Desmond Tutu Begs Canada to Abandon Tar Sands


In an open letter to Canadian policymakers, Archbishop Desmond Tutu and other prominent African leaders urged Canada’s government to re-think their tar-sand extraction and oil-export policies. The letter was sent out as a press release, which included this moving paragraph:

Canada, you were once considered a leader on global issues like human rights and environmental protection. Today you’re home to polluting tar sands oil, speeding the dangerous effects of climate change. For us in Africa, climate change is a life and death issue. By dramatically increasing Canada’s global warming pollution, tar sands mining and drilling makes the problem worse, and exposes millions of Africans to more devastating drought and famine today and in the years to come. It’s time to draw the line. We call on Canada to change course and be a leader in clean energy and to support international action to reduce global warming pollution.

Canada’s tar sands policies have drawn significant criticisms from across the globe, with some Canadian activists suggesting that the country’s image is now so bad, globally, that Canadians would soon be ripping the maple-leaf flag off their bags when they travel.

Thus far, the response to such criticisms and protests from many Albertans has been dismissive (if not overtly aggressive), with many Canadians either choosing to ignore the environmental damage the tar-sand projects or else actively fretting about the success of high-mpg and electric vehicles which stand between many Canadians and the financial benefits of selling dirty oil abroad. Here’s hoping, then, that EVs and bio-fuels make a speed entrance into the global markets, and hit these clowns where it hurts: their pocketooks.

Source: Draw the Line, Image: Wiki Commons.

About the Author

I’ve been in the auto industry 1997, and write for a number of blogs in the IM network. You can also find me on Twitter, at my Volvo fansite, or chasing my kids around Oak Park, IL.

  • Jay Tee

    Cleaner ways to process tar sands are fast becoming feasible…. in the end, I don’t think it will be the environmental disaster that some claim.

    • CLAIM!? Will be!!? It already IS a MASSIVE environmental disaster!? Are you a BP employee or something??

  • Uncle B

    Tutu has no idea what Harper has already done! Tar Sands Oil sold to China already! China plans Thorium fueled LFTR reactors on site, (see Bill Gates nuclear dealings with China) for steam heat to extract oil without burning off highly valued Natural Gas, without disturbing fragile environment, without polluting precious clean waters, as is done currently – China intends liquefying the natural gas, shipping it to Asian markets as well as pumping nuclear recovered oil to the West Coast of Canada. Maps are already printed, surveyors are on site. All is printed to the net. This is a done deal – same as the Soft Wood deal that went to China when the U.S. tried fancy foot-work, and shake down tactics – If Harper is nothing else he is an astute businessman, and stands tall for Canada as the U.S. suffers a “controlled demolition” of their economy. Canada must avoid being sucked down in the vortex as the U.S. goes on its blinkered, arrogant, xenophobic, drugged, drunken, “entitled”, fanciful, and mesmerized way to the bottom. Canada far to small, far to poor, to make any difference but we try with fair trade deals, “easing’s” at our borders, and even invitations for Americans who qualify to work in our oil fields, mines, forests.
    Tutu must understand and tells the story of the safer reactors China seeks – This move alone circumvents current technologies for oil extraction that involve vast amounts of Natural Gas being burnt in the open and exhausting into the atmosphere as is now done, nuclear heat is a very environmentally friendly move, to be certain. Also: Chinese cars are higher efficiency and smaller, consequently more work will get done in China more people will be served, than if the oil products were burnt in American SUV’s with huge V-8 engines. tells the story better than I can!
    China has real money too! Yuan rapidly becoming the preferred unit for exchange world wide – all Americans can offer is worthless paper, in the future, if they can get loans from China, someday? even after the ink is dry on a contact with them, the Feds heavy thumb falls on every deal! Why bother? China does none of this finagling.

    • DaveD

      Well UncleB, you go for it you arrogant, yet ignorant, bastard. Get in bed with the Chinese and remember to count your fingers before, and count them again after. When you come up with only 3 or 4 fingers at the end of your deal…remember you heard it here first.

      They smile to your face and then stab you in the back EVERY TIME. They believe it is some kind of “game” to win. They think that trying to be a true partner and work with someone for the benefits of both sides is a “quaint Western custom” that only foolish children would actually believe.

      It is their duty to screw you and win the game, and your duty to screw them and win the game. Nothing else matters. And I’m not even saying they are evil or bad people. It is simply the way they view business and relationships. Simply their culture.

