Canada’s tar sands have been called a “carbon bomb” and the most destructive project on Earth. Building the Keystone XL pipeline to carry tar sands oil to the Gulf Coast for export to China has been described as “game over for the planet.” Are these claims true? Are we doomed if we burn all the oily bitumen buried in Canada’s boreal forest? Or are the tar sands just the poster child for a much larger global problem? In any event, how do we get ourselves out of this dirty, sticky mess and what can you do to ensure you have a healthy, prosperous future?

Leslie Harroun is Senior Program Officer for the Oak Foundation’s Climate and Energy Program, where she manages the Foundation’s North American, European and Global Climate Initiatives. Oak Foundation is an international philanthropy based in Geneva, Switzerland.


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