Monday, July 10, 2017

Oh, Canada!

Photo credit of tar sands facility in Fort McMurray, Alberta: Kris Krüg; CC BY 2.0
Hundreds of thousands of hectares of Canadian tundra have been indefinitely scarred. Heavy industrial chemicals contaminate the landscape and insufficiently stored hydrocarbons remain suspended in vast bodies of water. These toxic cesspools, which are given the less controversial name tailings ponds by industry, are often found in historic wetland areas. Subsequently, countless numbers of migratory birds die upon becoming contaminated after landing in this liquid effluent. Further, carcinogenic chemicals have been found to leak their contents into surrounding freshwater sources. Such leaches and breaches impact more than just aquatic life, but also land animals and human populations, many of whom are indigenous peoples, that rely on these rivers and streams for food and water.
Why is this environmental travesty permitted to continue? Royal Oil.

Canada’s tar sands operations require such immense amounts of energy to extract, refine and transport the product, bitumen, that these operations are the country’s largest Green House Gas (GHG) contributor. According to reports, tar sand oil emits 111 more kilograms of carbon per barrel than the average barrel of oil refined in America, making it the dirtiest of oils. Environmental impacts from Canada’s tar sands bring consequences that far surpass the air pollution created from burning oil product. Further, the growth in tar sands operations over the last decade have transformed a swath of Earth’s largest-land based carbon sink (the Boreal Forest) into a humungous carbon belching wasteland.

For more information, visit: and please write to your federal representatives and ask them to tell the Canadian Government that this environmental destruction must stop!

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