Tag Archives: major issues

Strip-Mining The Oil Sands

©2014  by Raymond Alexander Kukkee [caption id="attachment_2764" align="aligncenter" width="768"]A huge pit, strip-mining with gigantic minint truck andequipment Strip-mining Oil Sands  in  Alberta                      photo by Mark Ralston[/caption]  

"Strip-mining:  The removal of  economically less-valuable cover, vegetation or other natural layers from the  environment to expose and enable the profitable exploitation and extraction of large, highly profitable deposits of coal without digging a shaft."  

  Strip-mining.  Let's face it.  It's an ugly combination of words, because it is an UGLY process.    It begins with stripping, the systematic, complete, and violent removal of  protective layers, whether it be in the act of rape or  exploiting  nature. Strip-mining is the most destructive resource extraction process in the world. Strip-mining was ugly in the historical destruction of  Appalachia. Condemned as a symbol of greed and ugliness that remains visible in those areas, strip-mining has returned to North America with a vengeance under  the  euphemism "development"   of the Athabaska oil Sands.

No Excuses Allowed

Let's take the gloves off  and allow  no excuses.    It is somehow now deemed "acceptable"  to allow the uncontrolled denuding and strip-mining  of thousands of square kilometers of Canada's oil sands for profit, leaving barren, oil-soaked lands and poisoned water. The oil  is not for the beneficial use by Canadians.  Strip-mining the oil sands is not for Canadians by any stretch of the imagination, nor is the pipeline structure for the benefit of Canadians. It does not lower outrageous gasoline prices for Canadians. It sadly fails all  international expectations of management of the environment climate control and the reduction of the use of fossil fuels.  The potential for irreversible, horrendous environmental spills,  pipeline breaks  and catastrophes is so high it is almost sublime.  The oil sands already inflicts the largest carbon footprint in history at a time when Carbon dioxide levels in the environment are already the highest they have been in over  800 years.  Imagine that.  Scientific data falls upon stubborn, deaf ears, closed minds blinded by indifference, ego and huge profits for international petroleum giants derived at any cost. International oil companies including  Shell and  China's CNOOC, a communist  state-owned oil giant that was enabled by the outrageous approval of the sale of NEXXEN--(conveniently including a significant percentage of the total  oil sands resource )are laughing already.  They are now  "developing" the oil sands as they choose to do, under relaxed environmental laws courtesy of the Harper government.

'Development' of the Oil Sands

  Let's call it what it IS.  STRIP-MINING of Canada's oil sands. A dirty, ugly environmental disaster already in process, and clearly the most horrific environmental disaster willfully perpetrated on the globe today. Further expansion of  oil sands projects in Alberta will be further exacerbated and enabled by the highly-controversial construction of the potentially disastrous  Northern Gateway Pipeline through First Nations lands and  pristine British Columbia to a 'marine terminal' at Kitimat  --to load and ship crude oil by heavy tanker traffic  through ecologically-sensitive coastal and  inland waters.

Remember the  Exxon Valdez. How clever. The Exxon Valdez disaster which dumped many millions of gallons of crude oil on the west coast  was never  cleaned up. Why? It is impossible to clean up a disaster of that scale. Much crude oil sinks to the bottom and cannot be recovered. It remains there today, over 20 years later, contaminating pristine coastal waters. They played in the surf,   "mopped up " a few beaches for the media, and washed a few seabirds off with dish soap.  Isn't that encouraging?


The Harper Legacy and the Sell-Out of Canada

Why was the Northern Gateway pipeline approved?  To  hurry up  the export of that precious Canadian resource  to China and  Asia. To accelerate Canada into "world oil producer" status   Should Canadians swell with pride?   No. Why?

Let's grow up and face facts. It is a foregone conclusion the pipeline had to be approved to make China happy and can be "justified " because the CNOOC-Nexxen deal was already made in spite of the fact that the majority of thinking Canadians opposed that sale,  oppose  further expansion of the tar sands, and oppose  the potentially  disastrous Northern Gateway  pipeline  project itself. The sad fact is, the expansion of strip mining of the oil sands  and pipeline projects have been expressly approved  by Stephen Harper and his Conservative government  as a matter of legacy for Mr. Harper  and his coiffed ego. To save face for the sell-out of Canada. To make his rich friends happy.  Should Canadians collectively be outraged?  You can bet on it. Let's tell Stephen.   

