Tar Sands [Revised and Updated]: Dirty Oil and the Future of a Continent

by Andrew Nikiforuk

Greystone Books Ltd. | August 1, 2010 | Kobo Edition (eBook)

Tar Sands [Revised and Updated]: Dirty Oil and the Future of a Continent is rated 3.6667 out of 5 by 6.

The book that put the tar sands -- and their devastating environmental impact -- on the map, for better or worse.

Andrew Nikiforuk's Tar Sands is a critical expose of the world's largest energy project -- the Alberta oil sands -- that has made Canada one of the worst environmental offenders on earth. With all eyes on the potential development of the Enbridge Pipeline that would run bitumen from the tar sands through to Kitimat, BC, and then via tankers along a pristine marine route, this book is more salient than ever.

Tar Sands exposes the disastrous environmental, social, and political costs of the tar sands and argues forcefully for change. Combining extensive scientific research and compelling writing, Nikiforuk takes the reader to Fort McMurray, home to some of the world's largest open-pit mines, and explores this twenty-first-century pioneer town from the exorbitant cost of housing to its more serious social ills. He uncovers a global Deadwood, complete with rapturous engineers, cut-throat cocaine dealers, aimless bush workers, American evangelicals, and the largest population of homeless people in northern Canada. He also explains that this micro-economy supplies gasoline for 50 percent of Canadian vehicles and 16 percent of U.S. demand.

The book does provide hope, however, and ends with an exploration of possible solutions to the problem. And this update edition Nikiforuk adds a new afterword, a new appendix on the hidden costs of steam extraction, and a response to the criticism he received for the first edition.

Nikiforuk's follow-up to Tar Sands, The Energy of Slaves, discusses our current addiction to oil and calls for a new emancipation from our dependence on this neo-slavery.

Format: Kobo Edition (eBook)

Published: August 1, 2010

Publisher: Greystone Books Ltd.

Language: English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10: 155365627X

ISBN - 13: 9781553656272

Found in: Science and Nature

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Reviews

Rated 5 out of 5 by from Very Eye Opening! Interesting and Educational. I would recommend reading the book “Tar Sands.” This novel will help by giving definitive facts and truths about the oil sands that were hidden from the public. It is mind-boggling to really understand the magnitude and the negative effects the oil sands have on the Province of Alberta and in the bigger picture, the Country of Canada. As the book reveals the ugly truth the reader finds him/her self captivated and glued to the text. It is hard to believe the damage that is being conducted to our environment in Northern Alberta. If the tar sands don’t come to an end, and the oil companies continue to thrive off the destruction of the Earth; what will our future look like? I enjoyed this book a lot, and for those who are considering or are looking for an interesting read this book fulfills that desire.
Date published: 2011-11-27
Rated 2 out of 5 by from A bunch of facts Andrew Nikiforuk's intention of writing this novel is clear to the reader. This is his wake-up call to the world on the impact of our greed. He was a little bit heavy with facts and statistics in his work but he was able to deliver a thoughtful explanation of the tar sands situation in Alberta. Andrew Nikiforuk makes sure his writing can be read by anyone interested in the matter.
Date published: 2011-05-24
Rated 5 out of 5 by from A must-read for all Canadians I have read a number of books on the Tar Sands, and this one is the most thorough, well-researched and readable. The analysis in Chapters 12 and 13 on how Alberta and Canada fit in the world of petro-politics is illuminating. Given the regional and global impacts of tar sands development, this book should be required reading for every Canadian. Nikiforuk very much deserves all the awards he has won.
Date published: 2009-12-27
Rated 1 out of 5 by from overblown and inaccurate When I got to the section on a subtopic I knew something about already, i.e. carbon capture and storage, Nikiforuk's poor research stood out starkly. His writing style is also very overblown. If you want to be told, over and over and over, how bad, how ugly, how awful, the tar sands really are, in every way, from the name, the appearance, the environmental problems, the social problems, the political problems, well its all repeatedly restated again and again right here in this book. If you were looking for facts so you could make up your own mind, look elsewhere. Any facts in this book would have to be double checked from a better source in any case.
Date published: 2008-11-25
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Dirty Oil and the Future of Alberta Nikiforuk, most famous for his book on Wiebo Ludwig, "Saboteurs", now returns with a book that looks at the massive oil sands development in Northern Alberta and shows how out-of-control exploitation of this resource is having a terrible effect on the environment and the health of the local population. Nikiforuk also shows how the Alberta government has for years under-collected revenues from oil sands exploitation, and has made no provision for keeping these funds out of general revenue. The effect has been to diminish civic involvement in politics and democracy in Alberta. Bitumen--the raw oily dirt which can only be processed by burning enormous amounts of energy and wasting vast quantities of water before it becomes usable oil--is here exposed as Alberta's dirty "secret" and the largest single petroleum project in the world. A must-read for Albertans, though at times a bit dry in its writing style.
Date published: 2008-11-19
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Crucial reading this small book is densely packed with information about the history of the tar sands and contemporary developments. It is passionately written as call to action and it makes a good argument for the economic and environmental dangers of the tar sands projects for all canadians, and the global community as well. Its virtually an exposee on a topic that is tremendously under reported
Date published: 2008-10-22

– More About This Product –

Tar Sands [Revised and Updated]: Dirty Oil and the Future of a Continent

by Andrew Nikiforuk

Format: Kobo Edition (eBook)

Published: August 1, 2010

Publisher: Greystone Books Ltd.

Language: English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10: 155365627X

ISBN - 13: 9781553656272

From the Publisher

The book that put the tar sands -- and their devastating environmental impact -- on the map, for better or worse.

Andrew Nikiforuk's Tar Sands is a critical expose of the world's largest energy project -- the Alberta oil sands -- that has made Canada one of the worst environmental offenders on earth. With all eyes on the potential development of the Enbridge Pipeline that would run bitumen from the tar sands through to Kitimat, BC, and then via tankers along a pristine marine route, this book is more salient than ever.

Tar Sands exposes the disastrous environmental, social, and political costs of the tar sands and argues forcefully for change. Combining extensive scientific research and compelling writing, Nikiforuk takes the reader to Fort McMurray, home to some of the world's largest open-pit mines, and explores this twenty-first-century pioneer town from the exorbitant cost of housing to its more serious social ills. He uncovers a global Deadwood, complete with rapturous engineers, cut-throat cocaine dealers, aimless bush workers, American evangelicals, and the largest population of homeless people in northern Canada. He also explains that this micro-economy supplies gasoline for 50 percent of Canadian vehicles and 16 percent of U.S. demand.

The book does provide hope, however, and ends with an exploration of possible solutions to the problem. And this update edition Nikiforuk adds a new afterword, a new appendix on the hidden costs of steam extraction, and a response to the criticism he received for the first edition.

Nikiforuk's follow-up to Tar Sands, The Energy of Slaves, discusses our current addiction to oil and calls for a new emancipation from our dependence on this neo-slavery.

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