Oh Alberta, sit down on my knee
I got a lot to tell you that's been worrying me
As the Toronto Star points out in an editorial today, not even most Canadians care about who is elected to office in Alberta, the thinly populated midwestern province where elections take place today.
But that changed with the development of the Alberta oil sands, a project that creates so much pollution it represents Canada's single largest source of greenhouse gas emissions and produces as much as a small industrialized nation. By 2020, if development of the tar sands continues apace, it could, if it were a nation, rank 10th among top polluters and produce more greenhouse gas emissions than Italy, France, Australia or Saudi Arabia.
As the Toronto Star points out, the current administration, led by Premier Ed Stelmach, is choosing the money generated by the project over the long-term and serious consequences for the world's climate and the region's environmental quality. That has even some in his own party running on platforms that would slow down the development of the tar sands.
Stelmach is likely to win, apparently, but Canadians outside Alberta, along with the rest of the world, ought to hope for enough opposition to rein in what has been called "the most destructive project in the world."
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