Canada's Oil Sands: Disaster or Opportunity?

Canada's vast oil sands make it the world's second-most oil producing nation. But the benefits of greater wealth and energy independence must be weighed against the environment. 

What's the Latest Development?

Thanks to stores of crude oil mixed with sand and clay in its Alberta region, Canada sits just behind Saudi Arabia on the list of the world's oil-richest countries. "The Canadian Association of Petroleum Producers estimates that production, now 1.7 million barrels a day, could nearly double by 2020, enough to supply nearly 20 percent of U.S. oil consumption. With that, the oil sands would be producing more than Venezuela, Nigeria, Iraq or Kuwait." Construction of the oil pipeline known as Keystone XL, which would reach from Alberta to oil refineries in Texas, has been halted due to environmental concerns. 

What's the Big Idea?

Some say that importing oil from Canada's vast fields of muck would provide the US with more energy independence, a national objective which has stood always just beyond the horizon. But security concerns must be weighed against environmental worries, which are especially present in the energy-intensive methods of extracting oil from Canada's sand and clay. "No one who is serious about fighting climate change can want to see that oil out of the ground and into the air," said Bill McKibben, a Middlebury College professor who has been a leading voice against the pipeline.

Photo credit:

LinkedIn meets Tinder in this mindful networking app

Swipe right to make the connections that could change your career.

Getty Images
Swipe right. Match. Meet over coffee or set up a call.

No, we aren't talking about Tinder. Introducing Shapr, a free app that helps people with synergistic professional goals and skill sets easily meet and collaborate.

Keep reading Show less

What’s behind our appetite for self-destruction?

Is it "perverseness," the "death drive," or something else?

Photo by Brad Neathery on Unsplash
Mind & Brain

Each new year, people vow to put an end to self-destructive habits like smoking, overeating or overspending.

Keep reading Show less

34 years ago, a KGB defector chillingly predicted modern America

A disturbing interview given by a KGB defector in 1984 describes America of today and outlines four stages of mass brainwashing used by the KGB.

Politics & Current Affairs
  • Bezmenov described this process as "a great brainwashing" which has four basic stages.
  • The first stage is called "demoralization" which takes from 15 to 20 years to achieve.
  • According to the former KGB agent, that is the minimum number of years it takes to re-educate one generation of students that is normally exposed to the ideology of its country.
Keep reading Show less

Douglas Rushkoff – It’s not the technology’s fault

It's up to us humans to re-humanize our world. An economy that prioritizes growth and profits over humanity has led to digital platforms that "strip the topsoil" of human behavior, whole industries, and the planet, giving less and less back. And only we can save us.

Think Again Podcasts
  • It's an all-hands-on-deck moment in the arc of civilization.
  • Everyone has a choice: Do you want to try to earn enough money to insulate yourself from the world you're creating— or do you want to make the world a place you don't have to insulate yourself from?
Keep reading Show less