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Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Alberta oil sands lead to acid rain in Saskatchewan, data suggests




Environmentalists want Ottawa to set caps on emissions from Alberta's oil sands that are likely responsible for acid rain falling over northern Saskatchewan's pristine rivers and lakes.
“It's not just regulation on every individual plant that's needed. There also needs to be a regional cap that's established for the industry,” said Peter Prebble of the Saskatchewan Environmental Society. “The federal government has the authority to do so.”
Alberta's oil sands are located just west of the boundary between the two provinces. The massive industrial plants emit more than 150,000 tonnes of acid-rain-causing gases every year and previous studies have suggested that about 70 per cent of those gases blow into Saskatchewan.
The province has been monitoring rainfall in the La Loche area just across from Fort McMurray. Results from nine samples over 18 months that ended last March showed an average pH level of 4.93. That level is about three times as acidic as unpolluted rainfall and about the same acidity as a cup of black coffee.
A 2008 review conducted for the Canadian Council of Ministers of the Environment found that up to 12 per cent of Alberta's forest soils had probably reached the limit of how much acid they could hold, probably because of the oil sands. In 2006, the same researchers concluded that about 2 per cent of forest soils in Saskatchewan downwind from Alberta were over their limit.
Alberta Environment — which has been monitoring the area for 40 years — says acid in both the rain and the soil is within acceptable limits.
Virtually all the effects were predicted more than a decade ago in a 1997 Environment Canada report written at the start of the oil sands boom. That report warned Alberta that it should consider the cumulative efforts of oil sands development.
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How can Alberta Environment say the acid in rain and in soil is within acceptable limits ,without giving us any data to support their assertion? Why should we trust this government Department? At the Alberta Government Department of the Environment Website I found absolutely no reports and Data under the heading "Oilsands" 
(see for yourself: by going to: http://environment.alberta.ca/5.html )
Why hasn't there been one Government of Alberta report prepared or one
Alberta Government source of data collected concerning
the Environmental impact of the Oilsands?


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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.