False hope…False promises: another indigenous community facing extinction.

Brazil’s president Rousseff plans to build 60 dams in the Amazon. By focusing purely on economic growth President Rousseff is ignoring human rights and environmental consequences. The construction of the Belo Monte hydroelectric dam will cause land degradation as well as social implications. Brazil’s indigenous population of 500,000 is becoming invisible and facing extinction due to the countries development projects.

Kaiapo Indians protesting outside the National Congress, Brasilia

Indigenous leader Juma Xipara claimed ‘our ancestors fought so we could be here now’, but the land is slowly disappearing. Other tribesmen have reiterated that if communities are displaced it would result in war and blood. Several tribes have liaised with mainstream Brazilian society, but loss of land, cultures and traditions, have meant groups will fight for their rights (Fearnside 2006). The Kaiapo´ tribe protested outside Brasilia National Congress in 2011, presenting them with a petition with over 600,000 names against the dam construction (BBC 2011). The construction of the dam would cause an area the size of Chicago to be flooded; this criminal act does not consider the people, ecosystems or Amazon Rainforest.

In January 2011 the dam was approved…February 2011 Brazilian judge Destêrro blocked the proposed dam due to environmental queries…November 2011 the dam was once again given the green light. The Brazilian government stated Indigenous groups did not have to be consulted by law for the dam construction. This encapsulates the great injustice, false hopes and confusion for the 500,000 indigenous people affected.

Belo Monte's proposed construction.

Not only have the government ignored the indigenous population; Judge Martins has overturned his previous decision to prioritise Brazil’s fish stock, in favour of those who claim the fish would not be affected by the dam. Did Judge Martins not consider the declines in fish due to the loss of the River Shingle? Did Judge Martins overlook the ecosystems lost in the 600 acres of forest destroyed for the dam? Did he forget the dam would cause rivers to dry up causing people to be without water supplies, food and transportation? Or was he focussing on Brazils increased wealth? Yes, fishing is vital for the 37 different ethnic indigenous tribes, but there is little consideration for the loss of homes, communities and predicted flooding (Fearnside 2006).

The chief of the Kayapo tribe finding out about Belo Monte's go-ahead

 It’s a great pity that the Brazilian government hasn’t learnt the social and environmental problems from the creation of the Tucuruí Dam in 1975 (Fearnside 1999).  The Tucuruí Dam caused great universal hostility with the loss of towns, homes and communities. With no compensation for the 15,000 people displaced by the Tucuruí Dam what hope is there for 40,000 relocated by Belo Monte?

As a geographer this geopolitical case shows that Belo Monte is not combating global warming but in fact increasing carbon dioxide levels due to deforestation, loss of wildlife and threatening the 500,000 strong indigenous community. Not only geographers, environmentalists and local tribes, but now celebrities, are beginning to raise awareness about Belo Monte’s construction; for example: film director James Cameron and Brazilian icon Criolo, proving that this is a contemporary global issue. 

 Sigourney Weaver’s views, images and proposals of Belo Monte.

If you feel you are against Belo Monte Dam construction sign the petition: http://salsa.democracyinaction.org/o/2486/action/StopBeloMonteDam

References:

BBC, 2011, Brazil: Indigenous tribes protest against Amazon dam. Available: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-latin-america-12399817. Last Accessed, 16/03/2012.

Fearnside P.M., 1999, Social Impacts of Brazil’s Tucuruí Dam, Environmental Management, 24(5), 483-495.

Fearnside P.M., 2006, Dams in the Amazon: Belo Monte and Brazil’s Hydroelectric Development of the Xingu River Basin, Environmental Management, 38(1), 16-27.

Yapp R, 2011, Indigenous groups oppose Belo Monte dam construction. Available: http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/southamerica/brazil/8855691/Indigenous-groups-oppose-Belo-Monte-dam-construction.html. Last Accessed, 16/03/2012.

