Oil beneath the forest
The saying goes, "oil and water don't mix". However, in the Boreal Forest, Tar Sands pollutants are not only mixing with water, but are also getting into animals and the air, with drastic results for local indigenous communities.
The Tar Sands in northern Alberta, Canada, is one of the buggest development projects on the face of the planet, extracting heavy oil from under the ground to be sent to refineries where the heavy crude will be turned into petroleum products. The extraction and the refining of Tar Sands oil is one of the leading sources of current greenhouse gas emissions in Canada.
Less well known are impacts on the Indigenous communities that surround the Tars Sands development zones. here, Cree, Dene and Metis peoples are witnessing first-hand dramatic changes to a landscape that a generation ago was covered only with forests and water. Additionally, humans and animals are experiencing negative impacts to their health. Not only have the lands and water sources of the Dene, Cree and Metis been forever altered by the Tar Sands development, their traditional way of life has also been challenged by the global impacts of climate change.