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03:58 AM on 03/12/2012
WHEN, WHEN, are we going to get it that is enough with oil as fuel?...Technologies are on the shelves for years...When? are we going to understand?...I am a physicist and I know there are alternatives.
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north of 60
Quando Omni Flunkus Moritati
04:20 AM on 03/12/2012
OK Mr Physicist, tell us what are the viable alternatives for oil as a fuel?
05:29 AM on 03/12/2012
Obviously you had your head buried in the tar sands for a few decades now.
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HUFFPOST SUPER USER
gravescanada
08:04 AM on 03/12/2012
Algae based fuels
Main article: Algae fuel

Algae based biofuels have been hyped in the media as a potential panacea to our Crude Oil based Transportation problems. Algae could yield more than 2000 gallons of fuel per acre per year of production. Algae based fuels are being successfully tested by the U.S. Navy Algae based plastics show potential to reduce waste and the cost per pound of algae plastic is expected to be cheaper than traditional plastic prices.
Kommonman
Fanned or reviled on a whim
02:07 AM on 03/13/2012
When it runs out apparently
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diamondlotus
walk softly and carry a big stick
03:30 AM on 03/12/2012
The devastation in this photo is so horrific it makes we want to cry. How can there be any justification in destroying our earth so hideously? What has this done to the fresh water supplies in this area and all the areas like it? Is this what we want to leave our chiildren and grand children? I for one do not think that all of our technology has made us healthier or happier, in fact I think it has made our way of life very frantic and stressful and it is destroying our earth. I seriously wouldn't mind giving up a lot of things and going back to living like the Amish (but minus all the religious fanaticism aspect of course). We might all be a lot happier, healthier and far less stressed out living a simpler cleaner more natural lifestyle. There just has to be a better way than this utter devastation in the quest for oil.
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north of 60
Quando Omni Flunkus Moritati
04:34 AM on 03/12/2012
"How can there be any justification in destroying our earth so hideously?"

You have eliminated all petroleum products from your lifestyle and live like the Amish?
If you are living an Amish lifestyle then I respect your choices and your opinions carry credibility. However if you are not, then you're just a green hypocrite telling others what's best for them.

I've significantly reduced the amount of petroleum based products I use, and I'm very healthy and never stressed out by living a simpler cleaner more natural lifestyle. My 'eco-footprint' is a fraction of the N.American average. What have YOU done?

"What has this done to the fresh water supplies in this area and all the areas like it?"

Most water in oilsands production is recylced or is saline water. Water usage in oilsands has dropped and continues to do so. Water to oil ratio's (SOR's) are closer to 2-3 to 1.

It takes a higher water usage ratio to make ethanol then it does to produce oilsands.

http://www­.capp.ca/a­boutUs/med­iaCentre/C­APPComment­ary/Pages/­WeDontTriv­ializeWaterConservat­ion.aspx

http://www­.capp.ca/g­etdoc.aspx­?DocId=193­756&DT=NTV

http://www­.oilsands.­alberta.ca­/water.htm­l

http://sus­tainabilit­y.suncor.c­om/2011/en­/responsib­le/1799.as­px

http://www­.energy.al­berta.ca/O­ilSands/79­1.asp
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LastAngryWoman
waiting for godot
07:01 AM on 03/12/2012
Milo Minderbinder's cousin has the company standard...

"What have YOU done?"
"I personally now live like a greenpeacenik...with the smallest carbon footprint on the planet...therefore I am on the right side of things and may now lecture you on how FABULOUS the tarpits are. And will continue to be. And until you live like an Amish person...you better keep your mouth shut. Nothing you say has validity."

(He gets paid more than a nickel. Can ya tell?)
09:39 AM on 03/12/2012
Holy false dichotomy, batman!

The choices we have aren't "Destroy as much land as possible looking for oil" and "Live like the amish".

Oil and other fossil fuels are part of our energy mix for the time being; but we can push to reduce the amount we use with stricter fuel consumption standards, emissions standards and regulations on the amount of carbon being released.

The fact that you'd present those two extremes as the only possible options shows how intellectually dishonest you're being.
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snowballinhell
Humans have a 100% chance of extinction
03:17 AM on 03/12/2012
This is the ugly reality, the ugly secret, the ugly truth. You don't want to do this unless you want to be included on the rough's Gallery of who destroyed the planet.
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Almondo
Agnostic Realist Tradevknaught
03:04 AM on 03/12/2012
There is no limit to the amount of damage that greed can do.
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Eyeful
Virtuous Raconteur
02:49 AM on 03/12/2012
Please, p l e a s e...PLEASE watch this!!!

