One problem that the global petro-economy has triggered through climate change is the spread of forest-killing conditions. That spans everything from drought, heatwaves and the massive increase and migration of pests such as pine beetles.
At the moment the pine bettle kill off is primarily in the west but the little buggers have crossed the Rockies to spread into the Boreal forest and, eventually, they'll reach Labrador. It's a matter of time, probably a lot less than we imagine.
It's not only a North American nightmare. The Europeans are dealing with the same problem. Germany's forests are on the brink of ecological collapse.
Germany's forests are undoubtedly suffering as a result of climate change, with millions of seedlings planted in the hope of diversifying and restoring forests dying, warns Ulrich Dohle, chairman of the 10,000-member Bunds Deutscher Forstleute (BDF) forestry trade union.
"It's a catastrophe. German forests are close to collapsing," Dohle added in an interview with t-online, a online news portal of Germany's Ströer media group.How much is a forest that spans the breadth of Canada worth? How does that stack up against the imaginary bounty we hope to extract from the Tar Sands? Just askin'
Low rainfall last summer saw Germany's rivers reach extreme lows, with some waterways still struggling and forests prone to fire.
"These are no longer single unusual weather events. That is climate change," said Dohle.