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Jul 24 2013

It’s not just the pipelines we have to worry about

The new oil extraction techniques involve injecting super-heated steam under high pressure deep into the ground, liquefying the hardened, tarry stuff so it can be extracted. Only…sometimes there is a blowout, and the toxic gunk starts oozing out in all kinds of unexpected places. Exactly as is happening in Cold Lake, Alberta, on the lands of the Beaver Lake Cree First Nation.

“This is a new kind of oil spill and there is no ‘off button,’” said Keith Stewart, an energy analyst with Greenpeace who teaches a course on energy policy and environment at the University of Toronto. “You can’t cap it like a conventional oil well or turn off a valve on a pipeline.

“You are pressurizing the oil bed so hard that it’s no wonder that it blows out. This means that the oil will continue to leak until the well is no longer pressurized,” which means the bitumen could be seeping from the ground for months.

Would you believe the oil companies are keeping the media and photographers away from multiple blowout sites? Of course you would.

But wait! We Americans don’t have to worry — these tar sand extraction blowouts happen around the site of origin. The US gets the benefit of the oil (less the aforementioned pipeline leaks), while Canada poisons itself.

Thanks, guys! This is the season when I see those obscene mega-recreation vehicles tooling around on the highways, and it’s nice to know you’re willing to murder your beaver in particularly nasty ways, and to kill your majestic trees with toxic chemicals leaching into the ground, all so some smug retired Republican can drive a house down the road.

43 comments

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  1. 1
    wcorvi

    Yes, PZ, it is every OTHER vehicle in the world which is causing these problems. But not, of course, YOURS!

    BTW, Canada is getting the money for it – the real benefit.

  2. 2
    Dauphni

    It’s interesting. The father of one of my old flatmates worked for Shell, and spent a few years in Canada investigating the feasibility of exploiting these tar sands. That was around 2005 or so, and back then his conclusion was that it would be too much trouble compared to the returns. I guess that no longer holds true, or they just stopped caring…

  3. 3
    Emerson White

    Why are you quoting Greenpeace as a source on any issue?

    Yes, oil seeps happen, they even happen when we don’t do anything. The cyclic steam method does occasionally leave some to burble to the surface, contaminating the surface soil. However, it is used because it allows them to leave the surface soil in place, rather than digging it up. So you lose 3% to oil seeps, instead of 97% to an excavator.

  4. 4
    madtom1999

    Emerson,
    I’m not sure exactly of the economics but I would imagine on projects of this scale it costs less to extract in situ rather than dig it up and extract elsewhere.
    If you take off the topsoil and dig it out the sands and then replace everything carefully at lease you can reproduce the environment that was there previously. This method will, I imagine, leave vast areas poluted.
    I wouldnt be surprised to see this option as having been a political Hobsons choice.

  5. 5
    davidjanes

    If I recall correctly, part of the Amish country in Ohio sits on a coal seam that can only really be exploited by strip mining. The Amish have been trading their farms to a Menonite who brings in the coal company, strips the farm, and then restores the land to a usable farm which is then traded to the next farmer down the seam. My understanding is that the Amish involved are making some money on this process, but as they do not have shareholders to report to, the fact that they are not maximizing profit is of little concern for them.

    I see no reason that a similar process could not be followed to avoid steam extraction of the oil sands, as long as a lower profit margin could be accepted. Had Canada nationalized its oil reserves like most countries other than the US, so that they could impose these conditions by fiat?

  6. 6
    eidolon

    Golly PZ, I just have to say that not all travel trailers and other RV’s are driven by smug retired republicans, despite your fervent desire to connect two things you loathe. Further, I suspect that the largest percentage by far of gasoline and diesel consumption occurs in urban and suburban areas and does not involve RV’s. Finally, you seem to be indulging in an age related stereotype, something along the lines of:

    retired = republican (if in RV) = smug = destroying the environment

    While the tar sands are a terrible source and Keystone is equally a disaster waiting to happen, you ignore facts and ride your favorite hobbyhorse instead.

