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'The world's dirtiest oil': Satellite photos reveal the relentless expansion of Canada's controv

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posted on Jan, 1 2012 @ 10:06 PM
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These satellite photos show the mine that launched Canada's controversial tar sands industry.

The mine at Fort McMurray, on the banks of the Athabasca River, in cold, remote Alberta, had already been operating for 17 years at the time a U.S. satellite pictured it.

Today the Canadian tar sands are recognised as one of the world's largest oil reservoirs.



July 23, 1984: The Fort McMurray tar sands mine in Alberta had been operating for 17 years by the time this photo was taken from space by the U.S. Landsat satellite


The International Energy Agency (IEA) estimates the recoverable oil sands reserves at more than 170million barrels - more than any other nation except Saudi Arabia and Venezuela.

But extracting the resource is both economically and environmentally costly.

This sequence of satellite photos shows how the mine has grown, as the surging oil prices of the past decade made extracting oil from here increasingly attractive.

Even in the first photo, a huge waste storage pond of toxic mine tailings was already visible, but by 2001 operations at the mine had grown massively.



July 24, 1990: Extracting the tar sands requires first clear cutting the forest above


September 24, 199: As much as 100ft (30m) of soil and peat must then be removed


August 12, 1997: Beneath that, a mixture of thick viscous bitumen and sand can then be found and extracted


July 15, 1999: Separating the bitumen from the sand requires an energy-intensive steam process


August 7, 2001: By this date operations at the For McMurray site had expanded massively


September 30, 2003: Growth of the mine accelerates as oil prices surge after 9/11


October 5, 2005: Despite agreements on world fossil fuel consumption, oil demand is still set to skyrocket


July 30, 2007: Alberta's tar sands cover an area about the size of New York State


September 14, 2009: Studies say the mines regularly leak toxins including arsenic, mercury and lead


October 3, 2011: Canada is now the single largest importer of oil to the U.S.


Apocalyptic: This aerial view shows the terrain around the tar sands mines. Canada is now the largest single supplier of oil to the U.S., responsible for about 25 per cent of all imports

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As an Albertan, I always talk to people about the oil sands, as I think we should be way past doing this for energy. We rape the land and leave it barren with no nutrients left in the soil for future growth when the oil has been removed.

I wanted to share this with all of you so that you can actually see how big this operation is, because sometimes hearing something doesn't trigger the same thing as seeing it.

It may provide jobs, yes, but if we were to invest and subsidize the green energy revolution like we do to the oil industry then there would be just as many, if not more jobs created, while caring about the environment.

This disgusts me, and I hope after seeing these pictures, it disgusts you too, because if we keep on this reliance of oil, this place will continue to just keep growing in size.

Any thoughts?

Pred...
edit on 1-1-2012 by predator0187 because: Cleaned it up a bit...





posted on Jan, 1 2012 @ 10:12 PM
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reply to post by predator0187
 


It's funny. As a young engineer, my grandfather was one of the men first testing the oil in the tar sands, and trying to come up with a viable way to extract it. I'm trying to think of how long ago that might have been. Maybe in the late 20's? I can't imagine, at that point in time, that they would have had any idea of what their explorations were going to lead to. From your pictures, it has become an extraordinarily ugly place.



posted on Jan, 1 2012 @ 10:16 PM
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As long as we don't go nuclear



posted on Jan, 1 2012 @ 10:18 PM
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reply to post by Jebbaroo
 


Any time we rape the earth of it's natural resources,it's ugly.
And there is a whole bunch of ugly going around.
Ever heard of mountaintop mining?
The Gulf of Mexico?
Fracking?



posted on Jan, 1 2012 @ 10:19 PM
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Living in Australia a rich deposit of many important non-renewable resources I have seen too many examples of the destruction we are causing, it is distressing to say the least.

What course of action is deemed appropriate though, and can a true census of the people be reflected truthfully in our current forms of governance?

I think there are many issues of importance that need dealing with rapidly however, I also believe that due to dependency or rather, due to one system being reliant upon another it is perhaps more efficient to find the umbrella system and corrupt/destroy it instead and watch the rest fall like dominoes.



posted on Jan, 1 2012 @ 10:28 PM
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As a fellow Albertan I would like to say that I share your viewpoints and watching the destruction unfold over the years always breaks my heart. I do not believe that the tar sands should be shut down as they are valuable asset to Canada as well as they create/sustain many jobs. But I do believe that expansion should come to a standstill for the time being and they should begin to replant/regrow the areas which have been mined clean instead of leaving a mass amount of waste behind.