      Wait and see how Canada comes out after spending a decade of doing business with China. You will have an environmental disaster on your hands AND they will own you. Go ahead and sneer at others you stupid prick. You’ll learn the hard way. And the rest of us will laugh at you.

  • DaveD

    Hey Uncle B…
    Ok, so you’re saying that American’s are addicted to your tar sands oil…and now you’re the frigging pushers you two-faced A$$HOLE!

    If your new techniques are so clean, then why did you suddenly have to……drop out of the Kyoto Protocols that you signed and made such a big deal about! Now you found out how greed really feels and suddenly “GHG is overblown”! ROFLMAO!

    But you keep on mouthing off you two faced, stupid bastard.

    • potvin

      Canada’s tar sands will be responsible for Africa’s future famine and drought? What was the cause of all the famine and drought before the tar sands? With all due respect Archbishop Tutu, you are deranged. Thanks, but we’ll keep our tar sands, why don’t you focus on protecting the lowland gorilla.

      • coach

        Tutu should only comment on hat he is expert on. ie religion

    • Don’t get sucked into Uncle B’s insanity, Dave. You’re better than that.

      • DaveD

        Yes, you’re right Jo.
        Now I have to apologize to all our Canadian neighbors for ranting at Uncle B and dragging all of Canada into my rant 🙁

        Sorry guys.

  • Raging Ranter

    The oil sands are an engineering marvel, and one of the largest deposits of fossil fuel the world over. Not a country exists that would turn its back on such a gift and just pretend it wasn’t there. Well-funded environmental groups have done a great PR job in painting the oil sands as some sort of catastrophe, but as usual they are just blowing smoke. Perhaps their biggest PR coup was in renaming the oil sands the ‘tar sands’. We get oil from them, not tar.

    • Your fact-ignoring contribution to your corporate overlords has been noted. I’m sure they think you are a good boy, and the wealth will trickle down soon.

  • Bill

    This is astounding that this is getting the publicity that it is. Tutu had better do a lot of begging everywhere, all over the world, before he even mentions the freaking oilsands. All the protesters should remember that after awhile all this clamoring and overreaction becomes nothing more than background noise.

  • Stan

    How would the treaty reduce emissions if China isn’t included?
    Won’t the increased costs for the clean industry in the west simply drive more production to the much higher polluting factories in China?

  • Stan

    Tar sands?
    Tar comes from trees, not from oil.
    If you can’t get the basic facts correct…..

    • DaveD

      uhhhhhh, Stan…it’s a descriptive name because of what it resembles. Nobody actually thinks they’re “mining tar” LOL

      Geez, take a pill dude.

  • Mac

    Yah okay, Dez, we’ll get right on that. Just think, then we can live in abject poverty and despair, just like your continent. But then, at least a few millionaire Socialist Elites will be able to say how they saved the world from our oil sands 1% contribution to climate change.
    Brilliant idea, there, Dez boy!

  • Pingback: Tutu discharged from hospital – Times LIVE | Botswana -

  • Mac

    How about a new headline “Canada begs Tutu to abandon mind-numbing stupidity”.

    • Canadian officials are too busy rubbing their naked bodies with dirty looter money to have enough time to respond to the highly educated, influential, and respected Archbishop Tutu. Luckily there are plenty of d-bags ready to post comments like this on the intertubes. 😉

  • JamesHalifax

    Hey desmond…sorry you feel that way. However…. The main cause of death in Africa….has been, and still is….Other AFRICANS. Canada’s responsible for less than 2% of global emissions, and the OIL-SANDS (there is no tar whatsoever) account for a small percentage of that 2%. China on the other hand, produces more pollution and CO2, in a week, than Canada does all year long. Tell you what Des…..stick with your religion, and leave the big decisions to those who don’t live in a tribal backwater of a Continent. Africans aren’t dying because of oil…they’re dying because Africa cannot find even a single person who is capable of running a country found therein. Instead, AFRICANS….prefer to live with the tribal culture that thinks stealing, killing, and generally creating mayhem wherever they go is prefereable to actually having to do anything that will actually create a healthy society. answer me this Des……’s the murder rate after Apartheid? What about rapes? Worry about your own problems my African friends….you have them aplenty.
    Source: Gas 2.0 (

    • DaveD


      You have 0.5% of the world’s population but you produce over 2% of the pollution and now it’s growing fast. I wouldn’t be bragging about those numbers. That is 4 times the world avg/person.