  7. 7
    donny5

    “it’s nice to know you’re willing to murder your beaver in particularly nasty ways”

    What beavers? Albertans killed them off in the 19th century, along with the Native Canadians. Canadians are split on this issue with the west and the Feds gun-ho about it while a lot of us in the east think the tar-sands and this oil obsession are a total waste to time and money.

  8. 8
    frankathon

    Yea well, I didn’t want this. I have been opposed to itsince the get go.

    As for the profits dear wcorvi I’ll remind you that most of the compagnies extracting the oil are in fact forein. You can thank Harper for that!
    You can also bet your last dollar that they probably have an agreement that makes it so that Canada foots the bill or some of the bill for the clean up…If there is a clean-up, Harper doesn’t seem to care at all about the environement but what do you expect from an Evanglical Christiant?

  9. 9
    Compuholic

    I really don’t care what Greenpeace has to say on any issue. They have a long history of lying to the public. Of course the oil industry has as well. I’m trying to find out which side I find more repulsive…

  10. 10
    Rev. BigDumbChimp

    I really don’t care what Greenpeace has to say on any issue. They have a long history of lying to the public. Of course the oil industry has as well. I’m trying to find out which side I find more repulsive…

    this is hilarious

  11. 11
    chigau (違う)

    This whole thread is bound to go hilarious.

  12. 12
    David Marjanović

    Yes, PZ, it is every OTHER vehicle in the world which is causing these problems. But not, of course, YOURS!

    Somehow I don’t think PZ’s “vehicle” is a “mega-recreation vehicle” or a “house”.

    this is hilarious

    Quite.

  13. 13
    Godric von Falkenrath

    Think about China. I can’t imagine how much land has been turned into factories, and how much waste and pollution is being pumped out of those areas, all to create cheap, essentially disposable objects that will end up in landfills anyways. I imagine they’re trashed a lot of nice areas. Why do they do it? Because you Americans buy enormous amounts of shit, and they can sell it to you. Same with Canada. You’ll guzzle up all the oil anyone will give to you, and unfortunately, we’ve got a prime minister who is disliked by the majority, doesn’t give a fuck about the environment, really wants to be like you guys, wants you to like us, and will sell you anything we can produce. We’re not in charge of this, and admittedly he isn’t really, either, as always, it is the large companies.

  14. 14
    raven

    davidjanes:

    If I recall correctly, part of the Amish country in Ohio sits on a coal seam that can only really be exploited by strip mining. The Amish have been trading their farms to a Menonite who brings in the coal company, strips the farm, and then restores the land to a usable farm which is then traded to the next farmer down the seam.

    Do you have a source for this story?

    It sounds far fetched.

    I did a google search and came up with nothing.

    Unless the coal seam is right at the surface, there is going to be a lot of overburden, mostly subsoil. Where would they pile that while digging the coal? Amish farms aren’t all that big, usually a few hundred acres or less.

  15. 15
    A Hermit

    First this, now the mayonnaise enemas…it’s becoming embarrassing to be Canadian…

  16. 16
    raven

    I’ve always looked at Louisiana as a National Sacrifice Area.

    They are destroying their environment so we can fill up our gas tanks.

    It’s estimated that by 2100, the coastal 10% of Louisiana will be underwater due to global warming and sea level rising.

    There are others. Northern Alberta, Canada is now a US National Sacrifice Area as well.

  17. 17
    davidjanes

    Unfortunately I do not have a source and the project would have been completed by the late 80s, so it is rather pre-Internet. I was told the story by several members of the Geology department at my alma mater (www.wooster.edu) who had been doing some fossil prospecting in the coal beds after they had been exposed.

    I can totally understand taking it with a grain of salt, but I did see the operations in the area (but not specifically in the Amish region)while I was there, and there did not seem to be a very deep layer of overburden over the coal beds at all. Certainly no more than 80 or 90 feet. I will state that standing in area that had just been stripped mined, prior to any remediation at all, is about the most desolate space I have ever seen, even more than the southwestern deserts.

