Animated film asks why we’re developing tar sands at cost of First Nations and environment


A short animated film by Franke James asks what Harper’s really afraid of. I think this is just one possible answer of many, and it certainly doesn’t help either our country or our planet.

Am I a radical too, then, for posting this?

Comments

  1. Marina says

    Somehow I doubt that Harper believes that another dirty ducks campaign will scare away investors. The Chinese government cares even less about the environment than he does.

  2. kraut says

    You want to drive your car? You want to have economic development?
    You want good jobs for your kids? You want to reliably heat your water and your house?
    It is not coming from thin air. Get used to oil and gas exploration.
    I used to work for 30 years in the Gas/Oil patch where I live, I live close to several wells, not far from a major gas shale field.

    I made a decent living there, so do my kids now. My daughter works in Fort Mac, on a contract lasting five years, making a good living, my son works for a pipeline company here in the Peace.
    If you guys want to shit on us for developing the fields and securing economic benefits for all – get rid of your car and turn the fucking gas off – then you have a right to complain.

    Any economic activity to extract raw material is risky – it is a matter of good policy to minimize the risk.
    We have a provincial Oil and Gas commission supervising any exploration and production – if I complain about gas smell coming from any of the wells around here: The reaction to stop the problem is almost immediately – no small thanks likely to Wibo Ludwig.

    As to the tar sands – different extraction methods – supported by investors like the Norwegian State Oil company – are being developed, extracting with steam injection instead of ripping up the surface. remediation methods for the ponds are also being developed.
    It was a mess, but it is being worked on.

    Lot of the reaction from the east seems to be sour grapes. For long years western Canada was the butt of Canada – now we can make a decent living here.
    Get used to it that Ontario and Quebec are no longer in the drivers seat, dictating how things are run.

  3. says

    @ Jason: “Radical” is not a dirty word, my friend. :)

    krout:

    You want to drive your car? You want to have economic development?

    Economic development for WHOM and at what price?

    You want good jobs for your kids?

    Nice try. Now can you HONESTLY answer this question: “Since when has ANY capitalist society provided the guaranteed right to good jobs EQUALLY for everyone who needed and wanted a job and who was able to work?” I know full well who will get the good jobs and whose don’t — we ALL know who the traditional “losers” are and always fucking have been, don’t we?

    You want to reliably heat your water and your house? It is not coming from thin air. Get used to oil and gas exploration. I used to work for 30 years in the Gas/Oil patch where I live, I live close to several wells, not far from a major gas shale field. I made a decent living there, so do my kids now. My daughter works in Fort Mac, on a contract lasting five years, making a good living, my son works for a pipeline company here in the Peace.

    Right. No wonder you’re a wind-up doll for the global oil cartels of the economic cannibal class: Because it’s all about “ME ME ME!” So long as you/yours got your/their nice comfortable lives, fuck-all to those of us who didn’t get a chance in life for anything and never will, amirite? And don’t respond with bullshit about that not being the case because this old chick knows better:

    “For those lucky enough to get a middle class job, others did not get a chance for that job – someone who needed it just as badly, if not more so. Someone else who was desperately poor got their hopes and dreams ripped away from them.

    In a capitalist society where the economic law of supply and demand does not operate in a vacuum, where markets are artificially manipulated by the rich and powerful, there exists unearned privilege for certain members of society at the expense of others.

    The function of markets requires that both the “buyer” and the “seller” in a transaction become better off as a result of the transaction. But that doesn’t happen in a “free market” capitalist system. An essential principle of capitalism is a formulation of injustice. The rich get whatever they want; the poor get nothing. Under the religion of free market fundamentalism, you and your possessions become an island separated from everyone else.

    Capitalism became a moral theory in which the only people deemed deserving of being able to live are those who are economically successful because under capitalism, the primary purpose of the individual is his or her acquisition of wealth — which means others around that person have to be made poor in a finite world with finite resources. [Homan, Jacqueline S.(2007,2010) Classism for Dimwits, US: Elf Books. Copyright 2010. All rights reserved]

    Sing your “Drill Baby Drill” song of gas and oil exploration to all the people struggling below fucking poverty where I live in the fracking capital of North America — the forgotten Appalachian region of western Pennsylvania who have been economically excluded and condemned to the permanent underclass of permanent poverty and unemployment (and therefore “unemployable”) who are too fucking POOR to afford basic life sustaining utilities like heat, hot water, and clean drinking water (as a DIRECT result of fracking) — because of being unable to afford gas, electric and oil prices no matter how much more you rape the earth for more more more…to enrich the fat cats at the very top in exchange for a few token crumbs of privilege for yourself while you smugly look down on all the undeserving “losers” who didn’t get a chance for that good job that you and your kids got.