      Congratulations…you really are starting to act/think like Americans.

  • Strange, American, “Black or White” thinking here – Canada has huge, well loved, well integrated, Asian population – they know how to do business deals too! in Mandarin or any other Asian language you can imagine. They are all colors of the rainbow – Canada doesn’t “segregate” as America does, results are, we are not likely to group Asians, Chinese, Indian, or whatever – we look at the people of the world as part of our everyday, on the street reality, hence: The notion you express, ” get in bed with the Chinese” cannot be translated into Canadian English, French, Mandarin, Ukrainian, Russian, Spanish, or any other culture we fully embrace – the logic difficulty is yours, not ours – in fact: many Canadians get in bed with Chinese – every night! Asian Canadians of Chinese origin abound, even our native, original settlers were of Asian decent.
    Hard for folks so victimized by the Great Corporate American Propaganda Whore and her mesmerizations, exhortations, edicts, insinuations, to see past the illogical sicknesses and realize that even a Canada annexed by the Great Pan Eurasian Empire rising in the East as we speak, would simply integrate as we have done with the French Canadian sectors, Polish sectors Pakistani sectors Chinese sectors, Russian sectors Ukrainian sectors Slovakian sectors, Italian sectors and the list goes on, all other nationality or racially, religiously, based sectors of our culture, and as we have done with the invasive American culture – minus of course the sicknesses of logic it might bring home – home to the world, here in Canada a social experiment that works well. Remember: We are a Socialist Democracy, one of many examples that work well in this world.

    Keep in mind, Canada’s Southern Border lies along a line that indicates freezing winter-time temperatures for six or more months a year – everything we do as in Russia and Siberia is done with a great amount of fossil fuel heat, some growing nuclear heat, and highly insulated buildings – even our mining processes require oil or gas heaters just to prevent freezing. We live in a much different paradigm than warmer countries, different by climate alone from the American situation for the bigger part – to survive, and before the cleaner safer Chinese, re-engineered for domestic use Thorium fueled LFTR-reactors arrive on our shores, ( we will need huge fossil fuel fires just to survive! We have to walk away from promises to freeze in the cold and close our economy down, to people from southern climates that do not understand the rapid death by freezing that is an every day reality here in our northern reaches. To people who have never even conceived of snow, – 40 degrees, and death by freezing once the fires go out, is simply not comprehensible – even movies of the North are seldom seen in their countries, and until they fully understand they should not judge, should not stand on stumps and preach, should not have a ‘say” in our plight – Send Tutu to one of our native villages in the north and let him preach his nonsense there, at – 40 in the shade, and with his robes frozen to his ass! Even the Americans really have no idea! The F 35 jet fighter we were to purchase from U.S. simply doesn’t work as well as Russian MIG’s in our climate – an aviation fact of life here. You look it up! Google and see! Think of Canada as part of Alaska, then ask us to turn the heat down!
    As for doing business with China, with Asia or anywhere in the world, we already do a thriving import export business abroad and are very savvy to the dealings of the world, especially cognizant of the fat thumb of the Feds on every deal inked with the U.S. and the rapid, constant, descent, of the “Purchasing Power” of the U.S. fiat, “Funny Money” in deals there. We are also well aware that the Chinese Yuan for example has remained unchanged since 2008 – you Google, you see! We are also well aware that purchases by the U.S. of our real wealth depend on credit lines extended from Chinese loans and all the “skimming” and “shaving” of value by American interests that involves! We are also well aware of covert, hidden, shielded, threats from even the presence of the U.S. Military/Industrial Complex and their war-like ways. We guarantee our Sovereignty with deals around the world , with the Pan Eurasian Alliances, with the rising Pan Eurasian Empire, with Russia, Great Brittan, European nations, and yes, even communist China. We are in reality a full member nation in this world and always will be – Multi Cultural, Multi Lingual, a smaller and very different, poorer, and very cold part of this North American Continent. Never fully American but fully integrated with all our neighbors and ready to do business with all nations.
    We have sold Soft Wood, Coal, Iron Ore, Wheat, Barley, even pigs and seals to China for years and are well aware of their astute and different business practices. We are willing to become the Middle Men for Americans that feel “screwed” and will lead the way to successful business deals there with multi cultural, multi lingual, ease. We fully intend teaching Mandarin in our grade schools very soon if not already, to fully integrate ourselves on an equal footing with the Rising Pan Eurasian Empire, its 6000 million souls, for the 21st Century and all the good it brings to this world. American “Confronational” style has failed miserably these past decades, American “Gunpoint Democracy” has failed – most notably in Vietnam, now a thriving Pan Eurasian Alliance member and fully communist – not democratic after the American model at all. We see the Islamic Brotherhood forming a Theocracy across Middle Eastern countries – not a “Gun-Point Democracy” after the American model, there either. We await the withdrawal from Iraq, and we do not expect a ” Gun point Democracy” after the American model there either. We watch as the world’s financiers move the Capital, knowledge resources, of the world from America to Asian shores, the “Controlled Demolition” of the American Dollar, the shifting of much knowledge in manufacturing sciences, technologies to the new Pan Eurasian Empire as we speak. We even witness Asian technological savvy hear-to-fore unheard of, as Iran safely lands, in one piece, not even crashed, and American High Tech Spy Drone. The Sands of Time are Shifting, Social paradigm shifts in the U.S. are apparent, progressing rapidly, even the Sky lines of Detroit, New York, Chicago, pale before the new Asian reality as the 300 million there do battle with the 6000 Million of the Pan Eurasian (Alliances) Empire for the world’s resources. Even Chinese in Outer Space, and Americans only able to “bum” rides there on former U.S.S.R. technology’s rockets today. This in the last two decades! What of the next two? God Bless, God Keep America, and Americans – they are my family, my blood, my friends, my good neighbors, my relatives, and they must face reality, not the Great Whore’s reality either, to progress, and they will, and we will help all we can. We promise – all colors (many shades) all creeds found in Canada and in non-confrontational, peaceful, logical, communal ways.