  18. 18
    magistramarla

    I thought that it was rather ironic that while we were living in California and my daughter and her husband were stationed in Arkansas, she felt 8 rather strong earthquakes and we felt only 3 slight tremblers in the same three years. That awful leak caused by the fracking in Arkansas happened not too long after they moved from there.
    As we were moving back to Texas (hopefully not for long!) we saw all of the work that is going on in South Texas. There are drills and heavy equipment everywhere. That highway used to be quiet, with nothing but desert to see. Now there is a lot of traffic, on the highway itself and out in the desert. I wonder how many desert animals have died and how many habitats are being destroyed?
    We’ve already been seeing news reports that residents in the area of the oil extraction are reporting increased health problems probably caused by the fracking. People who never suffered from asthma before are now needing to use several medicines per day. I’m concerned about the effects that this will have on children growing up in that area. Of course, the government here in Texas won’t care, since the folks who live in that area are mostly poor and/or immigrants. And of course, thanks to Perry and his thugs, if a poor woman is told that her baby is damaged by the environment after her 20th week of pregnancy, she can no longer make the choice of having an abortion!
    I’m really worried that someday the water supply here in Texas will be ruined in a much more spectacular way than the oil companies are telling us. Most communities here depend upon water from underground aquifers. I worry about how inter-connected those aquifers might be, and if the oil extraction fouls one, I wonder if the pollutants will gradually seep into other aquifers?
    It all makes me more anxious to move out of Texas again, but as a person who has always been concerned about the environment, I’m very worried about what is going on.

  19. 19
    wyobio

    Well, PZ, thank god your jetting all over the world all the time doesn’t burn any oil!

    Or were you walking to Houston next week for another fun conference? Fucking hypocrite.

  20. 20
    raven

    and there did not seem to be a very deep layer of overburden over the coal beds at all. Certainly no more than 80 or 90 feet.

    OK, no source but second hand information from a geology department. I won’t believe it but won’t disbelieve it either.

    BTW, 80-90 feet of overburden is a lot. Think about it.

    Take 200 acres. Dig out all the soil and rocks down to 90 feet. Where are you going to store all that material and how high is the hill going to be? It’s going to be huge.

    Random subsoil isn’t the same as topsoil. What makes farmland isn’t dirt, it’s topsoil that is favorable for the growth of domestic plants.

  21. 21
    Icaarus

    Okay, so I’m going to put my expert hat on for this. There are two steam based extraction methods SAGD and CSS. CSS is much higher pressure, and used for deeper, below bedrock pockets. The term blowout did not originally mean containment breach as we are seeing, but rather CSS’ing with not enough mass between the pocket and surface, literally resulting in the creation of a new hill. So the economics of CSS dictate that it is not economically or operationally practical to replace open pit. It only makes sense for in situ-only pockets. The province and the operators do tend to prefer open pit to full reclamation projects as, if done right, they can have a lower long term impact (this of course relies on cleanup and reclamation being done well, not done cheap). There just isn’t a lot of near surface bitumen left up there to extract.

    So here’s the problem. Loss is a big concern, a little loss here or there (<1% of extracted material) for these sites is not a huge problem, but a blowout like the one we are seeing is both expensive and impactful. They are liable for cleaning it up (as long as the Province enforces that). And the premature loss of pressure means that extraction cycle, and possibly the whole well are lost.

    Some geologist is either screaming "told you so" or is being fired right now. Knowing a couple of local geologists, it's probably the former to some know-it-all MBA.

    Oh, and it goes without saying, there goes the water table for the Athabasca basin.

    And for the record, Greenpeace has a great record of ignoring science they don't like. Their push for solar and the supporting documents never seem to include the environmental costs of PV production which can be as bad as the tailings ponds in Cold Lake if done improperly. Their push for wind does not account for the types of gas generators actually needed to back them when the wind dies.

