This article is written by Chloe Maxmin.
On February 17th, I was part of history. 50,000 people from around North America traveled to Washington DC for the Forward on Climate rally–the largest climate rally in US history. We protested the Keystone XL pipeline and the expansion of tar sands oil.
Tar sands exploitation was recently identified as one of 14 « carbon bombs. » A mixture of clay, sand, water, and bitumen (a hydrocarbon that can be processed into crude oil), tar sands is extracted from under Canada’s Boreal Forest. It is a gooey tar-like substance that must be diluted with toxic carcinogenic chemicals to get through a pipeline. Compared to conventional oil, it is 70 times more viscous, 20 times more acidic, and has three times the spill rate. Producing crude from tar sands also emits three times more greenhouse gas emissions than producing conventional oil. If fully exploited, the combustion of these fossil fuel reserves would cause global temperatures to rise between 5 and 6 degrees Celsius--a level of warming that the World Bank deemed un-adaptable. According to climate scientist James Hanse, « Canada’s tar sands, deposits of sand saturated with bitumen, contain twice the amount of carbon dioxide emitted by global oil use in our entire history. »
What’s more: the extraction of tar sands has devastating effects on local communities, especially First Nation peoples. Chemicals from the extraction site contaminate local water sources, endangering drinking water and affecting wildlifein the region. These communities continue to live traditional lifestyles, living off of the land and depending on Lire la suite « Forward On Climate Rally: 50,000 People Say No To Tar Sands And Make History In The US »