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?