into the atmosphere. These toxins can be very harmful to people and the surrounding ecosystems. A toxin called Benzenes is being released. This is one of the most lethal carcinogens and it is estimated that 100 tonnes of this are being released every year and this number is expected to rise to 500 tonnes by 2015. This is not only harmful to Alberta residence because these toxins can be transported and reach other areas of the country and world.

    The Alberta Tar Sands have inflicted extreme harm upon the environment. The mining practises and transport can severely damage the surrounding environment; and the oil that is produced releases harmful toxins and greenhouse gas emissions into the atmosphere. The economic gains from the Alberta Tar Sands do not compensate for the damage caused.

    http://www.greenpeace.org/canada/en/campaigns/Energy/tarsands/
    http://oilsandstruth.org/
    http://www.tarsandswatch.org/











    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. How do you think we can go without the unbelievable economic opportunity? I think it would be crazy to leave the largest oil reserve on the planet alone.

      Delete
    2. Ben: Though the Tar Sands of Alberta are not the largest in the world (there exists a larger one in Saudi Arabia, I believe), I definitely agree. With the Tar Sands, Canada has become a key player in the global market, especially with our crude oil exports to the US.


      Also, Allison: you say that oil spills can have a major effect on oceanic ecosystems. This is true, and I am not arguing otherwise. However, the need for oil in this world is undeniable; even if we were to stop the mining in the Tar Sands entirely, this international need for would not simply go away. Yes, there are many negative consequences of mining practices and releasing CO2 emissions into b, but not making use of the resources which we have in Canada only means that, somewhere else in the world, a different nation will increase mining in order to meet the demands of the global market.


      Additionally, if we were to hypothetically stop the mining in Alberta, what then? Would it be better to, rather than using the oil in our home soil, import petroleum from the Middle East? Would it be better to, rather than distributing oil throughout Canada and the United States through the use of trucks, pipelines, etc, force the increased use of marine vessels to put the world's oceans at risk?


      Just something to think about.

      Delete
    3. A bit of a typo above in my comment. I meant to say:

      "... releasing CO2 emissions into the atmosphere ..."

      Delete
    4. Bea: I know that Canada will not stop mining this and if they were to stop another country would fill the demand. Still if Canada was to stop mining then the cost of oil would increase. This increase in price could cause people to switch to alternative energy.

      Delete
    5. Bea: I definitely agree that stopping the Alberta mining would necessitate the importation of the same resource from countries further away from us. This presents further risks to oceans as oil ship leaks can destroy ecosystems, and the energy needed to power the transportation devices would negate the positive effects.

      Ben: I believe that the Alberta oil sands are the third largest deposits in the world after Saudi Arabia and Venezuela, but their scale in the international market, specifically with the US, exceeds that of the other two.

      Allison: In a certain way, the increase in price for oil would mean that people could indeed switch to alternative energy. However, these energy sources would most likely not be found in Canada, and then the issue of energy wastage and leak possibilities in transportation arises.

      Delete
  2. I believe that the Tar sands are an issue for Canadian environment and our ecosytems but, also provide an economical opportunity and privilege like no other. The tar sands are located in Alberta and have been scientifically proven to be the largest deposit of oil in the world.

    Natural resources have been crucial to Canada's economy throughout our history providing amazing financial help and letting us develop one of the top rated infrastructural countries in the world. We have used our natural resources such as the lumber in British Columbia and the plentiful fish in the Maritime's to stake our claim as a leading country in productivity. The tar sands provide Canada with an ever greater reserve of a natural resource that is one of the hottest commodities on the face of the Earth. The tar sands are undoubtedly a great opportunity for Canada to create hundreds of thousands of new jobs and boost are economy as a whole. An opportunity that we must not pass up.

    Some argue against the Tar sand extraction project in many valid ways, but do not provide solutions. They address the issue of Native land being taken over to fulfill the oil extraction, the cancer increase in local areas and the destruction the oil is doing to the Lake Athabaska. I respond to those points by reassuring the skeptics that many of the best Canadian brains and the reputable company Cenovous are doing the best they can to limit all repercussions that the oil extraction is creating. There have been solutions put into place throughout Alberta to reduce damage to ecosytems and people around such as efficient extraction processes and extreme monitoring of toxins and floods into water systems. Everyone involved in the Tar Sands projects are doing the best they can to make this outcome the best it can financially wise for Canada and Environmentally wise for Alberta.

