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Tarring the Olympic Spirit

Posted Feb 17 2010 10:15am

Snowboarding Whistler Last week, we told you what Vancouver is doing to make the 2010 Winter Games sustainable. But we can’t ignore another activity going on in Canada right now, especially because it involves oil companies that sponsor the Olympics doing some serious environmental damage. These corporations are clear-cutting large tracts of ancient forest to access the oil sands (also known as tar sands) beneath, leaving behind toxic lakes that are dangerous to humans and animals. Fuel generated with oil sands emits three times more pollution than conventional oil.

It doesn’t make much sense that a sporting event relying heavily on snow and ice should accept sponsorship from companies like BP and Petro Canada whose work contributes to winter-chomping climate change. That’s why the Sierra Club launched the "Love Winter, Hate the Oil Sands" campaign yesterday. Winter athletes such as snowboarder Jeremy Jones and skier Alison Gannett are getting in on the action by asking Canada to end the oil-sands mining that threatens to dampen winter.

Want to help save winter? Head over to the campaign’s website and sign a letter to President Obama – you’ll earn a sticker to plaster on your notebook or water bottle to show everyone that you’re against oil-sands extraction.

--Sophie Matson

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