    • don leghorn

      Uncle B

      You have been bent over far too long enjoying US business prowes.

    • DaveD

      Uncle B.
      I don’t know if you are stupid or if you are choosing to interpret my words “getting into bed with the Chinese” as a literal for individuals and relationships. It is a political and business term meaning who you choose to work with. In this case it is a cultural reference describing how the Chinese view business. It’s not even a discussion of whether or not it’s right or wrong. It is simply how they view business.
      Just like Western business used to pride itself on “my word is my bond” and you could close deals on a handshake and trust your partner to stick with their word. Those days are long gone in the US and we do everything by lawsuit now. Again, not a judgement of good or evil, just how we do business…but i think it’s sad personally.

      The Middle Eastern culture enjoys their bargaining, it is simply a culture they grew up with. The Chinese truly believe it is “your duty” to seek every advantage in a business deal. Example: You made a deal with them to manufacture matches….but you didn’t say they had to actually work in the contract so shame on you. Now we can ship you toothpicks and call them matches. Shame on you, good for me.

      A number of Chinese explained this to me when I kept trying to strike win-win scenarios and they finally felt bad enough to explain how it worked. Then they felt perfectly happy to go back to trying to take advantage of each other and they thought it was all great fun! Just understand it and understand that you’re going to be living with the outcome of it. They will find a way to take your oil, leave you with the environmental results and walk off into the sunset while you walk off into the smog and drink the sludge. And they’ll tie their “money” to your government giving free trade to their cheap goods and soon your manufacturing will be gone. And you’ll be a land that does nothing but produce their energy and eats the resulting pollution. If you can’t see where it’s going, then I feel sorry for you. It will produce jobs in the short term, but come back in 10 years and see what you’re left with.

      As for your implied racism: Nope, that is your hangup and emphasis, nobody else mentioned it. You can love and/or sleep with anyone you want (except for kids) and it’s nobody’s business or concern. Good for you.

  • Pingback: Adams: Durban’s empty promises (4) | Jack's Newswatch()

  • william graham

    Dear Desmond;

    Please go back to your continent and apply yourself to countries such as Rwanda, Somalia, Sierra Leone, Ivory Coast, Zimbabwe, Congo, etc……bigger problems there.


    William Graham
    Calgary, AB

  • Jim Christian

    I see Bishop 22 as an evil little socialist who will stop at nothing to impose his extreme left-wing agenda on the world. What does he know about Canada and our energy resource development? Nothing – but, he masquerades as a man of the cloth in order to advance his George Soros kind of misinformation campaign. Little “bishop” – butt out!

