White Water, Black Gold
You can’t practice abstinence while running a brothel. Yet politicians of almost all stripes talk simultaneously about developing the Alberta oil sands while getting serous about reducing carbon emissions. Sound like a crock? It is.
Mitchell Anderson, It’s the Tar Sands, Stupid
It’s not just the carbon emissions from the tar sands that are polluting our ecosystem and making our children’s future more precarious. The amount of fresh water contaminated by the Alberta tar sands boggles the mind. The tailings pond (where 90% of the fresh water used ends up) are large enough to be seen from outer space. Oil sands mining is licensed to use twice the amount of fresh water that the entire city of Calgary uses in a year. White Water, Black Gold follows adventure filmmaker David Lavallee on his three-year quest across Western Canada for the truth about the impact of world’s thirstiest, and dirtiest, oil industry:
This is a journey of jarring contrasts, from the pristine mountain ice fields that are the source of the industry’s water, to the Tar Sands tailing ponds, where thousands of migrating birds have unwittingly landed and died.
Both government and industry spokespeople deny any cause for concern, but in the course of his journey Lavallee, backed by university scientists, makes a number of discoveries that challenge that assessment and raise serious concerns for Canada and the United States.
Native peoples living downstream are contracting unusual cancers; new science shows that water resources in an era of climate change will be increasingly scarce; the proposed upgrading of the oilfields could endanger multiple river systems across Canada that makeup about half of its water supply; and a planned oil pipeline across British Columbia brings fresh threats to rivers, salmon and the Pacific Ocean.
This Saturday, June 18th, is International Stop The Tar Sands Day, where events are taking place in front of Canadian embassies around the world to shine light on the terrible price the tar sands extract from our planet and the people living around it. In anticipation of International Stop The Tar Sands Day, The Winnipeg Chapter of the Council of Canadians has organized a screening of White Water, Black Gold this Thursday, June 16, at 7 pm at the Unitarian Church, 603 Wellington Crescent. Admission is by donation. I’ll see you there!