TAR SANDS, WINONA LADUKE.

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Some important facts to remember when thinking of the TAR SANDS development.

ALL the rivers run NORTH, TOWARDS THE ARTIC, AWAY FROM THE MAJOR CIVILIZATION CENTRES.

AT PRESENT ONLY 3% OF THE PROJECTED 280,000 Ha IS BEING DESTROYED.

THIS IS THE SECOND LARGEST HYDROCARBON DEPOSIT ON THE PLANET. (After Saudi Arabia).

CURRENT PRODUCTION IS APPROXIMATELY 700,000 bpd, PROJECTED TO RISE TO 3,000,000 bpd BY 2015 – THE SAME YEAR THAT THE DURBAN COP 17 CONFERENCE CALLED FOR A GLOBAL AGREEMENT TO BE REACHED ON REDUCING EMISSIONS 50% GLOBALLY BY 2050.

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http://climate.nasa.gov/evidence/     (Excellent articles on Climate Change evidence)

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FROM U.N.E.P. WEBSITE http://na.unep.net/atlas/webatlas.php?id=261

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Vast reserves of low quality oil underlie the boreal forest surrounding Fort McMurray in northern Alberta, Canada in the form of “Athabasca oil sands.” While these reserves have been known since the early 20th century the high cost of extracting usable oil from these “oil sands” limited the development of a viable oil sands mining industry. 
In 2003 the rising cost of crude oil led the Oil and Gas Journal to formally recognize Canada’s oil sands as a viable resource (Woynillowicz et al., 2005).  The oil held in these reserves raises Canada to second place on the list of oil rich countries, behind only Saudi Arabia in total reserves (Oil and Gas Journal, 2004).   The rising price of oil has fueled this oil boom in Northern Alberta.  Canada’s National Energy Board predicts $125 billion in investments for creation and expansion of oil sands mining in the Athabasca area between 2006 and 2015 which will take production to around 3 million barrels per day (National Energy Board, 2006). 
Local people including the Native American population are concerned that exploitation will come at too great a cost to the environment.  The government of Alberta plans to propose a surface mining area of 280,000 hectares, “an area approximately four times the size of the City of Calgary” (Mineable Oil Sands Strategy-Government of Alberta, 2005). 
In 2001 oil extracted from oil sands (271 million barrels) exceeded oil extracted by conventional means (264 million barrels) for the first time (Canadian Centre for Energy Information, 2002-2003).   In 1967 The Great Canadian Oil Sands Company began construction at its Mildred Lake site.  In 1974 they were joined by the Syncrude Corporation which began construction of a mine in the same area.  By early 2006 the mining operations had expanded to cover an area roughly 30 km by 20 km.  Syncrude operates a second mine, the Aurora, approximately 30 km to the north of Mildred Lake.
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WINONA LADUKE – As Winona displayed during her debate with Stewart Brand (below), her passion and commitment to idiginous activism brings a wisdom which the broader activist community need to embrace. The “long haul” activist explains the impacts  Tar Sands is having on the native community .
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BILL McKIBBEN and 350.org ran a brilliant campaign against the KEYSTONE XL pipeline from Alberta to the Gulf of Mexico, to postpone a decision by Obama, but Republican “oil puppets” are forcing a decision before the 2012 election. A few days ago he wrote this in the Guardian ;
 “We waged our struggle against building it out in the open, presenting scientific argument, holding demonstrations, and attending hearings. We sent 1,253 people to jail in the largest civil disobedience action in a generation. Meanwhile, more than half a million Americans offered public comments against the pipeline, the most on any energy project in the nation’s history.
And what do you know? We won a small victory in November, when President Obama agreed that, before he could give the project a thumbs-up or -down, it needed another year of careful review.
Given that James Hansen, the government’s premier climate scientist, had said that tapping Canada’s tar sands for that pipeline would, in the end, essentially mean “game over for the climate”, that seemed an eminently reasonable course to follow, even if it was also eminently political.

A few weeks later, however, Congress decided it wanted to take up the question. In the process, the issue went from out in the open to behind closed doors in money-filled rooms. Within days, and after only a couple of hours of hearings that barely mentioned the key scientific questions or the dangers involved, the House of Representatives voted 234-194 to force a quicker review of the pipeline. Later, the House attached its demand to the must-pass payroll tax cut.”

So Tar Sands is back in the forefront of issues, join your support to 350.org HERE.

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WITH DURBAN IN MIND.

The Climate Change conference in Durbam begins shortly and no-one has presented a message as forcefully as Bill McKibben and 350.org Bill has been a champion and a master strategist. 350.org and has been joined by Naomi Klein who is a real inspiration through her tireless advocacy against the greatest minds of conservative thought.      Bill will always have the Tar Sands to his credit. He took James Hansen’s dire warnings and chrystallized them into action, Seeing the seriousness of the situation and having put out this film clip shortly before.

This Durban climate conference MUST DO SOMETHING. – BIG. So if we have to be reminded of the purpose of Durban, it’s to stop this getting worse. Soon we should all be able to ask a question raised by Laurie Anderson ;                                                     “Are things getting better, or are things getting worse.”

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Here is a film on “the great white hope for black coal”, Carbon Capture and Storage (CCS). “Trials” are collapsing in the U.K. and elsewhere. Meanwhile by 2030 the world is scheduled to have “up and running”

467 projects

31% OECD

69% non-OECD

This is according to IEA/UNIDO emissions reductions ROADMAP TARGETS. That huge amount of infrastructure would see a reduction of less that 1 gigatin by 2030, and only 4gt by 2050 when there would be

1 806 projects

25% OECD

75% non-OECD

PRODUCING ONLY 4 GT OF CO2 CEQUESTRATION.

This film shows the progress of the Australian venture. It should be born in mind that there already is a surplus of CO2 in the atmosphere which must be removed. C.C.S. is needed, but it will never be the “big bazooka”.

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