  • Louie

    I hope he doesn'[t come to visit Canada any day soon. Stay Home

  • MaryLS

    Since when is Desmond Tutu an expert on the environment, global warming or the tar sands? When someone who is a respected spokesperson in other realms — but who is NOT known for their knowledge in the environmental area — is trotted out as an environmental spokesperson, it is painfully obvious that they are being used. Sometimes the individual is not aware of being used — they think they are standing up for a good thing. But the disconnect between what the person has been known for and taking a public position on something they know nothing about is a clear indicator of someone else pushing the agenda. This is a well known technique for duping the public. I am also suspicious that Robert Redford has been duped and Darryl Hannah was being paid.

    The antagonism towards the oil sands in Alberta are way out of line with any actual threat to the environment. Also, we know that Canada’s production of CO2 is pretty minimal, so why is anyone bothered much about Canada abandoning Kyoto — when we were not meeting expectations anyway? I think it is because Canada’s resistance threatens to expose this whole sinister scam. If Canada is successful, other people might start to ask questions. Tutu’s rhetoric is just not believable — and I think he has compromised his integrity by allowing himself to be used in this way.

  • Pingback: Tutu discharged from hospital – Times LIVE | Botswana -

  • Pingback: The Right Opinion – December 14th, 2011 | John R. Bolton()

  • Marc P.

    Wow… a lot of people have their panties in a bunch about this.
    O.k., some facts first. Yes, I’m Canadian. No, I don’t work for the oil companies. No, I’m not overly knowledgable about all this. No, I’m not enthusiastic about the fact that my country is developing the tar/oil sands.
    That being said, the Alberta oil sands are an easy target. Yes, it does damage the environment to extract oil from that earth. Yes it does spew out a lot of CO2 out into the atmosphere. As for saying it is responsible for Africa’s droughts and famines… hmmm, that one’s not a given. If you factor in ALL CO2 emitted the world over from ALL sources, I’m not sure the Alberta oil sands account for over 50%… That’s the impression you get from reading Mr. Tutu’s statement.
    Bashing Canada’s oil sands gets you press time and media coverage. You want attention…. why not bash Canada’s oil sands…!!!
    As stated, I’m not happy about the oil sands, but I don’t think they will go away anytime soon. I know I will probably be bashed for this… but I’m not sure Mr Tutu’s stance on oil sands would be as harsh if they were in his country and contributing to the enrichment of his fellow countrymen.

    Finally, as some have stated one way or another… making the oil sands go away is relatively easy. Just stop using oil. They won’t exploit the resource if there is no demand for it. Will you use oil, today ?

    • Marc P.

      Just found the data. The Alberta oil/tar sands project emits 0.1% of global greenhouse gases.
      If you’re going to talk about facts, might as well use them.

  • RodB

    When you open up a new subdivision on the outskirts of a city, the first thing you do is strip off the topsoil, which moves out all wildlife that has exited there. Re-landscape, make streets, put in services, sidewalks. Then in go the houses. Once done the animals can’t move back, housing has taken over. In the Oil Sands, the land is stripped of the topsoil, then the oil is extracted from the sand. Once this is all done, the sand is sand, the topsoil is replaced, trees grow, animals move back into this LESS POLLUTED area than it was before. During the process both areas look much the same. The subdivision gets built faster, but the outcome is more environmental when looking at the Oil Sands. The end result is that the land has been reclaimed. Carbon Dioxide has been produced in the reclamation of the land. No toxic pollutants. What’s your choice. Buy oil from a friendly nation helping them reclaim a small area of their land, or purchase oil from that follow very unethical practices as well as human rights violations. Canada is an easy target. Why? Because we care Oil is Oil. Would it be nice if we were not dependent on it? Yes. But the fact is we are and will be for some time. The recent economic downturn even reinforces this. Every alternative costs more and governments can not continue subsidizing these.

