Monday, September 25, 2006

Toronto Star: At what price progress

There was an excellent article in the Toronto Star on Saturday by Murray Whyte titled At what price progress?(linked) Oil sands operations and developments will be allowed to suck 349 million cubic metres from the flow of the Athabasca River every year to separate the crude oil from the muck. This is a huge, huge amount of water. Whyte notes that "as many as 4 1/2 barrels of water are needed to yield a single barrel of oil."

This is all bad news for fish and wildlife - and bad news for the people downstream at Fort Chipewyan. Whyte talks about a "rare cancer of the bile duct found, statistically, in 1 out of 100,000 people. In Fort Chipewyan, with 1,200 people, he found five." However, the Alberta Cancer Board has concluded that the instance of cancer is no more than normal. Meanwhile, mutated fish are showing up. Many people in the area only drink bottled water.

When I have heard or read about the Oil Sands in the past, what I've read is that the oil is difficult and expensive to extract. We need to consider the expense to our people and our land and our fish and animals too. All of this will be very very difficult to control or stop because there is simply so much money involved.


Gardenia said...

Oh, I can relate to this one! Wyoming has gone nuts with greed over this oil boom! Acrid fumes fill the air around the Gillette fields, the refineries. One refinery is only 6 miles from here. Why oh why oh why did I come here. Lots of cancer, yes. Heart probs. Animals wonder about confused and find themselves in the middle of city streets, towns, cemeteries, now that says something! Trees dying mysteriously. Famous "Aspen Alley" - jewel of the forests is dying slowly, strangled. Mankind is nuts sometimes. Of course big money flows and the companies can get away with the vilest contaminations. Some of our "dead earth" movies are prophetic I think.

Candy Minx said...

Thanks for the ehads up about this article!

I think this kind of news is coming round more and more often...I'd like to believe people will make the changes in their personal life soon. I think we will...and then the change will affect investments and future oil business. It could look scary at first, but will likely open up a new way to do business and how to live.

It's completley obvious what needs to happen on a personal level for everyone, just a question of when we decide to start...

The water shortages and effects are really so confronting aren't they?