Tar sands oil is one of the most destructive, dirty, and costly fuels in the world. The crude bitumen contained in the oil sands mining project in Alberta, Canada (possibly the largest industrial project in human history) is described by local authorities as: “petroleum that exists in the semi-solid or solid phase in natural deposits“. To extract this ‘solid petroleum- like’ substance, Alberta oil companies are digging up pristine forest and leaving behind huge toxic wastelands.
From all independent reports, harvesting the Alberta tar sands in Canada is an extreme environmental disaster. By its very nature mining and extracting tar sands destroys enormous swaths of important ecosystems, produces lake sized reservoirs of toxic waste, releases toxic chemicals into the air when it is then refined for use, and produces significantly more global warming gases than fuels made from even other still highly polluting conventional fossil fuels.
In the latest staggering display of the Alberta tar sands industry’s attack on the natural world, the government of Alberta has made plans to initiate a large scale Wolf (Lupus lupus) cull, in a blatant bid to provide cover for the destruction wrought by the industrialisation of the areas boreal forest ecosystem. The authority’s justification for this slaughter is to prevent further declines in the number of Caribou (Rangifer tarandus) in the area. Despite the fact Caribou and Wolves been co inhabits of the northern hemisphere for around 1.6 million years! The loss of habitat and habitat fragmentation and degradation from the tar sands mining project themselves being the true cause!
The proposed cull will involve the slaughter of an estimated 6,000 wolves that will be systematically gunned down by hunters, and even more horrifically poisoned with strychnine laced bait. Strychnine poisoning progresses painfully from muscle spasms to convulsions to suffocation over a period of hours; definitely making it not a humane way of culling any animals even if it were justified!! Using poison as a culling method also puts other non targeted species at risk, birds of prey and cougars for example. Feeding on the poisoned bait or scavenge on the carcasses of poisoned wolves themselves.
Frankly I find myself truly disgusted by this awful situation and find it astonishing that in this supposedly enlightened modern age Governments can still consider this an ethical way to act towards the natural world!
Check out this youtube video to find out more about this distressing subject and hopefully if enough people hear about it something can be done to help save these magnificent Wolves and also preserve the beautiful habitat they make their home!