What do the Alberta tar sands actually look like?

by Cassady Sharp

March 4, 2013

Greenpeace volunteer and activist Nicole Allison stands in front of a tar sands tailings pond, near Fort McMurray, Alberta.

© Ian Willms / Boreal Collective / Greenpeace

With the recent blow regarding the KXL pipeline from the U.S. State Department, the environmental movement is recharged to stop that carbon-pumping pipeline that will undoubtedly have a large impact on global climate. If you ever wondered what the actual tar sands in Alberta, Canada actually look like, it's not pretty. It looks more like the fiery Mordor from Lord of the Rings that it does the "path towards sustainable energy" that President Obama had promised in his inauguration speech just weeks ago. Below is tar sands footage from filmmaker Peter Mettler's "Petropolis: Aerial Perspectives on the Alberta Tar Sands," and it delivers a rare aerial view of what, according to the State Department, will not have a significant impact on the climate. Read Greenpeace's report "Point of No Return" on just why the tar sands and the pipeline will deliver a heavy-handed blow to the climate.

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