05/31/2012 11:46 EDT | Updated 07/31/2012 05:12 EDT

If the Tar Sands Were a Teen, I Would Ground Them For Life


I am so proud as a Canadian to see that our little baby -- the Alberta tar sands -- is all growed up!

What started out as a small innocent baby project in northern Alberta in the early 1900s with a patent to use hot water to seperate tar oil from sand, is today a full blown environmental disaster. Now, of course the tar sands have a long way to go -- in many ways he is still just a clumsy teenager, tripping over himself.

Just yesterday we saw a huge pipeline spill in northwest Alberta dumping 22,000 barrels of oil and water into the surrounding wilderness. And as proud parents how could we forget that 19,500 barrels of oil our little one spilled into Michigan's Kalamazoo River?

Oh the memories! It was only a few years ago when the tar sands were killing 1,600 ducks in a toxic tailings pond.

As a proud Canadian I love to show off the photos (I just can't help myself!):


Greenpeace photo archive

The tar sands are getting big and while they are reaching all the early milestones of becoming a catastrophe of epic proportions, they still have a ways to go. After all, the tar sands are still not producing a continuous flow of black sludge rivers like their cousins in Northern Russia:

Only a matter of time though!

And who can forget Aunt Shell Oil's massive spill in Nigeria that will take $1billion and 30 years to clean up:

All in due time, I guess. The best any parent can do is cross his fingers, close his eyes and dream as all parents do that one day his child will become the best of who they can be and reach their full potential.