The biggest dispute about Alberta’s oil sands is now gathering steam.

TransCanada’s plan to build the $7 billion pipeline from Alberta to  U.S.  Gulf coast refineries  is now facing high profile opposition from the Dalai lama and eight other nobel Peace Prize Laureates, who insist the project will “endanger the entire planet”

The Nobel Laureates want President Obama to can the pipeline which is planned to carry up 700,000 barrels a day across rich U.S farmland in states like Nebraska whose governor is resolutely opposed.

Opponents  say the pipeline poses a threat because leaks could contaminate the Olgalgala Acquifer, which spans eight states and provides drinking water to two million people.

Further the citics bring up the matter of “dirty oil” from the oild sands.  Refining bitumen from the oilsands produces  about three times as many greenhouse gas emissions as does refining convenional oil.  Besides this mining opertion requires enormous amounts of water.

The big argument  of those supporting the scheme in the U.S. is that it will provide safe secure oil from a friendly country for U.S. needs expecially for militry security.  Canadas supplies  more oil to the U.S. than any country and the U.s. can count on us whereas it cannot count on some of its other suppliers.

Well known social activist, Maude Barlow says “There is a growing movement around the world against the expansion of the tar sands”

Should the pipeline be stopped by the americans?

Should Canadians be ashamed of the dirty oil being harvested from the Alberta oil sands?

What do you think?


  1. 1
    Tony Kondaks Says:

    I think Alberta should separate from Canada, enter into its own agreements with the U.S., Maude Barlow should be sentenced to riding her bike everywhere, and no more jet travel for the Dolly.

  2. 2
    Neil McKenty Says:

    Unlike that cowboy, Perry, who threatened to lead Texas out of the United States, there is no desire of Albertans to leave Canada where they are all as shappy apig in oil.

  3. 3

    I am not ashamed of the Tar Sands. I am ashamed that we buy oil from Arab states who do not allow women to vote, drive, go to school etc. & are far from democratic.
    There is no ideal way to produce the energy we need.
    At least, in a democracy, we can discuss the pro’s & con’s. openly.
    Hopefully President Obama decides on “the greater good”.

    An after thought:
    Why don’t we do the refining in Canada?

  4. 4
    Tony Kondaks Says:

    With Albertan and tar sands-friendly Stephen Harper in power, I think you’re right, Neil:Albertans are fluing high economically and are quite happy within the bosom of Canada.

    For now.

    In the past decade, there gave been times in which public opinion polls have registered higher support for Albertan separation than for Quebec separation. Let’ s wait a few years for the Official Opposition — the NDP — to muck things up a bit. Betwwen their insane environmental policies and their UDI-enabling Sherbrooke Declaration, they are bound to drive at least one province to independence.

  5. 5

    When are we going to stop using “shame” as a synonym for “disagree?”

  6. 6

    Oh goodie…another tutorial on language.

  7. 7
    Neil McKenty Says:

    Talk about fiddling while Rome Burns.

    Discussing one of the great environmental rapes of all time, some reducething to semantics.

  8. 8

    Somebody — ANYBODY — show me where “shame” has anything to do with this issue. Shame is an emotional response which accepts guilt and responsibility for a vile action.

    Well, the oil sands might be vile, but is anyone here actually going to accept responsibility for them? Do you actually feel guilty over it?

  9. 9
    jim Says:

    Lady Jaws, sorry, Lady Janus (No eraser key on my keyboard) – At last I’ve found what you are saddled with, you poor dear. I think I saw it in a sentence you wrote, excerpted as follows “When are ‘we’ going to……..” Does ‘we’ mean there are two of you? Or God forbid, you are using the royal “we” because you have been dubbed a “Lady”.
    Meanwhile back at the ranch, regarding the tar/oil sands, up until last week, I wasn’t too fussy about the projects but felt that we may as well be mining them now, as the world is running out of oil, rather than later when they would have to be mined in any event.
    But what has transpired in the meantine is that a co-op made up of Great Britain, France and the USA, are on the edge of discovering a way of controlling fusion, which, when married up to ancilliaries, will produce electricity. No more coal fired or oil fired or gas fired fuels or any other method, needed to make electricity. The oil sands will come to its own demise within 10 years.

  10. 10
    Tony Kondaks Says:

    Gosh, jim, I hope you’re right on the fission thing.

    Several years ago I mentioned here about lunar helium 3, a substance which we can already use for fission (or is it fusion?). Anyway, there’s none on Earth but plenty on the moon. So either way, let’s hope it works. In the meantime, let’s exploit the tar sands for all they’re worth…

  11. 11

    Jim, it’s “we” as a culture/collective.

