Alberta Tar Sands: the Most Harmful Industrial Project on the Planet

Ryan Sandarage 24/7/2012 ENG3U
Alberta Tar Sands: The Most Harmful Industrial Project on the Planet
Imagine all the things that come from natural resources. (pause) The chairs you sit on are plastic; the soles on your shoes can be vulcanized rubber, these come from crude oil. Your desk and pencil are made of compressed sawdust coming from wood, and these just some of the uses for these resources. The demand for natural resources has sky-rocketed since the latter half of the 20th century. As a result, humans are exploiting these resources at faster and faster rates without thinking about the future consequences. Examples of the exploitation of these resources include open-pit mining, forestry and oil drilling. These processes are known to have detrimental effects on the environment from land being cleared to habitats and ecosystems being decimated. Sounds bad, doesn’t it? (pause) Well… there an industrial project that is more detrimental, more harmful, and more destructive, not just to the environment but to humans as well. That project is the Alberta tar sands. The tar sands are destroying the environment and affecting the lives of all Canadians.
The Alberta tar sands put excessive harm on the environment. A large amount of energy and resources are required to extract crude oil from the tar sands, which are made up of clay, soil, water, and saturated petroleum. This extraction process requires the burning of fossil fuels and steam injecting water (usually fresh water, a resource we Canadians take for granted) into the tar sand from which the petroleum can be separated and extracted. But what happens to the materials that aren’t extractable or usable? Unfortunately, these toxic remnants are dumped into massive tailings ponds (pause) or should I say toxic sludge dumps. These toxic dumps contain everything from heavy metals to.