A Day in the Suncor Tar Sands

Tire at SuncorToday was the day.  Suncor’s mission is “Creating Energy for a Better World!”  We did not get near the mine operation itself, but were allowed to see the dump trucks transporting the huge chunks of oil sand. That and the gargantuan infrastructure required for this industry was sobering. Can you believe that five mines at Suncor alone extract 1,500,000 barrels of oil a day?  The site operates 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year.  The party line is how environmentally sound it all is. All will be recovered when any particular mine is closed in maybe 10 years.  Yes, the lunar landscape will be returned to wilderness, with clean water and an abundance of wildlife!  What’s not to love?  One former tailings pond has been stocked with fish, but they keep the birds from landing on it anyway with little cannon shots…why?  Well, it isn’t QUITE ready yet to apply for reclaimed status.

Both Maureen and I were exhausted both with what we saw and with the Big Brother doublespeak.  I never heard such propaganda in my life. They also told us we could not publish our pictures (except the one with the big tire) without written permission from Suncor.  Mmmmm, I wonder how they can stop me! I am on a mission to learn what I can and share it widely.

If you follow the science on our fossil fuel reserves then you know that we have to keep 80% of them in the ground to avoid  run away climate change.  It is hard to imagine that happening in an industry as large as this. There are countries from all over the world with  operations here.  Each one brings in their own staff, flies their families in, arranges visas, pays very well, (average income is $186,000.) Who will keep this dirty bitumen in the ground for the sake of the future?

My quest has been to somehow allow Martin Luther King’s creative genius “To make a way out of no way” appear and shine through in this dark place.  I sing the serpent song, “In the places that reek of impossibility, the serpent of life coils”  with all the Gaia singers on the continent!…there must be a way.  We must make a way.dump trucks 2

About the author: I am the ecology director of the Sisters of Mercy, Northeast Community. I worked with young children in Montessori and public school for many years and learned the cosmic story along the way from Virginia Barta, OSF at the Christine Center for Meditation in WI, Miriam MacGillis,OP at Genesis Farm, Chris Loughlin,OP at Crystal Spring in Plainville, MA and Carolyn McDade in the long journey of singing.

2 comments… add one
  • Jean

    Your story brought tears to my eyes as again I see the devastation and the lies you are told. I am reading an interesting book right now which tells us that Mother Earth who has always nourished us is now being so badly treated and that we must Love her in order for her to survive, not just for our sake but for her own sake. Thank you all for what you are doing and am looking forward to hearing your story when you come home.
    with love Jean

  • It’s hard enough seeing this in pictures – I can’t imagine actually being there, for real, and experiencing the devastation. Thank you so much for your brave and compassionate work on behalf of the planet and truth.

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