Dead Ducks a Disaster for Alberta Oil Sands

Its a story that's running around the world and it is reaching an entirely new audience of people.

If Canadian weren't questioning the environmental impact of the Alberta Oil Spill Sands they are now that 500 ducks died by just simply landing on one of the many toxic lakes of tar sludge created by the oil sands process. These toxic oceans of sludge are created when fresh water is diverted from the river to be used in the processing of the oil sands - 90% of the water used ends up in these man-made lakes.

The Alberta Oil Sands are licensed to use roughly the same amount of fresh water in a year that the entire of City of Calgary uses (about the size of Austin, Texas for our US readers).

We've been following this story very carefully and updating our Oil Sands Facebook group, join up and send it around to your friends to help spread the message.

Here's a video clip of the dead ducks:

But the Premier of Alberta claims all this talk of environmental problems in the Alberta Oil Sands is somehow a “myth”


500 fewer ducks to blast out of the sky with shotguns.
500 fewer duck a le orange
500 fewer bowels of duck soup.

What a catastrophy!!!

… is this supposed to be witty?

It’s bowls, not bowels (unless you already ate them)
and catastrophe, not catastrophy (unless it’s a loving cup in a glass case on the wall).

You are a perfect example, Troll, of how the language and simple common courtesy have been trampled by the casual anonymity of blogging. Some of us take the care to express ourselves clearly and with due consideration that others will form an opinion of us on the basis of our posts. Your posts suggest that you do not mind being regarded as careless, imprecise, boorish and stupid. If English is not your first language, then I apologize. It is a tricky language, full of contradictions and inconsistencies – not an easy one to master. But most of us manage by the time we are ten or eleven.

Of course, those of us who bother to take care also give our real names …

Fern Mackenzie

He’s out to get every goat he possibly can, including yours and mine if we let him.
Phonetics have nothing to with his poor spelling. It’s deliberate. It’s taken extra effort to mangle some of the words he’s misspelled.

Actually some of it is, as I really don’t have time for this and hurry way too much.
But sometimes it gives people somthing to shoot at that is harmless but draws out opinions and information that is useful and telling at the same time.

If you can’t have fun blogging about AGW, what’s the point.

While Troll isn’t winning any grammar rodeos with the post, it makes a crude - but valid - point: if these ducks are dying from the toxic sludge pits, then there are fewer ducks in the environment, and hence fewer ducks to, as Troll would, eat and/or shoot.
And whether you personally are or aren’t a proponent of hunting, you can’t count out the hunters’ efforts towards conservation. Most hunting clubs and groups are staunch conservationists (and usually conservatives too, but that’s another post) and want to protect the wildlife, so they should be concerned about this as well. And if you’re going up against big oil, wouldn’t you want to have the folks with guns on your side?

P.S. - And by commenting on this post and talking ONLY about the previous poster’s post, you are allowing us to form an opinion about you - which is that you’re an internet snob. The beauty of the internet is that it allows ALL of us to communicate and share our thoughts and ideas, regardless of our grammatical skill level. So, Fern, let’s keep the personal attacks to ourselves and focus on the actual content of the blog.

if Troll had not already made a statement here at about not bothering to take any care about spelling etc, because he had no respect for the people with whom he is conversing. You can search his posts for the exact reference. I haven’t the time.

I’m no snob, Adam. I believe in making an effort to express myself respectfully and in proper language to people I engage in conversation. I am well aware that many ducks are shot and ate in the course of hunting season. It is quite a different thing to distort and poison their natural habitat, so that they don’t stand a chance of surviving a simple “over-nighter” on their way to the summer nesting grounds. These animals were just looking for a place to spend the night. Nobody was shooting at them to bring home supper. In the natural order of things they’d have turned up in their summer nesting grounds and laid a pile of eggs. Some of them would have been shot and ate, to be sure, but not all.

Fern Mackenzie

You know I find it amazing that people are going on complaining about these stupid Ducks! This is ridiculous, Did you ever stop to think about how many birds in General die every day getting sucked into Jet Turbines?, but are we going to stop planes from flying? NO. What about all that wildlife that gets hit on Major Highways every day? Are we going to stop Driving? NO. Not to mention all the other ACCIDENTS! Do you honestly think that if it were 500 Pigeons that died in that pond these environmental groups would give damn? Very Doubtful. They are just Ducks, and this stuff happens, Things die. I just hope that the next time YOU have an ACCIDENT you are looked down on and reprimanded for it. Maybe then you would understand what an ACCIDENT MEANS! Oh yeah and if they were to take the Oil Sands out do you realize that the Fancy House you live in, The Fancy Car you drive, you would not be able to afford that anymore! A good chunk of the money you make is very much thanks in some part to the Oil Sands. Alberta Is Oil, Deal With it! If you don’t like it Move to Saskatchewan, Or better yet Quebec.

