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Archive for January 14th, 2008

Are they Oil Sands or Tar Sands

Posted by mhudema on January 14, 2008

Word choice reflects attitude toward industry
 
Archie McLean
For The Calgary Herald
What do you call the sticky black stuff mined near Fort McMurray?Your answer — oilsands or tarsands — probably says a lot about your attitude toward what’s going on up there.

“There’s a bit of a propaganda war going on,” admits NDP Leader Brian Mason.

Mason uses tarsands exclusively. He and most environmentalists believe it more accurately describes what comes out of the ground. But most Albertans, including government leaders, oil execs and this newspaper, use the word oilsands, a reflection of the final product after refinement.

Geologically, they are the same thing, but everyone must choose one or the other.

“You actually can’t be neutral on this phenomenon,” explains Jennifer Dailey-O’Cain, a linguistics professor at the U of A. “Your choice of words gives away how you feel about the issue.”

Dailey-O’Cain likens the linguistic divide to the situation in Northern Ireland, where Catholics refer to the area as the north of Ireland and protestants call it Ulster.

Greenpeace is clearly situated on one side of the linguistic divide. They recently unfurled a massive banner from the High Level Bridge that read: STOP THE TARSANDS.

Mike Hudema, the local spokesman, says it’s a more accurate term.

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Tilma, the SPP and the Tar Sands

Posted by mhudema on January 14, 2008

posted 14-01-2008 [0 page views]

Impacting unimpaired


Both TILMA and the SPP have specific aims that go beyond the usual attempt to enshrine investors’ rights and protect corporations from government regulations. Both agreements pave the way for the largest industrial project in history to move forward: a project that calls for the extraction of over 170 billion barrels of recoverable oil from the tar sands of Alberta’s Athabasca, Peace and Cold Lake regions.


The Dominion | January 7, 2008

Impacting Unimpaired

New agreements like the SPP and TILMA are aimed directly at unimpeded extraction in the tar sands

by Macdonald Stainsby

Police launch tear gas at demonstrators during a Security and Prosperity Partnership (SPP) meeting in Ottawa last August. (Photo: Stefan Christoff)

Demonstrations against the Security and Prosperity Partnership (SPP) began in the Summer of 2007, but several of the issues raised by anti-SPP organizers invoked déjà vu for many observers: informal agreements, secret talks, plans to do away with layers of national sovereignty in favour of corporate rules of engagement set to supersede labour organizing, environmental regulations or human rights. The laundry list of rule changes sounded a lot like debates of years past—the FTA, MAI, APEC, FTAA and NAFTA.

However, a deeper look at the driving force behind the new acronyms tells a different story, one of a world with new dynamics like peak oil, tar sands and the extreme measures that North American governments are attempting to use in the tar sands to keep an oil-dependent economy going.

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Canada’s Transition to a Low Emission Future meets the Tar Sands (film at 11:00)

Posted by notarsands on January 14, 2008

Sunday, 13 January 2008

Meanwhile in Canada

On Monday the Canadian National Roundtable on the Environment and the Economy published its final report Getting to 2050: Canada’s Transition to a Low emission Future. Essentially, it makes the same recommendations as proposed in Hot Air: one of the authors – Mark Jaccard, is a round table member.

The Canadian government lost no time in rejecting the Roundtable’s recommendations. The sticking point for the Liberals is the proposal for a carbon tax, but only because they are in favour of cap and trade which the report suggests as an alternative; they did not reject the proposals out of hand. The National Post whittered on about communism and five year plans.

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