Dear Prime Minister Harper:

Strip-mining Canada's oil sands was always an outrageously bad idea and an environmental disaster.   Approving the sale of Nexxen to CNOOC was your worst idea yet. Fact is, you sold out Canada.   When the resource is depleted, China and it's puppet petroleum giants will walk away laughing at you, Sir, and Canadians will be left with your legacy--millions of square kilometers of worthless, barren, oil-soaked land, poisoned, toxic water, mutant fish and wildlife,— and very sick people.

Your response, Sir, can  also not begin to address the  problems your obsession with fossil fuels is causing, the  issue of climate change and flooding which is already happening. Further to that, Mr. Prime Minister,  STRIP-MINING of the tar sands land mass is irresponsible and no less criminal than strip-mining of mountains for coal in the Appalachian mountains. --For profit, for export, for greedy foreign profiteers, —and certainly not for Canadians. It is a crime against humanity.

The thoughtless expansion and destruction of  unique oil sands habitat is systematically destroying a huge organic mat,  a natural sponge that WAS capable of soaking up and holding hundreds of trillions of gallons of water.  Try it yourself at 24 Sussex Drive. A simple kitchen sponge will hold a half liter of water and allow it to evaporate slowly. Do you not understand how much water WAS, but is no longer being controlled by the destroyed oil sands areas?

How much longer should Canadians be tolerating this foolishness, considering alternative clean energy is available?

Your legacy at this point  is a bad joke, --with all due respect, Mr. Prime Minister. What will you tell your grandchildren when millions of gallons of crude oil  end up in B.C rivers?  Which excuse will you use when the Douglas Channel is irreversibly coated with crude oil?   Will you throw up your hands, whining, and say  "WE made a mistake?" Perhaps you'll use  "I  did not understand what strip-mining was" as an excuse,  or  ' I  needed a legacy to feel important?"    Which will it be? Some "Harper legacy," Sir—again, with all due respect.   Mr. Prime Minister, please try again.  Canadians expect and deserve better. 

Do what is right for Canadians.  On July 1st on Canada Day,  you suggested you care for Canada and Canadians. Prove it.  ##


Is that Incoming I hear?

+ Photo credit:  Oil sands mine  by  Mark Ralston

Tags: #strip-mining,  #oil sands, # Stephen Harper,  #environment  #major issues, #HarperLegacy  #tar sands,

Posted in Business, Economic issues, Environment, Ethics, Major Issues, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Major issues: Unleashing the Dogs of War

© 2013 by Raymond Alexander Kukkee   [caption id="attachment_1962" align="alignleft" width="620"]Desert Oasis by Clarita (Morguefile( Desert Oasis             photo by Clarita (Morguefile)[/caption]

Unleashing the dogs of war is the final proof and admission of the failure of humanity to reason.

 Nothing More to be Said?  The dogs of war are about to be unleashed upon Syria.