http://youtu.be/84zIj_EdQdM
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Greatest Darthfruit
So, you the brains of this outfit, or is he?
02:15 AM on 03/12/2012
dirty, greedy, environmental negligent Canadians
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diamondlotus
walk softly and carry a big stick
03:37 AM on 03/12/2012
The same thing goes on right here in the USA. Fracking is horribly destructive too, it uses vast quantities of water and also contaminates vast quantities of fresh water supplies, and now has been proven to have caused earthquake activity. Mountaintop removal is also going on all over our country, and they want to dig mines in our national parks and all manner of horrible things, and don't care that all of this is destroying our world.
05:19 AM on 03/12/2012
I hate it when people make absolute statements about things they know nothing about.
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Jay from Ottawa
sovereignty sale, 1.3T OBO
04:19 PM on 03/12/2012
We learned from the best :S
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BigLittle
02:05 AM on 03/12/2012
Glad to see the oil co. scientist hired out of Waterloo (way back "East") had the stones to admit he has no real idea what the outcome will be, and like the rest of the oil patch (or in the case of bitumenous sands, the dirt patch) he will just take his money with one hand, and lord knows where his other hand will be...
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Amorak
01:32 AM on 03/12/2012
Oh get over it! Have the hills of Rome recovered from man's presence? Those hills have had the scars of humanity on them for 3000 years! The Romans rerouted streams, built aqueducts and roads, and they left a lot of rubble. Oh, that's different, you say! In 3000 years northern Alberta will be swamp again, and the ruins of Rome will still be there! And still you say, "But that's different!"

No, it's not!
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ubringliten
ilovebikingSF
02:33 AM on 03/12/2012
You're comparing the Romans that destroyed land by axes and hammers to oil spills?
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Amorak
03:00 AM on 03/12/2012
Oil spills? Um, it's called "oil sands" because the sands are naturally filled with oil!
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Eyeful
Virtuous Raconteur
02:44 AM on 03/12/2012
I'm sure if the Romans needed oil for energy they would have exploited it. But they didn't. So get with reality. Rerouting streams and building aqueducts is nothing like the ripping the top off hundreds of square miles of Alberta wilderness. The result of these tar sand pits will not be a bunch of "rubble" that archeologists will study eons from now. You really think we'll be around in 3,000 years? I doubt we have 300 years left. We're are at the tipping point right now. At this pace, in less than 30 years we'll have no way to reverse climate change. Enjoy the show.
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Amorak
03:04 AM on 03/12/2012
So if we have so little time left, why do you care about this little oil-filled space in Alberta! The oil is there and that cannot be changed, mined or mot!
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north of 60
Quando Omni Flunkus Moritati
04:39 AM on 03/12/2012
"...nothing like the ripping the top off hundreds of square miles of Alberta wilderness."

How do you justify the thousands of square miles of devastating urban sprawl?

Is that OK because you live there?
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Aladdin Sane1
"Are you the police?""No, ma'am, we're musicians."
01:00 AM on 03/12/2012
The "Around the Web:" section above forgot to link to the 'executive summary' for those not up to speed yet on what we're talking about:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Athabasca_oil_sands

"Contents

1 History
2 Oil sands production
2.1 Transportation
3 Future production
4 Governance
5 Development
6 Bitumen extraction
7 Environmental impacts
7.1 Land
7.2 Water
7.3 Natural gas use and greenhouse gases
8 Population
9 Estimated oil reserves
10 Economics
11 Geopolitical importance
12 Indigenous peoples of the area
13 Oil sand companies
14 Court ordered sanctions
15 See also
16 References
17 Further reading
18 Video material
19 External links"

Additional media (including satellite time lapse from 1984-2011):

http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/Category:Athabasca_oil_sands
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Arcelio Martinez
educator retired
12:27 AM on 03/12/2012
WORSHIPPING BIG OIL HAS TO STOP SOMETIME and legislation needs to be passed to eventually leave ALL oil in the ground and rely on alternatives
12:41 AM on 03/12/2012
Who "worships" Big Oil?

Most of us just like to drive around, now and then, to work and such.

GM just stopped production of the Volt. Apparently, no Liberals were buying them, either.
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Jason Bullock
12:53 AM on 03/12/2012
They're only stopping production for 5 weeks due to low sales. They're only low sales because of the high sticker price. Even then, production won't be stopping until next Monday...

But the Pruis is selling nicely, however.
12:54 AM on 03/12/2012
From what I understand, it is a finite resource as well. I like to think we'll stop before we contaminate the earth past the point of no return. We don't have anywhere else to go.
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floridan56
Irony: it's what's for dinner.
09:04 AM on 03/12/2012
super rich have their bunkers.
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north of 60
Quando Omni Flunkus Moritati
12:05 AM on 03/12/2012
The 530-square-kilometers currently disturbed by the oilsands (which is smaller than the John F. Kennedy Space Center at Cape Canaveral , Fla. at 570 square kilometers) is being reclaimed as an ongoing part of the mine plan as required by law and will return to Alberta's 381,000 square kilometers of boreal forest, which is a huge carbon sink. The boreal forest absorbs 30 tons of carbon [110 tons CO2] per sq km per year. Canada has about 6 million square kilometers of boreal forest, which absorbs more man-made GHGs than Canadians produce in all our cities, vehicles, aircraft and other industries. The boreal forest combined with the other forests and grasslands in Canada makes Canada a net absorber of GHGs on a global scale.