    They are good at biological oceanic conservation, but every time they dig their toes somewhere else I see the failings in their expertise.

  22. 22
    llamaherder

    Well, PZ, thank god your jetting all over the world all the time doesn’t burn any oil!

    Or were you walking to Houston next week for another fun conference? Fucking hypocrite.

    You’re missing the point. RVs aren’t the problem. The extraction is the problem.

  23. 23
    kemist, Dark Lord of the Sith

    This is the season when I see those obscene mega-recreation vehicles tooling around on the highways, and it’s nice to know you’re willing to murder your beaver in particularly nasty ways, and to kill your majestic trees with toxic chemicals leaching into the ground, all so some smug retired Republican can drive a house down the road.

    Not only murder our beaver, but our citizens as well, so that american companies with poor safety and maintenance records can continue to make insane profits transporting dangerous materials on railways they criminally neglect:

    Lac Megantic Disaster

  24. 24
    kemist, Dark Lord of the Sith

    BTW, Canada is getting the money for it – the real benefit.

    I’m sure the inhabitants of the nearby Cri reservation, with their rising cancer rates and the constant taste of sulfur on their lips, are quite happy with that “real benefit”.

  25. 25
    eveningchaos

    I read a lot of comments saying that one cannot criticize the oil and gas industry because we drive, fly, use plastic, or bbq with propane. I think this is a false dichotomy. It would be unrealistic and economic suicide to suggest that humans abandon the lynchpins of the economy overnight. But we have to start to truly put pressure on industry and government to mitigate the impending disaster that will ensue if we continue to escalate our use of fossil fuels. The technology is out there. It’s just a matter of implementing it in a measured way where people’s economic loss won’t outweigh the other social and environmental benefits of abandoning fossil fuel use. Most people see it as a zero sum game.
    Most people who benefit from oil and gas financially will be the last to admit that the practice is unsustainable and dangerous to our well being. Convincing our leaders to have the courage to actually stand up to big oil and implement changes that would benefit citizens today and years after their term is up is difficult because politicians answer to corporations not the citizens they supposedly represent. I guess it is up to individuals to demand from the free market products that are more sustainable and less harmful environmentally. But those products cost more or they are not available at all to the average consumer. So we are left with having to live our lives in this society (ie :driving, flying, and using plastic computers) in a way that is contrary perhaps to our values. It doesn’t mean that one cannot be truly appalled when oil spills into our forest, lakes, and oceans. Putting ones head in the sand and saying, “That’s just the way the world works.” doesn’t work either.

  26. 26
    Howard Bannister

    Think about China. I can’t imagine how much land has been turned into factories, and how much waste and pollution is being pumped out of those areas, all to create cheap, essentially disposable objects that will end up in landfills anyways

    …which is why China has started implementing some very strict pollution controls.

  27. 27
    ballio

    It might be because of outcomes like this that many First Nations people have qualms with being considered “Canadian”. They’re labelled “Canadian” when their land is poisoned by industry, as they are then conveniently lost within the loaded term that is “Canada”. However, they seem to cease being fellow Canadians in the minds of many southern Canadians when they visit this nation’s large southern cities.

  28. 28
    Nick Gotts

    Greenpeace has a great record of ignoring science they don’t like. Their push for solar and the supporting documents never seem to include the environmental costs of PV production – Icaarus

    Liar. It took me less than a minute to find that, by putting:

    Greenpeace solar environmental costs

    into Google.

    Their push for wind does not account for the types of gas generators actually needed to back them when the wind dies.

    Liar again. This one I found using:

    greenpeace wind gas intermittency

  29. 29
    Nick Gotts

    I really don’t care what Greenpeace has to say on any issue. They have a long history of lying to the public. – Compuholic

    [citation needed]

  30. 30
    jrkrideau

    it’s nice to know you’re willing to murder your beaver in particularly nasty ways

    Well they don’t taste too bad. And since the colapse of the fur trade they are becoming the rural equivalent of a Toronto racoon.

