Yet another actor has been paraded around the oil sands developments in Northern Alberta. That’s right, the microphone has been given to Bill Nye (the science guy…allegedly) and he has come away with one word “depressive”. Bill is in good company as James Cameron, Neil Young and everyone’s favourite man-bun sporting entertainer, Leonardo DiCaprio, have all dropped in for a visit “hello…Newman!”. These men came, they saw and they left…on their jets, but not before berating our province and our country for being neglectful and harmful to the environment.
Admittedly, the open tailing ponds and strip mining can look aggressive to the untrained eye. People who are unfamiliar to the oil sands mining process can view active sites in an afternoon (on a helicopter tour) and come to the conclusion that the earth is being pillaged without regard for the environment or the people who lay historic claim to it. The problem here is that these self appointed ambassadors for the ill-informed, wannabe environmentalists, are looking for the most shocking stages of the process and do not mention any of the reclamation work the companies have spent millions of dollars on.
Every developed area is reclaimed to the way it was found if not very close, minus the oil all over the ground that was there when the company arrived. Go to the website of any of the developers in Alberta’s oil sands and the amount of material pertaining to their reclamation of processed lands is exhaustive. But this isn’t talked about after the caravan of SUV’s, helicopters and jets have peeled out. No, the entertainer finds the closest camera, sums up what he saw with one choice word, a quick photo op and then goes back to their private plane and off to the next engagement to deride the terrible fossil fuel dependency we have and the industry that supplies it.
When you want to find back-up for an opinion you already have, it is easy to do. It’s hard to look at things objectively, I am guilty in this regard, but I am not an entertainer. I don’t have throngs of fans waiting to jump behind my views, as these entertainers do. When you have great influence you are held to a higher standard, your words carry weight and you have to choose them carefully. Why we voluntarily choose to give these biased, agenda pushing celebrities one-sided tours of our great province is beyond me. Environmentally conscious and sustainable developments do coexists in Canada, if only Bill would have looked out the other window.
And so, Bill, Leo, Neil, and James, next time your in town I’ll take you for a ride and we can go see the other side of the debate…my suggested choice word? Beautiful.
– Adam Jones is currently the Director of Sales and Marketing/Partner for the NTL Group of Companies.