In the art of modern warfare,  the  use of disabling and deadly chemical weaponry against other human beings has perhaps always been considered the pariah of murder weapons.  Weapons of mass destruction are unacceptable,--- but we quickly observe  it is deemed proper to  kill, disable, or neutralize the enemy in any other fashion possible including starvation,  hand-to-hand combat with sticks, stones, clubs, knives, arrows, spears, poison,  axes, swords,   flamethrowers, catapults tossing rotten carcases and disease into secure enclaves,  turning loose animals trained to kill,  shooting, cannons, machine guns,   bombing,  strafing, fighter aircraft and aerial combat, cluster bombs, nuclear bombs,  all 'helped along" with politics,  power-mongering,  greed, envy, territorial theft, manipulation for resources,  deception by treaty or and betrayal. As a distraction, combatants do seem to enjoy *killing for love, money,  politics, ideology, territory, oil,  revenge, honour, or simple hedonistic blood-letting of their own for self-satisfaction. *   " Kill'em all,  they're different and they won't give us all of their toys, won't let us rape their women or their country and don't live like we want them to and don't worship like we think they should, or do what we tell them to."  Unleashing the dogs of war is the final proof and admission of the failure of humanity to use logic and reason. It is  stated   "--But some cultures and religions people cannot be reasoned with, can they? They thumb our nose at us and. the reign is genocidal". Is that any excuse to declare war, expand the already-unacceptable human cost  and kill thousands more innocent people who want nothing better than to exist in peace? In observation, it must seem to be so.  The Middle East immediately comes to mind. Horrific warfare, civil war, and unrest. The Arab Spring uprisings, Lebanon, Iraq, Afghanistan, Egypt--and now Syria.  It must be the heat. Tribal and religious factions  no longer just point fingers, shout and call one another bad names, but also run around like  lemmings  possessed,   destroying themselves, their neighbourhoods and  their countries that already suffer abject poverty, exacerbating a sad coexistence and reducing deliberately, -or completely destroying the few remaining already- broken remnants  of civility and civilization itself. Growing Madness in the Sands? In the barren Middle East sand dunes,   lunatics  happily kill,  dismember, behead their enemies, explode car bombs and stuff everywhere, including public places, themselves, their women and children in suicidal missions that prove absolutely nothing except how futile, mindless, sick, and hopeless the current culture of the affected region is.  Is it  fanaticism, oil madness frustration, or religious madness? The heat?   Psychiatry 101 basic instructions in  insanity?  The ungodly will to self-destruct for  population control? Drugs and chemicals in their food?  Conspire that. On the surface it appears  total madness, a collective mental illness and sickness of the Middle East has spread like wildfire. Africa is following suit.  Intolerance. More madness growing in the sands of the Middle East.  We digress, being forced to wonder and shake our heads  at the useless, seemingly hopeless totality of human foolishness observed. Regardless, back on track,  in warfare,  anything goes except WMD's which include chemicals, nerve agents, and poison gas. How to kill everyone and anyone.  Almost. The use of chemical weapons by a government in power against it's own unarmed population in genocide  is deemed far worse;  the lowest of the low, and a heinous crime, Inexcusable, unacceptable to civilized human beings,  international response to genocide  may be slow and steadfast, but nations invariably rally and unleash the dogs of war in response. The problem is, if Iraq was any example, it is a bad idea.  Billions of dollars will be spent in futility, thousands more  lives will be lost, and generations of children will be harmed forever by protracting and magnifying the ugly war in Syria. It will not resolve the basic issues. The Syrian people do not need more warfare, they need relief,  an oasis in the desert. It is time for ALL nations to act responsibly in a cohesive, firm and resolute manner instead of arbitrarily firing cruise missiles,  creating more mayhem and destruction.   Issue international arrest warrants for all individuals responsible for using nerve gas, or any chemical killers and weapons of mass destruction  -and bring them to real justice. Do not "pretend" the west and cooperative nations cannot find those leaders,  individuals  and politicians responsible. We know better. Let the individuals responsible be punished suitably and locked up forever as an example to other tin-pot dictators, royalty, nasty bureaucrats, or 'so-called 'leaders'  who would murder their own citizens in the belief that innocent life is worthless --and that  they alone are beyond  international law. Genocide is unacceptable under any circumstance. "Regime change' is "denied"  but that is precisely what is required.  Remove the guilty from power quickly, install internationally supervised mandatory coalition governments  representative of ALL of the citizenry for a minimum of 12 months--and then hold democratic elections. That's what we believe should happen, but it seems,  the supporters of war are  preparing once again to profit by unleashing the dogs of war  to teach Bashar al Assad a "lesson".  Will it last for 3 days, 6 weeks, 6 months, or 10 years?  No matter how long,  it makes us sad.  There has to be a better way. If nothing else, let us provide an oasis of hope.   Is that Incoming I hear? +
Posted in Ethics, Humanity, Life, Major Issues | Tagged , , , , , | 8 Comments