What really worries me is with the excess of toxic chemicals and the mining locations being so close the the Athabasca river. All toxins are being sent throughout the province via this river and it is severely damaging to the ecosystem. It is clear that the dirty corporations have gotten their hands washed cleaned by the corrupted governments and are no longer held responsible for the disasters they leave in their wake. It is clear that foreign investors care only for profit and not for the land it rapes. (not that that surprises me.)



posted on Jan, 1 2012 @ 10:31 PM
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Mr. Davis my drafting instructor in High School gave us his million dollar idea.

He suggested lots of energy was wasted as heat by braking in an automobile. He suggested we should find a way to recover that energy.

How many years later? 30 years later we have regenerative braking in hybrid electric cars that cost 3 times what a normal car costs.

If you think it all the way through, we know eventually we will run out of fossil fuel. Why not switch now before we wreck the land?

Until there is a cost advantage, nothing changes.

If we get to $5 per gallon diesel they should start making the stuff from rape seeds and algae.

I have a friend who has modified her car to run on french fry waste oil. I have a small, 60W solar panel for radio hobby and emergencies.

The big wheels turn slow.



posted on Jan, 1 2012 @ 10:33 PM
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I know a good friend of mine went to work at Fort McMurray for a while, 05 till 07.
He told me how everything up there was built in a rush, cheaply made and with absolutely no concern for the environment was/is made despite what Shell is showing in their commercial ads.
I simply asked him if we they were building a desert?
I knew the answer, but never the less he thought about it and said yes.



posted on Jan, 1 2012 @ 10:34 PM
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reply to post by usernamehere
 

Maybe,one day in the future,we could make it happen.
The technology is there,it just needs a little more research.


The team's search for the new material, described in the journal ACS Nano,
centered on nano-sized particles of titanium dioxide, which were coated with either cadmium sulfide or cadmium selenide. The particles were then suspended in a water-alcohol mixture to create a paste. When the paste was brushed onto a transparent conducting material and exposed to light, it created electricity. "The best light-to-energy conversion efficiency we've reached so far is 1 percent, which is well behind the usual 10 to 15 percent efficiency of commercial silicon solar cells," explains Kamat.
"But this paint can be made cheaply and in large quantities. If we can improve the efficiency somewhat, we may be able to make a real difference in meeting energy needs in the future." "That's why we've christened the new paint, Sun-Believable," he adds.


www.physorg.com...



posted on Jan, 1 2012 @ 10:36 PM
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reply to post by eagleeye2
 


Think of the oil sands the largest clean up of toxic soil on the planet!



posted on Jan, 1 2012 @ 10:52 PM
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"Life's blood of the economy"

Oil is the life blood of the economy on a multitude of levels, and especially the US economy.

Despite wishing for green alternatives and renewable resources, it is what it is, and without more of it closer to home we are doomed... But hey, there is always hope some new breakthrough will come along and provide a miracle energy source that can do what oil can...


The reality... Oil consumption in barrels per day (estimates 2010)



1. United States: 19,150,000

2. European Union: 13,730,000

3. China: 9,189,000

4. Japan: 4,452,000

5. India: 3,182,000

6. Russia: 2,937,000

7. Brazil: 2,654,000

8. Saudi Arabia: 2,643,000

9. Germany: 2,495,000

10. Korea, South: 2,251,000


Source CIA

And that is just the top 10... PER DAY!

Disrupt the supplies to the top, and/or raise prices and observe the economic impact.

We are totally dependent on oil... So what are the REAL and viable alternatives here?




posted on Jan, 1 2012 @ 10:56 PM
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Originally posted by kdog1982
reply to post by usernamehere
 

Maybe,one day in the future,we could make it happen.
The technology is there,it just needs a little more research.


The team's search for the new material, described in the journal ACS Nano,
centered on nano-sized particles of titanium dioxide, which were coated with either cadmium sulfide or cadmium selenide. The particles were then suspended in a water-alcohol mixture to create a paste. When the paste was brushed onto a transparent conducting material and exposed to light, it created electricity. "The best light-to-energy conversion efficiency we've reached so far is 1 percent, which is well behind the usual 10 to 15 percent efficiency of commercial silicon solar cells," explains Kamat.
"But this paint can be made cheaply and in large quantities. If we can improve the efficiency somewhat, we may be able to make a real difference in meeting energy needs in the future." "That's why we've christened the new paint, Sun-Believable," he adds.


www.physorg.com...


