Sunday, February 22, 2009

National Geographic Slams Tar Sands

This isn't going to help Tar Sands fans in Calgary or Ottawa. The march edition of National Geographic will have a photo spread of the Athabasca Tar Sands. According to CanWest, the feature will include several pictures of Athabasca's enormous black tailing ponds.

The Alberta government is - on what has become a regular basis - in a pitched struggle with environmentalists and the media over control of the thorny climate change issue.
And the politics surrounding the oilsands - and the world's understanding of Alberta's oil reserves - may define the current Alberta government's time in power.


Earlier this week, Premier Ed Stelmach said comments that Alberta has the dirtiest oil on earth are ``most unfortunate. It's obviously disconcerting, but that's part of the misinformation that continues to roll out quite often from self-interest groups, painting Alberta and the country of Canada with a picture like that.''

But Simon Dyer, oilsands program director for the Pembina Institute, an environmental think-tank, said from the Stelmach's government's point of view, ``there still seems to be the perception that this is a public relations battle. ''

Dyer added, ``industry and government need to take responsibility for the environmental performance of the oilsands.''

After years of promising site remediation and environmental clean ups, especially the repeated promise of carbon sequestration, people are beginning to call Alberta's and Ottawa's bluff - and finding they're holding losing hands. It was good while it lasted but it's finally put up or shut up time for the Tar Sands.

8 comments:

janfromthebruce said...

National geographic, I am reading that article right now.

The Mound of Sound said...

Any highlights?

Robert McClelland said...

They have a 7 minute documentary up on their site.

Robert McClelland said...

The article is now online too.

The Mound of Sound said...

Thanks RM

Anonymous said...

"A desecrated landscape" - this video makes me want to cry. Are we so greedy for energy that we are willing to turn the entire planet into an industrial wasteland? If oil supplies have or are about to peak, there will not be enough alternative energy sources to satisfy our needs. The answer is not to transform the Alberta boreal forest into a cesspool, or cover Ontario with windfarms, the answer is to use less energy. Period.

Eric said...

I am glad a big player like Nat. Geo. is stepping in as the Encana/Alberta gvt. apparatus have been very effective in crushing dissidents in the last 20 years. They have done all the right things: gutting out the Environment ministry, putting pro-oil folks on all the committees, telling natives and ranchers that everything is still pristine and the three-headed trouts they are catching are a new sub-specie...

The world will finally have a chance to judge for itself and see if the environmentalists are winning for nothing or if Canadian have been put asleep by the Oil Powers controling Ottawa and ALberta.

I wish Albertans all the prosperity they deserve but this tar sand farce needs to stop before it is too late...

The Mound of Sound said...

Thanks Eric. I really enjoyed your analysis.

Cheers

MoS