Picture 1- BBC, 2011, http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-latin-america-12399817. Last Accessed, 16/03/2012.

Picture 2- BBC, 2011, http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-latin-america-16228680. Last Accessed, 16/03/2012.

Picture 3- King T, 2012, http://www.salem-news.com/articles/february122012/brazil-indians.php. Last Accessed, 16/03/2012

Video- Weaver S, 2010,  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Melq7VA7FjY. Last Accessed, 16/03/2012

Where on earth is environmental justice?

Protesters striving for environmental justice

Due to media representations and the way our culture is structured to think, it may seem to the majority of the population that there is much more injustice than justice in the world. In terms of environmental justice, it seems that more often than not the issues that are highlighted are significantly focused more around the injustices people and places are suffering. Whether this is because people are more interested in reading, talking or writing about injustices or just that they think there is more injustice in the world is irrelevant, because the point is, environmental justice is happening all around us, every day.

It would be a lie to say there is not a huge amount of environmental injustice all around the globe. But why is it only this that is ever really talked about? If people pay as much attention to the justice that is happening in the world, then maybe things would not seem so bad. From grassroots levels of indigenous groups campaigning and protesting relentlessly for land rights, to global policies trying to combat climate change, things are being done. There is good in all bad, and now might be the time that people need reminding of this.

Why aren't environmental protests like this documented as much as issues regarding injustice?

As a large scale example, the Durban climate change talks 2012 took a long time for the countries involved to come to any form of agreement and it will be even longer until these agreements start being implemented. The Kyoto Protocol and policies like it are far from perfect and the opinions of many people and places are still missing. However, it is something towards finding justice for all the people and places who are currently suffering from the effects of climate change. There are so many differing and conflicting opinions in the world that it would be impossible for everyone to agree. So what can we do? We have to start somewhere. There are millions of people who are working with what they’ve got, yet people still seem only to recognise the injustices that are simultaneously happening.

The main issue here is that not enough people know both sides to all the issues which are going on. We are therefore in need of someone to voice the opinions of the people and places who would not otherwise get a say.  Geographers are “uniquely poised to understand human environment relations, spatial and social distributions of environmental goods and bads”, which puts them in the ideal place to be able to spread this invisible knowledge. Eventually through this role which geographers play, the environmental justice which is happening all over the world will be recognised. This will hopefully allow people to think more optimistically and be educated in the ways in which they can help with environmental justice issues themselves. So where on earth is environmental justice? The truth is that it is all around us, people just need to open their eyes.

Harvey, F., and Vidal, J., (2011). Global climate change treaty in sight after Durban breakthrough. Available: http://www.guardian.co.uk/environment/2011/dec/11/global-climate-change-treaty-durban. Last accessed 14th March 2012.

Lucas, J., (2011). Durban climate talks: we still have a chance to talk about success. Available: http://www.guardian.co.uk/environment/blog/2011/dec/05/durban-climate-talks-success. Last accessed 14th March 2012.

Reed, M., and George, C., (2011). Where in the world is environmental justice? Progress in Human Geography. 35 (6). 835 – 842.

Tutu, D., and Robinson, M., (2011). Climate change is a matter of justice. Available: http://www.guardian.co.uk/environment/2011/dec/05/climate-change-justice?INTCMP=ILCNETTXT3487. Last accessed 14th March 2012.

Wangaari Maathai: The visionary who brought environmental justice to the global population

Wangari Maathai

Wangaari Maathai’s passing in September 2011 was met with great sadness. This Nobel Prize winning activist set up the Green Belt Movement in 1977 empowering Kenyan women in the community, educating many about the importance of sustainable forestry and helping to secure a future for generations to come of impoverished African families. She rose to fame in the 80’s campaigning heavily against forest clearance proposed by the government and was arrested and vilified several times by the government of President Daniel Arap Moi. However, her legacy remains. The Green Belt movement is having a positive effect on the people who take part in the schemes and her vision is something that world leaders are calling for to combat global climatic change.

