Category Archives: water

No Water For Oil!

Ok, so it doesn’t have quite the same ring to it as “no blood for oil,” but it’s becoming the rallying cry for a cause that’s very serious and very close to home.

If you’ve got Insider Edition access to, or if you can get your hands on a hard copy, read Jeffrey Simpson today. In a column titled Alberta’s tar sands are soaking up too much water, he outlines concerns that the Green Party and others have been raising for some time.

In summary, it takes anywhere from 2 to 4.5 barrels of water to extract and refine one barrel of oil from the Alberta tar sands. That province, which is already one of most dry provinces in Canada, is using more than 7% of their water on the oil and gas industry. (Oh, and funny story, that’s made worse by the fact that they’re also losing glaciers and snow packs faster than I lose elections. How’s that for ironic?)

So that’s a problem. To say nothing of the acids (yes McBain, real acid), mercury, and other toxins that are left over after the oil is separated from the bitumen, sand, and other residue. Not to mention all the other reasons that continuing to increase oil extraction and consumption is a bad idea, including Peak Oil (we’re gonna run out of the stuff…) and the Climate Crisis (…unless we wipe ourselves out first).

And it’s not just airhuggers who are worried. The Pembina Institute released a 154 page study a few months ago reaching the same conclusions, and even the Canada West Foundation thinks it’s maybe not such a good idea for the government of Alberta to be practically giving this water away for free.

In the mean time, I’m open to other clever slogan ideas. So far I’ve got “make love, not pools of toxic sludge,” and “all we are saying is give renewables a chance.” They could use some work.

Clean Water Is Not A Right: Canada

Do you believe that clean air is a human right? Clean water? Uncontaminated soil? Most of us do. That’s why you might be surprised to learn that your government does not.

“At both the 2nd World Water Forum at The Hague in 2000, and the 3rd World Water Forum in Kyoto in 2003, Canada refused to declare water as a human right. And in 2002, Canada was the only country to vote against a resolution by the UN Committee on Human Rights to appoint a Special Rapporteur to promote the right to water, stating, ‘Canada does not accept that there is a right to drinking water and sanitation.'” (source)

We don’t? Yikes. That can’t be. I’m sure it was a typo. We must have meant to say something like “Canada does not accept that many are without drinking water and sanitation.”

Hopefully someone can retype our statement pronto and clear up this silly misunderstanding.