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Rethink Alberta video

2010-07-19

This video is causing quite a stir around the world, and especially here at home in Alberta. See for yourself what all the fuss is about:

http://bit.ly/aOf2im

Then read Executive Director John Bennett's thoughts on the topic here:

http://www.sierraclub.ca/en/blog/john-bennett/maybe-alberta-should-rethink

Canada Pension Plan Investment Board's response to John Bennett

2010-07-12

Recently, Sierra Club Canada learned that the Canada Pension Plan Investment Board (CPPIB) is investing $250 million of Canadians' money into the tar sands. Our Executive Director wrote the CPPIB a letter, asking them to account for fueling catastrophic climate change. Here is their response.


Dear Mr. Bennett,

Re: CPP Investment Board's Consideration of Environmental Risks

Thank you for your letter dated July 7, 2010 regarding the CPP Investment Board's (CPPIB) approach to environmental risks.

By way of brief background, the CPPIB's mandate, as set out in our legislation, is to maximize the investment rate of return for the CPP Fund without undue risk of loss. Our long-term goal is to contribute to the financial strength of the CPP to help sustain the future pensions of 17 million Canadian contributors and beneficiaries.
... Read more »

Tar Sands and Water

Water is a precious and finite natural resource. Here in Canada, we are fortunate to be surrounded by clean, easily accessible fresh water.  This abundance, however, has let us take our good fortune for granted and we have abused our water through over use and pollution.  The First Peoples of Canada treasured the water as the blood of the earth, and the land as her body.  Continued abuse of the land and water is harming the health of all the earth’s dependants, both human, plant and animal.  In the tar sands, both water quality and quantity are being severely affected throughout the Athabasca watershed.  We must act now to protect the Athabasca and neighbouring rivers, such as the Peace River system.

The Facts: ... Read more »

A Toxic Legacy

As of June 2008, 720 million cubic metres of fluid tailings were being stored in Alberta.1

Tailings fluids are toxic to aquatic organisms and pose health concerns for human communities.  Napthenic Acids are the major toxicant in oil sands tailings water.  Other contaminants in tailings include, arsenic, mercury, polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons.

Exposure of Naphthenic acid, by mammals, can have significant health impacts (including brain lesions, hemmoraging and liver damage).2  Water affected by processes in the petroleum industries generally contains 40-120 mg /L of Naphthenic acid.  ground water is in the range from 0.4 to 51 mg /L which is considered to be in the range of toxicity to human consumption.3 A few mg/L are often observed in surrounding surface waters, un-impacted by process water.4

Incidences of elevated choloride, napthenic acids and ammonia in groundwater monitoring wells suggest current seepage of toxins into water supplies.5
... Read more »

Tar Sands Development Means...

Alberta’s tar sands are one of the biggest social and ecological challenges in North America, fueling climate change, destroying the northern boreal forest, and drying up our mighty rivers.

With proven reserves of 175 billion barrels, the tar sands are second only to Saudi Arabia in available oil supply. As development continues at an alarming rate, concerns are growing over the impacts on communities and the environment.

Boreal forest destruction

When all the tar sands are developed, they will destroy an area of northern Alberta the size of Florida. In over 40 years of production, not a single piece of land has been reclaimed or restored to government standards by tar sands companies.

Global warming acceleration

As one of the dirtiest oil projects in the world, the tar sands are the single largest contributor to Canada's growing global warming pollution and are one of the main reasons the Canadian government refuses to meet its international obligations to fight the climate crisis.

Environmental injustice

Indigenous and Northern communities downstream are being poisoned by toxic water and fumes.... Read more »

Tar Sands, Environmental Justice & Health

Human health depends on a healthy environment.  When the environment becomes contaminated, we feel the impacts in the form of increases in the rate of disease and infection. Economically and socially marginalized communities are disproportionately affected by these impacts because too often they are the communities closest to the sources of health risks, such as toxic waste sites of tar sands developments. Oil sands development is having severe negative effects on the health of communities in Alberta, in particular the traditional stewards of the lands, the first nations of northern Alberta.

The Facts:... Read more »

Tar Sands and Global Warming

Global warming is a worldwide concern considered one of the greatest threats facing our planet today. It will have detrimental impacts on human health, wildlife, aquatic and terrestrial ecosystems and our economy. According to the UN’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), human activity is the primary driver of global warming. Despite this, greenhouse gas emissions continue to rise, and Canada is contributing to further climate change.

The Facts: ... Read more »

Tar Sands & the Boreal Forest

Alberta’s Boreal forest is one of the last wild forests left in the world. It is home to thousands of plants and animals, contains 35% of Canada’s wetlands and, as a functioning whole, stores carbon, regulates climate and filters water. The Boreal forest is an incredible ecosystem that needs protection from the unrelenting pressures of increased oil sands development.

The enormous extent of development is devastating our natural systems and is only getting bigger... Read more »

            

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