This weekend several members of the Edinburgh group attended a very well-organised evening of talks on the tar sands developments in Alberta, Canada, the world’s largest fossil fuel project. This was a joint event between The Co-operative, The Royal Scottish Geographical Society, WDM and FOE Scotland, and had a very good turn-out – particularly considering it was a Friday night!
The talks kicked off with an introduction by the very eloquent Colin Bains, Campaigns Adviser at the Co-operative Financial Services. Colin gave an overview of what is at stake if tar sands developments are allowed to continue – and, if the accompanying slide show was anything to go by, it isn’t a pretty picture. If you want an idea of the scale of these developments, have at the Tarnished Earth photo gallery here: Tarnished Earth Picture Gallery from the Guardian
This was followed by a very moving account from Chief Al Lameman from the Beaver Lake Cree Nation. The Beaver Lake Cree are a small indigenous community from North East Alberta, whose homeland is being systematically destroyed through tar sands operations, and the hundreds of kilometres of pipelines and seismic exploration lines that accompany it. The community has launched a legal challenge to protect their environment by putting a stop to any further tar sand developments within in it’s ancestral lands, taking on not only the government of Alberta and Canada, but also the world’s largest oil companies. Jack Woodward, the lawyer representing the Beaver Lake Cree, explained to the audience the particulars of their two lawsuits (watch him explain it here)
Other speakers included Duncan McLaren, Chief Executive of FOE Scotland and Head of Campaigns for WDM Scotland, Liz Murray, who explained the link between tar sands and our current campagin to clean up bailed out banks – tar sands being one of sevaral dodgy deals that the Royal Bank of Scotland are currently investing in. Liz Murray’s talk was accompanied by a great new video which focused on the RBS week of action last year – this will be available to watch online soon!
Followed by a Q&A session with the audience, all in all, it was a very informative and inspiring evening – thanks to everyone who helped organise it.
If you have a minute to spare, show your support by taking online action here:
- Tell the Chancellor, George Osbourne, to stop RBS investing taxpayer’s money in projects and companies that are wrecking the climate and threatening human rights
- Call on your MP to support the introduction of mandatory carbon reporting by 2012
- Say NO to tar sands (photo petition
The Co-opererative’s photo exhibition ‘Tarnished Earth’ will be touring the UK, starting in London. Find out more details here.