Dirty Oil: a new film about tar sands from the Co-op

Posted by christian — 12 March 2010 at 4:41pm - Comments

Before and after - from boreal forest to strip mining, that's tar sands. © Jiri Rezac / WWF-UK

Oil is rubbish. I mean, obviously it's been great - you know, they way that it underpins what we call 'advanced industrial civilisation' - that we can make it into petrol, plastic, pharmaceuticals, fertiliser. That's obviously brilliant, because in my opinion all that stuff has (by and large) been great. But now that we've got better, cleaner and smarter ways to power our cities, run our cars and heat our homes forgive me if I find the black stuff a bit... last century.

It's getting harder to find the stuff, for one thing. These days big oil companies like BP and Shell have to reassure their investors about their continued ability to find new oil fields to drill, rather than just sticking a pipe into the ground and watching money magically pour out of it, which is, I understand, what used to happen.

Experts argue over when, exactly, the global supply of oil will peak, leaving that entire 'advanced industrial civilisation' thing looking like a pretty stupid move. And of course, the main reason that oil is rubbish is that burning it on a massive scale is a big part of why we're now causing our climate to behave in new, unusual and dangerous ways.

Our burning desire to find new sources of oil and the accelerating carbon emissions of our global society come together in one place - the Canadian tar sands. The tar sands are the largest industrial project on the planet today - a massive industrial wasteland of opencast mines, pipes and refineries that has been constructed across the Albertan wilderness. It's all there to get low-grade oil out of the ground, but this oil comes at a horrific cost in terms of destroyed forests, poisoned rivers and lakes, and increased carbon emissions.

If you want to know more - and we will be talking about tar sands a lot over the coming months - a new film called Dirty Oil dramatically explores the battle between industry, government, local communities and environmentalists over the development of the tar sands. Through the eyes of scientists, big oil officials, politicians, doctors, environmentalists and aboriginal citizens, the film examines the damage caused by our ongoing quest for new sources of oil.

The film opens next week - check it out.

over the months i ama and many others are just getting fedup with greenpeace and others about how they want to change the world for the better,i don't know how you all can talk like this what about the ships and so on you all go around in, please just go home and leave the people who just want to live a life and not be bothered by you and many others who are getting up peoples backs infact get a life get a job and let people live how they want to live.you are all the same trying to control our lifes,

The co-op have been doing sterling work campaigning against the tar sands for a couple of years - I love that they do this sort of stuff with my money (I'm a co-op bank customer and I hadnt even heard of the tars sands before they started sticking leaflets about it in my bank statements) - they're funding an affected Cree community to sue the government, they're tabling shareholder resolutions at Shell & BP, and now they're financing films about it. Awesome!

mik008 jensenm2;; jeessuusss have you not seen what is happening to our planet,because of environment destruction,what about tomorrow,with ignorance around,tomorrow will be very short lived,may be you should take a visit to fort mcmurray,if you saw what was there 30 years ago and compare it with today,i can see that you only care for your self you would make a great CEO,have a good day,and hope tommorow will come.

over the months i ama and many others are just getting fedup with greenpeace and others about how they want to change the world for the better,i don't know how you all can talk like this what about the ships and so on you all go around in, please just go home and leave the people who just want to live a life and not be bothered by you and many others who are getting up peoples backs infact get a life get a job and let people live how they want to live.you are all the same trying to control our lifes,

The co-op have been doing sterling work campaigning against the tar sands for a couple of years - I love that they do this sort of stuff with my money (I'm a co-op bank customer and I hadnt even heard of the tars sands before they started sticking leaflets about it in my bank statements) - they're funding an affected Cree community to sue the government, they're tabling shareholder resolutions at Shell & BP, and now they're financing films about it. Awesome!

mik008 jensenm2;; jeessuusss have you not seen what is happening to our planet,because of environment destruction,what about tomorrow,with ignorance around,tomorrow will be very short lived,may be you should take a visit to fort mcmurray,if you saw what was there 30 years ago and compare it with today,i can see that you only care for your self you would make a great CEO,have a good day,and hope tommorow will come.

About Christian Hunt

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Sea ice geek, former web editor at GP.

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