    The advantages and benefits of the Tar sands contribute so much to Canadian and local Albertian's it is hard to cover them all. The oil project is creating 450,000 brand new jobs into Alberta which obviously does lasting wonders for the entire province. Looking on a Macro-economy basis, Canada benefits from a total of $20 billion dollars of revenue into the country that we did not have before which is just under 2% of GDP which is a huge contributor to our success. Alberta's reservoir of oil is the worlds largest reserve, measuring 8x greater than that of Saudi Arabia. Clearly the Tar sands do a greater benefit to Canada and its people as a whole and provide crucial economic stability to the province of Albera and country of Canada.

    In conclusion the Tar sands provide Canada with an extremely fortunate opportunity that every other country would love to have and it is our responsibility to not only benefit from it economically but to do as little harm to the ecosystems around it. I believe that we can take the returns the oil project is giving us and use them to further develop our knowledge of the environment and fund energy process inventions and innovations in oil extraction to truly help the environment in the end.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. links and resources:
      http://www.cenovus.com/
      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Oil_sands
      http://www.tarsandswatch.org/
      http://www.greenpeace.org/canada/en/campaigns/Energy/tarsands/
      http://www.energy.gov.ab.ca/ourbusiness/oilsands.asp
      http://www.oilsands.alberta.ca/

      Delete
    2. An interesting point has been raised here. When people consider and compare the economic and environmental effects of the oil sands, they often forget that they can work together. With the revenue from this lucrative resource, new technologies and methods that benefit the environment and increase sustainability can be funded and developed, resulting in a cycle that started with an economic focus but extended to other areas.

      Delete
    3. Ben you mention the issue of native land being taken over due to the oil sands, when 10% of all the workers of the oil sands are aboriginal people and contracts between aboriginal companies and the oil sands value at $810 million. I agree with you that this is not the biggest issue because if it was we would hear about a lot more protests and the.aboriginals would not be as involved in the oil sands.

      Delete
  3. The Athabasca Oil Sands, or Alberta Tar Sands as they are more commonly known, are an undoubted advantage to Canada's economy and international affairs. As the third-largest deposit of oil on the planet, an area almost the size of Greece soaked in lucrative bitumen, Canada has made a justified decision in exploiting this amazing resource. Creating one of the largest contruction projects in the world, drilling and mining operations search for and extract various mixtures of hydrocarbons together with their non-metallic derivatives, known as bitumen.

    Bitumen and oil are present almost everywhere in our everyday lives. Their uses range from energy to sealant, adhesive to building mortar. The world needs energy and oil, and Canada needs the profit in order to sustain its economy.

    During the darkest periods of the recession, oil contributed a whopping $20 billion to the Canadian economy, a figure that speaks for itself. With an injection of this magnitude, it adds security to the lives of many Canadians financially. This mass of revenue accounts for just under 2 percent of our nation's total gross domestic product. Additionally, the Tar Sands create many jobs, with an estimated 450,000 new positions bringing prosperity and security to Alberta and Canada.

    As a country, we supply more oil to the United States than any other, including Saudi Arabia. This improves the economic and political bond with our neighbours to the south, and injects further profit into our ever-growing pockets. With the potential to fuel secured energy for over a century, the oil sands give us a distinct trading advantage.

    While the negative effects of the oil sands are quite apparent, it is important to remember that new and improved methods are being developed to sustain the exploitation of the sands. New research is developing ways to use heat and naturally produced and recycled water to process the oil, working to reduce its viscosity and therefore its damage to the environment.

    All in all, the oil sands provide Canada with a massive bank of resources that can and should be used as an energy source, in the production of essential goods, and to power our ever-growing population. It is a secure power source, assists in the creation of jobs, and is a fantastic piece to have on the chess board of world trading and international affairs. With the huge profit from the use of the oil sands, we can fund ways to further benefit the environment, to ensure sustainability, and expand the knowledge of the environment around us. New technologies can be developed and used to benefit our planet and ourselves. The oil sands ultimately provide our nation with fantastic economic returns and endless possibilities for the future.

    http://www.oilsands.alberta.ca/
    http://www.energy.gov.ab.ca/ourbusiness/oilsands.asp
    http://www.cenovus.com/

    ReplyDelete
  4. You make a good argument but can the economic gains really justify the environmental harm? Climate change is a real problem (and to all you non-believers, it is no longer debated among scientists) shouldn't we do all we can to slow down or stop climate change. It will cost huge amounts of money to repair the damage caused by climate change as well.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Would ceasing the mining of the oil sands really have any impact whatsoever on the global climate? Canada alone accounts for merely 2% of the global GHG emissions, with the Tar Sands accounting for an infinitely tiny fraction of that.