  • Even Canada, in the Provence of Alberta are considering importing Chinese LFTR technology, not faulty, dangerous plutonium creating ‘bomb factory’ American designs, to aid in Tar Sands Oil extraction tells the story better than I can!
    A new political party I’m following has a great article on “Green Energy” which warned (5 months ago) that the wests complacence with Thorium LFTR development would see us “soon importing them from China”
    The link is
    FACT: Canada has already sold a large portion of the Tar Sands to China.
    Thorium nuclear reactors will reduce the amount of Natural Gas used to separate oil as is now done.
    China on oil is a little better than China on coal? I sincerely hope so.
    Bill Gates / China develop nuclear power
    Bill Gates intends developing a method in China to consume spent nuclear fuel and thus clean up the impending doom both in China and later, for a fee of course, in the U.S.A. These reactors can also use cheaper, safer, cleaner, Thorium fuel and yield much less, much safer, waste products, and if God wills, no waste at all – it is apparently theoretically possible – at this point in time, with this huge and safer amount of heat energy, readily convertible to electric energy, demand for oil and coal will drop markedly, reducing CO2 emissions greatly and relieving anxieties of the Tutu crowd immensely.
    Avoiding war at all costs also reduces fossil fuel demands. public transportation does too. Super-insulation can reduce heating/cooling costs, so I ask again, where are the silicon based Areogels and other super-insulations? Corporately suppressed to protect current products? You bet your ass! Even straw, treated in the field for moisture mildew, then harvested as harder building blocks for support walls, for very cheap, very fast to erect, very durable, R-60+ buildings – lost in the shuffling of the Great Corporate American Propaganda Whore’s mesmerizations of the sheeple, as she protects her astoundingly profitable status quo, her “sunk money” her current patent rights, her proprietary secrets, and her construction industry goons , even local civil licensing profits, from any change that challenges their monetary security. – want proof it really happens? Google torrent, the documentary, “Who Stole The Electric Car” and study it. Then look for the Toyota RAV 4 EV circa 2002. for two good examples that were publicized before the corporate media machines could stop them.
    All of the above can reduce fossil fuel consumption. so can Solar, Wind, Wave, Hydro, Tidal, Geothermal, Gobar Gas of city sewage, Factory Farm effluents, and a massive modification in the American Dream lifestyle towards a more sustainable, more practical, more realistic and much more secure and comfortable way to live. Yes! this is possible! With modern technology and application of all the sciences to the situation – NASA! Never mind the Stars! We have pressing problems at home! Focus now!
    Chinese electric bullet trains cause much less CO2 missions, burn no fossil fuels and reduce the number of automobiles drastically – is there a lesson to be learned here too?
    Tutu’s concerns are very real, his scope not wide enough. All mankind must sacrifice, and work diligently towards an environmentally copesetic lifestyle or perish in poverty, hunger and filth, forced to return to the most primitive ways of life by a few elitists at the top of the pyramid – as Capitalism has proven in the U.S.A. to produce. Look to the Socialist Democracies like Canada, Sweden, and others and see the differences communal leverage can make for all – reach beyond even these methods for an even better system, why not? you have nothing to lose, right?

  • Peter

    Per capita
    “A Latin term that translates into “by head,” basically meaning “average per person.”

    Income Per Capita
    “A measure of the total output of a country that takes the gross domestic product (GDP) and divides it by the number of people in the country. The per capita GDP is especially useful when comparing one country to another because it shows the relative performance of the countries. A rise in per capita GDP signals growth in the economy and tends to translate as an increase in productivity. “

    Point1: Astronomical population difference
    Canada a county of 34 million will never win a per capita argument with a country of 1.3 billion. It is mathimatically possible, but practically impossible. China has 36 times the population of Canada. This means if we cut our emissions to 50% China would still be polluting 18 times “less” than Canada even though that country produces 18+% of the emissions while Canada would have lowered from 1.8% of world wide emissions to .9%.

    Point 2: Economic sacrifice
    China’s GDP income per capita, per 1 ton of GHG emissions: $ 435
    Canada’s GDP income per capita, per 1 ton of GHG emissions: $ 2,348

    Canadian income per capita: $39,171
    China’s income per capita: $ 7,544

    $7544 / $435 = 17.34 economical cost ratio per person, per 1 ton of GHG emissions
    $39,171 / $2, 348 = 16.68 economical cost ratio per person, per 1 ton of GHG emissions. Note this is without factoring total emissions so far. Just 1 ton to 1 ton.

