Fort McMurray, Alberta: the centre of Canada’s oil boom
The first things you notice when you reach Canada’s notorious tar sands are the mountains of fluorescent yellow: sulphur, sitting uncovered beneath the blazing sun. “The market for it collapsed,” says my guide, “so it just sits here.”
Then, next to belching plants, you spot black lakes of bitumen, sand, silt and water. Gunshots sound periodically, warning innocent birds away from their last bath. Prepared for the worst, you crest a hill and the panorama of the tar sands opens in front of you. It is a picture of ecological devastation…
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