Desperately seeking relevance.


It is sort of sad to behold. Neil Young was once an A-list celebrity. He packed stadiums and wrote songs on political issues of the times. Young was respected and honored by music fans and political activists alike. Decades have passed now though and what we see is a shell of the artist that was Neil Young in the midst of a late-life crisis trying to create himself an issue to get his name back into the mainstream.

With no low hanging fruit such as the war in Vietnam or soldiers killing protesting students in American universities, Young has decided to jump on the anti-energy bandwagon and go after Alberta’s oilsands. One would wish that Neil had educated himself a little better on the issue but I guess that really was never his intent.

Neil Young embarrassed himself by referring to Alberta’s oilsands as being comparable to Hiroshima after he made a whirlwind visit to Fort McMurray with washed up actress Daryl Hanna last summer. Rex Murphy (a true Canadian legend) excellently wrote on Young’s hypocritical idiocy here.

During Neil Young’s tour of Fort Mac, he hired a local photographer and chartered a helicopter to get some footage of the area. The disillusionment and disappointment in Neil Young was very evident in a great piece written by the photographer he contracted. He had looked forward to working with Young and showing how things work and look in Fort McMurray. Moen’s discovery of Young’s close-minded focus on trying to create the image of a wasteland was an eye-opener for him and well worth the read.

Now Neil is going to hold a series of concerts entitled: “Honor the Treaties” with the proceeds going towards a legal fund for the Chipewyan natives to fight against the oilsands.

While Neil Young has made it clear that he has no interest in actually pursuing facts in his little self-serving, anti-progress crusade, one would wish that he would wipe the crud from his rheumy eyes and actually read the treaties between Canada and native bands (most Canadians should actually). There is no anti-oilsands clause and there are no violations of treaties happening up there. If indeed we “Honored the Treaties” literally as Young believes we should, the natives up there would be decimated.

Here are all of the relevant treaties in one easy list. They are not being violated.

What the oilsands are actually doing is providing hope for a future for Canadian natives in Northern Alberta. What do Californians like Young and Hannah really think that those people will do up there without local resource development? The fur trade is not coming back and a lifetime of welfare is not exactly a goal to aspire to. The oilsands are employing thousands of natives in Alberta and providing countless opportunities for social and economic improvements up there. Young is like so many of the latte set in that they want some sort of feel good zoo of aboriginal people all living happily as they apparently had 300 years ago living off the land and dying at the ripe old age of 28. These celebrities can then pat themselves on the back at having preserved Indians of the North like so many whooping cranes or some other creature. The concept that these are actually people who need to earn a living is utterly lost on them.

Go away Neil. Retire with a little grace. You made a mark and now you are sullying your own legacy through an ignorant and self-serving activist effort which will harm the very people that you claim to want to help. It is pathetic to watch.

Ezra Levant demonstrates the depth of environmental demonstrators.

Yes, Ezra can be pretty bombastic and likes to work things up. In his going to these protests and covering just what those people are about though he is providing a good service to us all.

The usual coverage we see from media attending protests will be short interviews with the paid protest leaders who will fire out some short, canned statements as they have been trained. A person really needs to get on the ground with the fools who fill the ranks at these protests to see just how vapid and empty these protests really are.

I certainly learned first hand how pointless the entire “occupy” movement was in my regular visits on their illegal squatting encampment in a Calgary city park. The sights, sounds and yes indeed even smells of these protests really to have to be personally experienced to be fully appreciated.

Most people have no interest in going to check on these ragtag collections of union-organized, professional malcontents and I really don’t blame them. The next best thing a person can do though is look at interviews and coverage such as what Ezra has provided in his work yesterday. It really is worth a watch.

The truth is stranger than fiction with these people.

The show must go on. We can’t stall pipelines forever.

Revenues have gone down, taxes have gone up and folks have lost jobs thanks to the trend of hysteric opposition to the safest form of oil/gas transport known to man: pipelines. Time and reality will win in the end and Canada will continue to increase exports of oil and gas products despite the irrational blanket opposition to all development coming from groups that purport to care about working class Canadians.


TransCanada Corp announced that they are moving forward with their proposal to build infrastructure to bring crude oil to St. John New Brunswick that would transport over a million barrels per day.