  31. 31
    Nick Gotts

    This is the season when I see those obscene mega-recreation vehicles tooling around on the highways, and it’s nice to know you’re willing to murder your beaver in particularly nasty ways, and to kill your majestic trees with toxic chemicals leaching into the ground, all so some smug retired Republican can drive a house down the road. – PZ

    Or so some prominent atheist can fly to conferences all around the world. Come on PZ, your carbon footprint must be well in excess of that of the average RV user. It’s quite valid for you to criticise particularly environmentally damaging ways to extract fossil fuels, but you really don’t get to wag the finger at anyone much about the amount of the stuff they use.

  32. 32
    David Marjanović

    …which is why China has started implementing some very strict pollution controls.

    Their fuel standards for cars are already stricter than those of the US.

    Well they don’t taste too bad.

    Depends on the “nasty way” used to “murder” them, doesn’t it?

  33. 33
    Icaarus

    Nick

    Greenpeace does (maybe I should say did) have a habit of throwing away or discarding parts of the ‘green’ energy production they don’t like while embellishing the worst parts of the traditional alternatives. While one report does not change my mind, I will look more closely at their reports in the future and if they continue to uphold the quality of the one report I just read then I will be very impressed indeed.

    I have read and disproven a few poorly researched and heavily advertised greenpeace documents in the past (mostly from the Americas) so my opinion was not misinformed, maybe just a little old. That being said I will confirm their numbers before I use that report as reference.

    Your second article does not address my point. Yes it does state that gas is not ideal. When most documents talk about the carbon cost of backing wind with gas (if they even address this at all) they typically quote numbers from Combined Cycle Gas, very efficient gas to electricity generation. In reality CC does not have the response time needed to back wind and most gas plants used to back wind are fast plants. These have a much lower efficiency and drastically change the carbon production mix. For a wind farm backed by gas (and remember that’s a lot of them) to produce less carbon than a CC facility the wind farm has to be producing 50% of the total electricity (wind + fast gas), and if you were to account for production and retirement, realistically it should be taken as 60% to account for reclamation. That’s the break even point. Show me a greenpeace document that reflects this problem.

  34. 34
    The Vicar (via Freethoughtblogs)

    I am always just slightly skeptical of Greenpeace claims because they… well, they play fast and loose with things. They do the equivalent of the theistic “we don’t know what causes this, so therefore god”, only for the environment. See, for example, the way they went after Apple for years because Apple didn’t make the environmental information about their product manufacturing available until the products were unveiled. (Which is very much an Apple thing; products are always kept under wraps until the introduction because, unlike PC manufacturers, Apple actually invests in a certain amount of design. This is why Android phones are always pushing the envelope on CPU performance, but get less performance per MHz than Apple’s iOS devices, for example, so there is some method to the madness.) Greenpeace was always claiming that Apple was doing something super-polluting because the numbers on the stuff being manufactured right this instant weren’t available — and time after time, once the numbers did become available, it turned out Apple was vastly better than most of the PC manufacturers which Greenpeace would never dream of complaining about. Whether this was just stupidity on Greenpeace’s part or simply PR-based behavior — there’s been no more effective publicity in the last decade than linking yourself, whether pro- or con-, to Apple — it was dishonest, particularly after they were proved wrong once and kept doing it. They’ve done similar things elsewhere, but this is what comes to mind for me, now.

  35. 35
    Compuholic

    @Nick Gotts:

    [citation needed]

    Coming right up: Just from the top of my head and for which I could quickly google the references.

    1. The Brent spar incident:
    Greenpeace lied about there being significant amount of oil on the platform that was scheduled to be scuttled. Not that they had any evidence for it: They simply pulled the number out of their ass.

    Greenpeace still celebrates the campaign as a great success. As far as I am aware they never apologized for spreading their misinformation.

