1,606 Ducks Died Landing On Toxic Waste Pond

Eleven hundred more ducks died after landing on a toxic waste pond in northern Alberta last year than was originally estimated, a Canadian oil sands official acknowledged earlier this week.

The carcasses of 1,606 ducks were collected from the oily waters, compared to the 500 originally counted, Syncrude Canada chief executive Tom Katinas said.

The deaths of the mallards last April drew widespread attention and prompted Prime Minister Stephen Harper to lament that Canada’s international reputation had been tarnished by it.

Here’s a video clip from the incident:

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Don’t believe it was a genuine error, the difference was enormous [>3.2 x the original estimate] .

Syncrude have a clear motive to play-down the numbers of ducks killed.

Unless the original figures were obtained from a genuinely independent source i.e. one that can be trusted to be objective and not funded by SynCrude, the enormous difference between figures is surely indicative of jiggery-pokery and attempt to massage the figures massively. 

It’s not as if fossil-fuel companies have a record of telling the truth. We all know that these companies have a strong tendency to massage the figures to their advantage.

We also need to know the methodologies used for the estimate [500] and the later [1,606 ] figure.

Irrespective of that, these tailings ponds are an abomination and are symbolic of Syncrude’s attitude to the environment.

Almost certainly, these ducks land on the ponds at dusk, when the tailing ponds are indistinguishable from water, and they only get to make this mistake just once.

“We also need to know the methodologies used for the estimate [500] and the later [1,606 ] figure.”

The methodologies are already availalbe. Why aren’t you aware of them?

“Irrespective of that, these tailings ponds are an abomination and are symbolic of Syncrude’s attitude to the environment.”

Tailing ponds are an unfortunate side-effect of tarsands development. Fortunately, they cover a small piece of land.

“It’s not as if fossil-fuel companies have a record of telling the truth.”

Seriously, I trust fossil-fuel companies more then the alarmists who slander them.

Slander is the spreading of false or malicious statements in speech.

You mean libel, but you’re still wrong. What I stated was true: fossil-fuel companies have a record of telling a version of the truth which is not compatible with the facts.

This shows how the members of the American Petroleum Institute conspired to underming the IPCC, Kyoto, climate science and any kind of climate change related legislation. If that isn’t fossil-fuel companies spreading lies and false information, I don’t know what is!

This is from an API memo:

Victory Will Be Achieved When

  • Average citizens “understand” (recognize) uncertainties in climate science; recognition of uncertainties becomes part of the “conventional wisdom”
  • Media “understands” (recognizes) uncertainties in climate science
  • Media coverage reflects balance on climate science and recognition of the validity of viewpoints that challenge the current “conventional wisdom”
  • Industry senior leadership understands uncertainties in climate science, making them stronger ambassadors to those who shape climate policy
  • Those promoting the Kyoto treaty on the basis of extent science appears to be out of touch with reality.

Current Reality

Unless “climate change” becomes a non-issue, meaning that the Kyoto proposal is defeated and there are no further initiatives to thwart the threat of climate change, there may be no moment when we can declare victory for our efforts. It will be necessary to establish measurements for the science effort to track progress toward achieving the goal and strategic success.

Strategies and Tactics

I. National Media Relations Program: Develop and implement a national media relations program to inform the media about uncertainties in climate science; to generate national, regional and local media coverage on the scientific uncertainties, and thereby educate and inform the public, stimulating them to raise questions with policy makers.

Tactics: These tactics will be undertaken between now and the next climate meeting in Buenos Aires/Argentina, in November 1998, and will be continued thereafter, as appropriate. Activities will be launched as soon as the plan is approved, funding obtained, and the necessary resources (e.g., public relations counsel) arranged and deployed. In all cases, tactical implementation will be fully integrated with other elements of this action plan, most especially Strategy II (National Climate Science Data Center).

Identify, recruit and train a team of five independent scientists to participate in media outreach. These will be individuals who do not have a long history of visibility and/or participation in the climate change debate. Rather, this team will consist of new faces who will add their voices to those recognized scientists who already are vocal.

  • Develop a global climate science information kit for media including peer-reviewed papers that undercut the “conventional wisdom”on climate science. This kit also will include understandable communications, including simple fact sheets that present scientific uncertainties in language that the media and public can understand.
  • Conduct briefings by media-trained scientists for science writers in the top 20 media markets, using the information kits. Distribute the information kits to daily newspapers nationwide with offer of scientists to brief reporters at each paper. Develop, disseminate radio news releases featuring scientists nationwide, and offer scientists to appear on radio talk shows across the country.
  • Produce, distribute a steady stream of climate science information via facsimile and e-mail to science writers around the country.
  • Produce, distribute via syndicate and directly to newspapers nationwide a steady stream of op-ed columns and letters to the editor authored by scientists.
  • Convince one of the major news national TV journalists (e.g., John Stossel ) to produce a report examining the scientific underpinnings of the Kyoto treaty.
  • Organize, promote and conduct through grassroots organizations a series of campus/community workshops/debates on climate science in 10 most important states during the period mid-August through October, 1998.
  • Consider advertising the scientific uncertainties in select markets to support national, regional and local (e.g., workshops / debates), as appropriate.


