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Readers react to Earth Day release of oilsands data

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The Conservative government will mark Earth Day today with the launch of an information portal to give the public access to environmental data on the effect of the oilsands. The CBC Community was, for the most part, skeptical. 

  • "The spin is in place, open the gates. With this governments record on the value of science and their proven disregard for environmental concerns, how can anyone believe a word they say?" asked EBunikowski.

  • "In 20 years or less the government of the day then will have to apologize to Canadians and the world for the environmental damage that has been caused and vast areas of land and some cities in Alberta will be quarantined," replied canadian363.

  • "There is a tremendous amount of evidence out there already that the Alberta oilsands is an environmental catastrophe. So it is hard to believe that suddenly we are going to get access to reliable information which proves all that is a lie," said Caliburn.

Here's what CBC Community member Edmonton Bill wrote in the comments: 

"The two levels of government are spinning this as if it's some sort of indication of openness and honesty about the impacts of the oilsands.

"It isn't.

"The greatest indication of their position on the oilsands is found in the eradication at the provincial and federal level of environmental science capacity. Sure, they have all these data that they're making publicly available. But who's actually analyzing and interpreting the data to figure out if there's a problem, and whether there is a need to maybe change industry management or regulation, or improve environmental policies?

"Hardly anyone. And next to nobody in the federal or Alberta governments. Why? Because Alberta fired all their real environmental scientists during the Klein Era, and Harper is in the process of getting rid of them at the federal level.

"Data are nothing but numbers. Any government that is unwilling to invest in supporting sufficient scientific capacity to translate data into information and policy recommendations is a government that is entirely uninterested in responsible or sustainable resource development and management."

But some comments reflected that skepticism back on the oilsands critics, saying no reassurance or environmental study would sway them.

  • "Here we go again. The scientific data won't be acceptable to the anti-oilsands group not because it isn't real but because they don't accept it. Of course they also don't accept data on the harm pulp and paper, pit mining and agricultural pesticides and herbicides, etc., do to the environment. Apparently the only environmental hazard that exists in the world today is oil," said FooeyNews.

  • "Will not please the environmentalists. Any release from the oil sands is unacceptable to them," said Ron Alberta.

This was KittyKanuck's take on the issue: 

"I am certainly no fan of Harper, but this is a positive step. Not that it will matter to certain greenies who scream and shout about how much they hate oil, yet certainly are not off the grid themselves. I'm all for alternative energy, and making people accountable for cleaning up their messes, but some of the greenies are just complete hypocrites. Sorry, but you can't complain about something and then jump in your car to go buy a new computer made from petroleum products. How do you heat your home? Use anything made from plastic? Ever take a trip on an airplane? Sorry, until you are weaving your own fabric, walking in wooden sandals everywhere and never using anything but renewable resources, stop being such crazed fanatics. It only makes you look ridiculous to those of us who care, but realize these things take time and require reasonable steps."

  • "Sure we use oil products, that is not the point. We should stop subsidizing the oil companies and invest this money to develop options. My complaint is that Mr. Harper has removed environmental safeguards, called anybody that was concerned about the environment a terrorist, and muzzled the scientists that we depend on for truthful information," replied CaretakerBC.

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Tags: Community, Community Reaction, environment, Politics

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