Kenya’s forests had been ravaged by government supported forest clearance The Green Belt movement was promoted by Maathai to engage women in planting trees to help meet their needs for fuel wood, building materials, and soil conservation. The project took into account traditional gender roles of men and women in Kenya, that differ so greatly from the gender roles in the UK today, reiterating the accepted roles of women in Kenya’s culture as home keepers, mothers and community organizers, whilst allowing men to get involved as agriculture is a unisex activity, avoiding as much internal conflict as possible. Although originally met with scepticism, the women who began the project had helped to plant over 30 million trees in Kenya by 2003 and now with Government backing, the Green Belt movement in the confidence of the government have looked to engage its 35000 schools, 16350 youth groups and 4300 women’s groups to target planting 1 billion trees a year as part of their official climate response strategy (Vidal, 2011). In November 2011 the government announced that the first 450 million had been planted, that’s just 419 million more than the UK planted this year.

Maathai’s vision to counter the drought, land degradation and water shortages in Kenya has lead to not only the ability for the indigenous communities to meet their own needs, and the empowerment of women in a male dominated cultural society, but has lead to the continued reforestation and climatic response that the world’s most economic countries need to engage with. Barrack Obama’s singular contribution to the Durban climate negotiations was to pay tribute to the work of Maathai and press the need for other countries to conserve their forests to help slow the effects of a steadily warming planet.

Kenya’s reforestation project is doing justice and improving the environment not only for their population, but is a beacon to all other nations showing how such a simple, inexpensive project can bring environmental justice to the global population.

References:

Boyer-Rechlin, B. (2010) ‘Women in Forestry: A study of Kenya’s Green Belt Movement and Nepal’s Community Forestry Programme,’ Scandinavian Journal of Forest Research 25 (9), 69-72

Vidal, J. (2011) ‘Kenya – Ensuring Wangari Maathai’s Legacy Branches Out,’ Guardian [online] (last updated 11.22am Thursday 24th November) Available at: <http://www.guardian.co.uk/environment/blog/2011/nov/24/kenya-wangari-maathai-legacy-trees?INTCMP=SRCH&gt; [Accessed 13th March 2012]

Vidal, J. (2011) ‘Barack Obama urges nations to follow lead of Wangari Maathai,’ Guardian [online] (last updated 04.46 pm Wednesday 7th December) Available at: <http://www.guardian.co.uk/environment/2011/dec/07/barack-obama-wangari-maathai?INTCMP=SRCH&gt; [Accessed 13thMarch 2012]

Exploration Generation. What are the impacts of oil mining and why should geographers care?

The Deepwater Horizon explosion in the Gulf of Mexico

Damien Carrington recently reported that 1/5 of offshore oil now comes from deepwater; we have taken much of what we can from the surface and now need to access new reserves (Carrington, 2012). Disasters such as Deepwater Horizon will happen as a result, but the demand for oil is higher than the concern for the environment. Exxon Mobil has predicted that global energy demand is set to rise by 35% by 2030 (Habiby, 2011), suggesting no slowing in the burning of fossil fuels. Whilst environmental groups work hard to protect our planet, the USA are set to construct Keystone XL, Norway are striding towards oil exploration in the delicate environment of the Arctic, and companies are now land grabbing in areas of untapped reserves, displacing indigenous groups and causing environmental degradation (Vidal, 2012). All this, because we “have ourselves locked into a system…organised in such a way as to cause harm…to decent human survival” (Chomsky, 2011).

