- Water contamination is killing people, plants and animals
- 70% of Canada’s oil is exported to America
Although energy security and economic activity are great for North America today, oil sands development in Canada comes at a cost for us all tomorrow.
For almost everyone, Northern Alberta is far away. The social issues that arise with large-scale industrial projects are a necessary evil; the people dying of diseases as a result of water contamination are First Nations (and are therefore basically invisible in our society); the #1 solution to global warming remains to ignore it (curiously similar to the solution to our wars in the Middle East- yes, fueled by Canadian oil). If we don’t see it, it doesn’t exist.
Yet the oil sands are the backbone of Canada’s economy and America’s strongest trading partner. The new President-Elect has vowed to pursue an energy independence mandate which will undoubtedly rely on Canadian oil. While that may be appear to be a positive thing as we enter a new era both politically and economically, our bad habits and shortsightedness are breeding hungry ghosts. The oil sands are too big an issue to hide anymore (even in the Boreal forest). The question comes up time and again: “How far are we willing to go to pursue our addiction?”