[Coral-List] tar sands oil and coral reefs

Peter Sale sale at uwindsor.ca
Thu Mar 22 21:12:32 EDT 2012

I'm another Canadian reef scientist (wow! there are at least two of us).  I support Mike Risk's description of tar sands oil and the situation in Canada.  I have not had the opportunity to speak directly to our government, although I'd love to take our Prime Minister on a dive on a coral reef.  I have previously commented publicly on this topic, first in my book, Our Dying Planet, and more recently on my blog (petersalebooks.com) specifically on the Keystone XL pipeline.  One point that Americans need to know is that the purpose of this pipeline is NOT to reduce US dependence on foreign oil -- that myth is part of the spin.  It is to permit a doubling of the output from the tar sands, because current distribution routes are close to maxed out.  This extra output will be processed in Texas, and exported to Europe to fulfill their need for diesel fuel.  The contracts for doing this are already in place (details in links on the blog).  There is a second pipeline, the Northern Gateway, that will take this product from Alberta across to the Pacific coast. It is currently undergoing environmental impact assessment.  Canadians have already been advised by our government that any opposition is one of: inappropriate foreign interference, foreign funded misceivousness, traitorous or terrorist behavior by Canadians.  The purpose of this pipeline is also to boost the export of this product.  Together the two pipelines will permit the operators to triple output.  The benefits of this tripling of output, apart from a few jobs on the oil fields, flow to the shareholders of the multinational oil corporations driving the whole sorry mess.  The implications of the environmental crisis for coral reefs are immense.

I think it is time we asked why it is necessary to rely on the oil industry to plan our energy policy?  And also time to ask why it is necessary to extract every barrel of hydrocarbons from the earth as soon as we can?  But rest assured, there are Canadian reef scientists who are trying to draw attention to the link between tar sands oil and the environmental crisis.

Peter Sale

More information about the Coral-List mailing list