Europeans stopped Canada’s Slaughter of Baby Seals – Can They Stop Canada’s Tar Sands?

On July 17th Berliners and other Europeans will take to the streets to stop the worst environmental disaster on the planet:

Canada’s “Dirty Oil” Tar Sands

[UPDATE: See pix and story on the Stop Tar Sands “demo-fest”]

“The tar sands of Canada constitute one of our planet’s greatest threats” — James Hansen, Director of NASA’s Goddard Institute for Space Studies

“Extracting oil from Alberta’s tar sands jeopardizes the survival of our species” — Al Gore

Warning of the global environmental disaster represented by Canada’s production of oil from its western tar sands, protesters will gather in front of the Canadian Embassies in Berlin, London and Copenhagen on Saturday, July 17 to mark International Stop the Tar Sands Day.

[Download poster international tar sands day A3]

The goal of International Stop the Tar Sands Day is to raise awareness in Europe that oil made from Canada’s tar sands has “two-to-three times the global warming pollution of conventional oil,” according to eminent scientist James Hansen, Director of NASA’s Goddard Institute for Space Studies. “But the process also diminishes one of the best carbon-reduction tools on the planet: Canada’s Boreal Forest.”

Similar protests are planned at Canadian embassies in London, Paris and Vienna.

“Ultimately only Canadian people can stop the expansion of the tar sands. Through our demonstrations we want to show Canadians there is international support for a moratorium,” says first-time organizer Derek Leahy, a Canadian living in Berlin.

“We believe Canadians will make the right decision,” Leahy said

“Although European companies and banks are profiting from Canada’s tar sands few Europeans have heard about the tar sands. We intend to change that ,” he said

[Full disclosure: this is copied from a press release and Derek is my son — Steve] Continue reading

Copenhagen’s Fantastic Bike Culture Should Be In Every City — Great Video Shows Why

Copenhagen has a fantastic bike culture — 60+ % commute to work every day plus they have a great subway system too. It is cold and wet a lot of the year but people dress for it and were frankly a hell of lot warmer than I was walking when I was there for three weeks in December while covering the climate summit.

One Saturday morning before Christmas I was amazed to see a family of four on two bikes with their groceries and a 2-metre Christmas tree happily pedaling for home . In North America we think we need a van or at least a pick up truck

This professional video shows an overview of what makes Copenhagen such a fantastic city, as seen by North-American eyes

Sadly I didn’t get a chance to ride in Copenhagen but this should be a model for other cities around the world. Copenhagen did it in 40 years and it is truly amazing. — Steve

‘Tourists Please Don’t Go To Home of Canada’s Dirty Oil Sands’ Ad Campaign

Beautiful Alberta, Canada??

US enviro group is putting up billboards in four U.S. cities urging Americans to exclude Alberta from their travel plans, saying it is “one of the world’s dirtiest destinations”.

Let’s be clear here: I am not a supporter of this use of  a big “economic” club to hit govt over the head to get their attention. It will hurt many Albertans who are in the tourist biz where many likely support a moratorium on new tar sands development. Indeed most Albertans have said they want a “time out” in the tar sands. But big oil says no way and are pushing for faster approvals of new projects with “streamlined environmental reviews” of course.

In their  Re-Think Alberta Campaign enviro groups say they are trying to counter Alberta and Canadian government propaganda. Canada is lobbying the US  to prevent any cleaner-fuel regulations because the tar sands has the world’s highest CO2 levels and is the most destructive form of oil production. Yes worse, than off shore drilling – see here for more

And they are also down here lobbying for infrastructure, new pipelines, refineries, which would keep us addicted to high-carbon oil for another 50 years.” Corporate Ethics International Executive Director Michael Marx told Reuters.

1.3 million barrels of dirty oil is shipped  from tar sands region  to the US every day

Corporate Ethics also has a powerful video about the ongoing environmental mess that can easily be seen from space it is so big.

See also International Stop the Tar Sands Day commencing July 17 (more on this later).

You can learn more on enviro impacts of the tar sands in my short ebook:

Oil Stains in the Boreal Forest: The Environmental Cost of Canada’s Oil Sands

And from my recent articles:

Canada’s “Mordor” Ensures Climate Treaty Failure in Copenhagen

Tar Sands, Riot Police & Hope in Copenhagen

— Green wishes, Steve