Tar Sands: BP Likes Its Sticky Situations
Beyond Petroleum, Shell and the Royal Bank of Scotland are pursuing what is turning out to be the most destructive form of oil exploitation, Tar Sands. Ripping up the pristine forests of Canada, digging up the tar sands hidden beneath and then using water and oil to extract the oil leaves behind cancer inducing and deadly to all life toxic soup and three times as much CO2 as normal extraction. The tar sands of Canada show what oil firms are capable of on the land, just as the Deepwater horizon tragedy shows what they can achieve on the high seas.
Until recently tar sands were not seen as even part of the World’s oil reserves. But oil firms know where the money is and tar sands are now part of the energy mix. This has been facilitated by higher oil Prices and technology advances from massive investment by the oil firms desperately looking for alternative supplies of oil. The tar sands account for a massive two-thirds of World Oil reserves. We are already on the brink of climate chaos the use of this new oil reserve will push us well and truly over the edge.
The Oil Sands are perfectly placed for an eco-crime, low population densities, huge resources of water, but near to the always oil thirsty market of America. The firms can go about their business of releasing CO2, and 2.5 barrels of waste water for every barrel of oil away from the public view. Canada now exports more oil to America than it uses itself. How can we justify the destruction of possibly a piece of land the size of England? Simple the world “needs” oil.
Carbon Capture and Storage (CCS) is supposed to transform the tar sands into “clean” energy. They will capture the CO2 (eventually) and burry it. Even if CCS was already commercially possible it means yet more destroyed land. The Tar Sands would need yet more energy and the extraction of the oil is not yet powered by the Sun (although the PR of the firms would let us believe that it almost is that clean).
A report by the Co-op and WWF has shown that the £250 billion that will flow in investment to Alberta could actually be used to decarbonise the western World. Building the solar parks across the Sahara or finally get the electric car moving. I know where I would like to see the investment.
The Gulf of Mexico Oil spill has been very public exposure of the destruction that oil is having on our planet. The ripping up of Alberta’s forests to make way for toxic lakes that have and will cause massive drinking water pollution, kill thousands of birds who land in the calm lakes of waste, and mean yet more CO2 that the planet just cannot take (both during extraction and then the usual pop to the shops use of the car) should be seen with the same outrage that has accompanied the Gulf oil spill. Without changes in attitudes and the stopping of investment in truly dirty oil we will push our planet into runaway climate change.
- The Greenwash Party
- Direct Action Will Become Reality
- Green Banking: I’m Now Carbon Negative
- Five Reasons Why You Should Change to an Ethical Bank
- Golden Bullets: Slaying the Climate Change Beast