My wife and I are planning our summer vacation. I wonder if she'd go for this? Very amusing way of bringing awareness to the damage being done to the environment as the oil sands are developed. Thanks to Kevin Grandia at DeSmogBlog.
In contrast to the claims made on the explore Alberta site, the Canadian Association of Pretroleum Producers (CAPP) claim that their record on the environment isn't so bad. In an article in the Globe & Mail yesterday, " Pierre Alvarez, president of the Canadian Association of Petroleum Producers, said Alberta oil is comparable to Venezuelan crude and Mexican heavy oil in carbon emissions, and only slightly worse than many grades of African and Middle Eastern oil, once the fuel use required for transportation is factored in."
The explore Alberta site claims that greenhouse gas emissions required to produce a barrel of a barrel of oil in the oil sands are 3 times greater than production of a barrel of conventional oil. The CAPP have even launched a website to promote their position (no surprise their are quotes from Mr. Harper here. It makes you wonder why former Alberta premiere Peter Lougheed called for slowing the development of the oil sands during an interview on CBC's The Current in January?
The Pembina Insititute's Oil Sands Watch website agreed with Lougheed's concerns over the pace of development and gave the oil sands development a failing grade in their January 2008 report card. According to Pembina:
"The average score among all oil sands projects surveyed was only 33 per cent, demonstrating substantial room for improvement across the sector. The leading operation in the survey was the Albian Sands Muskeg River Mine, scoring 56 per cent. The weakest operations were Syncrude and the proposed Synenco Northern Lights Mine both with scores of 18 per cent."
Alberta's oil sands developments are a virtually endless source of new adventures. Here are some of the activities you and your family will enjoy on your Alberta vacation.
Alberta's oil production plants divert 92 billion gallons of fresh water from Alberta rivers each year. That's almost twice the amount used in a year by the entire city of Austin, Texas! Come catch the perfect wave, Alberta style.
The leftover, now highly toxic water, is stored in man-made lakes called "tailing ponds." These ponds are so dangerous that oil companies use cannons and scarecrows to keep ducks and birds from dying on the oil-slicked surface. When catching the strong winds on these ponds, be sure not capsize!
A Man-Made Wonder of the World
You've seen pictures of the Great Wall of China, the Colosseum, the Taj Mahal, and Machu Pichu? Now see the newest wonder of the world for yourself. As large as 12,000 football fields and clearly visible from space, the oil sands toxic tailing ponds of Alberta are one of the largest man-made structures in the world. With the only industry planning to quadruple production, this wonder is only getting larger. Come celebrate this wondrous achievement!
Fun in the Sun
It's only getting hotter as Alberta leads the way in greenhouse gas emissions. Production of a barrel of oil from the Alberta oil sands produces 3 times more greenhouse gas than production of a barrel of conventional oil. Last year, Alberta pumped more greenhouse gas into the air than Canada's three most populous provinces combined!
Fun on the Beach
With 8.6 million acres of Alberta's boreal forest leased for deep oil sands development, black sand beaches are quickly replacing thick forest cover. Where Caribou once roamed, the haze enhanced northern Alberta sun provides for unparalleled tanning opportunities. Eventually, development could span 150,000 square kilometers, an area the size of Florida.
Deep Earth Spelunking
Some of the largest machines in the world remove as much as 4 tons of rock and soil to make one barrel of oil. With one million barrels of oil produced a day, you can only imagine the deep earth spelunking opportunities.
Visit the "Oil Sands Discovery Centre"
En route to the oil sands, be sure to visit the Oil Sands Discovery Centre in Fort McMurray, Alberta. No seriously, it's for real