    The “Shell fail” hoax (this one is particularly disgusting):
    http://www.greenpeace.org/international/en/news/Blogs/makingwaves/greenpeace-the-yes-men-and-the-inside-story-o/blog/40893/
    Greenpeace manufactured a PR campaign against Shell by
    a) producing a youtube video about an embarassing “oil well fail” that supposedly happened at a shell meeting. At the end of the video the suggested to the viewer that Shell wanted to censor the guy who videotaped the event.
    b) bloggers who reposted that event got mail from fake shell lawyers threatening them with legal action if they did not stop publishing this video. They of course hoped for a Streisand effect.
    c) they created fake websites in the same of Shell containing cynical fake ads. On Twitter they tried to create the impression that shell wanted to influence users in order to stop sharing links to them. Of course the Twitter account was created by Greenpeace as well.

    This is not the behavior of an organization who is interested in promoting information. This is the behavior of an organization who desperately wants attention in order to spread their ideology. In the process they don’t care about honest reporting or accurate presentation of facts.

    Things Greenpeace is promoting about genetically modified plants is usually not technically wrong but highly misleading. I only have an examples in german but I am fairly certain the english material is just as dishonest:
    http://www.greenpeace.de/themen/gentechnik/nachrichten/artikel/neue_ausgabe_des_greenpeace_gentechnikratgebers/ (publication at the end of the article)
    http://www.greenpeace-magazin.de/tagesthemen/einzelansicht/artikel/2013/05/13/oberstes-us-gericht-tadelt-farmer-gen-saatgut-nachzuechten-verboten/
    - Of course they love to spin the Monsato vs. Bowman case in a Goliath vs. David story. The poor defenseless farmer was bullied by a big company selling GMCs.
    - They claim that modified genes in plants can spread uncontrollably, can destabilize natural equilibria, contribute to allergies. Technically this is true but all points can equally be made for conventional farming methods as well. Of course they don’t tell you that because they are in the fear-mongering business
    - They claim that GMCs are not more resistant. Do not yield a bigger harvest and are not requiring less pesticides.
    - Also they throw in some nice picture about the destruction of the forests in south america as if that had anything to do with GMCs. But I guess anything that helps to associate negative images with GMCs works as long it has remotely something to do with plants and farming. And take a look at the picture on page 6. Greenpeace taking samples of GMCs. Protective gear on a field? Seriously? If that is not propaganda then I don’t know what is.

    I could go on and on (Patents and nuclear energy are also particularly fun topics) but you get the gist.

    Greenpeace are a bunch or fear-mongering liars who don’t hesitate to manipulate the media or bend the truth in order to promote their ideology.

  36. 36
    Ragutis

    Did someone say “Blowout” ?

    (I swear that link is not mayonnaise enema related)

    What’s really sad is when I googled to find a link to post about it, I had to go through 2 1/2 pages of results that were industry or financial news sites fretting about the falling stock price of the rig company.

  37. 37
    chigau (違う)

    Ragutis #36
    jebus
    Well. Oilsands don’t blow up.
    That’s a plus.
    Right?

  38. 38
    Ragutis

    Rachel Maddow covered this tonight.

    http://www.nbcnews.com/id/26315908/#52571348

    Led me to this wonderful headline:

    House panel approves bill with deep cuts for EPA

    Well. Oilsands don’t blow up.
    That’s a plus.
    Right?

    Well, at least not until there’s a lightning strike. I wonder what happens then. There’s coal mine and natural gas fires that have burned for decades.

  39. 39
    Setár, Elvenkitty

    Hmm…posters for comments 1, 3, 9 are all people I’ve never seen before, racing in to spread whatever “skepticism” they can in response to examples of how the tar sands are bad.

    I wonder, did they come from Ethical Oil, the companies, or the Alberta Dynasty* itself?

    * – Alberta has been ruled by two right-wing political parties since 1935: the uber-right Social Credit Party until 1971, and the (for a time) slightly-less-right Progressive Conservatives since. Oil probably has a lot to do with this. And even then, the 70s PC government under Peter Lougheed would be considered ridiculously socialist today for what it did, which included a ~40% royalty rate and a provincially-owned oil company so the government could keep the private sector honest.

