Daily Archives: April 1, 2013

The Tar Sands Disaster – Thomas Homer-Dixon NYTimes.com

http://www.nytimes.com/2013/04/01/opinion/the-tar-sands-disaster.html
March 31, 2013

By THOMAS HOMER-DIXON
WATERLOO, Ontario

IF President Obama blocks the Keystone XL pipeline once and for all, he’ll do Canada a favor.

Canada’s tar sands formations, landlocked in northern Alberta, are a giant reserve of carbon-saturated energy — a mixture of sand, clay and a viscous low-grade petroleum called bitumen. Pipelines are the best way to get this resource to market, but existing pipelines to the United States are almost full. So tar sands companies, and the Alberta and Canadian governments, are desperately searching for export routes via new pipelines.

Canadians don’t universally support construction of the pipeline. A poll by Nanos Research in February 2012 found that nearly 42 percent of Canadians were opposed. Many of us, in fact, want to see the tar sands industry wound down and eventually stopped, even though it pumps tens of billions of dollars annually into our economy.

The most obvious reason is that tar sands production is one of the world’s most environmentally damaging activities. It wrecks vast areas of boreal forest through surface mining and subsurface production. It sucks up huge quantities of water from local rivers, turns it into toxic waste and dumps the contaminated water into tailing ponds that now cover nearly 70 square miles. …(read more).

Global Climate Change http://courses.dce.harvard.edu/~envre130
Environmental Justice http://courses.dce.harvard.edu/~envre145
Environment Ethics http://courses.dce.harvard.edu/~envre120

Jared Diamond: World Until Yesterday


CambridgeForumVideos

Published on Mar 29, 2013

Jared Diamond asks what we can learn from traditional cultures.

Global Climate Change http://courses.dce.harvard.edu/~envre130
Environmental Justice http://courses.dce.harvard.edu/~envre145
Environment Ethics http://courses.dce.harvard.edu/~envre120

US disease centre warns of ‘superbug’ risk

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Book TV After Words: David Burstein, “Fast Future”

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Book TV After Words: David Burstein, “Fast Future”

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Book TV: 2013 Tucson Festival of Books: Timothy Egan, “Short Nights of the Shadow Catcher”

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Nuclear 101: How Nuclear Weapons Work (Part 9/9)

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