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>What Fuels Our Quest for Economic Exuberance?

One of the benefits of getting Copenhagen reports from environmental journalist Zoe Cormier has been a quick education about Canada’s gigantic tar sands project. (See also Are Canadian tar sands the answer to our oil needs? and Pumping in Dirty Oil From Canada’s Tar Sands) It helps Canada rank as the biggest supplier of oil to the U.S. It is also among the world’s dirtiest projects. In an informative blog post at New Internationalist, Zoe notes that “production of this oil releases up to five times more greenhouse gases per unit than conventional extraction,…” Here is her report on the tar sands from last week’s Klimaforum09 in Copenhagen.

I was stunned to learn from Ms. Cormier that the entire tar sands deposit covers an area the size of England. The photos in the above video report are awesome enough, but Zoe assures us these do not begin to communicate the true scope of what she calls “the world’s largest industrial project.” In her blog at New Internationalist she explains how and why the tar sands don’t get the notoriety they deserve.

And in the above video report she touches on how this project enables North America to keep turbocharging a (usually) growing economy. Because of its sheer size, shutting down the tar sands might actually force us into a recovery program for growth addiction. Interesting thought.

I hate to mix subjects in one post, but if the idea is new to you that addiction to economic growth is undesirable, let me get you started with a brilliant essay recently published in the UK Guardian by George Monbiot: This is bigger than climate change. It is a battle to redefine humanity.

You can also find more in the economic growth section of this website.

Finally, a quick plug for Zoe Cormier’s new environmental news site, AxisOfEco.com. Check it out!

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