Tar Sands In Your Home
Several NGO’s, including Greenpeace and Sierra Club, have a website about the Alberta tar sands that features a map of the tar sands that can be placed over your home town. It helps give a sense of just how large the tar sands are, billed by the website as the largest industrial project on the planet.
The map allows you to choose a location, such as Vancouver, BC, Canada. It then places red patches the size of the tar sands over your chosen location. Seeing the red patches over your home town really does give a sense of the enormity of the project.
More than its size, the environmental damage the tar sands cause makes them controversial. As the website writes, the harvesting of petroleum from the tar sands destroys the land, pollutes the water and is poisoning downstream communities. It is the largest contributor to greenhouse gas emission growth in Canada. The tar sands already produce over 30 million tonnes of CO2 emissions per year; by 2020 that number could grow to over 140 million tonnes.
While most of us use oil in some form, it would be good if the tar sands would clean up their act.