The usual union backed suspects are already gnashing their teeth in opposition and rounding up bored hipsters and natives to try and stage protests against Canada’s latest effort to bring jobs and prosperity. The ink isn’t dry on the proposal and it does not need to be. Reality and facts are of no consequence as organized labor claims to care about the working man yet consistently opposes all efforts to create infrastructure to support an industry that employs hundreds of thousands of people. Screeching members of the loony-left automatically oppose all energy development while howling for more expenditure on a myriad of social programs. The folks truly have no concept of where the cash comes from for their beloved arts projects, welfare and even health care. They really believe Canada will be fine without the billions and billions of tax dollars brought in annually from the energy industry.

Now on to reality. The aforementioned chronic opponents of development can and will be dismissed as they are truly irrational and there is no reasoning with them.


We can make windmills, talk of tidal and geothermal and dream of solar energy. The reality is that none of those sources can generate power in nearly the volume required or at a cost that is at all reasonable at this time. What happened to the hydrogen fuel cell powered car anyway? How about the Volt? How is that biofuel black hole going? Governments can be pressured into investing into many pie-in-the-sky alternatives but fiscal reality inevitably returns to bite them (and the taxpayers in the arse).


Canada has some of the largest energy reserves on the entire planet. Our prosperity as an entire nation is not only dependent on our development of these carbon based products but on our selling of those products to consumers outside of Canada. Protectionism is always a shallow farce. We need trade and oil/gas are our strongest items for this. It is not reasonable to turn ourselves into a third world country in refusing to trade with our best asset.

While keeping our energy in could indeed lead to cheap domestic fuel prices, we would be broke otherwise. Venezuela is a wonderful example of foolish policies (socialism). While they have some of the cheapest domestic fuel prices of earth, damn near none of their citizens can afford cars. Not really a good trade.


Peak oil has been a myth propagated to keep folks in fear for over 50 years. A few minutes on google can find countless predictions of the world running out of energy and they have all of course been wrong. There has always been somebody predicting the end of the world and to date none have been correct.

New fields are still being discovered and new extraction technology is always coming on-stream.

In the last five years I have spent more than half of my time working South of the border on American oil/gas exploration projects. While we piss and moan and delay domestic energy projects, a very mobile workforce has been taking it’s expertise (and tax dollars) out of the country. We are not going to sit and go broke and wait for common sense to ensue.

I have worked in oilfields in Pennsylvania that are literally well over 140 years old that are now getting new life thanks to fracturing and seismic technology. Texas and Oklahoma are booming as new wells are being drilled and product is flowing. North Dakota is discovering whole new and giant reserves.

I spent three years working in the Arctic on the ice North of Inuvik. I assure you there is at least a couple more generations of oil and gas sitting up there and not a drop has been taken out yet. We need to look ahead but we are a long way from running out of reserves yet.

The USA does not need our energy and pricing ourselves out of the market will not help. We need to get our product to the coastlines in an increasing amount if we want to retain our standard of living across the country.


It is painful listening to the daft, shallow souls howling about tanker traffic suddenly coming to Canada’s West coast or pipelines spanning our Rocky Mountains when we consider that tankers have been going to the coast already for decades and we have been pipelining oil across the mountains for over sixty years already.

We have transported untold millions of barrels across the mountains and then the Pacific without major incident and our technology is only becoming safer.

Rail traffic in crude oil has quadrupled in just the last few years and it will continue to grow if we keep foolishly delaying pipelines. More bears will get splattered and a much higher risk of spills and derailment will continue if we keep forcing the use of rail despite a safe means of transport being in front of us.

Governments are sensitive to the environmental lobby but they are even more sensitive to revenue. These new pipelines will get approved and will be built no matter how hard the union funded opposition howls. What we have to ask ourselves is how much more time and resources we will waste before getting on with it. We can’t afford as a nation to keep pissing around with this and we will not no matter who heads the next federal government. Reality dictates this, lets accept it and work with it.

Shortsighted opposition to new pipelines is damaging our environment

Today while checking on some things in the field on a program in Pennsylvania I came across a stark reminder of the consequences of successful opposition to pretty much all new conventional energy infrastructure in North America. While tracking one large and degrading gas pipeline through the bush, I encountered another pipeline that had failed and was leaking natural gas at a pretty high rate as can be seen and heard in the video I took below.