    This is a base factor of 0.039% between the two, meaning it would supposedly be 0.039% harder economically on the average Chinese person to reduce 1 ton of GHG’s compared to the same thing for a Canadian. All other factors (like total output) have been considered equal to this point. Now:

    China’s % of world GHG’s: 17%
    Canada’s % of world GHG’s: 2%

    17 / 2 = 8.5 This factor is how many times more GHG’s China releases than Canada. Subsequently we need to factor this into our “economic hardship” equation. Since the above example of, -income per person per 1 ton of GHG emissions- is based on all other factors being equal we actually need to divide Chinas “hardship factor” by this 8.5. To do this we factor it into the GDP income per capita, per 1 ton of GHG emissions number. So:

    Recall that,
    China’s GDP income per capita, per 1 ton of GHG emissions: $ 435

    ….But since they are emitting 8.5 times as much (8.5 times the rateof) GHG’s as Canada, each Chinese person is earning 8.5 tons worth of income for each ton a Canadian is earning from GHG’s. So;

    China’s GDP income per capita, per 8.5 (17times our 2) tons of GHG emissions: $3,697.5
    Canada’s GDP income per capita, per 1 ton of GHG emissions: $2,348

    The ratio now becomes:

    1.57 times economically more difficult for a Canadian to reduce GHG emissions per ton as it would for a Chinese person. This means infrastructure, services, healthcare, day care, education, taxes and so on.

    Yet China is given a pass, and Canada is to be burnt at the stake.

    Sorry but I’m not willing to play nice-guy-finishes-last just because people wave pictures of kids in Africa at me and don’t have the guts to face down China.

    • DaveD

      Ok, let’s view the world through your logic: Some people in Africa are committing atrocities against humanity and slaughtering tens of thousands or even hundreds of thousands of people in genocide. So we should ignore it when you walk down to the corner and gun down three people you don’t like??? Great logic.

      China will get what is coming to them. Their own people are choking on the filth of the pollution they’re spewing out and their communist leaders think they can avoid the sweeping revolutions that go through their populations every 50-100 years throughout their history? Somebody, some government or some dynasty gets thrown out and beheaded, burned at the stake, impaled, trampled or tortured to death every few generations.
      Their leaders think that because their culture shows sheepish tendencies on the outside that they really behave that way all the time. But everyone of those leaders finds out eventually, the hard way, that those sheep only mill around so long before they trample whoever is in charge…then they look for a new shepherd.
      History will repeat itself. Their current leadership has seen some of the writing on the wall and is bribing the “second tier cities” (those with populations between 6-10 million) with freebies and investments right now. That bought them some time…but it won’t last forever. Wait until 100 million people start dying of lung cancers and other cancers that are pollution related in 10-15 years….those sheep will sprout fangs.
      Communists leaders…be warned.

      As for you, or Americans (my country) or others who excuse our behavior because “China is even worse”…grow up. We should know better by now.

  • Pingback: Desmond Tutu Begs Canada to Abandon Tar Sands « Angel Hamilton Blog()

  • Permission requested to quote, repost this very good report – Thank you Peter. Considering climate differences, heating expenses transportation expenses in this vast and very cold land may even sharpen the astute and accurate calculations here. Thank You for doing this.

  • I suppose I could take this a lot of different ways, YES, I’m an environmentalist. NO, I don’t think some God gave human beings rights over the earth. We take those rights at our own peril. You may think I’m WACKO, I think the universe, each galaxy, each sun, and each planet, particularly a green and blue one like the earth, is ALIVE, in and of itself. If you do not believe this, I think you are WACKO. I grew up in North Dakota, and if ‘cold” decided the border between the two countries, North Dakota would be in Canada. I imagine Desmond Tutu wrote a number of these letters for countries all over the world, not just Canada and its oil sands.

    I also imagine he is involved in many issues inside Africa. Bishop Tutu is an elderly man. He is known to speak honestly, and as a man of integrity. If he says he has seen an increase in the famines of Africa, I imagine he is speaking the truth. For those who do not believe there is anything to global warming, he has to sound like a universal idiot, for those who do, then he is a lightning rod speaking for the earth. What Desmond Tutu has seen he has seen, people starving to death due to global climate change. Is the global climate change he has witnessed due to global warming or the seesawing nature of the global climate over decades, centuries and millennium? We all have our opinion, which scientist and grouping of data to believe, Bishop Tutu obviously has his, and believes global warming is contributing to the death and suffering of people in Africa. For him to remain silent and NOT to speak directly to those causing the harm would be plain wrong for him. He has a recognizable voice and presence around the world, he has earned this.

    If I saw you beating up a child, I would have the right and the duty to call the police and see that you are arrested. Here, the issue is global warming. All of my life I have noticed two groups of thinking on this, If you don’t think humans can screw up the environment on a planetary basis, because of your religion, your politics or your economics, then it is your tendency to swallow anything people tell you that confirms this. If you do think humans can screw up the environment on a planetary basis, because your spirituality, your politics and your economics align with that kind of thinking, you tend to believe those scientists and listen to those people, like Bishop Tutu, who are so aligned. If you ask me, people are WACKO. But let us be humble, and see that little bit a wackiness in each of us, it’s called humanity, then let us step back and Give a little bit of respect to the likes of Desmond Tutu, who has seen a lot more death and dying and pure human horror, then most of us combined.

