Canada's Environmental Wellbeing Term Paper

Pages: 4 (1279 words)  ·  Bibliography Sources: 1  ·  File: .docx  ·  Level: College Senior  ·  Topic: Energy

Canada's Environmental Well-Being and Reducing Dependence on Oil

Canada's current environmental state is in danger. The rich natural resources of this vast land are being sacrificed to feed an ongoing dependence on oil and petroleum products. There is no denying that the current state of the country is heavily impacted by energy strategies to extract various fossil fuels from the resource-rich landscape. In order to avoid future damage to Canada's rich environment, Andrew Nikiforuk provides what he calls "12 Steps to Energy Sanity," one of which prove the most important to protect Canada's environmental well being: the implementation of a carbon tax to help wean Canadians off their dangerous addiction to oil and thus protect the natural resources of the region for future generations to enjoy as we do today.

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Oil sand drilling has a devastating impact on the natural resources of the country. Mining for bitumen is a huge source of deforestation in some of Canada's most rich forested areas. The huge land portion of 3,000 square km that has been allocated to oil sand mining is in direct danger of being devastated. Forrest areas will be wiped out, leaving open the potential for local wildlife in the region to also be affected. Essentially, this is securing a very bleak future for Canada's diverse array of wildlife in the region, one that may have a lasting impact on the natural resources of the country for generations to come, long after the mining has actually stopped. The use of extreme measures, like sandblasting, solvent injection, and firefloods are detrimental to the surrounding landscape and will prove unable to correct in future years as the devastation continues to show itself in future generations.

Term Paper on Canada's Environmental Wellbeing Assignment

Moreover, there are issues with how drilling deals with Canada's limited fresh water and air supply. The Athabasca River has seen much lower than normal water flows in the last few decades. Yet, Canadian mining operations are still allowed to funnel larger portions of its fresh water out for the purpose of extracting bitumen. This has had a devastation of fish populations and habitats, as they are being restricted more and more each year from their natural feeding and breeding grounds the less and less water there is in each season. Without regulations to stop companies from taking too much valuable water when levels are at their lowest, there can only be more damage caused then money raised in the bitumen being mined. Water is an important step in the extraction of oil from sand material. As such, it has become a primary resource for oil drillers to utilize and harness to their advantage. Yet, with water levels so dangerously low, allowing more oil drilling to further seize Canada's fresh water supplies will only further continue to place local wildlife in danger due to extreme restrictions in water size and habitat. Unfortunately, water needs to be discarded after it has been used to help extract the oil rich material from sands. Canadian oil drillers have simply displaced the chemically tainted water directly next to fresh water streams. Ponds of chemical and toxic water line the Athabasca River. According to Nikiforuk, "amazingly, the regulators have allowed industry to build nearly a dozen of them on either side of the Athabasca River," which is extremely risky because "this river, as noted, feeds the Mackenzie River Basin, which carries a fifth of Canada's fresh water to the Arctic Ocean," (Nikiforuk 83). This is carrying polluted water and toxic materials out to sea, to affect the entire globe and not just the limitations of Canada's own resources. Bitumen drilling also has a huge impact on air pollution in the region as well. It is clear that to take a stand to protect the rich forests and landscape of Canada, the country must take a stand against sand oil drilling. Yet, Canadian… [END OF PREVIEW] . . . READ MORE

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Canada's Environmental Wellbeing.  (2012, November 12).  Retrieved August 12, 2020, from https://www.essaytown.com/subjects/paper/canada-environmental-wellbeing/7941772

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"Canada's Environmental Wellbeing."  Essaytown.com.  November 12, 2012.  Accessed August 12, 2020.
https://www.essaytown.com/subjects/paper/canada-environmental-wellbeing/7941772.