It's a place in Indigenous territories and rich in forests, wetlands and huge deposits of bitumen, a tar-like substance that’s turned into oil through complex and energy-intensive processes. You might have heard about the Tar Sands in connection with expanding the Keystone XL pipeline connecting Alberta, Canada with communities throughout the States of Montana, South Dakota, Nebraska, Kansas, Oklahoma, and Texas. A decision on it is not expected until 2015.
No matter your opinion of the proposal at this point in time, it's important you know about the place and what is happening to the indigenous peoples, rich forests and wetlands and why sustainability principles and practices need to be fully engaged now.
Last Friday on NBC Nightly News (view here) the scale of extraction was brought home to a large audience. For our part, we started a special collection on EarthSayers.tv entitled Alberta Canada Tar Sands, and organized it not as an environmental or social or economic sustainability category but more simply as a place. A place to begin a journey of education and, ultimately, action that results in consideration of the 3BL of planet, people, and prosperity.
The collection will grow over time, but is now seeded with an array of video programs to include news programs from five years ago to this April, a TEDx talk by photographer Garth Lenz on the True Cost of Oil, blogger MrEnergyCzar, and more...
In a radio interview, The Scale of It All, renowned Canadian photographer Edward Burtynsky specifically addresses his own "oil epiphany" and why having children changed his perspective on what is sustainable. It isn't just about the environment, he does not see himself as an environmentalist, but "as an advocate for sustainability."
A journey to a place often starts with pictures and I highly recommend listening to Edward Burtynski and seeing some of his large format photographs from his recent exhibit on oil then watch Garth Lenz' TEDx Talk and see for yourself the Tar Sands in Alberta, Canada.
Ruth Ann Barrett, Sustainability Advocate, April 30, 2013, Cleveland, Ohio
KEYWORDS: Energy, Environment, Conservation, Climate Change / Global Warming, Environmental Politics, People, Social Action & Community Engagement, Community, Positive Change, sustainability, sustainability advocate, voices of sustainability, Canada, XL Pipeline, tar sands, oil sands, peak oil, petroleum, Indigenous Peoples, Rights of Mother Earth