Another response to the Canadian Association of Petroleum Producers

by BuryCoal on April 24, 2011

in Climate change, Ethics, Oil sands

Previously: Misleading CAPP ads, Has Garrett Brown sold his soul?

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{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

Nicholas Ellan May 11, 2011 at 7:45 pm

The idea that we have learned how to re-establish forests would be laughable if the reality wasn’t so damn sad. I drove through southern BC just last week and gazed upon millions and millions of acres of highly disturbed and monocropped matchstick forests punctuated by the occasional clearcut. The only recovery landscape which looked healthy was the edges of planted areas which had been left to their own devices where healthy groves of low-value alder were doing the thankless work of gradually restoring soil quality. Meanwhile clearcut erosion and runoff had clearly taken its tool on nearby riparian ecosystems, which were terrifyingly absent apart from a great deal of fireweed.

Sustainable forestry is being studied at length at UBC but it sure isn’t being practiced in the industry.

Milan May 11, 2011 at 10:33 pm

That said, I can see why this ad is effective for the general public.

Clearcutting may be the most visible manifestation of oil sands extraction. The idea that the land will be restored to a similar appearance to how it was before the bitumen was extracted makes it seem as though no harm has been done.

Of course, the oil sands companies will do all they can to avoid a legal obligation to reforest. And if they are so obliged, the reforested lands will be monocultures of the sort you describe. And the notion that no harm has been done ignores the large-scale transfer of carbon from safe underground deposits into an atmosphere already dangerously loaded with the stuff.

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