Pennsylvania’s oil rush began in the 1860s and much of the infrastructure out here is simply ancient. Fracturing technology has brought a new boom to these regions as fields that had been previously considered to be depleted are being brought back to life with new production of both oil and gas in shale formations. Unfortunately, while the existing pipeline infrastructure is old and failing it is damned near impossible to get any large new energy distribution projects approved as myopic and self-serving environmentalists will immediately hinder the process through lobbying and legal challenges. What this foolishness has led to is an increase in environmental damage as well as creating a very dangerous working environment for energy and agricultural workers in areas where pipelines are failing.

It is absolutely undeniable that modern pipelines are far and away the most safe, economical and environmentally friendly way to transport oil and gas. Modern pipeline failures occur on occasion and most often these are due to human error in excavation without proper utility location having been done beforehand. A pipeline can’t be faulted for leaking when a fool hits it with a backhoe shovel. With the literally billions of barrels and cubic feet of energy products being moved all over the world the amount that actually gets lost due to leaks is nearly microscopic in scope and getting smaller all the time as our technology improves.

Demand is not going away for oil and gas any time soon. Environmentalists can harp on all they like about wind, solar and geothermal power but the reality is that these forms of energy are not even remotely close to replacing carbon based energy at this time and we still need to provide oil and gas to people. We are doing this with pipelines and these pipelines are becoming old.

Like it or not, populations are growing and usage of fossil fuels is increasing along with that. Due to myopic opposition, new pipelines are not being built as they should and producers are being forced to either use old pipelines that really should be replaced or are even transporting product through trains and trucks which burn fossil fuels in transporting product and are much more likely to have an accident leading to spills than pipelines will ever be.

If we really care about the environment and about safety we need to expedite new pipeline projects rather than hinder them. We have to be realistic rather than idealistic. New and ever improving pipeline construction and monitoring technology means nothing if we are still forced to use pipelines that are 40, 50 or even 100 years old. Lets build new pipelines so we can shut down these old ones before more product leaks into the environment or people possibly get killed in a large rupture.

Until the flux-capacitor or dilithium crystals leave the world of science fiction and become a reality, we will need fossil fuels in our lives. It’s time to set aside the hysteria spread by multinational corporations such as Greenpeace and take a realistic look at what needs to be done to move oil and gas safely.

Just as we will never see a highway with 0 fatalities we will never be able to move oil and gas with a 100% risk free means. We can come pretty damn close though if we could just put the new pipes in the ground. Until then we unfortunately will only see more spills and accidents.

Let’s put the last paragraph first.

I can’t count the number of times that people upon hearing some of the real facts from the energy industry say: “Well, why doesn’t the energy industry communicate all that good stuff to people better.”.

Shy of hiring people to scream facts on city streetcorners, I am not sure what the hell else industry can do. The vast majority of the energy industry works within and often surpasses environmental regulations of all levels of government. Sites are reclaimed and bonds are posted for new sites and facilities reclamation down the road. Proactive studies and techniques are constantly being used to further mitigate environmental impact and with great success. These things are advertised, local hearings are held everywhere, press releases are issued and people are invited to visit energy sites and facilities to see things for themselves. Despite all that, it seems like the energy industry is screaming into the wind.

Now below I will go into some of the horsecrap that the energy industry has to deal with in trying to protect it’s reputation.

In today’s Edmonton Journal there was a story with the headline:

Oilsands research confirmed: Snow contaminated near operations, says federal report.

Oh dear! Whatever shall we do? The article then goes on to point out:

“analyzed winter snow and found that contamination levels were “highest near oilsands development compared to further away,”

Wow! They discovered that there is more oilsands stuff in the snow near the oilsands than there is farther away from the oilsands. Sorry but that is a little less than profound kids.

Yes though, contaminant buildup was found in the snow near oilsands facilities. When phrased right, that can sound rather scary. But wait, lets look at the last paragraph of the article:

“The Environment Canada document also said that substances found in the study were typical of development of all kinds and can even be found in the snow in cities with no heavy industry, but they were continuing their work.”

To put this in other words, nothing unusual or dangerous has been found in the study of the snow in the area. It has the same stuff in it as anybody’s own back yard.

The article also included a picture of a fish with a tumour that was caught downstream of the oilsands as can be seen below.

Yes, that is indeed one ugly tumour. Bear in mind that fish can and do develop tumours without exposure to oilsands as well.

Lets see what the article had to say about the water and fish:

“researchers had tested the toxicity of the Athabasca River water in the spring of 2010 with negative results, and also that no link was established between levels of contaminants found and any effect on fish.”

