Canadians debate danger caused by oilsands expansion.
October 13, 2010
(ChattahBox World News) – In Edmonton, Canada scientists and oil executives faced off on Tuesday to determine the fate of a new open pit mine expansion. The Total Josyln North mine near Fort McMurray is slated to produce 100,000 barrels a day. During the testimony in front of the Energy Resources Conservation Board scientists warned Canadians to beware of the “fools gold” that the energy company was offering.
Based upon the scientists calculations the fuel extracted from the site will be far more costly once they factor into the costs the damages that will happen to the environment.James Hansen, of the NASA Goddard Institute for Space Studies, traveled from New York to testify on the underlying stupidity of allowing the oil field.
“To achieve a safe level of carbon emissions, we cannot have more coal-fired plants,” he told the hearing.
“Of course we need energy, and this looks like a gold mine. But it’s fool’s gold.” Hansen testified.
Total VP Gary Houston, arguing on behalf of the gas giant, claimed that Total takes climate change seriously. Houston argues that the Fort McMurray area will have one of the lowest carbon footprints in the area. However, Total will not install carbon capture technology there because it is too costly.
The damage to the environment, as Hansen argued, could be far more costly. The estimate of this oil field alone is that it will contribute to the permanent loss of 39 species on this planet due to the field’s contribution to global warming.
A Yahoo Canada article reported that Hansen authored a report back in 1981 that predicted the melting of ice in the Northwest Passage, an occurrence that is happening now.
At this point there is still time to reverse the damage done by our rampant consumption of fossil fuels. If the Governments of the world listen to the reports and data given by the scientific community there may be a way to stop the destruction of our planet. Otherwise, as Hansen stated “We’re going to hand our children and grandchildren a situation that is out of control.”