One of Canada's most prominent environmentalists toured the oil sands in northern Alberta recently and had one word to express what she saw: Mordor. Maude Barlow, who was recently appointed to advise the UN on water issues, said her visit to the oil sands reminded her of Tolkien's fictional blackened and barren wasteland.
The oil sands deposits in Alberta are second only to Saudi Arabia’s reserves, but the toll of extracting the molasses-like viscous oil - across an area larger than the state of Florida - has been heavy.
“The air is foul, the water is being drained and poisoned,” said Barlow, who chairs the Council of Canadians. The Council wants a moratorium on any new oilsands development until more environmental assessments are done. However, a spokesman for one of the oil companies said that from the air, the sprawling plants don't give an accurate picture of the reclamation efforts made on the ground.
Either way, it seems that the slowing economy is slowing down these projects as well. Last Friday Royal Dutch Shell announced its that its new 100,000-barrel-per-day facility would be delayed.
Image via Greenpeace
written by Lloyd Alter, November 03, 2008
written by Kate, November 04, 2008
written by frick and frick, November 14, 2008
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