Oil mining will continue to the point where it is no longer economically viable. At the recent Climate Conference in Durban, the countries sitting on the world’s biggest reserves were those less enthusiastic about reaching a new deal (Clark, 2012), meaning that other countries found it harder to reach a climate agreement; however these countries all use oil and all need to cut emissions. At one point the Venezuelan delegate, Claudia Salerno, stood on her chair, banged her nameplate and told the UN chair that he was ignoring the views of developing countries; consider however, that Venezuela sits upon one of the world’s largest oil reserves (Vidal & Harvey, 2011). Consider also that Canada unilaterally pulled out of Kyoto and the USA, whilst maintaining their environmental concern stance, are currently negotiating Keystone XL’s construction; the USA may be stereotyped as ‘oil obsessed’, but their environmental exploits don’t stand up to much, and reading Amy Watson’s article regarding the American environmental attitude is highly illuminating.

Special Presidential Envoy for climate Change from Venezuela Claudia Salerno Caldera raises her flag on a point of order during the final day of negotiations of the COP17 Climate Change Conference at International Convention Centre in Durban on December 10, 2011.

So who gets justice here? It isn’t fair to ask countries who did not create the climate problem to help curb it now, but it is also not fair to allow them to have uncapped emissions of greenhouse gases. Increasing population (1.3% per year between 1996 and 2006 (Mitchell, 2012)) is now putting more pressure on resources, and certain groups are highly vulnerable to climate change; Denton (2002) found that poor women in developing countries were affected most by environmental degradation. The consequences of climate change will cause huge social injustice as well as environmental impacts such as sea level rise, atmosphere warming, desertification, ecosystems depletion and more, and all these will have an impact upon humans.

Projections for World Population Growth up to 2050.

As geographers, we are “uniquely positioned to study the social, cultural, ethical and political impacts of climate change” (Brace and Geoghegan, 2011: 196). Geographical science has given us excellent understanding of how the climate is changing and why; combine this with an awareness of current social and cultural issues, and an inherent concern with the environment, and geographers suddenly have a very broad understanding of the issue of climate change. More than the oil companies and the governments that allow their exploration, geographers hear the voices of those whose lives will be changed by global warming.

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US filmmaker Craig Rosebraugh’s forthcoming documentary, snappily named ‘Greedy Lying Bastards’, looks set to highlight the corruption in the fossil fuel industry (Hickman, 2012). The trailer tells us that “One industry … can create law, bypass regulations, control information and stifle dissent. Politicians become pawns. Climate changes and they get away with murder” (Greedy Lying Bastards, 2011). Provocative, right?  Rosebraugh’s film will no doubt further the debate against big oil. See the trailer below.

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References

 Picture References

  1. http://oceandoctor.org/tri-national-collaboration-resource-page-bp-deepwater-horizon-oil-spill/
  2. http://www.firstpost.com/topic/place/venezuela-special-presidential-envoy-for-climate-change-from-image-07ok4Bd2wO8vH-40-1.html
  3. http://www.sustainablescale.org/areasofconcern/population/populationandscale/quickfacts.aspx

China’s Industrial pollution: Is it just to label them environmental deviants?

Chinese industrial pollution

China’s industrialisation has been exceptionally fast, exceptionally productive (for the country’s financial centres), and exceptionally damaging in its contribution to global environmental issue. In this blog I’ll attempt to gauge whether China’s massive pollution is doing an injustice to all … Continue reading

Keystone XL – Justice for Who?

On Wednesday 18th January 2012, Barack Obama controversially rejected the permit needed for the go-ahead on Keystone XL, drawing huge praise from environmental groups who had been campaigning for just such an action, and criticisms from TransCanada (an oil company) and the Canadian government.

Keystone XL is a proposed 1,661-mile pipeline that would transport crude oil from Alberta’s Oil Sands to refineries in Texas. Those who support the pipeline argue that almost 20,000 new jobs will be generated; furthermore the United States would become energy secure. However environmental groups have accused TransCanada of boosting the numbers of jobs that Keystone XL will generate; they say numbers could be as low as 5,000 which is only a quarter of what the oil company has suggested.