National Direct Outreach Program Budget —- $300,000

IV. Funding/Fund Allocation: Develop and implement program to obtain funding, and to allocate funds to ensure that the program is carried out effectively.

Tactics: This strategy will be implemented as soon as we have the go-ahead to proceed.

  • Potential funding sources were identified as American Petroleum Institute (API) and its members; Business Round Table (BRT) and its members, Edison Electric Institute (EEI) and its members; Independent Petroleum Association of America (IPAA) and its members; and the National Mining Association (NMA) and its members.
  • Potential fund allocators were identified as the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC), Committee For A Constructive Tomorrow (CFACT), Competitive Enterprise Institute , Frontiers of Freedom and The Marshall Institute.

Total Funds Required to Implement Program through November 1998 —- $2,000,000 ( A significant portion of funding for the GCSDC will be deferred until 1999 and beyond)


Various metrics will be used to track progress. These measurements will have to be determined in fleshing out the action plan and may include:
  • Baseline public / government official opinion surveys and periodic follow-up surveys on the percentage of Americans and government officials who recognize significant uncertainties in climate science.
  • Tracking the percent of media articles that raise questions about climate science.
  • Number of Members of Congress exposed to our materials on climate science.
  • Number of communications on climate science received by Members of Congress from their constituents.
  • Number of radio talk show appearances by scientists questioning the “prevailing wisdom” on climate science.
  • Number of school teachers / students reached with our information on climate science.
  • Number of science writers briefed and who report upon climate science uncertainties.
  • Total audience exposed to newspaper, radio, television coverage of science uncertainties.

http:[email protected]/API-prop.html

Also see:

Smoke Mirrors and Hot Air


Syncrude is not a member of API so it is disingenuous to imply otherwise.

Syncrude had, until this incident, an excellent reputation on preventing bird deaths in tailing ponds. Far, far more birds die on a weekly basis in Vancouver or Calgary or Toronto colliding with skyscrapers.

paul s,

When did I suggest that that Syncrude was a member of the API? Helpful hint - I didn’t!

For you to suggest that I did is a deliberate blatant lie & strawman tactic.

What I said was:

[my quote]

It’s not as if fossil-fuel companies have a record of telling the truth. We all know that these companies have a strong tendency to massage the figures to their advantage.

[/my quote]

I know you have severe difficulty distinguishing between lies and the truth, especially when such lies suit your arguments.


There is ample evidence for fossil-fuel companies [coal, oil and gas] funding disinformation campaigns via third-party organisations. This does not absolve the private foundations Scaife; Olin; Koch of guilt, because they too are also funding such campaigns.

Because the article is about Syncrude, why did you bring API into the thread then? Slurring by insinuation perhaps?

As for fossil fuel companies, I actually believe they are more honest on average then most environmentalists. And if you are wondering if I’m serious, I am.

The slander, character assassination and outright fabrications employed by too many ‘environmentalists’ in the service of their cause is truly shameful.

[paul s quote]

As for fossil fuel companies, I actually believe they are more honest on average then most environmentalists.

[/paul s quote]

Your beliefs are irrelevant. I offered proof of duplicitous fossil-fuel companies and their deceitful disinformation campaigns. 

Why should anyone be persuaded that Syncrude should be any less deceitful than other fossil fuel companies? Only you and are a few othes fall for such twaddle.

You have once again FAILED to provide a link to the methodologies used in the Syncrude tailing pond duck mortality surveys.

Still no link from paul s!

[paul s quote]

The methodologies are already availalbe. Why aren’t you aware of them?

[/paul s quote]

Answer: I’m not on any of the denialist newsletter mailing lists!

Are you? Silly question! The answer is obvious.

Where’s the link? What have you got to hide?

If this was beneficial to your denialist arguments, you would be only too pleased to share it with us!

[N.B. Nothing from Climate Fraudit, icecap, Marohasy, WUWT and all the other denialist websites will be acceptable]

What a terrible incident here.

Poor ducks have to die.

Alberta Premier Ed Stelmach was visibly angry and is concerned that Syncrude did not report

the incident and the government was alerted by a tipster who called Monday night.

That’s just one terrible mess.


Wedding Favors

God has allowed people to be the stewards of this earth. We have abused it in so many ways. The death of these ducks is the fault of people who did not properly care for what they’ve been blessed with. it s so sad