      Whereas Climate Change is obviously not up for debate, the extent of man's influence on the global temperature is. Even if greenhouse gas emissions had a major effect on the Earth's climate, the emissions produced from the mining of bitumen would be minuscule with hardly any effect on the temperature. Even further - it wouldn't do anything in the face of making an environmentally friendlier planet. Oil would still be in demand and would continue to be mined, sold and used all over the planet: all that would change would be the source of petroleum and the amount of resources it would take to then distribute this oil all across the globe.

      Delete
    2. The mining is not the problem it is the product. Also, Canada has a very small population as well. 35 million / 7 billion that is 0.005% of the worlds population so 2% is a lot. The actual mining produces very little GHG but the product produces a great deal of GHG. Also, that 2% is only Canada's emissions. What about all of that oil we send to the USA and other places around the world?

      Also that was supposed to a reply to Charlie's post

      Delete
    3. 2% is also a relatively small amount when considering the fact that Alberta's oil reserves account for approximately 11% of the world's oil reserves, ranking it third in world's largest oil reserves. Alberta also harbors 98% of Canada's oil reserves. It is true that 2% of the planet's Greenhouse Gas emissions is a substantial amount for such a small population, but considering the fact that Canada is a more technologically advanced country with such massive oil reserves it can be seen as reasonable. Alberta has also passed a law stating that any oil project emitting over 100,000 tonnes of CO2 per year must decrease their emission amounts by 12%, which can prove to be a huge amount.

      Source:
      http://www.energy.gov.ab.ca/ourbusiness/oilsands.asp

      Delete
    4. Allison: Excellent that you acknowledge THAT IT ISN'T THE MINING WHICH IS THE ISSUE. Yes, the main problem with mining for oil is the eventual use of said oil.

      However, this isn't a debate about whether one should use gasoline or not: this is a debate about the merits of mining for bitumen in the Tar Sands of Alberta.

      Stop and think for a moment - ceasing the mining for petroleum in Alberta will not stop the global use of oil (there are several reserves larger in the world, and it is in these locations that the rest of the world will then look to). Ceasing the mining in Alberta will then force increased means of transportation in order to meet the local demand for oil, transportation which can increase danger to marine habitats which could otherwise have been prevented. Ceasing the mining in Alberta - mining which you earlier stated, "is not the problem", as it "produces very little GHG" - would be letting go of a valuable opportunity, destroying important jobs, disregarding a highly important asset to Canadian economy, and instead, simply forcing oil to be brought in from elsewhere.

      Stopping the mining in Alberta will not prevent, stop, or decrease the demand for oil - it will only alter two facts: where the oil will come from and who is directly benefiting.

      Delete
    5. The debate is about whether we are against or for the further expansion of the oil sands. I am opposed because I feel that it is unnecessary to use so much oil because there is some much alternate technology. I believe that we will are able to cut our dependancy on oil.

      Delete
  5. Alberta's remaining proven oil reserves are 170.8 billion barrels, or about 13 percent of total global oil reserves. Nearly 1.6 million barrels of crude were produced every day from oil sands in 2012. About 151,000 Alberta's are directly employed in the oil and gas extraction and mining sectors in 2011 - that's nearly one of 14 Jobs in the province. Alberta ranks third, after Saudi Arabia and Venezuela, in terms of proven global crude oil reserves. Oil Sands investment increased to $17.5 billion in 2012. Geography - Alberta's oil sands underline 140,200 square kilometres of land in the Athabasea, cold lake and peace river area in Northern Alberta. Minerals rights owned by the Crown are managed by the Alberta department of energy on behalf od the citizens of the province. Benefits to Canada - The Canadian Energy Research Institute estimates oil sands will create $ 322 billion, will go to Federal Government. Over the next 25 years. Employment in the oil sands are expected to grow from 75,000 jobs in 2010 to 95,000 jobs in 2035 - with 126,000 of those being sourced in province outside Alberta. The lowest tax regime in Canada. Alberta businesses do not pay general sales taxes, capital taxes or payroll taxes and Alberta has the lowest gasoline tax among provinces. The genera; corporate tax rate is three percent.

