A little perspective on the oilsands, please

Wind turbines and cats, not oilsands, are the big bird killers, says Tory MP

Sometimes a little perspective is in order, and today’s comes courtesy Brian Jean, the Conservative MP for Fort McMurray-Athabasca. Exasperated with the environmental uproar surrounding the oilsands—including last year’s news that 500 ducks had died in a tailings pond—Jean compiled some statistics on bird deaths. “How do you balance” those 500 ducks with the 6,000 birds killed annually on Toronto skyscrapers, the 200,000 caught in wind turbines, or the untold number killed by cats, he asked the Commons environment committee yesterday. Four wrongs don’t make a right, of course. And the environmental degradation wreaked by oilsands mining goes far beyond that committed by tall buildings or wind mills. Still, if bird deaths are the yardstick of society’s eco-sins, the citified critics of the oilsands might want consider damage being done by their proposed replacements for fossil fuel power—and by the condo towers they live in.

Calgary Herald