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Brandon Sun - PRINT EDITION

I've seen the oilsands and the damage done

When songwriter and musician Neil Young blasted the Harper government for allowing oilsands development, he was ridiculed and praised for his outspokenness. (The Canadian Press, Brandon Sun, Jan. 12)

Nevertheless, he has stirred a flame of reverence for what is happening and taking place in the Alberta Athabaska Oil Operation, reminding us that we will pay the ultimate consequence for this method of degradation for oil exploitation.

A recent study suggests the environmental health risks of oilsands operations in the region have been underestimated.

As of January 2013, 92,000 square kilometres, representing 66 per cent of the land area involved, had been leased for oilsands operations, and 71,500 hectares of boreal forest have been disturbed by mining operations.

In a human situation, this devastation against nature would be referred to as an act of genocide. Some may refer to the oilsands as a crude and ignorant operation.

I would simply call it an immoral cancer, an unethical system developed and ratified by human beings.

The government says we need those jobs and the economy that it brings to us. Conservation and environmental concerns will not be allowed to impede or get in the way of any ambitious projects, we are told. Those restrictions will subvert dedicated organizations and departments that the public relies on for water and environment protection.

Water is the most important resource that all living things need to survive and exist on this earth, but at the oilsands it is treated with contempt.

It is poisoned, contaminated and ravaged by the industries in their relentless search and processing the black gold, and all with the approval of our government.

Little caring and not registering, once this precious life sustaining liquid is polluted and undrinkable, we will be exterminating ourselves to extinction. For whatever we do to the web strands of life, we ultimately do to ourselves.

Will we, as a society, ever learn?

Perhaps, but unfortunately, only after it is too late.

According to executives of the biggest energy companies, some of us are in the land of make-believe and are being misled by sensational news and unfounded allegations.

I do not agree.

When I see photographs and read that 17,600 hectares of tailing ponds presently exist, with a toxic blend of hydrocarbons, silt, salts and heavy minerals and reported as a lingering headache for the industry, I get troubled and concerned, as we all should. I do not believe these are make-believe and unfounded news clips.

In fact, talks are presently underway about conditions under which water from these ponds could be released into the environment.

One way or another, humans are quite willing to allow themselves to be terminated in the process of promoting economic benefits to the oil masters.

That is suicidal, not progress!

John Fefchak

Virden

Republished from the Brandon Sun print edition February 11, 2014

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It's for the Nice Pensions! (Studies...who needs them)

With that kind of logic, it's no wonder that our water sources, the air we breathe and the environment are in trouble and in the sad state that humans have perpetrated in search for the "black gold"

John Fefchak 12 FEB. 2014

Let's assume Jack is retired and has a pretty nice pension. Where does the wealth come from to generate Jack's pension? From Canadian tourism? services? manufacturing? the public sector? No, those are sectors where Canada does not really shine.
How about natural resources? Now we are on the right track. And what is the biggest cash cow in natural resources? Why the oil sands? People in glass houses should not throw stones.

As for those "studies" you have seen, John, you are a fairly wise man and know there is a study that proves everything and its opposite. Especially on the internet.

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When songwriter and musician Neil Young blasted the Harper government for allowing oilsands development, he was ridiculed and praised for his outspokenness. (The Canadian Press, Brandon Sun, Jan. 12)

Nevertheless, he has stirred a flame of reverence for what is happening and taking place in the Alberta Athabaska Oil Operation, reminding us that we will pay the ultimate consequence for this method of degradation for oil exploitation.

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When songwriter and musician Neil Young blasted the Harper government for allowing oilsands development, he was ridiculed and praised for his outspokenness. (The Canadian Press, Brandon Sun, Jan. 12)

Nevertheless, he has stirred a flame of reverence for what is happening and taking place in the Alberta Athabaska Oil Operation, reminding us that we will pay the ultimate consequence for this method of degradation for oil exploitation.

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