[Vision2020] Gier's May, 2010 Column "ALBERTA'S TAR SANDS AND IDAHO'S WILDERNESS GATEWAY" Re: Global Warming Impacts

Ted Moffett starbliss at gmail.com
Fri Jun 10 17:33:17 PDT 2011

 [Vision2020] Alberta's Tar Sands and Idaho's Wilderness Gateway*nickgier at
roadrunner.com* nickgier at roadrunner.com
*Mon May 31 14:16:44 PDT 2010*

While this column focuses on the Hwy. 12 route for mega-loads, which faces
some different issues than the Hwy. 95 route, some of the objections raised
to the mega-loads and their ultimate use to exploit Alberta's tar sands also
apply to the Hwy. 95 route.

While the local environmental impacts (migratory bird deaths), cancer risks
for native populations (why this issue is cast as a risk to native peoples,
or first nation peoples, and not include others from different backgrounds,
I'm not sure), and the negatives of the "super heavy traffic on their roads"
continue to be issues debated as to there applicability to Moscow's approval
of the passage of the mega-loads (I'm not sure that even if the mayor and
city council oppose the mega-loads that they have the legal jurisdiction to
block them), the issue of the massive greenhouse gas emissions from the tar
sands development, that Gier raised in this column, has for the most part
disappeared from Vision2020.

These comments from the column are pasted in below:

"Extracting hydrocarbons from crude oil and coal has always been a dirty
business, but tar sands processing releases three to four times the
greenhouse gases that conventional drilling does.  Alberta's tar sands,
whose 175 billion barrel reserve is second only to Saudi Arabia, requires
220 gallons of fresh water to produce one barrel of oil. The slurry is
cooked using natural gas, consuming in one day what it takes to heat 3
million homes."


"Today oil extraction in Northern Alberta is the largest "single point"
source of green house gases in Canada, and experts predict that "by 2015,
the oil sands are expected to emit more greenhouse gases than the nation of
Denmark (pop. 5.4 million), and by 2020 the oil sands will release twice the
amount produced currently by all the cars and trucks in Canada."
I was pleased that Gier focused on the tar sands impacts on global warming,
and am now puzzled as to why this overwhelmingly important issue seems to be
mostly or entirely off the radar in discussions on Vision2020.

The issue has certainly been presented with facts and sources to Vision2020,
as Gier's column reveals, so for a Vision2020 reader (two are quoted below
from recent posts on their knowledge of tar sands impacts) to be unaware of
the huge greenhouse gas/global warming impact of tar sands development, they
could not have been following the mega-load/tar sands issue very closely on
Vision2020. Or perhaps they don't believe that significant global warming
impacts of tar sands development is credible.

A few more sources presented to Vision2020 regarding tar sands impacts on
global warming:

Vision2020] Bellingham, Wa. City Council Passes Resolution Jun. 2010:
"Whereas... Canada's Tar Sands Generates Three Times More Global Warming


NASA climate scientist James Hansen, in his acceptance speech for the 2010
Sophie Prize:


"But our governments have no intention of solving the fossil fuel and
climate problem, as is easy to prove: the United States, Canadian and
Norwegian governments are going right ahead developing the tar sands,
which, if it is not halted, will make it impossible to stabilize
climate. Our governments knowingly abdicate responsibility for young
people and future generations
[Vision2020] My Column / Megaloads & Hippies
*Joe Campbell* philosopher.joe at gmail.com
*Thu Jun 9 11:22:03 PDT 2011* wrote:

"I say this as someone who is in complete ignorance
about the oil sands project and many other environmental issues."
fromdeb debismith at moscow.com
toCarl Westberg <idahovandal1 at live.com>,
vision2020 at moscow.com
dateWed, Jun 8, 2011 at 7:08 PM
subjectRe: [Vision2020] Two Seperate Issues

"At this point, even though I have Canadian friends who argue the pros and
cons in my presence, I don't have any strong opinions about the oil sands.
I'm listening to everything and doing my research. So the argument that I am
against big oil is not credible (yet)."
Vision2020 Post: Ted Moffett
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