So in other words, the picture of the fish has utterly no bearing on the article at all aside from trying to make what is essentially an article highlighting a study that found no outstanding environmental devastation around the oilsands.

The article also tries to imply that some sort of gag order has been released on the study. All I see really is indications of efforts to get a controlled message of the study outcomes. That is not unusual. Press plans are common and it is best to have a consistent message. No conspiracy here.

I understand that it is tough to write articles that interest people. It would be more principled to bury a boring report on an environmental study than to mess with one like this to imply that there is an environmental catastrophe happening in Alberta’s oilsands when there simply is not one.

It is just getting tiresome trying to keep up facts to counter the endless and poorly sourced bullshit being spread about Alberta’s energy industry. I do wish some elements of our media would step up a little better on this.

Is a boom really so bad?

Few things get me worked up faster than hearing people whining about the challenges that come with a robust economy. During the last boom, the complaints from the spoiled hit a fever pitch as people yelped about everything from long restaurant lines to the increased cost of living. Many people actually called for the government to intervene and purposely slow Alberta’s economy. The Alberta economy hit the toilet well enough on it’s own in late 2007, can you imagine how bad it would have been had government already worked to slow it down prior to that? Governments make enough of a damn mess when they mess with an economy trying to speed it up, it is nothing short of idiocy to ask a government to slow an economy down.

Things in Alberta are finally getting back to where they should be and the usual suspects are crawling out of the woodwork complaining about the challenges. From higher rents to traffic backups to infrastructure shortcomings, the complaints are ramping up. Despite these being real symptoms of a strong and growing economy, these problems pale in comparison to the challenges that come with a dead or dying economy.

With my cell phone camera I set out in Stuebenville Ohio to try to demonstrate just what a slow economy looks like as it is clear that many of our myopic complainers in Alberta have utterly no idea what they are wishing for.

The demands for increased entitlements, infrastructure, healthcare, art and larger government in general are extremely damned expensive. If the economy is stunted, rest assured we will get no increases to the aforementioned things though that seems lost on the anti-business crowd.

I do apologize for the shaky video and any vertigo experienced in watching the bumpy ride. I did have to do the tour while in the vehicle as it truly is not safe to be walking about filming things in this city. It is my first venture into video ranting and I find typing easier than speaking.

Busy days.

I have just been swamped in the field lately. Have some new pics and posts coming but have not had time to do them. It is good to see the Alberta field recovering from the Progressive Conservative’s assault on it a few years ago. It has been awhile since I have worked in Alberta.

 To substitute for my lack of updates, I will post a link to a great blog post that breaks down and exposes the utterly ridiculous levels that anti-energy sorts will go to in cooking their statistics. The assumptions taken by this “Center for Global Development” group in their “study” are nothing less than ridiculous.

 Environmental groups, labor groups and other left-wing groups have really taken to spawning countless “think tank” type organizations that regularly release this trash data. They love cloaking them in harmless sorts of names such as this “Center for Global Development” and “Policy Alternatives”. Lazy media members often take data from groups such as this at face value and it is unfortunate considering how far from reality these groups and their cooked statistics often are.  

 I appreciate that Andrew Leach took the time to debunk that garbage so effectively. I strongly recommend that you read the posting linked below and keep it in mind when seeing other reports from the anti-progress set as they try to fabricate a case against development.

Canadian crude oil production to increase 3300% by 2100

An effective demonstration. No tents, no lawbreaking and no poop required.

Well, this morning I got up bright and early to make the long drive back to Calgary from the  Fort McMurray area for my Christmas break. A few weeks of raping dear Mother Earth can be nothing short of exhausting I tell you. I could almost hear her cries for mercy as we tracked the bitumen migrations of a steam injection project.

Being so fresh from working in a safe and environmentally responsible working environment, I am a little more sensitive to the hyperbole and outright BS that the anti-productive anti-prosperity crowd yelps out in their opposition to the ethical and clean example of profoundly successful capitalism in what we call the oilsands. I have written about the fabrications of that set before. The anti-oilsands gang rarely bothers to stay within reality as real science simply is not on their side.

 With facts working against them, the anti-industry zealots opposing the oilsands have been working on a campaign of coaxing gullible but large companies to practice greenwashing by speaking out against Alberta products. Bed Bath and Beyond fell for it and took a public relations sting. Next up has been Chiquita with their shallow and ill-conceived claim to be avoiding Alberta products.

