Alberta’s Tar Sands—the Perfect Vacation Spot!

The Alberta Oil Sands Project is a contentious issue, and it isn’t going anywhere. On one hand, we know it is polluting the environment in ways we practically thought impossible (way to go, Canada!), and on another hand, it’s providing liquid black gold that we’ve become so excruciatingly dependent on. In light of this, what is stopping Canada from becoming a beacon to the world when it comes to our renewable energy resources? After all, with a land mass equivalent to Russia’s and less than 1/10th the population of the U.S., why haven’t we figured out a way of taking advantage of our vast, empty land for the betterment of the environment, instead of financing disastrous projects like the Alberta Oil Sands?

Let’s just think for a moment how Canada could set an example. We could erect wind turbines in the moderate-north, where no human wants to live, but energy sources abound. We could plaster our suburban and rural lands with field after field, or roof after roof, of solar panels. We could make it mandatory to install rain barrels outside our 2000 sq ft, homogeneous, suburban row housing. We could mandate the use of water efficient products in our residential and commercial communities, and demand to see green roofs on our buildings, instead of ugly concrete facades and HVAC devices.

The truth is, our government is still very much devoted to oil and fossil fuels, no matter what Mr. Harper dictates in his speeches to the world. We are dependent on oil, and sadly, will continue to be until we see every acre of our environment completely destroyed, or Mr. Suzuki develops an aneurism—whichever comes first. But there is hope!

Sustainability is a growing grassroots movement, and it will continue to grow in leaps and bounds as people like you and I become more educated about sustainable practices and our impact on the world. This is why we need to act now, from the ground up, and not wait for the government to tell us what’s “good” or “bad”, especially since so many government “policies” are aimed at helping corporate cronies make more money (check this out), and are not necessarily based on sound, logical principles (ethanol, anyone?).

This brings me to GreenPeace, and a rather tongue-in-cheek Tourism site they’ve created, aptly titled “Explore Alberta”. Watch and marvel at today’s bustling Albertan skyline, and relish in the thought of taking your next trip out to Alberta instead of sunny Punta Cana or Florida. Bon Voyage!

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