    References: http://www.energy.gov.ab.ca/ourbusiness/oilsands.asp
    http://www.energy.gov.ab.ca/OilSands/585.asp
    http://www.energy.gov.ab.ca/OilSands/791.asp

    ReplyDelete
  6. Personally, I am strongly in favour of the tar sands, as it truly does provide a once in a lifetime economic opportunity. Albertans own an incredibly valuable energy resource – valued by the province, and the entire world. It is essential that Albertans benefit from the oil sands industry; while at the same time Alberta must nurture an attractive investment climate to stay a stable global energy supplier.

    Alberta's remaining proven oil reserves are 170.8 billion barrels (169.3 billion barrels in the oil sands), or about 13 % of total global oil reserves. About 1.6 million barrels of crude were produced every day from the oil sands in 2010! About 151,000 Albertans are employed in the oil and gas extraction in 2011... that's a lot of great job opportunities for Albertans and anyone else in the country. Also, Capital investment in the oil sands will lead up to $218 billion in just 25 years! To be honest, rejecting such an object like this kind of money that can completely re-shape Albert'a economy would be obscured.

    Yes, the tar sands will be responsible for a fair amount of environmental issues, but again- throwing away such an opportunity would be ludacris. However, the tar sands will benefit Canadians greatly. Over the next 25 years, employment in the oil sands is expected to grow from 75,000 jobs in 2010 to 905,000 jobs in 2035 – with 126,000 of those being sourced in provinces outside Alberta.

    The people who oppose the tar sands do have valid reasons, but also have no solution. Having the tar sands will bring in money, provide jobs, and could re-shape Canada. Plus, the people who have their vote on the environment must realize that Canada's brightest are currently thinking of ways to reduce the oil extraction.

    Sources: http://www.oilsands.alberta.ca/economicinvestment.html
    http://www.oilsands.alberta.ca/FactSheets/fs_Economic_Benefits_online.pdf


    ReplyDelete
  7. The Alberta Oil Sands are a valuable economic opportunity in Canada that should not be passed up. It is true that fossil fuels are a somewhat shortsighted source of energy for the massive power demand of an entire planet of cars, factories, houses and other utilities, but the tar sands will be able to keep the current system functioning until the day that these fuels become obsolete.

    It is true that the mining does pose a threat to forests in Alberta - But not a large threat. Today, only about 715 kilometers squared, or 0.19% of Alberta's boreal forests have been cleared to make way for the mining project in the years that is has been operational.

    The oil sands industry is also seeking to undo some of the damage it has caused, planting over 7 million trees over approximately 71 kilometers squared of affected land. While this is only a tenth of the current amount of disturbed land this shows that the industry is making strides in protecting and reclaiming the environment that it has disrupted.

    The project also has a huge potential for oil yield and subsequently economic growth. Alberta holds about 11 percent of the world's crude oil reserves, or over 170 billion barrels. This huge amount of oil has created nearly half a million jobs, strengthening the economy of Alberta and Canada.

    In conclusion, it is important that we take advantage of the oil reserves in Alberta, to boost our economic strength while minimizing environmental damage, before it is too late and fossil fuels become obsolete.

    ReplyDelete

  8. I believe that the Alberta Tar Sands are a great benefit to everyone throughout Canada. Many believe otherwise, but with the third largest oil deposit in the world st our fingertips, we are left to choose between our environment or our economy, and with today’s economic situations many people are turning to the oil sands as their resource.

    To begin, the Alberta Tar Sands benefits many people in the local communities as it provides a source of income for their household. At least 150,000 citizens of Alberta are directly employed in the oil sands. That’s one out of every fourteen people in the province that have a direct job, and proves the Alberta Tar Sands are benefitting the locals. Also in the next 25 years alone, employment is going to increase from 75,000 jobs to 905,000 jobs, and 126,000 of these jobs are going to be outside the province of Alberta supporting other people throughout Canada. If we stop mining and extracting from these oil sands, yes it will help the environment, but so many jobs will be lost and we will be faced with the potential of an economic crisis in Alberta.

    Another benefit of the oil sands is our economy. Canada’s economy is supported partially by the exports of the oil to many other countries around the world. Canada is currently the largest supplier of oils to the US. For every dollar that is invested in the oil sands, $7.50 worth of economic activity is created. So if we continue to invest in the oil sands and use it as one of our main resources then our economy is going to continue to rise in the future, benefitting not only Alberta but the rest of Canada. Royalties to the oil sands go back into funding public services among Alberta , in 2012 they received $3.7 billion. As they have such large income from the oil sands and other businesses in Alberta they pay fewer sales taxes then the rest of Canada. This leaves Alberta with the highest economic growth rate in Canada in the past 20 years.