 The backlash against Chiquita’s hypocritical greenwashing was fast, strong and effective as Chiquita has been exposed to be a much nastier world corporate citizen than any Alberta oilsands company has ever even come close to being. Chiquita has a long and shameful history of participating in corrupt regimes through the purposeful funding of terrorist groups along with a host of other practices from environmental devastation to union busting.

 While driving I heard on the radio that a group of concerned Albertans would be holding a demonstration outside of a Safeway in Edmonton around noon. That timed out perfectly with my drive so of course I had to pop by. Here is what I found:


 Well prepared demonstrators had stationed themselves outside of a Safeway store. They had dressed as can be seen in the picture in some Southern style wear in order to be eye catching and to make an impression. No shouting, hassling of clientele or illegal acts were required to gain the attention of shoppers. People were not hindered and a simple brochure was being handed out to those interested.

 Pictured on the one side of the lit is a banana with blood spots for eyes creating a frowning face. It is a great and simple way to point out that Chiquita’s product can indeed be labelled as “blood bananas”.

 On the other side of the piece was a short letter addressed to Safeway headquarters explaining how Chiquita had declared war on the very Alberta families that Safeway relies upon for it’s livelihood. Some basic background was given and it was asked that Safeway join us in standing up for Alberta’s ethical oil.

 The piece is addressed and leaves room for individuals to sign it and send it to the Safeway headquarters should they like.

 Clearly there had been a good press release as press from pretty much every major media outlet was in attendance.


 The fellow depicted above was haranguing the demonstrator trying to imply that some sort of conspiracy of oil funding was behind this or something. He failed as the demonstrator stayed on message and no such conspiracy existed. The media was addressed throughout with a concise and consistent message.

 This was a perfectly executed public demonstration complementing the online campaign standing up to the detractors of Alberta’s economic engine. It was reasoned, it had a good straightforward message and a goal. It was memorable yet did not rely on crazy, annoying or illegal stunts in order to make it be so.

 In other words, it was a demonstration modelled by rational working people as opposed to the anarchistic union backed rabble that we usually see ripping up our public spaces.

 The only people who were somewhat put out by this demonstration were the clearly stressed managers from within the store. The came out briefly as pictured below. They had no comment and went back inside to doubtless report to their superiors. And so the message of the demonstration climbs to those who need it. I feel for those managers but that is how it goes when one carrys a controversial product.


 Chiquita has already been backtracking and are realizing that they have stepped into a public relations nightmare. The demonstration was well targeted in that I am sure that Safeway does not want this sort of attention. The grocery market is very competitive. I am pretty sure that Safeway execs are at the least sending a letter or two to Chiquita demanding that they cut it the hell out if they want to keep doing business.

 This also sends a message to other large companies that jumping on the anti-Alberta greenwashing bandwagon may not be all that worth it. Not only is Alberta among one of the world’s top suppliers of clean, ethical energy; we are also a large and growing consumer market. One does not need to have a marketing degree to realize that pissing off large and growing consumer markets is something of a stupid business decision.

 We recently saw countless directionless layabouts polluting public spaces around the country while causing consternation and cost to taxpayers for almost two months. Those protests never even identified an issue much left worked towards resolving one.

 More recently now we have seen a small but determined group identify an issue and work effectively towards making a large multi-national company re-examine their shallow stance on Alberta. Great work. More can be found here, and here. Demonstrations can be effective and they can be so without all the mess that some insist on creating.

 The screaming anarchistic left could learn a few lessons here. Of course they would have to stop their entitled yelping long enough for the message to get in.

The facts will win in the end (not to mention economic reality).

Over the years we have seen nothing less than a barrage of hyperbole and outright untruths spread about the development of Alberta’s oilsands. Eco-zealots set aside all principle as they determine that the end (not that they can define that end) justifies any means in their cause against modern life.

The oilsands are an easy target. The scope of the resource is vast and the operations are large. Oilsand development happens in the deep Northwest end of Alberta along a dead end highway so very few Albertans will ever actually go up there in person to see what is actually happening in Alberta’s oilsands development. This allows those with a questionable agenda to fabricate whatever scenario they like and we can rest assured that these unprincipled environmentalists do not hesitate to do so.

