Editorial — May 31, 2014

Staff ~ The Prince Albert Daily Herald
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A Prince Albert Collegiate Institute Grade 12 English Language Arts A30 class taught by Evonne Garrett worked with Daily Herald managing editor Perry Bergson last month on writing editorials for newspapers. Over the next month we’ll give them a chance to speak up on issues that are meaningful to them. This one was written by Zac Dubinak

 

Find a better way or stop it all the way because it is not worth the sacrifice.

The oilsands in Alberta are destroying the Boreal forests and the species in the area by the destruction of the habitats that they live in.

The Boreal forest is essential for preserving the rich variety of life that sustains all of us. It also cleans our air and water and helps to regulate our planet’s climate.

The oil companies in Alberta need to change or stop production all together.

Is clear cutting the Boreal forests worth it, if nobody will be able to see or hunt a caribou?  The northern Inuit tribes hunt caribou, it is one of their main food sources.

Is it worth it that 60 per cent of Canada’s land birds will disappear? No, these birds are beautiful and they keep a lot of plants and flowers living. Get rid of these birds and a lot of species of plants will disappear.

Is the development of oilsands worth it when it is releasing four billion litres of toxic waste into the Athabasca River a year? Canada could create a proper facility to hold this toxic waste instead of digging a huge hole in the ground and having it seep through.

Is the economic value of oil sands worth it when 71 per cent of it is owned by foreign shareholders? Canada is only getting 29 per cent of the profit, but we are taking all the risk. We are damaging our land, our environment, and our reputation.

The amount of money put into the oilsands can be spent more effectively. The oilsands are damaging our environment and we aren’t even getting the big chunk of profit. All the foreign shareholders are getting most of the profit and they are not even taking any downfall. 

Instead of putting all this time and effort into the oilsands, Canada can spend this money on equipping every house with solar panels: Canada could be more environmentally friendly. There are 20 million houses in Canada. A medium-sized grid tie solar panel system costs $14,000 and this includes installation. A house in Canada uses 360 kilowatts per day. This solar panel system creates 420 kilowatts per day. 

If Canada invests in this long-term solution we will be self-sufficient and even put 60 kilowatts per day energy back into the grid. Installing solar panels will be more effective than ripping up the Boreal forest in Alberta.

All energy and profit Canada gains, will all go to Canada, not into foreign investors.

Organizations: Prince Albert Collegiate Institute Grade, Daily Herald

Geographic location: Canada, Alberta, Boreal Athabasca River

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