    As for the rest of your answer, if that’s really what it was, why shold anyone believe you? You’re so caught up in your own ability to run insults out of your mouth, what makes you think anyone would want to trust anything you say?

  12. 12
    jim Says:

    L.J. True, your “we” is a collective, a hydra, you’ve got two heads. You’re at it again. You’re passing yourself off as a etymologist. Re 2nd paragraph, If you don’t believe me look it up. BTW, I noticed you used the word “anyone”. As an etymologcal critic you should always be error free. It should have been written as “any one”, two words, when it implies a numerical sense.
    Tony – Fission atomic plant in Japan which got into trouble could not have happened had it been a fusion plant, in my opinion. What I love about fusion it that one gets more for less. The biggie though is that it will probably fill the gap for the “theory of everything” which, as you know, has been a scientific block for eons.

  13. 13
    Barbara Says:

    Fission is the breaking apart of larger, less stable atomic nuclei thereby releasing energy. When the process is controlled, we have a nuclear reactor. Fusion is when smaller atomic nuclei gain additional stability by melding together. That process also releases energy — more, in fact. It is what fuels the stars. When the smaller atomic nuclei fuse to form greater and greater, more stable nuclei, the process eventually stops. The most stable nuclei are the middle-sized atoms like iron. That is the reason that the earth has a core of molten iron, by the way.

    I hope they have found a way to control the fusion process. Bottling the sun is not a feasible alternative at the moment. Down the line, I wonder what the accumulation of helium and lithium in our atmosphere will mean.

  14. 14

    “You’re passing yourself off as a etymologist.”

    Wow! Score first time! Of course, etymologists tend to do that, so it was an easy win… ;D

    “It should have been written as “any one”, two words, when it implies a numerical sense.”

    If that had been the case, perhaps you’d be right. But I was refering to third person singular nonspecific. Minus one. You’re back to zero. Wanna go again?

  15. 15
    jim Says:

    Lady Janus – I would like to end this repartee with a docile gentlemanly departure, and I don’t want to end with any of that one-upmanship nonsence, but alas, I do have a heartbreaking notation. Please note that I am not about to say anything about your spelling. But I am about to mention that I spell “non-specific” with a dash. I’m sure your spelling was a typo Home James

  16. 16

    Jim, it would help your case a lot if you focused on the damned question instead of trying to pick apart the form of the answers you don’t like. You’re acting like your preference in spelling changes what I say.

  17. 17
    jim Says:

    LJ – The form of answers? The form of answers I don’t like is in your first comment, above, when you opened the first barrage with “When are we going to stop using ‘shame’ as a synonym for ‘disagree'”? Pardon me but the subject is oil sands. When littlepatti saw your confrontational remark, she opined with “Oh goodie…another tutorial on language” Then you took the Noah Webster route when you wrote “Shame is an emotional response…..” In any of the above remarks is there any indication that you “focused on the damn question” (your words). I don’t think I would rebuff you if you weren’t so damned autocratic, when you are criticizing others. I’ve seen you have better days. What ever happened to Lady Jane?
    P.S. The last two sentenses are too sugary. So please let me note, that in your last comment, the last sentence is missing a comma. Ouch!!!

  18. 18

    No it’s not. Now fuck off, hm? How d’ya like that for autocratic?

  19. 19
    jim Says:

    The lady is obscene,and thank God, we are sufficiently advanced to have found it out. (Would you believe that a man named Trollope said something similar to that.) Meanwhile, you are showing your true colours, and your cussing is very unladylike. We need a name change for you. Let’s drop the Lady part of your name. That leaves us with J.Anus. Want some soap?

  20. 20
    Neil McKenty Says:

    I don’t think that insultintg personal comments enhance this blog. I hope that, while carrying on a vigorous debate, we can dispense with them.

  21. 21

    I respond in kind, Neil. Jim went on the attack with me, if you’ll note. I have no problem with escalating, so if this distresses you, perhaps it would help your stress level if you make him stand in the corner with the cone on his head. At the very least.

  22. 22
    jim Says:

    During my lifetime I have never seen a cone, I see you have. Pray tell, what did you do as a child, that was so awful it caused some teacher to plunk it on your melon. Can I get you an ice cream cone for Thanksgiving? With my apologies, Neil.
    P.S. In the corner yet? Shuush.
    The moving finger writes, and having writ …moves on.

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