The U.S. produces 20.2% of the world's GHG emissions, and 27% of that comes from toxic polluting coal-fired electricit­y. China produces ~24% of the world's GHG emissions, and about 40% of that comes from toxic polluting coal-fired electricit­y. Only half of China's coal burning is for electricit­y, and toxic pollution controls in China are practicall­y non-existe­nt.

Canada only produces 2% of the world's man-made GHGs and the oilsands only produce 5% of Canada's total emissions.

The Oilsands produces one tenth of one percent [0.1%] of the world's GHG emissions.

We're not only contributing an insignificant amount of GHGs, we absorb it all, as well as taking in additional CO2 produced by the world's major emitters.
01:04 AM on 03/12/2012
All good points, but the obstructionists on this blog would prefer that we keep importing and buying conflict oil and continue to fund those that like to fly airplanes into our buildings.
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diamondlotus
walk softly and carry a big stick
03:50 AM on 03/12/2012
No that is far from the truth. What we would like to see is a really concentrated effort to find and use clean sustainable alternatives. We are so technologically savvy, surely there has to be a better way than relying soley on oil. Think of all the billions of dollars that are poured into finding and sucking up every last drop of oil. If that amount of money was put into finding alterantives I'm sure they would be forthcoming relatively soon and we would all be so much better off than having to resort to these horribly destructive measures. What is wrong with wanting to find a better way to solve our fuel needs?
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Jay from Ottawa
sovereignty sale, 1.3T OBO
04:28 PM on 03/12/2012
... which would explain why all of the pipelines we're contemplating would send our oil out to other countries while Ontario and Quebec, our two most populated province, continues to buy oil from Africa.

I've always stated that I'll 100% get behind the oil sands when:
1- it's refined in Canada, giving Canadians jobs.
2- instead of sold to China or the USA, sold to Ontario and Quebec, with extras sold to the USA, for domestic consumption (the keystone pipeline isn't to move oil that will be used domestically in the USA).

Two simple conditions, but we don't have a say over what happens with our oil, Harper has made it clear, the free market and the freemarket alone will dictate what happens to Canadas oil.
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fattrucker
10:18 PM on 03/11/2012
90% of the population of canada lives withing 40 miles of the US border, it's pretty remote, lets not get out knickers in a bunch over some bog out in the middle of nowhere
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Liz Wilson 2
“a small group can change the world
07:15 PM on 03/11/2012
I think there are at least four fundamental ways of viewing the planet earth - or two with two variations.
1 - dead thing with independent living things on it.
1 b - dead thing with interdependent living things on it.

2. - living thing with independent living things on it.
2 b - living thing with interdependent living things on it.

I lean toward interdepence going on - such as bees are where flowers exist - birds that eat bees are there too, and things that eat bee eating birds show up.. you get the drift. .

The same thing applies to water and the land formation and plants that are around it.. working together to make clean water good for fish, people, and plants.

We even understand the role of the mountains in forming weather patterns and the ecosystem that relies on that climate.

We know the role of many things in nature but we dont really know the role of things like oil or gold veins. So I think its either hubris or stupidity that makes anyone believe that we can strip this down to bedrock and it is just a matter of a few sprinkled seeds and it will be "good as new".

My guess is that the earth is a living entity much like a body and extracting micro components doesnt happen without cost to the viability of life.
08:40 PM on 03/11/2012
Extraction from the Earth is not in and of itself a bad thing. I'd argue that it's not only been a necessity, but was inevitable given our evolution. We couldn't have predicted the ozone problem when four hundred years ago people used whatever fossil fuel they could find to keep alive.

Even if we achieve a state of complete benignness with our planet, however one defines that, the messy road that leads there has had to be destructive and inefficient. Lacking the threat of horrible consequences, there would be no need - no demand - no incentive - no gain - to developing more sanely.

Not sure how that fits as a response at all to what you said, except that reading your post made me think of it.

Probably stuff kids who've gone to school have dissected with guidance to the point of boredom, but hey, to me, it's fresh. So there. :)
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Liz Wilson 2
“a small group can change the world
09:38 PM on 03/11/2012
lol, I like you humor and your logic.

I agree that using the earth's resources is not a bad thing - and see your point that there is value in the threat of destruction. But when you add in of the greed factor times two... we extract for completely silly things like "bobblehead hula girls" that are really a waste of non-reknewable resources. the second greed factor is that everything is profit driven and for the sake of profit things are destroyed or poisoned with complete disregard for what is down the road.
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Liz Wilson 2
“a small group can change the world
06:57 PM on 03/11/2012
a balanced and vibrant ecosystem takes a long time to establish and this land has been damaged deep deep down.

At the very best it is an honest effort by a few people who want the land whole again but in reality its window dressing for the sake of "looking green" by those who really only care a little about public opinion.