“Over the next five years,
The government of Alberta will spend
more than $1 million
Poisoning wolves with strychnine,
and shooting them down from the air.”
Canadian Author Ed Struzik
As our President decides whether to cave in to the foreign oil industry and our millionaire Congressmen, and give the go-ahead to the 1,700-mile Keystone XL tar sands oil pipeline from Alberta, Canada to Texas, wildlife biologists there have already sounded a new alarm:
Expanding oil and gas production in Canada is already contributing to the massive decline of their remaining caribou herds.
And horrendously, Canada’s solution to this caribou die off from tar sands oil development and production is to massacre the wolves that prey on these caribou, instead of protecting their habitat. Two particularly repugnant methods of killing wolves – shooting wolves down from helicopters and poisoning wolves with baits laced with strychnine – are already being carried out in response to their declining caribou numbers.
Strychnine is a deadly poison known for an excruciating death that progresses painfully from muscle spasms to convulsions to suffocation, over a period of hours. Wildlife officials place strychnine baits on the ground or spread them from aircraft in areas they know wolves inhabit. In addition to wolves, non-targeted animals like birds of prey, wolverines, bears, and cougars are at risk from eating these poisoned baits or from scavenging on the dead carcasses of poisoned wildlife. Besides wolves, thousands of other innocent animals will die.
More than 500 wolves have already been killed, and Canada's Minister of Environment Peter Kent has said that thousands of wolves will need to be killed to ‘rescue’ caribou adversely impacted by loss of habitat from tar sands development. Yet, leading scientists in Canada and elsewhere know that unless their habitat is protected, slaughtering wolves won't save the caribou in Canada’s oil and gas development areas.“Culling is an accepted if regrettable scientific practice and means of controlling populations and attempting to balance what civilization has developed. I’ve got to admit, it troubles me that this is what is necessary to protect this species,” Kent commented. Simon Dyer of the Pembina Institute estimates that thousands of wolves will be killed over the next five years under Canada’s proposed plan.
And just imagine the devastating environmental impact this 1,700 oil pipeline may soon have on our own nation’s rapidly diminishing wildlife and remaining fresh water supplies.
Tar sands oil extraction is already wreaking havoc on the natural environment up in Canada, and soon there will be much more of it occurring through the very heart of America, if TransCanada now gets their long awaited pipeline permit.
To produce just one barrel of this heavy crude oil, Canadian extractors level the forest, dig up four tons of earth, consume two to four barrels of fresh water, burn large amounts of natural gas and create toxic sludge. Multiple noxious chemicals quickly escape from these massive tar sands operations.
Then there are the holding ponds. Tar sand oil operations in Alberta have already created 65 square miles of toxic holding ponds, which will kill scores of migrating birds and pollute downstream watersheds for mile upon mile if and when they fail. Of course, the oil industry and many of today’s ‘leaders’ in both countries proclaim how safe this tar sands oil extraction operation is, just as they did for the deepwater drilling in our Gulf of Mexico, and we all know how that turned out.
In the United States, this new pipeline could soon impair a broad range of our remaining natural resources, including many of our fresh water lakes, rivers and streams, wildlife habitats, and fisheries. Once built, this pipeline could break and leak, causing massive destruction, massive wildlife and bird deaths, and massive water pollution.
The Keystone XL pipeline will carry tar sands sludge and bitumen, a substance far more corrosive than crude oil that is thinned with other petroleum condensates and pumped at high pressure, and at a temperature of more than 150 degrees through the pipeline.
If you want to protect what little we have left that is still natural and pure in these United States, you may want to re-think the wisdom of this massive new 1,700 mile oil pipeline, and you may want to let our ‘leaders’ know your feelings about our modern day penchant for killing off everything that remains in North America, in our never ending pursuit of oil. Over 800,000 Americans have already voiced their opposition to this pipeline, and this number is growing larger every day now.
The same politicians who promised cheaper gasoline prices from offshore drilling are now promising the same from this Canadian oil pipeline. All we got from deepwater drilling was a hideously polluted Gulf of Mexico, and gasoline prices in America continue to climb higher and higher despite more and more offshore drilling.
Does anyone really believe that this latest effort to increase the profits of Big Oil while killing everything in its path will have a different outcome? I certainly don’t.