DeSmogBlog investigates the controversial decision by Alberta’s government to ignore the threat of rapid industrial expansion in the Alberta Tar Sands region, and instead kill thousands of wolves to appear to be doing something to save dwindling woodland caribou populations. Through interviews with scientists, wildlife experts and a First Nations chief, the myth of Canada’s “ethical oil” is further exposed as oil industry greenwashing.
We just managed to eke out a small victory for the environment when the President didn’t give the OK for the Keystone XL Pipeline project. Now, when one would hope things wouldn’t get any worse, it should be no surprise … it has.
To make up for the fact that rapid tar sands oil mining is threatening caribou herds by destroying vast swaths of forest habitat in Alberta, the Canadian government has called for killing thousands of wolves.
If Alberta Canada’s tar sands oil fields are fully developed, an area of boreal rainforest the size of Florida will be eviscerated, leaving in its wake giant ponds of toxic wastewater.
It’s obvious why this would pose a massive threat to all wildlife species who reside there, including birds, wolves, woodland caribou and the iconic spirit bear. But instead of preserving the habitat caribou need for their survival, the Canadian government’s answer is to blaze ahead with tar sands oil extraction, and kill thousands of wolves who would naturally prey on the caribou. A paper released this week by the National Wildlife Federation reports that The Ministry of the Environment’s plan calls for aerial shooting, and poisoning with bait laced with strychnine — a particularly painful type of poison.
This plan to kill wolves is a misguided, cruel response that does nothing to alleviate the greater problem: tar sands oil extraction is a huge threat to wildlife, local communities, and all of our futures.
But despite the clear negative consequences, the Canadian government continues working to rapidly expand tar sands production and sales, including promoting the Keystone XL Pipeline to export tar sands oil all over the world.
Understandably, this has begun to earn Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper, and many in the country’s government, a negative reputation to which they are becoming increasingly sensitive.
The Ministry of the Environment has not yet begun this planned wolf kill. With enough public pressure, we can get them to abandon the plan, and build the case for Canada to stop their devastating race to expand tar sands oil development.
Thank you for fighting tar sands and all their devastation.
Elijah zarlin, Campaign Manager
CREDO Action from Working Assets
- Tar Sands Development to Lead to Poisoning of Wolves, National Wildlife Federation, February 6, 2012
- Tar Sands, Friends of the Earth
- Monitoring plan would bolster oilsands image, federal documents show, Vancouver Sun, February 3, 2012
- HuffPostGreen: Keystone XL: Time for the Senate to Show Some Courage — Advocating Calls to Senate Next Week, 2/13-17/2012