The Oil Sands in themselves are hugely damaging to the environment; they produce huge amounts of toxic waste water and pollution which damage the local surroundings. There have been proven health impacts on local people who had no power to stop oil mining in the area, including increases in several serious diseases such as cancer and lupus. The area has a huge rate of deforestation, second only to the Amazon basin. If Keystone XL is passed then production in the area is likely to increase, causing even more damage to the environment and a rise in greenhouse gas emissions in the area.

In terms of justice, Keystone XL certainly looks very bleak. As of 17th October 2011, TransCanada held eminent domain actions against 34 landowners in Texas and 22 in South Dakota, meaning that people will be offered compensation for their land but under law they cannot stop the pipeline from being constructed on their property; compensation does not act as justice for these landowners. Much of the American Congress has disregarded environmental justice in favour of the economic potential Keystone XL could bring. Many activists have been arrested at demonstrations against Keystone XL, culling their right to freedom of speech, and halting their fight for environmental justice; at a demonstration in front of the White House in August 2011, 143 activists were arrested. The impacts of Keystone will also not be just; the oil is likely to spill, water will become polluted, boreal ecosystems will be at further threat, and there will be an even bigger dependence on oil.

TransCanada are still determined to make Keystone XL happen, but the environmental groups will be fighting hard for justice. Bill McKibben, writer, environmentalist and owner of 350.org wrote in an email to supporters that Obama had made a ‘brave decision’. He encouraged people to support the cause to stop oil companies from ‘using the atmosphere as an open sewer into which they dump their carbon for free’, and to fight back against the control they have held for too long. In Spring 2011 NASA environmental scientist James Hansen stated that the pipeline would be ‘game over for the planet’, and McKibben left his message to the environmental supporters on the note that they needed to fight back because ‘the world depends on it’. The big question is whether Obama will maintain his support of the environment, or if justice will be quashed in favour of big oil.

Picture References

  1. http://www.guardian.co.uk/environment/2011/oct/07/keystone-xl-pipeline-final-public-hearing
  2. http://www.theurbn.com/2011/03/alberta-oil-sands/
  3. http://inhabitat.com/keystone-xl-pipeline-could-add-as-few-as-20-yes-just-20-jobs-once-built/

Are we responsible for the effects of climate change?

‘Climate change’ has recently become a household term in the global north, but very few people stop to actually think about what causes it and the effects it really has. There has been much debate over the extent to which human activity has exacerbated the effects of climate change and the rate at which it is occurring. The effects of climate change are broad and dynamic, and have already started being visible throughout the world. If any of these issues are caused or even just partially heightened by human activity, then this brings the issue of environmental justice to the table. How is it fair that the selfish actions of human beings in one area of the world negatively affect the lives of innocent people living in another?

Take, for instance, the northern hemisphere heat wave in summer 2010. Temperatures were at an outstanding high, which impacted the environment and the societies within it on a number of scales. In Russia, the heat wave of 2010 was the worst in 1,000 years of recorded history and had a “substantial impact on that year’s wheat harvest, leading to economic losses of more than $15bn”. Although this happened in 2010, there has since been much discussion over whether it was a result of anthropogenic climate change or simply a natural occurrence. In a recent article from the guardian, however, it has been claimed that this specific heat wave was “made three times more likely because of man-made climate change”.  This means that the greenhouse gas producing behaviour of people (generally in the global north) significantly increased the chance of this phenomenon, which in turn destroyed people’s livelihoods and incomes. The injustice here lies in the fact that individual families who are reliant on certain sources of revenue are suffering because of a problem that their country has a whole managed to ignorantly create. What is even worse than this is when countries who have played a very minimal role in the contribution to climate change are the ones who are suffering the most as a whole.

