Tar Sands

Tar Sands

Dirty Oil and the Future of A Continent

Book - 2010
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Tar Sands critically examines the frenzied development in the Canadian tar sands and the far-reaching implications for all of North America. Bitumen, the sticky stuff that ancients used to glue the Tower of Babel together, is the world's most expensive hydrocarbon. This difficult-to-find resource has made Canada the number-one supplier of oil to the United States, and every major oil company now owns a lease in the Alberta tar sands. The region has become a global Deadwood, complete with rapturous engineers, cut-throat cocaine dealers, Muslim extremists, and a huge population of homeless individuals. In this award-winning book, a Canadian bestseller, journalist Andrew Nikiforuk exposes the disastrous environmental, social, and political costs of the tar sands, arguing forcefully for change. This updated edition includes new chapters on the most energy-inefficient tar sands projects (the steam plants), as well as new material on the controversial carbon cemeteries and nuclear proposals to accelerate bitumen production.
Publisher: Vancouver : D&M Publishers : David Suzuki Foundation, c2010
Edition: Rev. and updated. --
ISBN: 9781553655558
Branch Call Number: 333.82320971 Nik 3558ad 1
Characteristics: 268 p. :,ill., maps


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WVMLStaffPicks Sep 19, 2014

As a topic that only now gains some popularity, the exploration of the Albertan oil sands should be of some concern to all of us. The author, a Calgarian award-winning journalist, gives us a lot of information about the economic, environmental and social dangers of this mega project. Because we are polluting the air, poisoning the water and destroying the boreal forest at an almost unimaginable rate, he calls for action and change.

debwalker Jan 04, 2011

Chosen as his Book of the Year by John Vaillant: "This dark and sticky Canadian story is about as unsavoury as a big blob of Alberta tar. Luckily for us, Andrew Nikiforuk makes it almost as hard to put down. All environmental implications (and damnations) aside, the history of Alberta’s tar sands is fascinating. Who knew that these “bituminous fountains” had been on the radar of commercial explorers since the 18th century? Or that Fort McMurray’s pivotal role in Canada’s future was envisioned more than a hundred years ago? And the vision: Tar is the new fur, and this award-winning book demonstrates how Canada is being colonized again.

"Nikiforuk has a nose for enviro-political disasters, but Tar Sands is no screed. Rooted in painstaking research, enlivened by frank quotes from the oilmen themselves, Nikiforuk makes no bones about the fact that Alberta has been blessed (or is it cursed?) with a Saudi Arabia’s-worth of bitumen, and that American industrialists, anticipating political upheaval and dwindling global supplies, have been eyeing “Canada’s Great Reserve” since the Second World War.

"But where Nikiforuk really shines is in his exposure of the devil in the details. This isn’t oil we’re dealing with, it’s tar-soaked sand, and it is not drilled but rendered by a process so toxic, so destructive and so energy- and water-intensive that it’s hard not to see it for what is: a colossal act of peak-oil desperation – the industrial equivalent of a nicotine addict rifling through a trash bin for cigarette butts."

Mar 17, 2009

A very informative book that opens your eyes to errors that have been made in the development of the Alberta tar sands.

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