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Wed Jan 30, 2013, 09:18 PM

The World's Dirtiest Oil: U.S. Tar Sands Threatens the American West

(emphases my own)

Climate Disruption

Producing a barrel of tar sands oil generates three times more carbon emissions than producing a barrel of conventional oil. In the United States, growing interest in tar sands development, especially in the Western states, could increase U.S. greenhouse gas emissions from new tar sands projects from 27 to 126 million tons by 2015.

Water Quality, Water Supply

Tar sands extraction is extremely water-intensive. It takes three barrels of water to produce one barrel of oil.2 This decreases surface water flow, which can harm stream habitats for fish and other species that depend on local water supplies. [font color="red"]Less than 10 percent of the water used by tar sands extractions can be returned to its original source, while large amounts of contaminated wastewater must be discarded[/font]3. In Albertan tar sands developments, this toxic wastewater is held in massive tailings ponds that are large enough to be seen from space.

Wildlife and Human Health

These poisonous mining sites have harmful implications for human health and local wildlife. Local communities
near tar sand sites suffer higher-than-average rates of cancer and autoimmune diseases. For example, in some
areas near tar sands the number of cases of bile duct cancer is 30 percent higher than the national average.4
Tar sands developments also pose direct threats to bird populations that have historically used the area
for nesting and mating the toxic tailings ponds are responsible for the deaths of an estimated 58,000 to
400,000 birds.5 In Alberta alone, the government has recorded the death of countless deer, moose, bear, and
other mammals in the areas surrounding the tar sands developments.

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Response to Bill USA (Original post)

Wed Jan 30, 2013, 11:04 PM

1. I am glad the Democratic Party has come out strongly against this. Oops. I mean I hope they



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Response to Bill USA (Original post)

Thu Jan 31, 2013, 02:14 AM

2. Utah, the second driest state in the Nation, is next.

Thanks to the republican corporate mentality of Governor Herbert and the likes of Mike Lee and Orrin Hatch, Utah is to have the dubious distinction of becoming the first state to allow tar sands mining. The Utah Division of Oil and Gas Mining has given the go ahead to Alberta based U.S. Oil Sands to begin the first stage of its mine in eastern Utah. This general area is already covered with shale mines.

We can only hope that the environmental advocacy group, Living Rivers, is successful in the court of appeals. It's a long shot but I fully support the cause.

Thanks for the info.

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Response to UtahLib (Reply #2)

Thu Jan 31, 2013, 09:28 PM

3. meanwhile.... Polar ice sheets 'are melting three times faster than they were just two decades ago'


The new research concludes that Antarctica is melting, but points to the smaller ice sheet in Greenland, which covers most of the island, as the bigger and more pressing issue. Its melt rate has grown from about 55 billion tons a year in the 1990s to almost 290 billion tons a year recently, according to the study.

'Greenland is really taking off,' said National Snow and Ice Data Center scientist Ted Scambos, a co-author of the paper released Thursday by the journal Science.

One of the biggest wild cards in climate change has been figuring out how much the melting of the massive sheets of ice at the two poles would add to the seas.

Study leader Professor Andrew Shepherd, from the University of Leeds, said: 'The success of this venture is due to the co-operation of the international scientific community, and due to the provision of precise satellite sensors by our space agencies.

Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencetech/article-2240917/Polar-ice-sheets-melting-times-faster-just-decades-ago.html#ixzz2JbfdqMhh
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Response to Bill USA (Original post)

Fri Feb 1, 2013, 05:40 PM

4. I am tied of statements like "are large enough to be seen from space", so is a tin can today.


For at least 20 years, it has been claimed that we can read the numbers off license plates from space. In the 1970s when the Russian T-72 came out, the US wanted to know if the T-72 gun was smooth bore or rifled so the NSA tried to get pictures of the barrel of a T-72 gun from space. This implied that even in the 1970s they could detect something that small under the right circumstances. All told we can see a LOT from space, right down to tin cans on the highway, thus a statement that something is "so big" it can be seen from space is a meaningless phase.

Side note: As to the T-72 gun, the report I read was the NSA failed to determine if it was smoother bore or rifled for the Russians just never aimed one out to space. At that point the US ended up asking the French for assistance. The French sent one of their Generals to Russia and the General went in saying how impressed he was about the T-72 and asked to look one over, the Russian agreed and gladly showed off their latest wonder weapon. He asked to look up the barrel and the Russians showing off the tank gladly opened the breech so he could look down the barrel (the barrel was smooth bore). Yes, we can see a lot with the latest satellite, but some times the best way to see something is to have a man on the ground.

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Response to happyslug (Reply #4)

Sat Feb 2, 2013, 06:31 PM

5. I think they mean with the unaided eye. Like, if you were looking out your space capsule window.

(don't roll it down!).

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