POLITICS

Leading scientists compile Top 10 list of reasons to avoid oilsands projects

06/10/2015 04:28 EDT | Updated 06/10/2016 05:59 EDT
Here are 10 reasons compiled by 100 top scientists from the United States and Canada for why governments shouldn't permit any more oilsands developments. The scientists say each reason has been tested and examined to ensure it's scientifically sound.

1. Continued expansion of oilsands and similar unconventional fuels in Canada and beyond is incompatible with limiting climate warming to a level that society can handle without widespread alarm.

2. Oilsands should be one of the first fuel sources avoided as society moves to non-polluting forms of energy, not the next carbon-intensive resource we exploit.

3. Current oilsands environmental protections and baseline data are largely lacking and protections that exist are too seldom enforced.

4. Contaminants from oilsands development permeate the land, water and air of the Canadian boreal landscape. Many of these impacts are difficult to mitigate.

5. Less than .2 per cent of the area affected by Canadian oilsands mining has been reclaimed and none has been restored to its original state.

6. Development of and product transport from oilsands is inconsistent with the title and rights of many aboriginal people.

7. What happens in North America will set a precedent for efforts to reduce carbon pollution and address climate warming elsewhere.

8. Controlling carbon pollution will not derail the economy.

9. Debates about individual pipeline proposals underestimate the full social costs of the oilsands. Existing policies ignore cumulative impacts.

10. A majority of North Americans want their leaders to address climate change and are willing to pay more for energy to help make that happen.