I have worked up in Fort McMurray/Fort McKay many times. I will be the first to admit that the development is ugly at a glance. Large areas are strip mined (now most is in-situ) and the smell from the facilities spreads for miles. Water is used and on cold days plants emit vast clouds of steam as they return water to the eco-system through evaporation. Those images are used in trying to exaggerate the pollution of the plants of course. Keep in mind that the steam in the washroom as you shower is the same harmless substance.

The picture below I have taken from a site that indignantly has howled that we are strip mining an area the size of New York state. That is utter B.S. of course but such hysteria helps these environmental groups as they go door to door looking for your money and claiming that they are saving the planet for your children. Keep in mind, with the right camera angle I can make my backyard garden look like an ecological disaster in ground disturbance.

Strangely, the eco-shysters rarely post the pictures of strip mining in China, Russia or many other parts of the world which are larger and have little to no environmental controls.

Another thing the eco-crowd loves to try and claim is that trees never grow back and that it is impossible to reclaim any developed land. We certainly see that when logging projects are irrationally opposed. The pictures below show successful reclamation of oilsands land though the eco-fanatics have forgotten to add those in their crazy press releases.

 All of the above pictures are of lands that had been mined and reclaimed. Bunnies and Bambis are indeed happily frolicking and the eco-world has not ended there.

How about the nasty stuff happening downstream though?  The green gang has shrilly claimed that oilsands development is causing cancer in people living downstream on the Athabasca river? Thankfully, like so many claims by the self-styled environmentalist crowd the cancer thing a is 100% complete and undeniable falsehood. The entire thing was yet another fabrication made to scare people. Science totally debunked it (at great expense unfortunately). Even the CBC had to admit it.

The CBC next jumped on and reported a terrible leak of toxins from a tailings pond. OMG OMG. Children will shrivel! Fish will scream in agony!!!! The moon will fall from the sky!!!

Ooooopps. Looks like that leak thing was 100% untrue.

CBC and left leaning media seem to bury their corrections pretty deeply however. Who can forget the nasty looking three-jawed fish? Oh dear!!!!! Clearly the oilsands have caused this nasty deformity!!!! Put the picture on the front page!!! Stop the world!!!


Eco-kooks even took the fish on tour with them in their crusade against energy development.

OOOOPs, looks like the oilsands had absolutely nothing to do with the fish looking that way. Oh dear. Well, lets just bury that retraction on the latest hysterical environmental fabrication.

If people are going to take sides in an issue, may I suggest that they tend to dismiss the side of the issue that constantly engages in spreading falsehood?

We hear endless claims that there is no environmental regulation in energy development (total lie, we are among the strictest in the world) or that we are giving away our resources for free (aside from the 100s of billions paid), or that there is little to no reclamation. These are effective fundraising claims. Speaking to real issues such as particulate pollution or third-world developments are not effective when rattling the cup at the door.

Have no doubt folks, this is about money. Greenpeace is a multinational corporation making hundreds of millions of dollars per year. They need constant donors in order to pay their hundreds of activists who altruistically travel the world and live rather well.

Don’t just take my word for it though. Pictured below is Dr. Patrick Moore.

  Now, on the left you can see a picture of Dr. Moore when he co-founded Greenpeace.  Moore’s doctorate is in ecology by the way. Moore left Greenpeace decades ago when the organization totally lost sight of their environmental roots and turned into a fundraising machine. Dr. Moore is still very much concerned about the environment. He has now moved on to dealing realistically with issues.

Yes, Dr. Moore does not hang from buildings waving banners nor does he dump loads of fish in the offices of politicians. Moore simply deals with facts and reality. He does not get the headlines that environmental extremists do but his work is more enduring as it is based in fact.

Dr. Patrick Moore has declared:  “There is nobody with a better environment or human rights record selling oil in this world.” when speaking of Alberta’s energy industry.

That is the fact and it is simply undeniable. That fact will win in the end but we will have to be vigilant in countering the exaggerations of environmentalists as they fund-raise. We have to be vigilant in looking into the claims of these groups and looking at their interests.

Myths are easier to spread than facts.

 Last week some time while listening to an afternoon radio show a caller called in and claimed that he had spent most of his life working in the oilsands of Fort McMurray. He then went on a tirade about how there are absolutely no environmental controls, no penalties for environmental offenses perpetuated by operators up there and no monitoring of environmental impact up there. The show then went to the news and this idiot’s clearly untrue ravings went completely unchecked.

