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Tar Sands Exposed + Garth Lenz: The True Cost of Oil

Dandelion Salad

Fort McMurray, Alberta - Operation Arctic Shadow

Image by kk+ via Flickr

MrEnergyCzar·Jan 18, 2013

Website: http://MrEnergyCzar.com

This video is about defining what the Tar Sands are. Tar Sands are also known as the oil sands because it sounds like it’s actually oil but it’s not, it’s Bitumen, underground mixed in with sand. Bitumen is a gooey tar substance that, through massive efforts and refining, can eventually be made into oil. We don’t call corn ethanol gasoline, it’s corn ethanol which can be used later on as if it’s gasoline. The Tar Sands are mostly up in Alberta Canada where the Boreal forest is.

First you strip away the forest, you probably don’t hear much about that. Then you mine the sand underneath it. They use gigantic machinery and dump trucks, the world’s biggest dump trucks are up there. They use natural gas, electricity and lots of fresh water to mine the Bitumen, separate if from the sand, process and begin the multiple stages needed to turn the gooey Bitumen into a substance that can be made into oil and eventually refined into normal oil products like gasoline and jet fuel.

There are huge tailing ponds up there filled with all sorts of toxic discharge. It is one of the largest industrial projects in the world. Tailing ponds are gigantic, you can also see them from space. The Energy Returned on Energy Invested for Tar Sands is pretty horrible. It’s about 3 to 1. For every barrel you put in you get about three barrels of energy out. It is positive net energy, barely. A little bit better than corn ethanol. Regular conventional oil is down to about 10 or 20 to 1. It used to be 50 or 100 to 1. We’re not going to run our society on 3 to 1 or even 5 to 1. That is what Tar Sands is about.




Garth Lenz: The true cost of oil

TEDxTalks·Jan 9, 2012

What does environmental devastation actually look like? At TEDxVictoria, photographer Garth Lenz shares shocking photos of the Alberta Tar Sands mining project — and the beautiful (and vital) ecosystems under threat.

For almost twenty years, Garth’s photography of threatened wilderness regions, devastation, and the impacts on indigenous peoples, has appeared in the world’s leading publications. His recent images from the boreal region of Canada have helped lead to significant victories and large new protected areas in the Northwest Territories, Quebec, and Ontario. Garth’s major touring exhibit on the Tar Sands premiered on Los Angeles in 2011 and recently appeared in New York. Garth is a Fellow of the International League Of Conservation Photographers.

Filmed at TEDxVictoria on November 19 2011


How the tar sands produce dirty coal

by Ian Angus

Ever heard of petcoke? It’s nasty climate-destroying stuff, left over from refining tar sands bitumen. It’s sold as coal, but it’s cheaper and dirtier, so it helps keep coal-fired plants running and destroying our atmosphere.

This is the Executive Summary of Petroleum coke: The coal hiding in the tar sands (pdf) published this week by Oil Change International:


via How the tar sands produce dirty coal


Greg Palast: Texas judge stops construction of Keystone XL pipeline

Michael Parenti, Savvina Chowdhury, Sarah Regan: State of the Struggle

Appealing To The Corporate State Is Futile by Chris Hedges

The Punk Patriot: Enbridge Tar Sands Pipeline or Keystone XL is Back from the Dead

Obama’s Pipeline Quagmire by Ralph Nader (updated)

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16 Responses

  1. […] Tar Sands Exposed + Garth Lenz: The True Cost of Oil […]

  2. […] Tar Sands Exposed + Garth Lenz: The True Cost of Oil […]

  3. […] Tar Sands Exposed + Garth Lenz: The True Cost of Oil […]

  4. […] Tar Sands Exposed + Garth Lenz: The True Cost of Oil […]

  5. […] Tar Sands Exposed + Garth Lenz: The True Cost of Oil […]

  6. I salute Garth Lenz.
    I knew it was bad, so I welcomed Polly Higgins’ excellent work against this, but I did not realise just how lethal these tar-sands are, until now. Garth’s presentation is a powerful antidote to ignorance.
    This beautiful photography is evidence of a purity impossible to refute or to deny; it tells the whole story. What a stunning condemnation of criminal lunacy, exposing with such clarity the most extreme example of reductionist instrumentalism, not just imaginable, but gone mad and running riot; the governing establishment’s perfect answer to the relentlessly contrived demands of mindless consumer determinism.
    We must all be under some grotesquely inspired spell. But….
    Idle No More!!.

  7. This stuff is as bad as dealing with “Child Custody” …
    “Deep down it hurts.” So all you can do is help, to fix it for the……… Kids Today!

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