About the SA Blog Network



An experimental blog coupling creativity and science
Creatology HomeAboutContact

Storify: tar sands protests

The views expressed are those of the author and are not necessarily those of Scientific American.

Email   PrintPrint

The reason for this post is out of solidarity for the protestors against the Keystone XL pipeline, and partly because I am surprised to still encounter people who don’t know about the Alberta tar sands. I met one only last night, and she was shocked that destruction on this scale had fallen under her radar.

I am also really interested to see how you like stories told in Storify. Like it or loathe it?

Christine Ottery About the Author: Christine Ottery is a freelance journalist with a lust for the arts and a love for science. Follow her @christineottery Follow on Twitter @creatologyblog.

The views expressed are those of the author and are not necessarily those of Scientific American.

Comments 6 Comments

Add Comment
  1. 1. Roadkilt 9:22 pm 08/31/2011

    Some good points, but missing the BIG point. The oil sands contain about 30% by volume long chain carbon molecules which can be extracted with a lot of work and reformed into synthetic fuels and consumer products. This is done because the US wants cheap, unrestricted gasoline. Complaining about the oil sands is as useful as locking up prostitutes to stop Johns from paying for sex. You are chasing the effect, not the cause. Until then, be thankful that the dirty business is in our face in a well regulated democracy like Canada, where at least the pollution is minimized where possible, wholesale extinction of aboriginals doesn’t exist( they are part owners and highly employable in many of the projects, we aren’t supporting corrupt or dangerous regimes like Venezuala, Russia, Saudi Arabia or Iran and the benefits of steel making, high technology and jobs rolls into the NAFTA machine helping Mexico, US and Canada. yeah, it’s not pretty, but the alternatives are FAR worse. Bring on solar etc, but until then try flying planes on coal and electricity.

    Link to this
  2. 2. dbiello 9:25 am 09/1/2011

    Nicely done! And saves me the trouble of doing a similar round-up ;)

    Link to this
  3. 3. Postman1 8:34 pm 09/1/2011

    The oil is already being mined and pumped to the U S, The new pipeline will make it cheaper and quicker arriving. Stopping the pipeline would have no effect at all on the mining operation. The Chinese are helping to finance a pipeline to the Pacific coast of Canada so that they can purchase any or all of the oil being produced and if we don’t buy it, they will. Thus, the only thing protests could produce is higher gasoline prices for the U S, and cheaper prices for China. Haven’t we already given them enough of our former prosperity?

    Link to this
  4. 4. huddleup 12:38 am 09/2/2011

    Thanks for this excellent posting on the tar sands, truly a remarkable example of mass insanity, as Naomi Klein points out. (And note that you mistakenly refer to her as Naomi Woolf 3 times.)

    Link to this
  5. 5. Wayne Williamson 2:02 pm 09/11/2011

    I’m truly surprised that this is not being used for road covering…why spend all the money to refine when you can just repave with it…just a thought, don’t know if it would work…

    Link to this
  6. 6. christineottery 4:42 am 11/24/2011

    @huddleup thanks for alerting me to my misspelling! Fixed.

    Link to this

Add a Comment
You must sign in or register as a member to submit a comment.

More from Scientific American

Scientific American Holiday Sale

Scientific American Mind Digital

Get 6 bi-monthly digital issues
+ 1yr of archive access for just $9.99

Hurry this offer ends soon! >


Email this Article