There are people who insist on calling the monstrous mega-project in northern Alberta the “oilsands”. I insist on the historically used “tarsands” since I try to reject all rebranding efforts (especially for projects that are so detrimental to life). Yes, it’s technically, chemically incorrect to call it tar sands. Even so, the reason it has a new name that sounds more oil-like is because companies associated with CAPP have paid for the name. If environmental orgs were really the ones with unlimited money to rebrand the tarsands, they’d instead be referred to as the tardsands, deathsands, or “Quick, Grab-Your-Money-Sands”.

And while another federal party leader faces the monotonously simple minded echo machine supported by our country’s right-wing media bias, Rome continues to warm/burn. There’s no questioning that we’re getting better all the time at open-pit/strip mining bituminous sands, heating them, and shoving the [engine] life bringing goo to refineries and eventually market. What there is a severe lack of, in our Petrodollar state, is a questioning if we should be making the tarsands the primary economic engine of our nation. I have a few other suggestions, which would employ plenty of people (probably as many as big oil), and doesn’t leave us with a huge carbon hole to climb out of.

“pulled up from Lexis Nexis from Oil & Gas Journal”
May 8, 1978
Canada urged to boost exports to U.S.

LENGTH: 1260 words
Canadian Petroleum Association, Gulf say higher short-term oil and gas exports would help spark domestic reserves. Shell warns that governments must push tar-sands, heavy-oil projects to meet goals.
CPA recommendation. The CPA told the National Energy Board’s 1978 oil supply/demand inquiry that energy self-reliance can be achieved by maintaining adequate financial returns to producers by high levels of conventional exploration activity, accelerated tar-sands and heavy-oil development, and substantial cuts in the rate of demand.

People from 1978 working on oil and gas research were touting the necessity of “substantial cuts in the rate of demand”. How’d that intensity target scheme work out, anyway?

What would make efficiency more attractive to consumers? Feed-In Tariffs and seeing their neighbours paying a local company for renewable power, instead of a high monthly SaskPower bill. It’s hard to argue with a lower bottom line, and less deadly air pollution for everyone.


24 responses to “Tar-sands

  1. I wish you would go immediately to Vancouver Island, Sask.. and exchange places with Alexandra Morton.. She could drop by Fort Chipewayn to take water and tissue samples .. (yes.. the downstream fish tissue).. enroute to your place .. while you hang with her exemplar Pacific posse and the First Nations in the temperate rain forest… and press the case for west coast sentience and oil tanker insanity.. Maybe a week or two later all would be well.. or at least real and on the mend in both jurisdictions .. Neither locale nor Ottawa would have any idea what hit them … but the air would be far more clear and fresh.. the waters, wind, prairie and salmon seem safer from dangers and abject fools and less than 3rd rate ‘eConomists’ that never got hired.. and enviro and fishy tar ministers that are getting more and more laughable and bigoted and questionable by the day.

    I really think Canadians better get into each other’s shoes .. exemplars have to start sharing concerns, ideals and ideas. That aside.. all Canadians better start hanging out, at the very least, in an awareness sort of way, in the boreal, the maritimes, downtown Winnipeg, Montreal, Saskatoon, Kitimaat, Fort Chip….. and OTTAWA …. We’re big .. we’re really really big … we’re really really far bigger and way better than a limp, rude n loud evangelical and related oddfellows government that seems to feel we represent them and answer to them as well. I swear its supposed to be the other way around… .. and does anyone remember that old school term .. referendum ? I could swear it holds far more weight & validity than ‘in camera cabinet decisions’ ..

    Apologies re my angry rant .. within your space.. (I am Canadian = Idealist)
    I thought elections were to determine who we trusted to run our country
    not a corporate petro power ‘play’ dirty frackin kidney robo/live punch
    to our elders, our First Nations.. our electorate …
    But then.. as a Canadian = Realist that can actually skate and take a slash
    I can understand why the referees might put away their whistle
    and see who comes out on top .. natural consequences y’know..
    My money is and always will be.. on Canada – Canadians
    never, not ever.. on oily, smug and flawed political opportunists manipulators

  2. Ahhhhh the ethical oil sands… a true Canadian success story! Seeing how the price of a barrel of oil was about $23 in 1978 I guess now that it’s $88, down from the $100 mark, it makes your quote “energy self-reliance can be achieved by maintaining adequate financial returns to producers” somewhat prophetic. And the rest “substantial cuts in the rate of demand.” pap!

    Makes me wonder how big the American ethical oil sands are considering they’re hemorrhaging more manufacturing jobs than Canada!!!!

