Monday, May 20, 2013

Tar Sands Reality Check Counters Misinformation

On May 16, 2013, TarSandsRealityCheck.com (TSRC) was Launched in Canada, Europe and the US. TSRC provides reliable information on the Alberta tar sands.  This site is meant to counter misinformation from the Canadian government and oil sands lobbyists. The peer reviewed science provided on this site addresses topical issues like the Keystone XL pipeline in North America and the Fuel Quality Directive in Europe.

TSRC is designed for the public, media, politicians and the environmental community and includes groups like Environmental Defence Canada, Equiterre, Forest Ethics Advocacy, Greenpeace Canada, Natural Resources Defense Council (US), 350.org, Sierra Club U.S., and Transport and Environment (Europe).

The launch of TSRC coincides with Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper's trip to New York where he tried to sell the Keystone XL to the Council of Foreign Relations. In addition to Harper's pro tar sands pitch, the Canadian government has launched a new website which tries to put a positive spin on Alberta's fossil fuel industry.

The federal Conservatives were elected based on their economic promises. Now Canadians are realizing that not only are they failing to deliver on the economy, they are jeopardizing Canada's economic future. Harper's Conservatives have savaged Canada's environmental safeguards and turned the nation into a pariah state by abandoning Kyoto and global agreements on desertification. Worst of all, under Harper's leadership Canada's emissions profile continues to increase while much of the rest of is beginning to get serious about emissions reduction. 

TSRC has a number of distinguished contributors including world renowned economists, scientists and academics.

“With so much misinformation floating around, much of it intentionally misleading, it’s time for a tar sands reality check,” said Dr. Thomas Homer-Dixon from the University of Waterloo. “Every Canadian should read these facts and know the truth about the industry’s impacts.”

The Canadian government is spending $16.5 million of tax payers money to influence public opinion by selling tar sands oil. TSRC may not have the resources of the Canadian government or the fossil fuel industry but what they do have is the truth. TSRC clearly explains tar sands science as it pertains to the climate and the economy. It also deals with the tar sands impacts on flora, fauna, land, air and water.

“The Canadian and Albertan governments, along with industry, are inundating Europe with their pro-tar sands lobby campaign,” said Laura Buffet of Transport and Environment in Europe. “This website gives us a one stop shop for accurate and peer-reviewed data that we can point to decision makers who are overwhelmed by the industry spin.”

TSRC offers peer reviewed science that goes beyond the glossy sales pitches offered by a government seemingly desperate for petrodollars.

“No glossy brochures or green-washed billboards can change the fact that the pollution in the tar sands continues to soar,” said Hannah McKinnon of Environmental Defence Canada. “It is time for a reality check. The oil industry needs to invest in reducing carbon emissions instead of more empty PR spin.”

The Harper government and the fossil fuel industry puts short term economic gain above human health and in the process they are imperiling the future of the entire globe.  Once lauded for its economic performance, the federal Conservatives are now seeing thier luster fade as the naked truth is exposed.  It is time for people to see this government for what it is, a mouthpiece for the petroleum industry.

To learn more go to TarSandsRealityCheck .

© 2013, Richard Matthews. All rights reserved.

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