Developing countries are arguably the ones affected the most by anthropogenic climate change but also the ones who have contributed to it the least. Most greenhouse gases which are released spread out into the whole atmosphere, thus having an effect on more countries than just the one which emitted them. This creates an unjust system whereby the globe as a whole is paying for the mistakes of a few selfish countries.
A high percentage of developing countries depend heavily upon revenue from agricultural work and it has been said that “a further increase in temperatures will make many agricultural areas less productive—and some completely unsuitable for farming”. So when the populations of those countries are stuck in the middle of a threatening heat wave, where the majority of their crops are ruined, how are they expected to earn a living to allow them to grow economically? Developing countries are struggling to gain a stronger place in the global market as it is, so the threat of climate change affecting their main source of income is a serious one. The most shameful part of this story is that developed countries are continuing to behave in an environmentally destructive way, despite knowing the affect it has on other countries, families and individuals in the world. It is true that not all climate change is caused by human activity as much of it is actually natural. But when there are suggestions to say that our behaviour can increase or decrease the risk of it significantly, I encourage you to help to try and stop this injustice. Think of those families in developing countries who are struggling to yield a crop whilst you casually disregard ‘climate change’ as an ‘out-there’ concept with little real meaning or value.

Picture – http://severe-wx.pbworks.com/w/page/15957981/Droughts%20and%20Heat%20Waves. Last accessed 24th February 2012.

Jha, A. (2012) Climate Change increased likelihood of Russian 2010 heatwave – study. Available:http://www.guardian.co.uk/environment/2012/feb/21/climate-change-russian-heatwave. Last accessed 23rd February 2012.

McElroy, D. (2010) Russian heatwave kills 5,000 as fires rage out of control. Available:http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/europe/russia/7931206/Russian-heatwave-kills-5000-as-fires-rage-out-of-control.html. Last accessed 23rd February 2012.

Mendelsohn, R and Dinar, A., (1999) Climate Change, Agriculture, and Developing Countries: Does Adaptation Matter? World Bank Res Obs 14(2): 277-293

Canadian Tar Sands – are we heading for an environmental disaster?

It is horrifying that we have to fight our own government to save the environment. – Ansel Adams, American photographer and environmentalist

In the Canadian region of Alberta lies the ‘single largest industrial project in human history’ (Tan, 2008). The Canadian Oil Sands or ‘Tar Sands’ as they are sometimes known, hold a potential two trillion barrels of oil, cover a land area the size of Florida and are the number one oil supply to the United States; they are vital to the energy security and independence of the US and are therefore closely presided over by the Canadian government. In addition to this the sands provide employment to many local people and are predicted to generate an economic value of US$1trillion over the next ten years (International Resource Journal, 2010). The Canadian government’s official website about the Oil Sands provides much information about the local region (including infrastructure, education, recreation and more) as well as detailed information about issues ranging from air quality to aboriginal peoples to new research. It also provides the picture above, showing Alberta’s vast forest, with the tar sands looking fairly small in the background. However this picture is in stark contrast to many other photographs of the region.

Pictures such as this one give a much more realistic and much more startling view of what the tar sands are actually like. The previously forested lands have vanished, transformed into an unrecognisable industrial complex.

Oil interest in Alberta became prominent in the last quarter of the 19th century, when several reports emerged detailing the potential amount of oil in the area (Huseman & Short, 2012). Combined with recent transport development, the oil sands suddenly looked like an excellent opportunity.  These reports elicited a government decision to sign Treaty 8, which in essence was designed to give aboriginal people more rights; conversely the new government message was clear – the oil was worth more than the people. Today Canada uses what Huseman & Short call a ‘colonial trick’; the Canadians argue that the treaty was signed under the British Crown and therefore they bear no responsibility. In short, the Canadian government have absolved themselves of any responsibility to aboriginal groups.

