H2Oil – The Story of the Alberta Tar Sands

H2Oil - The Story of the Alberta Tar SandsAmerica’s largest source of foreign oil is not Saudi Arabia, or anywhere in the Middle East. Alberta Canada, with its enormous reserve of bituminous oil – tar sands – is fast becoming the largest supplier of oil for US markets. The oil is located largely beneath pristine boreal forests, and the process of extraction uses as much as 4 barrels of fresh water for every barrel of oil produced. Water and oil don’t mix, and issues of water depletion, contamination, exploitation, and privatization are becoming one of the most important issues facing human civilization this century.

If the exploitation and extraction of the Alberta tar sands continues, the environmental, social, and human impacts on Alberta will soon reach a crisis point. North America will be covered with pipelines criss-crossing the land from the Arctic to the southern United States, leaving in their wake toxic water basins the size of Lake Ontario and surface mines equal to the land area of Florida.

The documentary H2Oil tells the story of Alberta and the tar sands, a story of “heartbreak and politicization” for those working to defend Alberta’s water against tar sands expansion. The struggle has forged unlikely alliances and changed the lives of everyday people trying to make a future for their families as they “come up against the largest industrial project in human history.” It is a story that many entrenched forces would prefer not be told. But unless there is awareness now of what is happening with the Alberta tar sands, it will soon be too late to avert the devastation it will cause.

We are creating an environmental catastrophe that will take centuries to recover from…if we recover at all” – David Suzuki

“There are a number of us who feel this is the biggest unsustainable development on the planet right now.” – Dr. David Schindler

Thomas Schueneman
Thomas Schuenemanhttps://tdsenvironmentalmedia.com
Tom is the founder and managing editor of GlobalWarmingisReal.com and the PlanetWatch Group. His work appears in Triple Pundit, Slate, Cleantechnia, Planetsave, Earth911, and several other sustainability-focused publications. Tom is a member of the Society of Environmental Journalists.

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  1. If your information on oil sands development in Alberta, Canada, comes from the film H2Oil, you may well believe the industry is surface mining “an area the size of Florida” and creating tailings ponds “the size of Lake Ontario.”

    We think you can be more effective in addressing or expressing your concern about the impacts of energy development, including from oil sands, if you’re aware of what the impacts really are.

    We don’t hide them:


    – David Sands, Government of Alberta

    • No, you just completely lie about them.

      “The Alberta Biodiversity Monitoring Institute (ABMI) is a non-profit organization composed of government, industry, academia and environmental groups.”

      Yes, sponsored by such shining stars of environmental consciousness as Devon, ConocoPhilips, Suncor, Shell, Imperial, MEG…
      I’m sure those “biodiversity” reports on the Tar Sands area are VERY objective.


  2. Oil sands development will continue to be an important topic, not only in regards to the deposits in Canada, but also in Venezuela. If estimates are true, that oil sands represent as much as two-thirds of the world’s total petroleum reserves, it is vital that we learn how to extract those resources in a sustainable fashion.

  3. Sad day for Canadians, who have now fallen behind the rest of the world (including America) in their environmental negligence.

  4. I was once proud to be Canadian. When faced with questions from international colleagues, I cannot even pretend that the Canadian government is not irresponsible and reckless in promoting the most unsustainable industrial project on earth. I will carry this nations passport and pay its taxes, but it is a sham state and a shell of what it was.


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