Letters to the editor

Oil sands have negative effects

Re: “Industry pros talk oil sands,” Feb. 14, 2012.

Dear Editors,

While I appreciate the efforts that the oil sands industry is putting into making their practices more environmentally friendly, I still disagree with the exploitation of the Albertan oil sands.

Technologies that currently exist are not capable of placing the carbon footprint associated with the extraction and use of oil sands oil on par with oil extracted from different methods. On top of that, oil sands surface mining requires more water than any other method of oil extraction, using three barrels of water to produce each barrel of oil.

Diverting three per cent of the river flow doesn’t sound like a lot, but this number isn’t clear. Is it three per cent total, or each year? Is this a sustainable amount of water to be using, or will the river continually decline? And what happens if the proposed Enbridge or Keystone XL pipelines are approved, and the oil sands expand? What about the possibility of oil spills when attempting to transport the material out of Alberta? What impact would that have on indigenous people and local fishermen? I understand the need for jobs and economic stimulation, but I believe that those goals can be accomplished without endangering the lives and livelihoods of other people and the environment, partially by investing in more renewable sources of energy.

Cassandra Cummings, MSc ’13


Give climate plan a chance

Re: “Queen’s behind on climate action plan,” Feb. 14, 2012.

Dear Editors,

As a concerned student, but also a concerned global citizen, I have high hopes for Queen’s climate action plan. I believe that having Queen’s working with the Delphi Group can be the push required to make a substantial difference in reducing Queen’s greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions.

I only hope that the University will invest time and money into the long-term reduction of greenhouse gas emissions, and not only on initiatives with short-term benefits.

Eventually, the campus can be carbon-neutral and this is just the first step in setting a standard for all Canadian universities.

Nisha Midha, ArtSci ’13
Member of Queen’s Backing Action on Climate Change

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