Tar Sands Essay Sample

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Given the carbon costs the Athabasca Tar sands should not be allowed to continue production. Not only will the cost rise when there is little oil left but the tar sands also create a lot of pollution. If they are not careful the cost is going to get outrageously high because they will eventually have to pay for some of the damage they cause with all the pollution they make. If they continue it will ruin the environment around the oil sands and they will hurt the environment in many other ways which will raise costs. 1. The tar sand boom in Alberta has been called the largest, most destructive industrial operation on the planet, ever. At a time when a changing climate and dwindling biodiversity across the globe threaten to drastically alter our way of life, at best, or wipe out all life on Earth, at worst, expansion of the tar sand industry is a step in the wrong direction if we are to develop a sustainable human existence. Tar sand mining irreversibly destroys landscapes, threatens the health of whole watersheds, negatively affects human communities, and accelerates climate change through greenhouse gas emissions and deforestation.(Before and after picture).

2. On the eve of defending themselves to Nancy Pelosi, the third-in-command in the Obama administration, Suncor Energy was charged by Alberta Environment with pollution of the Athabasca river. Not only did they allow dirt and rainwater to run into the Athabasca River in contravention of their water license, they failed to report the violation for months to Alberta Environment 3. What is Oil or Tar Sands? Oil sand is a naturally occurring mixture of sand or clay, water and tar-like bitumen. In an oil sand deposit, each grain of sand is covered by a thin layer of water and then by a layer of the highly viscous bitumen.

Bitumen is a heavy molasses like form of crude oil. (picture of sand in a guys hand). 4. The tar sand mines of Alberta are the site of the second fastest rate of deforestation in the world, behind the slashing on the Amazon Rainforest. 5. One of truths of the Athabasca Oil Sands is the devastation they cause the environment. Environmental reports say that more than 5 million gallons of waste-water leaks out into the ponds and back into the rivers or groundwater all the time. In communities downstream there have been spikes in mutations in the wildlife and rare cancers among people. The once clean Athabasca River is now considered poisonous and off-limits to drinking. Wildlife near the tailings ponds face their own risks when mistakenly treating the ponds as welcoming place. One incident was that between 500-1200 migrating ducks died together when the flock landed on the pond (picture of the bird).

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