    As for feed in tariffs you must be living in fantasy land still thinking along those lines. Considering Spain has halted any new FiT projects, Britain has slashed solar and now wants to drop wind ‘subsidies’… for the 3rd time. Could it be because they’re teetering on bankruptcy? No more blood from the stone? No wealth left to transfer?

    Oh, and by the way, you don’t get something for nothing according to the physical laws of work and energy. Your energy costs are paid either out of pocket, through increased taxation for susidies (out of pocket), or by mortgaging your kids future (national debt). So, when you say “paying a local company for renewable power, instead of a high monthly SaskPower bill. It’s hard to argue with a lower bottom line…” you totally miss the point. Renewables cost 4 to 20 times the market price of fossil fuel energy, thus, only liberal arts economics would make a price THAT much higher seem lower!

    • Yes, yes, you’ve already established yourself as an enemy of critical thinking and the “liberal arts”.

      It’s really appalling that someone like yourself, who obviously considers your opinion to be far superior to facts even, tries to lecture me on “mortgaging your kids future” by defending a project whose aim is to get rich quick and die trying before someone calls for the party to be cleaned up on Monday.

      Your affection for the scar-sands is really unwelcome, and totally misplaced. Now, don’t you have a Japanese whaling vessel to defend, or a nuclear power plant to promote somewhere? The Earth isn’t going to destroy itself on its own you know.

  3. Get rich quick?????? My cousin had a job lined up at the ethical oil sands in 1980. There are over 200 years worth of recoverable oil at current technology levels. That sounds a lot like sustainable industry to me!!! The fact that ordinary people can get rich at the same time is an added bonus.

    You don’t seem to mind making your kids pay the bill for your current desires, in fact you want them to be MORE in debt just so you don’t have to pay for your services now. But, then again, as a liberal arts economist and mathematician I wouldn’t expect you to understand that…. even as the Euro tanks right now.

    Hey! I just got a great idea! Why don’t you phone up SaskPower and tell them you want to pay for only renewable energy! 100%! According to your fantasy they will probably pay YOU to take it, it’s so cheap (in only your mind). Failure of European FiT programs not withstanding.

    Oh and by the way, how much MORE coal is Germany now using to keep the lights on since they shut down their nukes for fear of German tsunamis???? Oh yeah!!! They buy their electricity from nuclear sources in France and the Czech Republic!!!!! Brilliant!!!! Ah well, exporting money to their neighbours makes much more Euro sense than keeping the money in Germany.

    Clearly you must be reliant on a government job.

    • 200 years is sustainable? What will the people from ~2213 think of your comment (or more realistically after the peak of production, and costs start to soar)? That of course assumes your ridiculous fantasy world also survives the effects of climate change.

      I have paid more on my SaskPower bill for renewable energy. I’ve even phoned them up and asked for mostly renewable energy, thanks for suggesting it, but you’re behind the curve. And yes, when I do buy solar panels, one day they will be buying electricity from me, and I’ll be paying them (or their equivalent) to service and distribute it.

      I have a job in education, something you also despise. What are you reliant on, since you asked I share?

      • Why you little crony corporate capitalist dog you! “one day they will be buying electricity from me”. So you have no qualm about impoverishing your OWN neighbours just so you can make it into the leagues of the 1%!!! Pathetic really. Don’t be such a pussy and just cut Saskpower a check, better yet contribute to the fund that helps your poorer neighbours pay for their fuel poverty, for your own personal monetary gain.

        It’s rare I meet such a hypocrite so totally suckling the teat of opportunism… “I try to reject all rebranding efforts (especially for projects that are so detrimental to life). Yes, it’s technically, chemically incorrect to call it tar sands.” yet you have no problem talking from the other side of your mouth calling globull warming “climate change”!! Brilliant hackmanship-1 integrity-0!!! And by the way, technically incorrect is also incorrect in reality. It’s just how folk ignorant of the facts excuse their asinine beliefs without having to admit their stupidity. Thanks for fessing up!! ;) !!

        Are you a luddite? Think of all the jobs from 200 years ago that are all but non existant now! Medical leecher, horse poo street sweeper, abacus designer, sheppard… the list is endless. Are you so vacant that you are in disbelief of modernization? Other than your love of windmills is there anything else from the preindustrial revolution you pine for?

        In short, is there any way in which you don’t expect the general public to pay for your lifestyle?

        Secondly do you have anything to dispute the facts I’ve listed, other than your self-indulgent opinion?