 Now this is significant in a couple ways. People with an enviro-chip on their shoulders will not hesitate for a second to completely fabricate a case in pursuing their anti-industry goals. I have worked in the oilfield for most of my adult life. In all aspects from exploration to development, the industry is heavily monitored, regulated and punished if found to be in infraction. In five minutes of google work, anybody can find that surface mining of oilsands so far has disturbed .01% of the boreal forest (which will be reclaimed) and only .1% of the entire forest is even minable. Documentation of the reclamation efforts, the regulations and the monitoring are exceedingly easy to find. Despite that, the latte-lappers of urban areas who oppose the oilsands would rather continue to blather outright untruths. If these people will lie baldfaced to us, what indeed is their goal?

 Another point to be found is how easy it is for a myth to get out there and how little effort the media makes to disprove untruths. Hey, if it bleeds it leads. It is much more exciting to forecast the pending (though unproven) end of the planet than to show that the environment and wildlife are perfectly fine. A desicated deer dying on a roadside provides more voyeuristic pleasure to the readership than presenting the reality that deer have been wasting away due to overpopulation.

 A great example of this was the mythical two-jawed Goldeye caught in the Athabasca river last summer. Below is the headline that the Calgary Herald printed:

Two-jawed mutant fish fuels oilsands dissent!

Good heavens!!!!! A mutant!!! Lock up the children!! Call in the army!! The world is ending!!!!

Here is the picture of this clear environmental atrocity:


 Gotta admit he is an ugly little devil. Of course this prompted Greenpeace and the usual subjects to cry out that we must halt all oilsands development and offshoot gang of eco-nuts; “Keepers of the Water” displayed this horrific specimen at conferences around the province as visible proof that oilsands development is destroying the planet. The media eagerly lapped this up and our little fishy made headlines across the world.

 When the hype finally played out, the fish was released for actual study.

 Well,  a few weeks ago deeply buried in the odd newspaper we see this news item: Freakish fish is really a normal specimen.  

 Yup. After biologists at the University of Alberta finally got to view the fish, it was quickly determined that this was a perfectly normal Goldeye. Apparently, his kind of fish has a rough, toothed tongue which after death commonly protrudes below the jaw looking as if there is a second jaw. Nothing unusual, nothing new.

 This of course hardly made headlines. Were the people who were hysterical about this myth at least a little bit sheepish? This comment following the story says it all:  “Hmm.. sounds like another government cover up. They are trying to convince the public that there is nothing toxic about pulp mills or oil sands.”

 Yes, when the facts come against them the eco-nuts dismiss it as a government conspiracy (unchecked of course by the media). There is no reasoning with these people.

 Another fallacy that the eco-crowd loves to spread is the apparent cancer increase in residents of Fort Chipewyan who live downstream of the oilsands. This began when a lone doctor up there claimed that there is an unusual increase of certain kinds of cancer in the area. Alberta health rushed up there and studied the issue. No increase was found. This clearly being a conspiracy, another study was demanded. That study did indeed conclude that there was a higher rate of cancer in the area!! It was found that the cancers were completely unrelated to those that the original doctor claimed were occurring but there was indeed a higher incident. The headlines trumpeted this claim of a new plague decimating the region of course. What was not mentioned very much however is that almost all of the isolated first nations communities in Canada have elevated cancer rates. This has nothing to do with pollution and everything to do with those communities being in a socio-economic nightmare with the majority practicing some terrifically unhealthy lifestyles.

 If pollutants were leaking into that water supply, rest assured that the massive monitoring system would pick up on that. Of course, if a person is disconnected with reality and feels that it is a global conspiracy of heartless animals who want to kill our entire northern population, how can you reason with them?

 I can see how some of the shallow readership of papers will absorb this garbage without doing research on their own. These eco-activists know damn well what they are spreading is utter B.S. however. These people lie in the face of the public without batting an eye. Apparently the ends justify the means to these unprincipled fools. Of course, something that is often overlooked is that groups such as Greenpeace and the Sierra Club are large multi-national multi-million dollar organizations. There are plenty of six-figure incomes that would be at risk in the eco-industry if facts were suddenly addressed. Why would people donate if indeed the world were not ending.

 Patrick Moore was one of the original founders of Greenpeace. He left when the organization changed from an environmental group to essentially a self-serving, multi-million dollar corporation. They hate Moore as he has been saying it like it is.

 But hey! Why lets facts get in the way of a decent myth?