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Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Syncrude says duck death toll was 3 times original estimate

Three times as many ducks died in a northern Alberta tailings pond last year than the 500 originally estimated, Syncrude Canada announced Tuesday.

"We can now tell you that the final number is 1,606 birds," Syncrude president and CEO Tom Katinas said.

In late April 2008, migrating ducks landed on a tailings pond on Syncrude's Aurora oilsands site.

Today's announcement provoked criticism from environmental groups.

"It leaves a lot of questions around the transparency of the industry — you know, why did it take almost a year for the company to release these type of numbers?" asked Mike Hudema, the Edmonton-based campaigner for Greenpeace.

Jay Custer, of the Sierra Club of Canada, called the numbers "very significant" and said it calls into question how well the government monitors oilsands companies and enforces its own legislation.

"It can't be taking a year to do this," he said.


I am appalled that a "Big Oil" has so much ignorance and such a lack of empathy towards the plant and animal species they are affected with their projects in Alberta. According to Margaret Holt Mueller and Arnold G. van der Valk of the Department of Botany, at Iowa State University, University,

are effective dispersal agents for many wetland plant species." These scientists state: "After ingestion, mallards are estimated to be able to transport internally viable seeds up to 1,400 km but more typically 20 to 30 km." (source:

Ducks are carnivores that eat mollusks, crustaceans, and insects. They feed by either skimming organisms from the surface of ponds or rivers or by diving. They mostly eat fresh water invertebrates such as larva, stone flies, mayflies, caddis flies, and black flies. By eating these insect pests, ducks reduce the chances that diseases spread by flies will infect other animals species including humans.

According to the organization, "Ducks Unlimited", " As much as 70 per cent of Canada’s original wetlands have been lost in some areas of the country, where exactly are the ducks of Canada going to live if we continue to take away their habitat? (source:

These poor ducks injured by Big Oil at least have some caring volunteers looking after them (go to:

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Thoughts worth thinking about

"Our subconscious minds have no sense of humor, play no jokes and cannot tell the difference between reality and an imagined thought or image. What we continually think about eventually will manifest in our lives."-Sidney Madwed

Laws alone can not secure freedom of expression; in order that every woman and man present their views without penalty, there must be spirit of tolerance in the entire population.- Albert Einstein Too often we underestimate the power of a touch, a smile, a kind word, a listening ear, an honest compliment, or the smallest act of caring, all of which have the potential to turn a life around. - Leo Buscaglia

A person's true wealth is the good he or she does in the world. - Mohammed

Our task must be to free ourselves... by widening our circle of compassion to embrace all living creatures and the whole of nature and its beauty. -Albert Einstein

The best way to find yourself, is to lose yourself in the service of others. - Ghandi

The unselfish effort to bring cheer to others will be the beginning of a happier life for ourselves. - Helen Keller

Aim for success, not perfection. Never give up your right to be wrong, because then you will lose the ability to learn new things and move forward with your life. Remember that fear always lurks behind perfectionism. Confronting your fears and allowing yourself the right to be human can, paradoxically, make yourself a happier and more productive person. - Dr. David M. Burns

Life is as dear to a mute creature as it is to man. Just as one wants happiness and fears pain, just as one wants to live and not die, so do other creatures. -His Holiness The Dalai Lama

Mankind's true moral test, its fundamental test (which lies deeply buried from view), consists of its attitude towards those who are at its mercy: animals. And in this respect mankind has suffered a fundamental debacle, a debacle so fundamental that all others stem from it. -

Milan Kundera, The Unbearable Lightness of Being

The worst sin towards our fellow creatures is not to hate them, but to be indifferent to them. That's the essence of inhumanity. -George Bernard Shaw

Ego's trick is to make us lose sight of our interdependence. That kind of ego-thought gives us a perfect justification to look out only for ourselves. But that is far from the truth. In reality we all depend on each other and we have to help each other. The husband has to help his wife, the wife has to help the husband, the mother has to help her children, and the children are supposed to help the parents too, whether they want to or not.-Gehlek Rinpoche Source: "The Best Buddhist Writing 2005 pg. 165

The hostile attitude of conquering nature ignores the basic interdependence of all things and events---that the world beyond the skin is actually an extension of our own bodies---and will end in destroying the very environment from which we emerge and upon which our whole life depends.