  40. 40
    Nick Gotts

    Icaarus@33

    so my opinion was not misinformed, maybe just a little old

    Fuck off: it took me less than a minute to find the item I did, so clearly you don’t give a shit about the truth.

    Show me a greenpeace document that reflects this problem.

    Show me a Greenpeace document where the point you now make (it really wasn’t clear what your claim was before, was it?) undermines anything they have claimed. Since they are opposed to backing wind with gas, your point would strengthen their argument, not weaken it.

    Compuholic,

    I’ll concede that Greenpeace doesn’t have by any means a perfect record, but your claims that they “have a long history of lying to the public” and “are a bunch of fear-mongering liars” are clearly unsupported by your examples.

    According to wikipedia, and contrary to your claim:

    Greenpeace admitted that its claims that the Spar contained 5500 tonnes of oil were inaccurate and apologized to Shell on 5 September.

    So, will you now apologise to Greenpeace for pulling this claim out of your arse?

    You can’t really believe that a PR stunt by a campaigning organisation, readily admitted to be such soon afterwards, and aimed at a corporation with vast wealth and influence, is “particularly disgusting”. Well, unless you’re a fan of corporate power.

    Things Greenpeace is promoting about genetically modified plants is usually not technically wrong but highly misleading.

    In your opinion. You have not established, or even tried to, that those writing for Greenpeace about GMOs do not believe what they are saying and hence are lying.

    Greenpeace are a bunch or fear-mongering liars who don’t hesitate to manipulate the media or bend the truth in order to promote their ideology.

    While oil companies, as we know, are fearless speakers of truth under all circumstances, however much it might cost them.

  41. 41
    Compuholic

    Hmm…posters for comments 1, 3, 9 are all people I’ve never seen before, racing in to spread whatever “skepticism” they can in response to examples of how the tar sands are bad.

    Well I am a regular reader but I rarely comment here.

    I wonder, did they come from Ethical Oil, the companies, or the Alberta Dynasty* itself?
    And I wonder whether you forgot to take your meds…

    And where did I defend the oil industry or where did I say anything about tar sands? Please quote me. What, you can’t? Is is because you lack reading comprehension or you are dishonest? The only point I was making is that Greenpeace are a bunch of lying assholes who manipulate the media, publish misleading information and I wouldn’t trust them with with anything.

    But feel free to actually address the points made…

  42. 42
    Compuholic

    So, will you now apologise to Greenpeace for pulling this claim out of your arse?

    I said I was unaware of any apology. Obviously they did apologize so I retract that statement. It still doesn’t change the fact that they were willing to make shit up to generate negative publicity.

    You can’t really believe that a PR stunt by a campaigning organisation, readily admitted to be such soon afterwards, and aimed at a corporation with vast wealth and influence, is “particularly disgusting”.

    So in your opinion it is perfectly acceptable to launch a defamatory media campaign as long as you come clean about it?

    Well, unless you’re a fan of corporate power.
    Erm what? So just because a corporation is powerful things like this become ok?

    You have not established, or even tried to, that those writing for Greenpeace about GMOs do not believe what they are saying and hence are lying.

    Ok maybe that is another possibility. Maybe they really don’t grasp that they are writing stupid things. So it is stupidity or dishonesty. Doesn’t exactly want me to trust them.

    While oil companies, as we know, are fearless speakers of truth under all circumstances, however much it might cost them.

    I never said they were. You do know that there is a middle ground? It is not either the oil companies or Greenpeace. Both are dishonest. One side is motivated by greed and the other side by ideology. Contrary to you I don’t think that the ends justify the means.

  43. 43
    Icaarus

    @Nick

    First you call me a liar, then you tell me to fuck off. I’m done with you. I can disagree and prove my point with anyone but I do not need my off hours to be filled with random abuse. It is clear from your tone that there is nothing that will get through your thick skull on this issue so good bye.

    Compuholic, good luck.

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