    If you guys want to shit on us for developing the fields and securing economic benefits for all.”

    Refer to my above quote and response. And don’t give me this drivel that”we need it for our cars” and shit. I don’t buy it for a New York minute. If scientists and their research assistants can develop a way to recycle human feces into “steak and burgers” as a possible solution to the growing poverty and hunger problem, and develop Cassini telescope technology for deep space exploration that has also been used by forensics criminologists at UCLA Berkley to prove that Mumia Abu Jamal was framed, and magnetic subterranean conveyances that can reach speeds of up to Mach 3, then we can bloody well fucking explore and invest in NON-INVASIVE technologies (electromagnetism, Piezoelectric technology, hydrogen) for powering vehicles, businesses and homes.

  4. kraut says

    “No wonder you’re a wind-up doll for the global oil cartels of the economic cannibal class: Because it’s all about “ME ME ME!” So long as you/yours got your/their nice comfortable lives, fuck-all to those of us who didn’t get a chance in life for anything and never will, amirite”

    You know arsehole, I am an immigrant to Canada, and so is by now a sizable portion of those living and working in the Peace River area, Saskatchewan and the Oilsands of Fort Mac.
    What fucking privileges are you talking about? If you are willing to earn between 26 -0 35$ an hour, work in a Ccamp situation, work 2 – 3 weeks in and one week out, clean as a labourer 51000$ a month – stop whining and sniveling and get your arse in to gear.

    You are aiming for what? A socialist society – that experiment unfortunately didn’t turn out too well – neither did the attempt to create communism contrary to Marx ideas from a feudal society.

    Capitalism with controls as to environmental pollution, workers rights is to me preferable to any communist experiment – I was committed to the “cause” for years before I realized that any utopian ideology is potentially and actually oppressive, and a capitalism with rules to protect the weaker partner is preferable to any of the before mentioned.

    You commit the usual mistake of those in your country that you think the US is the measure of all things, good or bad – sorry partner, it ain’t.
    A capitalism with a socialist component (social market economy as formulated and lived in Germany, Norway, Sweden, Denmark and Canad etc)can work well.
    That you live in a society that is ruled by a rather unrestrained capitalism is your fucking problem – why do you think the majority of Canucks keep their distance from too close an embrace by the US?

    And hydrogen – that is utter crap: hydrogen is a derived fuel and needs energy to be produced.
    Producing hydrogen by electrical power gives you less output by oxidization as you put in to produce it.
    The only viable option would be to produce hydrogen by solar means.
    Even in Germany with thousands of wind turbines, the target realistically is only to replace 25% produced by traditional means. Solar panels are costly to [produce (at present still about 1$/ watt), need serious maintenance and are not base load ready – neither is wind. The only alternative baseload at present is nuclear – you are welcome to it and the problems of waste disposal.

  5. kraut says

    What really makes me sick about arseholes like JS is the implicit assumption that m living was given to me. You fucking US piece of shit, I worked for up to 18 – 36 hours on a stretch in my own service company, six months like that in winter at typically – 15 – 40 degree C, setting up camp, getting up at three and typically coming home at 10 – 12, seven days a week.

    Break up time was a relieve where I could see my family – yes you bloody idiot, ME ME ME because I worked for every fucking cent I ever owned.

    I did this for almost thirty years, and with my experience from anything hydronik to forced air heating to plumbing to pressure systems I make my living in sales now after my back gave out when 55, still lifting heavy stuff – and you know what arsehole: I have a degree in Agrology from a German University, but could as an immigrant not afford to spend the year here at Guelph or UBC to get my degree acknowledged. So I went to work first for someone learning something that was useful in Northern Canada and then starting my own small business, that let me survive, build a house and raise two kids.