I’ve lived in Alberta all my life, but I have never been a sycophant to the oil companies, unlike the rightwing idiots mismanaging our government.

Jennifer, we are talking about very big ponds full of toxic stuff. If that stuff kills ducks so quickly, what is it doing to people who live nearby? What are the cancer rates? Where do you imagine that toxic stuff goes? It doesn’t magically vanish. Have you heard about the increased cancer rates in Fort Chipewyan?

More importantly, Troll completely misses the point. It’s not REALLY the ducks that are important. As Troll (inarticulately) points out, we slaughter ducks quite ruthlessly in Canada (and around the world) and it is a bit hypocritical to bemoan the plight of these few ducks (“few” relative to the duck population) if one is to remain silent on all the ducks killed by hunters (many, MANY more) or all the ducks hanging in butcher shop windows (again, many, MANY more) but again, this misses the point. It’s not about the ducks.

It’s about the huge open pond of toxic sludge. It’s about an inland oil spill capable of killing hundreds of ducks in one go. It’s not that 500 ducks were killed (per se) it’s that the oil sands projects create open toxic ponds capable of killing 500 ducks at once.

Troll, I assure you there’s a forest there. Try looking past all the trees.

Perhaps 500 ducks will cause a better way to be found to isolate the ponds.


But to talk about shutting down the only viable economic engine in Canada right now while Ontario struggles with recession is just plain stupid.
But then Greenpeace does have to share that one brain cell they have with PITA.

Was that a serious suggestion or sarcasms?
You don’t honestly believe that will make up the difference do you?
Please tell me you are not that naive.

I wonder how many birds get sliced and diced annually around the world in those revolving wind power generator blades that Desmoggers favour?

Apparently this figure has been determined and now lets the sum of tailings ponds off the hook. The millions of birds in general killed by traffic lets wind, tailings and oil off the hook. Traffic is absolved by plate glass, which one study estimated to kill over 90 million. Plate glass is blameless, because even more are killed by aging. By the logic, no harm to wildlife is ever a cause for concern. And by this logic, the one and only human health and safety issue that deserves any controls or research is heart disease.

The ducks that splashed landed into the pond were the really dumb ones. Smart ducks don’t make such fatal errors!

Like smart people don’t step on land mines?

Smart people stay out tribal war zones.

Like North Africa?
Isn’t that where those 2 tribes the Afrika Corp and British 8th Army had their little disagreement?
The locals had no say in the matter.
The war zone came to them.

THIS Harold Pierce?? Maybe not. Just wondering

Harold Pierce Jr Says:
June 24th, 2007 at 3:20 pm

Go learn some chemistry. In 1990 the concentration of carbon dioxide in standard dry air was 0.028% by volume, i.e., diddly squat! Presently the concentration of carbon dioxide in the aforementioned standard dry air is 0.038%, diddly squat. If diddly squat did diddly prior and up to 1900, diddly squat is doing diddly now!!

Yep! That’s me!

Yikes! In the quoted comment, there is a really big fat typo: “1990” should be “1900”.

NB: The conc.’s of CO2 are for standard dry air, which is air at 273.2 K and 1 atm pressure and is comprised of only nitrogen, oxygen and the inert gases. The actual concentraion is mean real air at ca 288 K, 1 atm pressure and 1% abs humidity is about 360 ppm.

Standard dry air has 388 ml of pure CO2 /cubic meter. In the tropics at 30 deg C and 4% abs humidty (i.e., ca 100% rel humidity), there is about 336 ml of pure CO2 per cubic meter air at 1 atm pressure.

In general climate models don’t taken into account the non-uniform spatial and temperoral distribution of CO2 at, near or slightly above the surface of the earth, but do take into account the decreasing conc of CO2 as function of elevation since atmospheric pressure declines quite rapidly.

Only recently have satellites been able measure the acutal absolute distribution of CO2 in the atmosphere and it is not uniform or constant especially over the continents.

Go to the NOAA AIRS website for some sat images of CO2 distribution in the atmosphere. Also check ESRL Global Monitoring Division for more info on atmospheric CO2 distributions.

We are dealing with a company that is close to paying $25,000,000.00/day in income tax to this country, and the only publicity they get is when someone wants run them down, and make them look like heartless oil barons. They fought long and hard trying to make them ducks survive. Do we take down all power lines that kill ducks? do we eliminate sewage lagoons in citys that kill ducks? i dont think so. If these ducks were killed by a maure lagoon on some farm in alberta, they would have been left in the pond they layed in, and nobody would say a word. Syncrude does this and the whole world gets in an uproar.