Are The Oil Tar Sands Really Worth The Environmental Impact To Canada?

by Sari Boudreau
(St. Stephen, New Brunswick, Canada)

Canada may be doing many things to create environmental awareness, and to bring about many conservation programs, but while these are really responsible things to do, are they enough?

After all, Canada is still working diligently to extract the oil from the Alberta tar sands, which is creating an incredible environmental impact. When it comes to the environment and conservation, are Canadians speaking out of both sides of their mouths?

How Much Does Oil Extraction Affects The Canadian Environment?

It is thought that over 40% of all of the greenhouse gas emissions in Canada come from the oil extraction in Alberta. And, not only is it polluting the air, thousands of birds and fish have been killed as well due to the daily leakage of 11 million litres of contaminated water from the 50 square kilometres of toxic tailing ponds.

A great example of this is when in 2007, 500 ducks were killed after landing on one of the many ponds that is polluted by oil.

If things do not change, and the oil industry does not do something to better serve the environment, we face losing millions and millions of birds, fish and other wildlife that depend on the water in the area. We are seeing the bird population dropping each year, and we need to take action.

What can we do to keep this from being one of the most destructive projects on the planet? Can the problem be fixed?

We need to work together to solve the problems created by the Canadian oil industry, but, it may already be too late for some of the problems. We can never bring back the animals we have lost, but with a lot of hard work, we can help create conservation plans for both the government as well as the oil companies, and be diligent about making both do their part to protect our environment.


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