    So does my daughter, working as a pipeline labourer, truck driver or welders helper, 12 – 14 hours a day two weeks in and one week out, at +40C to -40C. That is how you make your fucking way, not by snivelling about the fucking capitalist society.
    So does my son, deciding to leave school at sixteen to go pipelining, seven days a week, 12 hours a day, maybe a month or two off in summer.
    Go fuck yourself with your assumption of privilege.

  6. says

    What fucking privileges are you talking about? If you are willing to earn between 26 -0 35$ an hour, work in a Ccamp situation, work 2 – 3 weeks in and one week out, clean as a labourer 51000$ a month – stop whining and sniveling and get your arse in to gear.

    Are YOU offering to give ME, a 45 year old long-term unemployed woman one of those jobs, with training and all that?

  7. says

    “So does my son, deciding to leave school at sixteen to go pipelining, seven days a week, 12 hours a day, maybe a month or two off in summer.
    Go fuck yourself with your assumption of privilege.”

    Exactly: WHITE MALE PRIVILEGE where your high school drop out kid gets a fucking high paying job HANDED to him for being white, male, having an “in” (i.e. YOU) while impoverished, college grads with crushing student loan debts where I live can’t get a chance for shit, not even a minimum wage job at McDogfood’s — especially if they’re over 40, female, and POOR from long-term unemployment, and who would not be allowed to emigrate to Canada in hopes of a chance for a better life since NO country accepts POOR WOMEN that are economic refugees. So YOU ruminate on that shit and go fuck YOURSELF.

  8. kraut says

    “fucking high paying job HANDED to him for being white, male, having an “in” (i.e. YOU)”

    I had nothing to do with either my son or my daughter getting their jobs. My daughter did automotive first year apprenticeship and first year commercial cooking in high school.
    After finishing school she went to work at anything from a welders helper, to truck swamper, to driving 30 ton gravel truck
    to pipelining and painting compressor stations, getting her boom cat ticket etc.
    My son started to working after hours from 14 years on working at a gas station from 4 to 9pm after school and saturdays till he found a job at 16 at a pipelining company, starting at 16$/hr – the usual entrance rate in oil patch jobs here. Nothing to do with me, it was a summer job and developed from there.

    You still don’t get it: College is overrated and you have to bust your ass and work to get anywhere. My 4 years University had only to do with my work: being able to learn fast, analyzing problems quickly and troubleshooting technical problems.

    You requesting privileged treatment for having attended college? Don’t make me laugh. Go to the next Canadian embassy and see if you can get a temporary work permit and go to Edmonton or Calgary or Halifax or Winnipeg to check for jobs in the oil and gas patch – but expect to work hard for your money.

    I got to Canada in ’79, was working for 5$ an hour through till 1985 after the crash in 1981, and slowly started to create my own employment including a stint at bankruptcy in 1981, working my way slowly back to credit worthiness.

    No, no privilege here, hard arsed work in any kind of weather at any kind of location within 200 miles from home, any hour of the day and night, sometimes back breaking work in dangerous situations, setting up a drilling camp at -35 and 50km winds, lugging heavy cables, hoping the genset will start and the propane hasn’t gelled to no flow, heating the fucking 1000 gallon propane tank with a tiger torch to get the gas flowing through the regs….privilege my arse.
    If you call that privilege- you don’t know what work is.

    And you know what – in Fort Mac and generally in the patch you find women working in any position, from 17 or 18 to sixty.
    Welding, trucking, office work, safety hands, first aid attendants, drilling with the guys, driving cat etc.

    Don’t blame me for your fucke up US of fucking A.
    You over the border are not the king of the hill anymore, rather the king of the shitpile.
    You took from others and now drown in debt, having exploited your land and that of others. Alberta at least with their patch keep some money in the safe.
    In BC the south just shovels the money we create in the North into bullshit like the Olympics and four lane highways to fucking Whistler – I hope those skiing assholes all get the clap and die young.

  9. kraut says

    And since we are at it – I am of course for both a gas and oil pipeline to the Pacific coast.
    At present we sell our oil at a 30% discount to the states, loosing 100dreds of millions in tax revenue each year. We can sell the same oil and gas to pacific rim countries at the going world market price, and having the US compete with real money for our resources.