      • I noticed you declined to share what you’re reliant on, while belittling my profession and entrepreneurial objectives. Your mis-characterization of my contribution to neighbours is also laughable.

        “Climate change” is a literal adaptation of Global Warming (and even Global Cooling, which trolls such as yourself love to trot out when you try to claim that scientists can’t make accurate predictions). “Oil sands” is not a literal adaptation of Tar sands, because there’s still nothing close to conventional oil in the raw bitumen, which requires a lot of heating and refining before it’s oil.

        People use expressions that are technically incorrect all of the time, and the only reason tar sands got a rebrand was because oil companies didn’t want it to be known that way. Now they are spending millions on associating the word “ethical” with their unethical byproducts. And like a rube, you’ve sucked down their koolaid.

        You ask an IT professional if he’s a Luddite? I guess you work in comedy.

        “Other than your love of windmills is there anything else from the preindustrial revolution you pine for?”

        Yeah, water and fish free of heavy metal contamination would be a big thing.

        “In short, is there any way in which you don’t expect the general public to pay for your lifestyle?”
        Given your attitude, I’m 99% certain that the public pays less for my lifestyle in a given year than they do for you, and I make efforts to lessen my impact every year too. I can tell you don’t make the same effort.

      • Both yourself and Thwap have both predeclared I’m a paid hack for the Conservative Party of Canada. What more do you need for self proof of a self serving predisposition than that? As you’ve both averred no one could hold such opinions without being paid! Basically admitting you’re being paid to write these posts yourself. Sad, but still a byproduct of leftist logic.

        Another ‘leftist twist’ is this whopper!!!… “…entrepreneurial objectives. Your mis-characterization of my contribution to neighbours…” taking money from their pockets is anything BUT “contribution to neighbours”. Taking is not, repeat not, a “contribution”.

        Globull warming-climate change-climate weirding-extreme weather-sustainability-yada yada yada… nooooooo “rebranding” there. Hack hack… I have a cough.

        You may be in IT but you’re still a luddite. They’re not mutually exclusive. Oh and ‘technically’ wrong is still wrong. Fly on an aircraft that the designer ‘technically’ got wrong.

        You want clean water? Go to your sink and turn on a tap. The miracle of cheap fossil fuel brings it right to your home. Yeah, you’re welcome.

        As for your ‘green’ lifestyle, I’ve noticed all the bars and events you’ve partaken of lately. Am I to assume that you take NO responsibility for the energy needs to power, supply and maintain those events? Are you, or do you wish to be, an Al Gore world (multiple times over) traveller preaching moderation????? More hypocrisy! How much was forked over in tax breaks or grants for the Wonderful World of Food exibits you bragged of attending?

        Lastly, I don’t know where I’ve “belittl(ed) your profession, but, now that you bring it up, I do feel people in the educational industry shouldn’t be so uneducated.

        PS I see Brad Wall wants to turn your province into Saskatchewisconsin! Scott Walker type progressive reforms would just gut the unionistas wouldn’t they!!! ”
        Walker cut a $3.6 billion deficit without raising taxes or curtailing state services, and he is expected to create a $150 million budget surplus by the end of the year.” dailycaller.com/2012/06/05/ignore-the-spin-wisconsin-was-a-disaster-for-democrats-and-president-obama/#ixzz1x4jdmHdV And look at how many folk are jumping ship from the unions!!!!!

  4. Oooopsie!!!! Seems more oil and gas discoveries are about to be developed!!!

    “It’s called The Bazhenov. It’s in Western Siberia, in Russia. And while the Bakken is big, the Bazhenov — according to a report last week by Sanford Bernstein’s lead international oil analyst Oswald Clint — “covers 2.3 million square kilometers or 570 million acres, which is the size of Texas and the Gulf of Mexico combined.” This is 80 times bigger than the Bakken.

    This formation has 126 trillion barrels of oil equivalent biomass If the Bazhenov is similar to Bakken, then a year 2000 estimate of 140 to 210 billion barrels of recoverable oil could be 15 to 100 times too low. The increase would be because of the improved horizontal drilling technology enabling a higher recover rate.” nextbigfuture.com/2012/06/bazhenov-neocomian-oil-formation-covers.html

    I’m sure Russia won’t develop their resources… for the sake of the planet an’ all!!! Yeah right.

    Looks like the religious fanatic Reverend Malthus and his disciples are continuing their error streak… going on 200 years soon!!!

    • [ADMIN note: comment removed. You’ve been warned before, you get one comment per post unless replied to. This blog isn’t for your verbal diarrhea.]

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