The Tar Sands – Dirty oil and the future of a continent

By Wayne Vriend

I’m reading, “The Tar Sands – Dirty oil and the future of a continent,” by Andrew Nikiforuk. This book is a prophet’s call in our time…convincing, damning, and a wonder the author’s voice hasn’t been silenced.

I am shocked at how compelling greed and falseness is through and through our systems of government and business. Where have true leaders gone? Gone they are, we are a ship without a rudder, about to be hurled on the rocks of our own folly. Hopefully to some soft landing that saves us from ourselves.

The shocks come in waves; the shock of the living conditions in Fort McMurray, Alberta, the main town at the heart of the Tar Sands; the shock of the working conditions, the shock of the inflated wages and stunning cost overruns, the shock of the estimated 40% of workers high on cocaine and other drugs just to cope; the shock of the environmental protections agencies standard rubber stamp report of ‘no significant damage’ to the environmental impact study question at hand.

You have to be immune not to shocked by what you read about and feel in these pages.

The shock goes deeper however, than a ‘us vs. them’ kind of reaction. The shock goes into our collective addiction to cheap oil that has fuelled (pun intended) this reality. This is something we have co created as an industrial society and it is something we must together uncreate. It doesn’t seem however on the surface at least that there is much evident collective will to reverse this mammoth race to more and more raping of the earth, and plundering everything in our path for a feeling of security. But this is where mother earth will hopefully come to the rescue to save us from ourselves before it’s too late.

Scary too is our current Canadian government’s evangelical christian leanings that hold that the earth is soon to be burned up by God himself and a new heaven and a new earth popped in it’s place. And it’s belief that people who get worked up about saving the planet just don’t get that the far more important job is saving one’s soul from eternal torment in hell. This, of course, can’t be outright admitted, but look at the environmental track record and our recent pull out of the Kyoto accord. Something much bigger than just a political persuasion is at work here.

God’s kingdom is coming to Canada, and it’s a boom for the tar sands, like it or not. But the huge cost and devastating environmental impact can’t be underestimated.

​Visit for more articles and information about the SoulFullHeart healing process.


Petropolis: Stopping The Tar Sands

Every Canadian…every consumer of gas, should watch Petropolis, a film from Green Peace that offers a stunning aerial perspective on the Alberta tar sands. There’s very little narration as miles and miles of scarred, gouged, poisoned, and stripped land are juxtaposed against pristine and breathtakingly beautiful images of the still untouched acres of the Boreal Forest.

The abuses of our land, of our planet, so poignantly demonstrate how we are out of balance as a species- expressing our male shadow side…..achievement-based, short-sighted, dominating, and greedy….following urges and unchecked impulses in masochistic and saddistic ways without feeling compassion, remorse, or the bigger context of the impact it has on our world and the world our children will inherit from us.

While watching this film, I often gasped, near tears, “How can we let this happen to our earth?”, shocked by the destruction and devastation depicted in the images. Wayne replied (also disgusted but less shocked because he had seen these tar sand images before), “Out of sight is out of mind for most people. Remember too that the Tar Sands are a really lucrative industry for Canada.”

This film puts what is out of sight into the mind and, hopefully, into the heart and into the awakening consciousness happening around the world. Yes the demand is there for fossil fuels and it can be answered this way…but at what long-term cost for such temporary gain?

Information below is from the film’s website about the dangerous effects of this relatively new and expensive (the cost much beyond a financial one) means of meeting the world’s demands for and ever decreasing supplies of oil:

Located beneath 4.3 million hectares of boreal forest in Alberta, Canada, the tar sands are a mixture of sand, clay and a heavy crude oil called bitumen that is either mined in open pits or extracted from underground by injecting superheated water.

Getting the oil out of the tar sands uses roughly three barrels of water per barrel of oil, or as much water as a city of two million people. After use in tar sands processing, 90 per cent of this water is so contaminated with toxic chemicals that it must be stored in tailings ponds so huge that they can be seen from outer space.

Tar sands oil production releases five times more greenhouse gases than conventional oil production. Tar sands projects will release an estimated 40 million tonnes of CO2 equivalent in 2007 and ensure that Canada will continue to be one of the worst greenhouse gas emitters per capita in the world. – From Petropolis

​Visit for more articles and information about the SoulFullHeart healing process.