Canada's Harper régime has invented the new crime of being a member of an "anti-Canadian petroleum movement," and equating such a stance with terrorism. Evidently believing it is in danger of losing the fight against pipeline projects intended to speed up Alberta tar sands production, its response is to place environmentalists under surveillance.
A secret report prepared by the Royal Canadian Mounted Police claims that public activism against the problems caused by oil and gas extraction is a growing and violent threat to Canada's national security. The report goes so far as to challenge the very idea that human activity is causing global warming or that global warming is even a problem.
The Harper government and Big Oil have been spouting some colourful myths about how vital the tar sands industry is for Canada. The jobs! The money! The environment!
Can't we just cut the crud and get down to the dirty truths? Why yes we can.
Let's debunk the five biggest myths about the tar sands.
Myth #1: The tar sands industry is great for Canada -- look at all those jobs it creates!
While 'Jobs, Jobs, Jobs' is one of the favourite phrases for tar sands proponents, it looks like Canada's green energy sector is producing more direct jobs than Alberta's oil patch.
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As Alberta's economic engine falters, now is a good time to rethink the province putting all its eggs in bitumen's basket.
When their crops failed, Alberta's farmers had the pluck to persevere. There's always next year. That resilience in the face of adversity served them well. But a next-year-country optimism is misplaced when applied to Alberta's unconventional oil.
Sure the world oil price will eventually bounce back and might lead to another oil boom. But should or can Alberta go down that undulating road again?