Tag Archives: tarsands

A Response To A Reader

This is a response piece to “ditch_witch” on MyMcMurray.com, who replied to a post I made there. You can read the MyMcurray.com piece here.

Posted on MyMcMurray:

Thank you for responding Ditch_Witch – conversation around topics as important as the environment & industry need to happen. All opinions need to be properly expressed and shared in order for the right, and informed, decisions to be made. So thank you for sharing your thoughts – I can see that you are quite passionate about the topic.

I thought about ending my reply there…. but I did write some points down, and they can be found on my blog here: https://myoilsands.wordpress.com. Please take the points as you wish. Continue reading

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An Oil Sands Tribe: I Like It

Earlier today, Jeremy Dietz, a Calgary-based professional communicator, shed light on a recent trend. His post, Shifting Sands?, talks about the emergence of an Oil Sands Tribe –  an online community of people that are progressively  adding their voices to the oil sands / tar sands rhetoric. An online space that has been dominated by the anti-oil sands / anti-tar sands faction for a while now.

Jeremy Dietz

The first indication (at least to me) that this online debate was evolving beyond its lopsidedness was when I scanned through the comments on an NRDC anti-oil sands blog post. I was amazed to find that the vast majority of the people lending their voice to the debate were not NRDC supporters, but were pro-oil sands readers. Furthermore, these comments severely out-numbered those of the anti-oil sands online community.

I like this idea. I like this idea of an Oil Sands Tribe so much, that I wish I had posted about it first. Kudos Jeremy, kudos. Looks like we’ve both been reading some Godin.

I place myself in this camp, in this tribe. Yet as with all tribes, there are differences on the individual level. Some of us in the tribe try to use reason and facts to prove points, and some of us don’t. I prefer to think of myself as belonging in the former.

Those of us that rely on reasonable arguments are starting to have an impact, we are asking questions and probing lines of thought. This is needed.

Rational, intelligent debate is needed on issues of importance, and the oil sands are definitely important. They do after all impact the things that make the world go round: the economy, the environment, the transportation-slash-production-slash-everything- we-base-our-society-on sectors are all impacted by this industry, this community, this tribe.

So go read Jeremy’s post, and then come and interact with the tribe. You don’t have to share the same point of view – in fact, considering how complex the issue is, I can guarantee that you don’t. Heck, we don’t even all agree – it’s a complicated, multi-faceted topic, and informed discussion is a good thing.

I See You… Wanting To Make Headlines During the DVD/Blu-ray Release of Your Film

James Cameron - courtesy of jurvetso

James Cameron - courtesy of jurvetson

Ok – I’m going to be brief, and I’m going to cut Jimmy some slack. I’m going to cut him some slack because:

  1. I saw the movie twice – I thought it was great, and I enjoyed the 3D effects
  2. I loved the trailer mashups
  3. I don’t think it’s coincidence he’s talking about the oil sands right before the Avatar home release on DVD and Blu-ray?
  4. He’s willing to admit he needs to learn more about the situation

CBC posted “Avatar director slams Alberta oilsands” today, and of course everyone immediately ran outside to see if there were five foot arrows sticking out of the nearest heavy hauler tire… but no. It’s all good.

I am amused.

I am amused that the DVD/Blu-ray release is being held on Earth Day. I am amused by the Avatar merchandising, the “125 products, that encompasses the worlds of video games, toys, apparel, and publishing.” [source]

I am amused by his quote:

For us to be doing greater and greater environmental damage, pursuing a dead-end paradigm, which is fossil fuels…” [source]

I would love to see an environmental breakdown or impact assessment on all of the stuff that comes along with making, selling and branding the world’s biggest movie of all time (plastic toys, advertising , distribution efforts, DVD/Blu-ray discs etc.) – all of which would have been impossible to produce and distribute without the cursed “dead-end paradigm” which is oil. Just sayin’.

But like I said. I’ll cut him some slack. CBC says “he  expects to learn more about the issues this weekend when he meets with the secretariat of the UN Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues in New York.” Hopefully he’ll try to develop an informed opinion from multiple sources.

But then again, when you make a gazillion dollars, you can do almost whatever you want, right?

For more information about this topic, I reccommend you read this blog post by Don Thompson: Avatar: fantasy not reality