    Another issue many people bring up is that the oil sands are destroying native’s land. Native’s are protective of their land, so if it was being destroyed, why would they choose to go and work in the oil sands that are destroying their land. Currently about 10% of the work force of the oil sands is Aboriginal people, and many Aboriginal companies are creating contracts with the Alberta Oil Sands, as in 2009 the value of these contracts was $810 million. Wouldn’t these numbers be much lower if they were against the oil sands ? These numbers indicate that they are looking more to investment rather than always choosing their land first.

    Overall, the Alberta Tar Sands have such large economic potential for all of Canada, and would harm the economy if we decided to stop mining and extracting oil from them. Jobs would be lost, and a large portion of Alberta’s income would be lost creating hard economic times throughout the province. Alberta Oil Sands have a future that can support Canada and maintain our economy.

    ww.oilsands.infomine.com/careers/
    www.oilsands.alberta.ca
    www.tarsandswatch.org

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Okay, you claim its such an economic benefit? What happens when we run the Oil Sands dry due to over production rate? And the government is assimilating the aboriginal peoples by destroying their natural resources. The government is basically bribing the aboriginal peoples with compensation money to ease the pain. The governments plan is more "I'll give you this money, plus this extra money if you work for the tar sands, and then you'll have enough money to move away and quit, and then we can expand our tar sands even more". It is a trick.

      Delete
  9. As with the Tar Sands of Alberta, it is extremely difficult to make much judgement on whether or not they are a good idea for Canada as a whole. The issue of Alberta's "dirty oil" is not one which is so black and white as to being wholly good or wholly bad. Environmentalists and health experts have argued that the Tar Sands negatively affect the local environment, the natural water sources and the nearby ecozones through the continuous digging, overwhelming water use, and chemical run-off. If only looking at the issue from this angle, it would appear to be a no-brainer. This, however, is not the case. When looking at the Tar Sands of Alberta rationally, it is increasingly evident that using this valuable resource is the way to go.

    The Tar Sands of Alberta are extremely important to Canada's economy - not only does it prove Canada with a means for global export, the Keystone Pipeline makes Canada one of the major suppliers of oil worldwide, supplying crude oil to refineries all along the United States and amounting for 15% of American oil imports. This, then, increases Canada's capability for export, improving Canada's GDP (the oil sands contribute $20 billion annually) and the stability of Canada's economy in a world of economic uncertainty. In addition, countless jobs have been provided by the ever-growing mining operations in Alberta. In 2011, a total of 116,000 people were employed by the Tar Sands, and, in future, the numbers definitely increase, to meet the demands of the ever-increasing need for labour as the Tar Sand mining expands.

    Many people, additionally, over-exaggerate the Tar Sands' environmental influence. Canada is only responsible for a mere 2% of the world's Greenhouse Gas (GHG) emissions. It may sound like a lot on its own, but in all actuality, it is nothing compared to the 6% of GHG emission created by India, 18% created by the United States, or the startling 23% created by China. The Tar Sands, themselves - being an infinitely small fraction of Canada’s total GHG emissions - hardly have an influence when considering the total emissions of the world. Additionally, many believe that the Tar Sands possess somewhat of an enabling factor - allowing the rest of the world, particularly the United States, a main consumer of Canada’s exported oil, to over-indulge in oil use. This, however, is untrue, as, even without Canada’s mining, the entire world would still continue to use oil - too much of our society is dependent on it, as there are, as of yet, no universally accessible alternatives in terms of transportation.
    Overall, I feel that the Tar Sands are a valuable asset to Canada. Surrendering use of this resource would be surrendering a major component of Canada’s economy. To stop extracting bitumen from the Tar Sands would not have any major impact on the environment - the only changing factor would be the distance required to unnecessarily import oil to Canada. The actual amount of oil used worldwide would not change at at all - the demand for oil would still remain the same, as the need for oil is deeply ingrained in first world society. As such, Canada should definitely make use of this need in order to further and strengthen its economy until the time comes when alternate energy sources are universally accessible.

    http://www.energy.alberta.ca/oilsands/791.asp
    http://www.oilsands.alberta.ca/

    ReplyDelete
  10. I am for the Alberta oil sands for many reasons. However I do recognize the environmentalists side of the argument. The biggest reason I am for the oil sands is that Canada has to capitalize on this major economic opportunity. The fact is, the world needs oil, and a lot of it. If Canada does not use these oil sands to their full potential, we would be losing jobs as well as sacrificing economic growth.

