Oil is already a losing horse. It is a non-renewable and dwindling source of energy, and according to a study by Association For the Study of Peak Oil (ASPO-USA) we already reached peak oil - in 2005. Since we have already burned the majority of our oil resources from this point on oil only gets more expensive and difficult to find, process, and use. (Not to mention that continuing to burn whatever is left will spell climate catastrophe.) It is high time to recognize the losing nature of oil and move on - and many of us already have.

But the oil industry is having serious trouble coming to terms with its status as 'loser'. Many other losers can probably sympathize. First there is denial: the oil industry continues to ignore winning energy strategies (renewables!) and instead shows off its own unique brand of innovation by finding many new, ridiculously costly and massively destructive ways to flog its own (losing and) dead horse. A good example of this flogging? Tar sands oil.


"Due to their extreme energy intensity, the tar sands have a higher carbon footprint than any other commercial oil product on the planet." - Dirty Oil: How the tar sands are fueling the global climate crisis

It makes no sense to continue to exploit a resource that is costing us so much - environmentally and financially. Except to the oil industry, still enshrouded in a heavy fog of denial and determined to continue with business as usual: flogging the you-know-what out of that dead, dead horse - at the expense of our planet and future.

What can wake up the oil industry? What can convince them to accept that oil is a loser - and tar sands oil is the biggest loser of all?

Copenhagen can.

More specifically, a strong climate agreement can, and this agreement must happen at the UN Climate Summit in Copenhagen. Today, The Times Online put it perfectly: "The prospect of a successful climate deal in Copenhagen threatens to hit the [oil] industry with a cost that could drive it out of business: international carbon regulation ... As one of the most carbon intensive fuels around, the Canadian oil sands industry would be one of the biggest losers." Not just any loser - the biggest.

(*That was one of two articles in The Times today on the dirty business that is tar sands oil.)

The Energy Editor at The Times concludes that "the battle for the future of the tar sands will be raging in Copenhagen" - but actually it isn't really about the future of the tar sands. It's about you.

The battle for our collective futures is what Copenhagen and a climate agreement are all about. Not letting the oil industry - and destructive projects like tar sands development - take that from us is the struggle.

The shift to renewables is possible - is absolutely critical. The oil industry and other losers will tell you that this shift is too expensive and will take too long. But when it comes to our energy future - we have passed the point of debate.

Jeff Siegal announced the end of the debate very pointedly yesterday: "Come talk to me after the last bit of remaining fresh water we have has been polluted by tar sands operations and mercury pollution from coal-fired power plants ... when the air's toxic and the water is no longer safe to drink - debate on energy costs will be irrelevant."

The messages are already out there: Stop the tar sands. Save the climate. Energy [R]evolution now.

In Canada, our activists brought the message directly to the tar sands themselves:

The G20 were given fair warning in Pittsburgh:


In France a Total (tar sands investor) refinery was occupied and labeled a 'climate crime':


And just this week, in Barcelona (currently hosting the UNFCCC meeting that is the last step in the climate negotiation process before Copenhagen) Save the climate! Salvad el clima!:


We need to take these messages all the way to Copenhagen, where the creation of a just and binding climate agreement can say loudly and clearly to the oil industry: move past the denial, accept that oil is a loser - and leave that poor horse alone! It's really and truly dead.

>>You can send your own personal climate message to Copenhagen.

>>Learn more about our Stop the Tar Sands campaign

>>Tweet in support of #stoptarsands!