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Tar Sands Is Worse Than You Can Imagine: Incredible Images You Have to See

AlterNet is teaming up with the Post Carbon Institute to bring you mind-blowing images and stories that will inspire you to take action.
 
 
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The Suncor Energy upgrading refinery, on the banks of the Athabasca River.
Photo Credit: Copyrighted image; photographer not disclosed.

 
 
 
 

Post Carbon Institute and Alternet have partnered to shed a powerful light on the true costs of our addiction to fossil fuels, starting with the Alberta tar sands

Every powerful photo is linked to three meaningful actions that you can take right now to fight back against tar sands mining. We need your help getting the word out; please take a look at the images, take a stand , and share far and wide with your friends, colleagues and neighbors.

The mining of the Alberta tar sands is the biggest industrial project on earth and quite possibly the world's most environmentally destructive. The visuals are hard to stomach, but the story is an important one to tell. 

 

As conventional oil and gas deplete, the energy industry must resort to unconventional resources that are more expensive, more technically challenging to access, and pose far greater risks to ecosystems and communities than ever before. The result is destruction on an unprecedented level.

The tar sands tale is told frame by frame in the image deck, guiding us from the clear-cutting of pristine Boreal forest and creation of vast open-pit mines all the way to the pipelines that transport diluted bitumen across the continent. 

The connection between the astounding environmental destruction taking place in Canada and the debate over approval of the Keystone XL pipeline here in the US is clear. As the recent rupture of the Pegasus Pipeline in Arkansas makes abundantly clear, the transport of diluted bitumen from Alberta via pipelines to oil refineries thousands of miles away poses unacceptable environmental risks. 

As important, the Keystone XL Pipeline is a key litmus test for the Obama Administration and the country as a whole. And the rest of the world is watching. 

Although the Canadian tar sands contribute a small percentage of total global oil production and the Keystone XL Pipeline is just one of many contested fossil fuel projects in the world (in fact, First Nations and thousands of other Canadians are fighting an equally dangerous tar sands pipeline, the Northern Gateway Pipeline), this decision by President Obama is a keystone of a different kind - representing the kind of energy future we want for ourselves and our loved ones. 

For that reason, it's not mere hyperbole to say that this is a life and death decision. 

We're reaching out to you to speak up against the Keystone XL Pipeline by sharing these images with your friends, family, and neighbors, and by clicking on one of the calls to action associated with each image.  

Stay tuned as PCI and Alternet unveil our next collaborate visual effort in the coming weeks. 

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Leslie Moyer is the Energy Reality Campaign Director for Post Carbon Institute. You can visit Post Carbon Institute on Facebook or Twitter.

 

 
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