But the government should be concerned. The tar sands have had many detrimental impacts upon the environment and human health. Oil extraction here uses much more water than conventional oil extraction, causing an excessive amount of toxic waste water. 480,000 gallons a day are dumped into tailing ponds which cover an area of 12,000 acres and can be seen from space. It is estimated that production releases between 8-37% more greenhouse gases than normal oil extraction due to the energy required. The area has the second highest rate of deforestation in the world, second only to the Amazon rainforest and there are many toxic impacts upon the remaining boreal ecosystems. There has been chronic pollution of the lower Athabasca River and Lake Athabasca which has caused changes in water quality, meat quality and the availability of fish and game for hunting. In addition to this, rivers, wetlands and lakes are being drained to supply the huge amount of water needed for production. There are also impacts upon the local wildlife; there have been many reports of ducks and other birds being killed by the toxins in the water (on which they land) (Desmogblog, 2010).

In terms of human health it appears that more people in the area are falling ill with serious illnesses and deformities. John O’Connor, a local doctor, carried out research in 2006 which discovered abnormally high levels of leukaemia, lymphoma, lupus, colon cancer and Graves disease. He also found that a rare cancer of the bile duct was present in 5 people out of a population of 1,200; usually it only affects 1 in 100,000 people. He concluded that this was a direct result of an increase in carcinogens. The government disputed these claims, and the Alberta Oil Sands website claims only two cases of the bile duct cancer were found.

In terms of aboriginal groups there has been an unprecedented impact on their way of life, as well as their cultural and physical condition. They don’t have a say in oil mining and the tar sands directly threaten the livelihoods of First Nation peoples in the area.

The concern for the future is that the oil sands show no sign of slowing. In a recession climate where building the economy is vital, and where the ‘war on terror’ has become a ‘war for oil’, those who hold the oil hold the power. The Canadians seem to be disregarding the environment because the oil sands are paving their way to a more powerful position on the world stage. But from a governmental perspective, why wouldn’t they? In terms of who holds the most oil, they are second only to Saudi Arabia. By 2020 production could reach 4 million barrels per day, and as mentioned before, the next decade is predicted to bring $1trillion in oil sand profits.

In terms of environment, this is hugely worrying. By 2015 the sands are expected to emit more greenhouse gases than the whole of Denmark alone (Desmogblog, 2010). The Canadian government seem to be more behind the oil sands than ever and as I write, Canada is threatening a trade war with the EU, who plan to label the oil produced in the oil sands as ‘polluting’ (Carrington, 2012). Following on from their unilateral withdrawal from the Kyoto Protocol (where their aim of a 6% decrease turned into a 30% increase), Canada looks more than ever like a huge environmental problem for the future.

References

Carrington, D. (2012) Canada threatens trade war with EU over tar sands. Available:             http://www.guardian.co.uk/environment/2012/feb/20/canada-eu-tar-sands. Last accessed 20th Feb 2012

Desmogblog (2010) Top 10 Facts About the Alberta Oil Sands. Available:   http://desmogblog.com/top-10-facts-canada-alberta-oil-sands-information. Last accessed 20th Feb 2012.

Huseman, J. & Short, D. (2012) A slow industrial genocide: tar sands and the indigenous peoples of northern Alberta. The International Journal of Human Rights. 16(2), 216-237.

The International Resource Journal (2010) Canada’s Oil Sands. Available:             http://www.internationalresourcejournal.com/oil_gas/oil_gas_may_10/canada_oil_       sands.html. Last accessed 20th Feb 2012

Tan, A (2008) Tar Sands – The Worlds’ Most Desctructive Project. Available:             http://www.earthfirstjournal.org/article.php?id=476. Last accessed 20th Feb 2012

Picture Sources

  1. View of the oil sands – http://www.oilsands.alberta.ca/resource.html
  2. Canadian Oil Sands by Peter Essick – http://ngm.nationalgeographic.com/2009/03/canadian-oil-sands/kunzig-text
  3. Industrial Wasteland – http://jordallan.wordpress.com/
  4. Flocks of ducks killed on tailing ponds – http://rdnaidoo.com/2011/01/27/daily-dose-1-1-tipping-point-the-age-of-the-oil-sands/