    Yes, there is a risk of pollution – I was setting up a construction camp hours after a pipeline burst in the pine pass, polluting the river with millions of liters, threatening the water supply, smelling to high heaven.

    A fast response was needed and delivered – and two or three years afterwards hardly a trace could be seen at the pine river banks.
    The risk is there but imaginable – better than in deep wells as in the gulf during drilling operations there.
    Among hundred of thousands of km of pipeline in Alberta, very few spills happen, and those can be managed fast, as access is relatively easy to the right of ways.

    Oil will be still driving our economies for the next fifty years at least, a really cost effective alternative is NOT on the horizon for a mobile fuel with the energy density of gasoline.
    To replace all the fuel consumed by vehicular traffic, I at one time did a rough calculation based on Government figures, transforming the BTU value consumed to mega watts: the US alone would have to increase their electrical capacity by adding 60% more power generating stations and all the necessary distribution grid infrastructure – an undertaking the funds I think are not available for, and that on top of replacing obsolete generators and infrastructure..

  10. Interrobang says

    Yes, there is a risk of pollution

    Yeah, like the couple who just had their ranch flooded with crude oil from a broken Enbridge pipeline.

    Oh, and speaking as someone who lives out east, fuck you. We carried your asses for decades when all you had to sell was wheat, fed you salt cod from Newfoundland and Ontario apples when your land blew away in the ’30s, and this is how you repay us? By polluting a quarter of the country and reprising “Let the Eastern Bastards Freeze in the Dark”? Fuck you, you ingrate.

    And yes, you’re privileged. Even having the opportunity to get jobs like that — which I would never have because I am not able-bodied and can’t do physical labour (that’s privilege right there) — counts for it. I’ll accept that you were disprivileged by being an immigrant, but the fact that your son was able to even get a job, any job, without a post-secondary education says a lot to me.

    By the way, it’s possible to run cars on recycled cooking oil, fuel made from weed plants (Air New Zealand has done test flights using jatropha-derived fuel), and all that stuff. You’re not as indispensible as you think (plus, peak oil, anyone?). About the only reason we don’t have a booming biofuels industry is because Harper is in the pocket of the oil industry. The sooner we get rid of him — and the oil industry — the better.

  11. Your Name's not Bruce? says

    If the true cost of petrochemicals was incorporated into the price paid by consumers (and taken from the profits reaped by those who are able to make everyone else pay for the “externalities” such as the environmental degradation throughout the production, distribution and consumption of oil and gas) then we’d be looking at a different picture right now. We’d be using oil and gas much more carefully and wisely. Future generations will be appalled that we burned fossil fuels to mow lawns and whack weeds.

    I’d feel much better about the protective,”socialist” aspects of our economy if the current Conservative government weren’t busy trying to gut them with the current omnibus bill. Cabinet is not qualified to determine if a given project is safe enough or worthy of approval. I have no trust in its ability to say “no” to projects that were not safe and not worthy of approval if somebody capable of influencing it politically stood to gain money from them.

  12. says

    [kraut]: Oil will be still driving our economies for the next fifty years at least, a really cost effective alternative is NOT on the horizon for a mobile fuel with the energy density of gasoline.

    Nonsense. What sources could you possibly be reading to think that oil will be the primary energy source to 2062? Might they be connected to people with a vested interest in promoting fossil fuels?

    The United States hit peak oil around 1970. Several other notable countries have done so since then, and we’re coming up on a large wave of them over the next twenty to thirty years.

    Steady and unavoidable increases in price will so thoroughly discourage oil usage that the solar cells you think are expensive at a dollar a watt will look like a grand bargain.

    The fossil fuel industry is already running scared from oil, if you haven’t noticed. The new boom is in natural gas. No telling how long it will last or how much environmental damage will be done by the fracking before society gets a clue.

    To replace all the fuel consumed by vehicular traffic, I at one time did a rough calculation based on Government figures, transforming the BTU value consumed to mega watts: the US alone would have to increase their electrical capacity by adding 60% more power generating stations and all the necessary distribution grid infrastructure – an undertaking the funds I think are not available for, and that on top of replacing obsolete generators and infrastructure..