  • Gary

    Scary Facts About Super Oil Tankers a.k.a. Ultra Large Crude Carriers (ULCC) that will be transporting the Bitumen from BC to China, and BTW there will be in excess of 250 of these per year:

    Avg Length: 333 m or 1,092 feet (Over 3 football fields long)
    Avg Width: 56 m or 184 feet (half a football field wide)
    Avg Depth: 32 m or 105 feet (haul hidden below the surface fully loaded)
    Avg Weight (empty): 302,000 metric tonnes or 665,910,000 pounds
    Avg Weight (loaded): 602,000 metric tonnes or 1,327,410 pounds (1.3 Billion lbs)

    300,000 metric tonnes of bitumen oil is equivalent to 95,400,000 gallons!!!

    With all this considered, the supertanker’s have enormous inertia. A crash stop maneuver (from full ahead to full reverse) can stop a fully loaded supertanker within approximately 3 km, which takes about 14 minutes or more, depending on the ocean and weather conditions.

    Although there will likely be ‘pilots’, tug like boats to guide the ships to the port in Kitamaat, they cannot move nor stop a fully loaded supertanker from hitting the shore or another ship!

    Consider that the volume of these ULCC’s are 10 X that of the Exxon Valdez of which this spill spread over 1500 km, which is a footprint that would spread from the top end of BC Coast (Prince Rupert) to the north end of Vancouver Island (Port McNeil). Also consider that Bitumen is heavier than that of refined oil, which will sink and then as it starts to get diluted in the ocean, it will float and spread up and down the coast. Imagine trying to clean up a toxic mess that sinks let alone what this will do to you ecosystem.

    A question to those that support this project: Would be willing to risk our beautiful pristine shores and the ecosystem that it supports for a measly number of jobs and a few bucks on your jeans? Think of it this way, would you be okay with me coming into your neighborhood and pouring bitumen and condensate all over your backyard, into your pool, onto your children’s playground, your pets, the wildlife, the vegetation, the estuaries and river systems… killing all the things that your family and neighbors enjoy!

    It is not a matter of IF, but when an oil spill will happen on our coast!!!!!

  • Uncle B

    No fear! We will hire American Mariners, using the latest satellite technologies – like the ones that landed a spy drone in Iran and bomb the living Shiite out of their mistakes to hide them. (Just joking)
    Canada has a plan, and so does China. Our whole Seaway, our Atlantic Coast, even our Western Ports rarely have problems unless we involve the drunken corproate ass-holes as found on the Exxon Valdez, but we have so learned our lessons and we definitely will not hire them this time! Look for massive Port improvements by Chinese/Canadian engineering schools and all metric too! Expect astounding new, and innovative technologies to be imported from the vast and rising Pan Eurasian Alliances, including Finnish, Norwegian, Russian, Swedish, engineers being involved – all, experts in Northern Waters and safe navigation there. Canadian government not under Corporate influences at all, not likely to be coerced into bad decision making for Canada. Harper, our Prime Minister stand tall in the world as a fair and equitable Pro-Canada leader. Always. We are not prone to hasty decisions, and we must cautiously circumvent being sucked down in America’s vortex, as she stumbles blindly, fists flying erratically into the 21st Century by diversifying markets for our goods. Sales to China will indirectly support our American neighbors as we will be able to buy U.S.products across our borders and we Will ! Deal to facilitate this already in the works, Harper again took the lead, the initiative, and provoked even bridge building contracts in well planned conservative Canadian manner.
    Desmond Tutu kindly Saint but astoundingly “out of touch” hardly realizes the Sahara was there long before even the U.S. was discovered! Doesn’t see an African responsibility to plant trees, drill wells, limit populations tosustainability in his country. Sad.

  • Pingback: Quitter! Tar Sand Employee Quits Over Damage()

  • Pingback: Big Oil Tells More Lies About Ethanol, Only Idiots Still Believe Them()

  • Pingback: Gas 2 | What is the future of fuel? What's new? What's next? Since 2007, Gas 2 has covered a rapidly changing world coming to terms with its oil addiction.()