George Monbiot Tells Us That Canada\’s Oil Sand Mining is Destroying An Area The Size Of England

Why? There’s a simple answer. Canada is developing the world’s second largest reserve of oil. Did I say oil? It’s actually a filthy mixture of bitumen, sand, heavy metals and toxic organic chemicals. The tar sands, most of which occur in Alberta, are being extracted by the biggest opencast mining operation on earth. An area the size of England, of pristine forests and marshes, will be dug up, unless the Canadians can stop this madness. Already it looks like a scene from the end of the world: the strip-miners are creating a churned black hell on an unimaginable scale.

Just look at this picture, just look at it. This is the pristine wilderness that is being destroyed:

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Disgusting, isn\’t it? Soon this will look like this:

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And then where will the buffalo roam, eh, eh?

 

 

Ah, sorry, my mistake. I\’ve got the pictures in the wrong order. The second one is the mining taking place and the first one is after the mining and remediation have finished.

16 thoughts on “George Monbiot Tells Us That Canada\’s Oil Sand Mining is Destroying An Area The Size Of England”

  1. Also, given that the area of England is just over 1% of the area of Canada, they may feel that this is a reasonable price to pay for a huge amount of energy.

  2. To be fair, apparently the area up there is a right fucking mess, and this is from lads who work in the oil business (no Greenies they). But as Alex says, the area – although absolutely huge – is relatively small compared to the total area (and there isn’t much up there anyway, I don’t think there is anything found in the tar sands areas which cannot be found a few 100km in any direction), and the Albertans probably see it as a reasonable trade-off.

  3. Um, nature manages to repopulate areas that have been destroyed by lava flows, so I really doubt that in 50 let alone 100 years time you could even tell that these areas had been mined.

  4. Yeah well, I’m one of the lads in the oil business, my son is on site right now a few hundred kilometers north of Fort Mac and George Monbiot is a sad, stupid little man.

    John 77 has it spot on. The sands have been seeping poison into the local water systems for millenia. What does the fool Monbiot think will happen when natural processes erode away the overburden? I know, I know, the words ‘think” and “Monbiot” should not appear in the same sentence

  5. Get the filth out of the ground before the glaciers return, that’s my advice. And if you want to placate the Glacier Gods, sacrifice Moonbat.

  6. Moonbat should be asked to point, with absolute certainty, to the coal mining spoil tips throughout UK. Apart from those maintained as memorials, it is very difficult to see them today. And that’s only half a life time and some pretty iffy efforts to mask them.

  7. I’m greenier than most contributers to this blog, though less so than Monbiot. It seems to me that as and when we consume less oil (which I suspect is doable, but others may disagree) , we can be fussy about what goes on in Alberta / Nigerian delta etc. Until then, we’re just being hypocrites.

  8. Just watched Countryfile and they showed the results of some major quarrying. Looked pretty nice, lots of wetlands and a large lake. And all this only a few years after they stopped work. All they had to do was stop the pumps.

  9. Nick Luke

    Moonbat should be asked to point, with absolute certainty, to the coal mining spoil tips throughout UK. Apart from those maintained as memorials, it is very difficult to see them today. And that’s only half a life time and some pretty iffy efforts to mask them.

    He doesn’t even have to look at coal mine tips. Getting oil from shale was invented in the UK. It was a reasonably-sized business in Scotland for many years. The spoils were tipped out. If you know what you’re looking for, you can see them from the train on the way to Glasgow.

    George is unlikely to know what to look for so he ought to be asked to point them out. And find any long term impact on the locals.

  10. If Monbiot could go down the road to Damascus on nuclear power, there’s no reason he can’t do the same concerning oil shale. It might take ten years, though.

  11. Dreadful man-made stuff has happened in Eastern England too, over the centuries.

    First they hacked down the oak forests, then they cratered the landscape with peat diggings, following which disaster struck as sea levels rose.

    After all that, we were left with – the Norfolk Broads. 🙂

  12. @ Nick Luke
    Actually a lot of them are quite easy to recognise as they are significantly steeper than natural hills. If you drive up the A1 through Nottinghamshire you will see what I mean.

  13. Mongbiot is never happier than when penning some dismal Jeremiad. It’s what he does. He’s handsomely remunerated for churning out an endless stream of miserablist cack. To paraphrase Wodehouse: it is never difficult to distinguish between Mongbiot and a ray of sunshine.

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