Forests and Climate Change

History being made in Alberta: Picket-line prevents clear-cutting in Castle protected area for 16th day

Media Release, January 26, 2012

Picket-line counter posts site where locals & outfitter continue to hold back clear-cutting in Castle protected area... Read more »

2011 is the International Year of Forests: how are YOU getting involved?

By Emma Cane

Photo: Min. of Natural Resources

The United Nations has declared 2011 as “International Year of Forests” in hopes of raising global awareness of sustainable forest management, conservation and the living legacy to be passed on to future generations. But what does that mean to us?... Read more »

Edmonton filmmaker addresses precious water resources

EDMONTON - David Lavallee spent 15 years guiding hikes in the Columbia Icefields but didn’t give much thought to what happened to the water that melted off the glaciers.

Then one day he was standing on the Athabasca glacier with glaciologist Shawn Marshall. Marshall talked about how the river ran to the tarsands where a huge amount of the water was used by the industry and ended up in toxic tailings ponds, which were growing exponentially.

“I was like, ‘hmm, interesting. How come I don’t know anything about this?’ I was born and raised in Edmonton. I’d always heard about the oilsands as a kid, but they were just this small project up there. Now all of a sudden they just completely took off and now we’re the caretakers of the second biggest deposit of oil on the planet.”... Read more »

Are the tar sands "too big to fail"?

Proponents of the rapid expansion of the Alberta oil sands highlight the huge scale of the undertaking and the huge amount of money it brings to our Canadian economy. There is a growing mystique that the tar sands are so big and central to Canada's economy that, like it or not, we just can't afford to limit their growth.

Sure, the Alberta tar sands are a BIG undertaking. Then again, we are a nation that does lots of BIG things. Canada is a "can do" nation with a gigantic and varied economy. How big?

A SMALL SLICE OF THE MONEY PIE

The Canadian Energy Research Institute (CERI) says that the oil sands and oil sands-related activities accounted for 1.5% of Canadian GDP in 2000. They expect this to rise to perhaps 3.0% in 2020. For this article's charts and data I assumed 2% of GDP in 2008.... Read more »

EU report warns of oilsands emissions

CALGARY - Average oilsands greenhouse gas emissions are 23 per cent higher than those from conventional oil used in Europe and therefore deserve special regulatory treatment, says a study prepared for the European Union.

But Alberta's energy minister said the report is based on out-of-date numbers and unfairly singles out oilsands to compare with a basket of other crudes, some of which are just as harmful to the environment.

The report could result in higher carbon emission offset charges for companies that use oilsands-derived fuels, although little or none of those fuels are currently sold in Europe.

Energy Minister Ron Liepert said the province has been invited to provide updated information to the EU climate commissioner and will do so.

"We think by using more recent numbers it will be more positive for Alberta," he said.... Read more »

            

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