For those interested, a Montreal Gazette story today links to a free
download this week only of a book on the impact of the Athabasca Tar
Sands (More recently rebaptized the Alberta Oil Sands):
Publisher offers free download of oil-sands book
By MONIQUEB 03-16-2009 COMMENTS(0) GREEN LIFE
All this week Canadian publisher D & M Publishers Inc. is offering a
free download of the book Tar Sands by Alberta writer Andrew Nikoforiuk.
Here's part of a recent review from The Globe and Mail:
Canada has no cohesive energy policy. Nor does it have a cohesive
environmental policy. Put the two together, and you get the tar sands
of Alberta, in all their hideous glory.
Andrew Nikiforuk's Tar Sands: Dirty Oil and the Future of a Continent
lays bare the idiocy of this malignant neglect. The book is, in
essence, a revolting, blush-making case for Canada to develop
integrated energy and environmental regulation suitable for the post-
carbon age. And then swiftly enforce it.
The Alberta tar sands - which boosters like to reposition as the
Alberta oil sands because that makes them sound a little cleaner - are
Canada's dirty little secret. They are the world's largest energy
project, largest construction project and largest capital project, so
large that Prime Minister Stephen Harper has likened them to the
building of the Egyptian Pyramids or the Great Wall of China.
But their impact on the planet is on a scale that far outpaces those
other human-built wonders of the world. And what does it leave? The
monument to a thriving culture? No. Open-pit mines. Tailing ponds full
of weeping toxic sludge. Masses of local pollution. And enough
climate- and ocean-destroying carbon dioxide to make it a world-class
As Nikiforuk shows all too clearly, the massive and growing project
gulps fresh water, destroys valuable boreal forest, poisons air, water
and soil and uses up a substantial portion of the energy it produces.
To wit (using figures Nikiforuk says are conservative): To make one
barrel of bitumen, the muck that can eventually be processed into
synthetic crude oil, takes an average of three barrels of fresh water
and two tons of sand...
Click here for the rest of the review.
Click here to download the book.
-- Monique Beaudin
URL for the link to the Globe and Mail review:
URL for the link to the publisher's download home page:
Montreal QC Canada