- Paperback: 214 pages
- Publisher: Greystone Books; Second Impression edition (March 1, 2009)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 1553654072
- ISBN-13: 978-1553654070
- Product Dimensions: 8.4 x 5.4 x 0.6 inches
- Shipping Weight: 10.4 ounces
- Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars See all reviews (15 customer reviews)
Amazon Best Sellers Rank:
#4,330,479 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
- #1959 in Books > Business & Money > Industries > Energy & Mining > Oil & Energy
- #2015 in Books > Engineering & Transportation > Engineering > Energy Production & Extraction > Fossil Fuels
- #3931 in Books > Politics & Social Sciences > Politics & Government > Public Affairs & Policy > Environmental Policy
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Tar Sands: Dirty Oil and the Future of a Continent Second Impression Edition
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"Andrew Nikiforuk paints an alarming picture ... As oil reserves dwindle worldwide, this book sheds frightening new light on the future of energy" Society of Environmental Journalists
"Nikiforuk lands a knockout blow on the kissers of the oil industry, oil-friendly bureaucrats, and petrol-guzzling North Americans" Sustainablog
"Required reading for the President in preparation for his first foreign trip" Huffington Post
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Top Customer Reviews
This is the first page of my 20 page review at energyskeptic titled "Why tar sands, a toxic ecosystem destroying asphalt, not oil, can’t fill in for declining conventional oil"
Many “energy experts” have said that a Manhattan tar sands project could prevent oil decline in the future. But that’s not likely. Here are a few reasons why:
1. Reaching 5 Mb/d will get increasingly (energy) expensive. Because there’s only enough natural gas to mine 29% of tar sands(and limited water as well)
2. Since there isn’t enough natural gas, many hope that nuclear reactors will replace natural gas. That would take a lot of time. Kjell Aleklett estimates it would take at least 7 years before each candu nuclear reactor could be built, and the Canadian Parliament estimates it would take 20 nuclear reactors to replace natural gas as a fuel source.
3. Mined oil sands have been estimated to have an energy returned on invested of EROI of 5.5–6 for mined tar sands (perhaps 10% of the 170 billion barrels), with in situ processing much lower at 3.5–4 (Brandt 2013). And this EROI does not include the energy to bring tar sands to a refinery and refine it.
4. Counting on tar sands to replace declining conventional oil, with an EROI as high as 30 will be hard to accomplish if several EROI experts estimate that an EROI of 7 to 14 is required to maintain civilization as we know it (Lambert et al. 2014; Murphy 2011; Mearns 2008; Weissbach et al. 2013)
In a crash program to ramp up production as quickly as possible, production would likely peak in 2040 at 5–5.8 million barrels a day (Mb/d) (NEB 2013; Soderbergh et al. 2007).Read more ›
Readers doubtful that there is a problem should Google "tar sands" and read about the process and product. There is a lot of oil and also a lot of pollution resulting. How significant that will be is a matter of interpretation. I agree with the author that it could be catastrophic.
The oil in tar sands is free from the complications of Middle Eastern politics, in a friendly and close-by country. Canada stands to make a great deal of money, so the usual Canadian concern for environment is going to vanish.
My biggest complaint with the book is that the author all but ignored making any consideration for the Dene people, whose ancestral land is being turned into a moonscape in the name of "energy security". I also disliked the author's nonsensical belief that driving less is an effective means of helping to halt the tar sands project. As a non-driver, I do not believe this. I can understand a corporation using the "It's up to individual consumers to change things" remedy to social and environmental ills, but it's depressing to hear it come from the social and environmental activists themselves.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
An eye opening look into the development of one of the planet's dirtiest resources -- you will be both surprised and shocked at some of the blind eyes turned towards this industry... Read morePublished on July 7, 2014 by Chris Prange
A real eye opener to the envionmentalTar Sands: Dirty Oil and the Future of a Continent, Revised and Updated Edition impact of strip miningPublished on December 10, 2012 by Alex J. MacLean
As someone living in the "impact zone", though not directly employed in the oilsand production stream, I find this book woefully inacurate and misleading. Read morePublished on April 21, 2012 by Upstream
This is an important book. Well researched and written, it should be read by all Canadians and by those who have any concerns about our stewardship of this planet. Read morePublished on March 2, 2012 by Dr. Michael Kaye
It takes over three times as much fossil fuels to extract tar sands oil as it does for extracting oil from conventional sources. Read morePublished on October 29, 2011 by Treehugger©
I am drawn to write a review of Tar Sands: Dirty Oil and the Future of a Continent after reading the negative reviews of Nikiforuk's book. Read morePublished on May 23, 2011 by teacher
Tar Sands is one of those books that cause action for change. Although bias, this novel is an eye opener to what takes place behind the scenes to filling up your car at the pump... Read morePublished on May 23, 2011 by JHartman