    Alberta is the third-largest oil reserve in the world, only behind Saudi Arabia and Venezuela. In 2011, Alberta supplied 7% of U.S oil demand. Due in part, Alberta collected 4.5 billion dollars worth of revenue. This was the third fiscal year in a row when oil sands royalty was the top source of Alberta's non-renewable resource revenue.

    Alberta has also passed acts such as the Climate Change and Emissions Management Act (CCEMA), the Specified Gas Reporting Regulation (SGRR) requiring all facilities emitting over 100,000 tonnes of carbon dioxide equivalent (CO2e) annually to report their emissions, and the Specified Gas Emitters Regulation (SGER). All of these show the commitment to help out the environment as best they can.

    In conclusion, Canada needs to capitalize on the natural resources we have at our disposal and continue to grow economically. This will benefit our country and our people.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I don't see how the tar sands could ever benefit our people when there's no people left... It is literally KILLING "our" people. Our government is literally killing their own population and you're basically saying "Yeah! Kill all the population, it will benefit everyone!!" I'd like to see how beneficial it truly is in 100 years when there's 30% less population as they want to increase their production rate to 3.4 million barrels per day.

      Delete
  11. The Alberta Tar Sands, as some refer to as "Black Gold" is the world's third greatest oil reserve behind Saudi Arabia and Venezuela. The tar sands affect every aspect of humanity including environment, politics, and population. This will eventually run out, and we are the only ones held responsible.

    First of all, the Alberta tar sands are detrimental to our local and global environments. These death pits emit millions of toxic waste materials a day affecting our atmosphere, hydrosphere, lithosphere, and in turn, the biosphere. These toxic lakes produce over 2.6 million barrels of oil per DAY, which is presently being said to increase to 3.4 million barrels by the year 2020. Little do people know, that per 1 barrel of oil, it takes approximately 2-8 barrels of water to complete the process. This process creates millions of tons of green house gas emissions into our atmosphere, which causes global warming. Also, the creation of this dirty oil creates massive tailing ponds that can now be seen from space. These tailing ponds are literally ponds of toxic waste that are currently leaking into the local watersheds such as the Athabasca River. This is causing water pollution and the death of vegetation around the areas as well as animals that depend on these resources for survival. These toxic wastelands are causing many discussions and politics between the local and global communities and needs to be stopped.

    Secondly,the on-going controversial issue between economy and the environment has caused many political nightmares. Not only our local, but our global community is being driven by the addiction to oil. Some believe that they cannot survive without this "essential" resource. I understand that oil is a big part of our everyday lives, such as our commute to school or work, it heats our homes, and can be used in products such as makeup, but it wasn't until 1875 that people actually discovered the oil sands. "How did they even survive before the discovery of the tar sands?" This question is ridiculous. They lived off of the land. And i understand that our world is growing and becoming much more technological, but it doesn't have to be. Yes, it is convenient but there are so many current debates that the Earth we know today will soon exist if we keep producing and injecting these toxic emissions and pollutants into the world.

    Lastly, the tar sand industry and the government as a whole needs to take into account the lives of others. For example, the toxins that are leaking into the Athabasca River is affecting an entire population of aboriginals. Aboriginals live off of the land. They hunt for animals to eat and take their fur, they drink out of natural watersheds, and breathe the "fresh" clean air. However, for those communities in Alberta, the cancer rates have sky rocketed. They are being forced indirectly into assimilation. The toxins are polluting the water which the aboriginal peoples drink, as well as the animals they hunt. Biologists studying the animals in Alberta have come back with results of animals such as fish, bears, and even moose, having huge tumours and are clearly unhealthy. This is a huge concern and death tolls have raised incredibly in the past 10 years as the industry is still growing. This needs to stop.

    In conclusion, the increasing production rates and existence of the Alberta Tar Sands is affecting our local and global environments with their toxic emissions, causing unnecessary debates, and killing their own people. Everyone knows that too much of a good thing can be bad, and the Alberta Tar Sands are a prime example of just that.

    http://www.energy.alberta.ca/oilsands/791.asp
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Athabasca_oil_sands
    http://www.greenpeace.org/canada/en/campaigns/Energy/tarsands/
    http://www.oilsands.alberta.ca/water.html

    ReplyDelete