Tar Sands Documentary: White Water, Black Gold

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Canada is the number one oil supplier to the US and is pushing to increase that role using the Alberta Tar Sands, slated to mine and strip an area of Boreal Forest the size of Florida, impacting land resources and indigenous communities, producing bitumen-crude that will foul the global climate.

White Water, Black Gold, Alberta tar sandsWhite Water, Black Gold – A Nation’s Water in Peril

Most of the Canadian oil imported to the US comes from the Tar Sands of Northern Alberta, the second largest known oil reserve in the world outside of Saudi Arabia.

Yet this is not a traditional oil field. The oil must be extracted and processed from the sands at a significant environmental cost — requiring huge quantities of a diminishing fresh water supply and large amounts of energy that contribute to global warming.

STORY: World’s Dirtiest Oil – Alberta Tar Sands

Narrated by Wade Davis, Explorer in Residence for National Geographic

White Water, Black Gold follows David Lavallee on his three-year journey across Western Canada in search of the truth about the impact of the world’s thirstiest oil industry. This is a journey of jarring contrasts, from the pristine mountain ice fields that are the source of the industry’s water, to the Tar Sands tailing ponds, where thousands of migrating birds have unwittingly landed and died.

Both government and industry spokespeople deny any cause for concern, but in the course of his journey Lavallee, backed by university scientists, makes a number of discoveries that challenge that assessment and raise serious concerns for Canada and the United States.

Native peoples living downstream are contracting unusual cancers; new science shows that water resources in an era of climate change will be increasingly scarce; the proposed upgrading of the oilfields could endanger multiple river systems across Canada that makeup about half of its water supply; and a planned oil pipeline across British Columbia brings fresh threats to rivers, salmon and the Pacific Ocean.

White Water, Black Gold is a sober look at the untold costs associated with developing this major oil deposit, and raises important questions about how much environmental damage we’re willing to tolerate to feed our oil appetite.

Available on DVD from: http://www.videoproject.com

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WilderUtopia.com regularly posts articles, photo essays, features, and documentaries from around the web that illuminate the challenges to coexistence between city and wild, developed and developing, human and other. To reach out, write to jack (dot) eidt (at) wilderutopia (dot) com. Follow us on Twitter @WilderUtopia