By Green Guest | September 17, 2009
A new updated report on the Canadian tar sands from Greenpeace was released to the public on Tuesday, September 14th. Through this report Greenpeace would like to emphasize that an action needs to be taken before the tar sands in Alberta, Canada cause a global climate crisis.
Due to the majority of the tar sands’ oil being exported to the United States, the report was conveniently released just in time for the Wednesday, September 16th meeting between United States’ President Obama and Canada’s Prime Minister Harper. Canada and the United States are the main countries that need to take action in controlling the tar sands, and as of now neither of them are taking action.
The Greenpeace report also said that the Canadian government’s revenue of the tar sands oil industry lobbying have made Canada “a global carbon bully.” This in which means that they are, in their own interest for money, Canada has been fighting against lowering the carbon levels in the fuel, lowering the number of emissions, and fighting against international climate change negotiations. Canada is even being accused of muzzling, or keeping quiet, federal scientists who knew of the issue.
The basis of the Greenpeace’s concern came from journalist Andrew Nikiforuk’s award winning book, “Tar Sands: Dirty oil and the Future of a Continent.” In this book Nikiforuk explains how bitumen, a dangerous hydrocarbon that is much like asphalt, is harming the natural environment of Canada.
When the term “dirty oil” is used, it is referring to how the oil is made. It is considered “dirty oil” because of the high volume of natural gas the process takes when separating the tar from the sand. The tar sands’ carbon emissions is even affecting surrounding countries’ environments as well, and if no action is taken it will become a global crisis.
London is approximately two hundred and fifty kilometers away from the tar sands. They have reported that their water levels have receded, the fish are mutated and diseased, and that the animals are different in their appearance and actions. This is just more proof to why Canada and the United States should take action against this potentially global crisis.
The Greenpeace report also placed its emphasis on the following points:
- The tar sands have the highest carbon footprint, or carbon emissions, out of all other oil producers on the entire planet.
- The projects continue to get dirtier and dirtier; they are now ten times dirtier than projects in the North Sea.
- The process of separating the tar from the sand uses the same volume of natural gas per day as heating 3.2 million Canadian homes for an entire year.
- Tar sands development ‘cannibalizes’ Canada’s natural gas production.
- Greenhouse gas emissions from the tar sands could grow to between 127 and 140 million tonnes by 2020, exceeding the current emissions of Austria, Portugal, Ireland, Denmark and likely Belgium.
- When Canada reports the life-cycle emission from the tar sands, it does not give complete and accurate data.
Category: Green Living, Green News
Tags: alberta, Canada, Canadian, carbon emissions, carbon footprint, dirty oil, environment, global warming, green peace, harper, natural gas, obama, oil, tar sands, united states No Comments »