Monday, January 28, 2008

Tar Sands - a Black Hole of greenhouse gases,

not in the sense of "nothing escapes it" but in the sense of colour and pollution.
In size and scope nothing on earth matches the Alberta Tarsands for greenhouse gas potential. IT covers a vast area of countryside and with global warming alone would begin to emit more methane, swamp gas. Warm the tundra and it leaks gas.

But we are Hell bent on extracting bitumen and refining it into gasoline. The threat to Middle East supplies has caused oil prices to top $100 a barrel this month for the first time in history. That value now makes extraction of expensive deposits like tar sands and oil shales, as are found in Colorado, viable investments. The US is looking to Canada to replace its dependency on certain OPEC sources to ensure that Americans can still drive their SUVs to the shopping mall, but more importantly that they will still have jet fuel to maintain their world air supremacy - which single force enables the US to be the world's greatest power.

Whatever the motivation, the oilsands will be developed and the gas emissions during extraction, and in burning the subsequent refined product will absolutely dwarf any and all actions of Canadian citizens aimed at reducing our carbon emissions.

We are going to become one of the world's greatest polluters by virtue of being one of the world's largest energy producers - and our neighbour to the south isn't about to let us turn off the tap.

No comments: