Photo: David Dodge, The Pembina Institute
Since BP spoiled the Gulf of Mexico, everyone’s talking about the Canadian tar sands.
The sands are the second largest source of oil in the world after Saudi Arabia. They could lead Canada to becoming the first source of oil for the U.S. But experts warn about high water consumption, fast-growing greenhouse emissions and destruction of local forests.
Here’s the brutal reality behind the incredible aerial photos we posted earlier this week.
The oil sands stretch 54,826 square miles, an area bigger than England and almost the size of Florida.
23 billion cubic feet of water are diverted every year from the local river. That's 7 times more than what the region's capital uses.
Canada is eighth on the list of the top 15 countries with the most potential to increase oil production.
232 square miles of coniferous forest have been disturbed and 386 square miles of forest have been approved for surface mining.
The ecosystem of specific areas in the region is expected to change, going from 48% wetland to 35%, even after a mine closure.
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