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!!!
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.
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.
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.