I don't believe that was really directed at me but I will comment regardless: I believe it is our perception and imposed thirst for energy which needs to be examined and developed, our concepts are infantile to say the least. The leap of faith so to speak is too much for most I believe but if it were a numbers game and one were to count the amount of species which develop and those which exist I think you would find we are outnumbered severely. And if we are too dumb to take notice or too full of ego to attempt to comprehend that in which we exist, well it's a long trip.



posted on Jan, 1 2012 @ 11:00 PM
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reply to post by kdog1982
 


Do you sincerely believe lack of research is the reason we are still using petrol?
How many time an invention is bought by a car company and dropped into the abyss.
I got two in mind. Honda was the culprit.
Theres absolutely nothing rational in our economic system, heck oil sand is the worst of them all. It takes 1 barrel to produce 2 and all those barrels need to be shipped in the US, not by wind. I mean we are in 2012 now and it feels like the 70's with a shiny paint. We can do better than that.



posted on Jan, 1 2012 @ 11:22 PM
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reply to post by predator0187
 


I wanted to share this with all of you so that you can actually see how big this operation is, because sometimes hearing something doesn't trigger the same thing as seeing it.

Thank you so much for bringing the slide show. Nothing like a bunch of time lapse to expose technologies claims to "energy and prosperity for all". The real price to pay is further down the line. All that carbon locked up in the earth re released to the atmosphere and all the chemical mess left behind to follow that river to the sea and aquifers. The foot print of this mine is small compared to the emissions to the atmosphere that will result. Good work Predator.



posted on Jan, 1 2012 @ 11:43 PM
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reply to post by predator0187
 

It is an older map (2006) and only reflects the most producing countries at that time. No marine reserves or production is reflected. The reflections are interesting nonetheless. Canada figures prominently (oil sands) as does Libya, Iraq, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, United Arab Emirates,.. oh, and IRAN. 6 reasons why the US occupies the Gulf Region. The war is over... bah. It is going to be going for some time. Canada doesn't need to go to war. Neither does Russia. They can hold their own.

Look at Asia. Blank. Where does China fit in? They recently sided with the Pakis in light of America's failing relations. They are also "gearing up" for...


Oil Reserves



posted on Jan, 1 2012 @ 11:59 PM
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Horrible, we're a cancer, pure and simple. Instead of embracing the alternatives to fossil fuels, we'd rather scar the landscape with severely invasive methods of extraction. Unless an inherently huge operation is taken up to reclaim that land, it will never happen because the soil has, basically, been made inert, base. Not to mention the intrinsic erosion issues that we're going to be dealing with due to the disruption of the root beds.
But nothing to the scale that it would require will happen, until it's in peoples back yards [like it isn't already], and then it would be too late.



posted on Jan, 2 2012 @ 12:07 AM
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reply to post by Fractured.Facade
 


hint:
1)anhydrous ammonia
2) Pogue carburetor


edit on 2-1-2012 by ludwigvonmises003 because: (no reason given)



posted on Jan, 2 2012 @ 11:26 AM
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Hemp plant = Biofuel
Hemp = 10 tonnes per acre, every 4 months
6% of the US planted with hemp would solve the energy crisis. Period.

Canada has way more land, and this IS A VIABLE option.
The only reason its not being used, is because the hemp industry doesn't get enormous tax breaks, hasn't been around as long, needs more research, and they lack funding, and most people dont know anything about hemp. Thus, they do not care.

Oil oil oil.
Even though there is a valid replacement before our very eyes.
edit on 2/1/12 by AzureSky because: (no reason given)



posted on Jan, 2 2012 @ 11:31 AM
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Yup, not surprising at all.

Gotta love those oilsands


I've heard that is the world's number one producer of carbon emissions.



posted on Jan, 2 2012 @ 11:54 AM
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Those pictures show the open wound.

A man I met named Tom Weis has been out talking to and hearing from people along this proposed path. Mighty informative.

The way he travels is rather headline grabbing as well.




Man opposed to pipeline rides across country





Tom Weis is driving a rocket trike from Canada to Houston, Texas.

His goal: rally opposition to the Keystone XL pipeline route.

“I’m riding to lend my support to all the landowners that live along that proposed route,” Weis said. “We’re fighting to keep that pipeline off their land.”

Weis is a renewable energy advocate for Climate Crisis Solutions out of Boulder, Colo. He started his journey about 40 days ago and has traveled approximately 1,000 miles. He hopes to be in Texas before Christmas.

His vehicle is an enclosed pedal bike with an electric assist motor, which helps with some of the steeper hills.

Weis said this is the second time he’s taken such a journey. Last year, he rode from Colorado to the White House, calling for a green energy moon shot for America, meaning a 100 percent renewable energy grid by 2020.

“I think it’s time for Obama to have his Kennedy moment,” Weis said. “I mean get up and be a great leader.”

Weis said he found tremendous support from everybody he talked to during his first ride last year.

“When I finished that ride, that’s when I learned about this Keystone XL Tar Sands pipeline,” Weis said. “And I couldn’t believe they wanted to go through the Great Plains and over the Ogallala Aquifer with toxic tar sands? That’s insane. We can’t let that happen.”


Source


Peace

edit on 2-1-2012 by DancedWithWolves because: (no reason given)




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