    Assuming your figures are accurate, a 60% increase in net generating capacity is completely feasible for an ultra-capital-rich nation like the US. Do you simply not study history at all? We’ve invested in similarly expensive projects repeatedly. Considering wars, the cost of World War II, after adjustment for inflation, is in the neighborhood of four trillion dollars. Vietnam was around $750 billion, and Iraq comes in at a similar figure. These figures don’t necessarily count all of the indirect costs.

    Domestic programs? The transcontinental railway ($3 billion+)? The New Deal (~500 billion)? The Interstate Highway system (~425 billion+)? Again, these figures only take into account direct costs.

    My rough calculations put the cost of replacing the entire U.S. energy generating infrastructure at around $3 trillion. Amortized over 10 years, that’s $300 billion a year — not that much more than we already spend on energy subsidies. We average over twice that on the military every single year, so I think we’ll find our funding source real fast if push comes to shove.

    The problem here is a temporary lack of political will. That is a problem you contribute to by making flawed claims about the long-term stability of fossil fuels, and failing to account for their substantial disadvantages compared to other energy sources.

  13. HM says

    As someone who lives and works in BC as well, why are the concerns about how the impact of the pipelines secondary to growth? And with the pipelines hooking up to tankers on the Pacific coast, where are the jobs coming from? How does this help Canada’s economy as anything but another natural resource we sell but don’t develop secondary products within the country?

    It seems to be a sellout to transnational companies rather then helping communities within the country. Just like what happened with a larger number of the forestry towns in BC where we now see logs (raw logs – not even lumber) being shipped to the states to be processed into secondary goods.

  14. HM says

    And kraut, fuck you too. I work and pay taxes in BC just like you. I’m a daughter of an immigrant and never asked for any special privileges. You may not agree with what the liberal government does, but most of those MLAs are voted in from outside of the lower mainland.

    Sounds like you want it to be laissez faire just like in Alberta.
    If Alberta is so great, why are there issues with Synacrude and animals dying because of lack of interest in making things enviromentally sound.

  15. kraut says

    “And yes, you’re privileged. Even having the opportunity to get jobs like that — which I would never have because I am not able-bodied and can’t do physical labour (that’s privilege right there) — counts for it. I’ll accept that you were disprivileged by being an immigrant, but the fact that your son was able to even get a job, any job, without a post-secondary education says a lot to me.”

    Ok. I agree that it is a privilege to work your ass off under any conditions, take risk that might or might not pan out, put your meager savings on the line to create your own job.

    And I call you privileged to make a living and not having to work your but off, that you can make a living paid for by us who are privileged to work and pay taxes so you as part of the social contract can still survive and not starve and even have a computer to post your comments on and being able to complain that despite your degrees you cannot land a job that pays according to your inflated expectations.

    After listening to the concerted whining here and the tendency to
    look at anybody who is able to actually work for money and willing to take up with a lot of crap just to be able to support him or herself as somehow privileged says t me a lot about the state of mind of the participants here – telling me that this is not a place I want to have anything to do with.

    And that shit about: “support” from the east for the west. Yes, there was some support for the western provinces (and for Newfoundland) and guess what – now we are able to have our taxes flowing in the reverse direction, taxes produced by oil and gas exploration.
    Hey, just give up your cars, and shut down your gas fired heating, get your public transit back to horse power and shut down your electrical appliances – then you have the right to complain about our production of materials you all so despise but strangely consume to beat the heck out of.

    Other than that – find ways to limit the negative effects of the production of oil from Fort Mac, the possible effects from shale gas production stretching from the eastern slope of the Rockies right into Saskatchewan.

    And remember that your efforts to somehow paint us as privileged is not only ironic coming from the now not longer so privileged east but tastes of very sour grapes.

    I don’t like Harper either, but please blame for his success a liberal party that has forgotten how to choose leaders, a party that was able to drop someone like Martin for a succession of nincompoops.

    You have no right to complain about our production of the goods you all use to an ever increasing extend.

    You call yourself skeptics here: please provide we with an example of a present viable technology for a mobile fuel source that could replace in the near future: It is not there. Hydrogen is a derived source, batteries need enhancement of the power grid (and what/where are the prospective sources to increase our power production by 60% to feed vehicles?), wind energy is simply not sufficient, solar too costly still, none of them is reliable and dependent on weather conditions.
    Yes, I heard a lot of complaints, but no VIABLE alternative.

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