Marsden book on reading list of leaders at Bali summit

December 1, 2007
Study of oilsands damage is called ‘eye-popping’
MICHELLE LALONDE, The Gazette

Government leaders meeting next week in Bali, Indonesia, for international climate change negotiations will receive copies of Gazette journalist William Marsden‘s new book on the environmental devastation being wreaked by Alberta’s oilsands projects.
ForestEthics, an environmental group dedicated to protecting endangered forests in Canada, the United States and Chile, approached Random House with a request to distribute Marsden’s book, Stupid to the Last Drop, at the Bali conference.
Random House donated 100 books for the purpose.
“It’s unbelievable that Canada continues to develop the largest fossil fuel project in the world and isolate itself internationally,” said Tzeporah Berman, a co-founder of ForestEthics, who will take the books to Bali and hand-deliver them to conference participants.
“My hope is that, by delivering copies of Stupid to the Last Drop to delegates in Bali, a few light bulbs might go off. If ever there’s a time for eye-popping bedtime reading, it’s now.”
The book reports how Alberta is drilling itself to death, destroying its precious carbon-storing boreal forests in a money-driven bid to feed the U.S. hunger for oil, with no thought to conservation or Canada’s long-term needs. The book looks at the increasingly violent geopolitical forces that are gathering as the world’s oil and natural gas resources dwindle.
“William Marsden has revealed just how shocking and urgent the situation is,” said Louise Dennys, executive publisher of Random House Canada, “and the degree to which Canada is right now responsible for wreaking colossal, uncontrolled environmental damage (by) levelling the northern boreal forest to get at the oilsands, digging, drilling and blasting our way to oblivion for the sake of greed and the energy business.”
Marsden said he is very pleased to see his book heading for Bali, especially since Canadian politicians keep clinging to Canada’s reputation as an environmental leader.
“Canada has always been looked up to as this oasis of environmental protection and stewardship and it’s total bulls–t,” he said.
“We’ve probably done more to destroy our environment than any other developed nation.
“The realities Canada is facing are the realities that everybody in the world has to face. You are looking at a country that is destroying an entire province in order to get oil out of the ground for itself and the rest of the world. Alberta’s ecosystem is being obliterated in the process.
“The book looks at what it is about human nature that we can’t seem to stop ourselves.
“We seem to be totally disconnected from the environment we are destroying. If there is money at the end of the road, we destroy it, and this inclination has to be examined.”

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