Tar Sands
Dirty Oil and the Future of a Continent

Nikiforuk, Andrew
Publisher:  Greystone Books in partnership with the David Suzuki Foundation
Year Published:  2010  
Pages:  272pp   Price:  $20   ISBN:  978-1-55365-555-8
Resource Type:  Book
Cx Number:  CX18048

To extract the energy from the Alberta tar sands, the world's ugliest, most expensive hydrocrabon, we are polluting our air, poisoning our water, destroying vast areas of boreal forest, and undermining democracy.

Abstract: 
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From publisher:

Newly updated, Andrew Nikiforuk's Tar Sands is a critical expos? of the world's largest energy project?the Alberta oil sands?that has made Canada one of the worst environmental offenders on earth.

The United States imports the majority of its oil, not from Saudi Arabia or Venezuela, but from its neighbour to the north. Canada has one third of the world?s oil source; it comes from the bitumen in the Athabasca oil sands of Alberta. Advancements in technology and frenzied development have created the world?s largest energy project in Fort McMurray. Much of this dirty oil is being processed in refineries in the Midwest where the proposed Keystone pipeline would run. This out-of-control megaproject is polluting the air, poisoning the water, and destroying boreal forest at a rate almost too rapid to be imagined.

In Tar Sands, journalist Andrew Nikiforuk exposes the disastrous social, political, and environmental impact of the tar sands and argues forcefully for change. Combining extensive scientific research and compelling writing, Nikiforuk takes the reader to Fort McMurray, home to some of the world?s largest open-pit mines, and explores this twenty-first-century pioneer town from the high cost of housing to its more serious social ills, complete with rapturous engineers, cut-throat cocaine dealers, aimless bush workers, American evangelicals, and the largest population of homeless people in northern Canada. He also explains that this micro-economy supplies gasoline for 50 percent of Canadian vehicles and 16 percent of U.S. demand. Readers will learn that oil sands:

burn more carbon than conventional oil
destroy forests and displace woodland caribou
spill and poison the water supply and communities downstream
drain the Athabasca, the river that feeds Canada?s largest watershed
contribute to climate change

The book does provide hope, however, and ends with an exploration of possible solutions to the problem. And this updated edition Nikiforuk adds a new afterword, a new appendix on the hidden costs of steam extraction, and a response to the criticism he received for the first edition.

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Contents

Canada`s Great Reserve

It Ain`t Oil

The Vision of Herman Kahn

Highway to Hell

The Water Barons

The Ponds

The Fiction of Reclamation

Dragons and Pipelines

Carbon: A Wedding and a Funeral

Nukes for Oil

The Money

The First Law of Petropolitics

Eighth Wonder of the World

Tar Age Ahead

Twelve Steps to Energy Sanity

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