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Is it wrong for me to be here?
wtf fox
tj_bluevulpine
I work for a security company that handles security contracts in Northern Alberta, many of which are with oil sands and oil steam extraction projects.

Now I don't know as much about steam extraction as I do with strip mining with the oil sands, and I know that strip mining can be devestating to the enviroment.

Something I have thought about ever since I came up here: is it wrong for me to be here?
I love nature, the outdoors and wildlife, and knowing somewhat about the dangers of oil extraction poses to the enviroment, can I condone working to secure a facility that does just that?

I happen to work at a Steam Extraction facility, which apparently is a more eco-friendly way of doing things, but I'm not convinced, because I don't know much about it. However I would flat out refuse to work at an Oil Sands project, just for the fact of how damaging it can be.

Trying to find unbiased info regarding both types of extraction methods is rather hard. The enviromentalists are so against it, that all they do is blast the companies, and the companies want to keep making their money, and will do whatever it takes to keep things running. So while both may have good points, they are too busy trying to prove their points that its hard for just the cold hard facts to show themselves.

Just the other day on the radio, some big shot with the government who works with an agency to inspect and regulate all the oil projects in the region said that Northern Alberta's carbon emmissions contribute about 2% to the worlds carbon emmissions.

I have been trying to find the research behind this statement, and the report to which it was stated in. So far, I've found nothing.

The point is, I don't trust both sides with what they say. And this is something I'm glad about with my job. It puts me on the front, to see with my own eyes what is going on up here.

Now granted, I still don't know much about the facility I'm working at. There are many area's I'm not to go, nor anyone else without the proper documentation. But I hear a lot of things from the workers as they pass in through the gates.

I'm learning so much about the industry up here, which I think is a good thing. Most people read an article about it, choose a side and then defend that side without reading followup articles or the research behind the articles.

I'm not defending the oil companies here, all I am saying is that I think knowledge is key and also maybe even not taking a side, but creating your own. Not just saying you hate them because you love nature.

People often refuse to realize that envioromentalists and oil companies are two sides of the same coin. If the oil companies just shut down over night, our society would collapse. Think about it! And if the enviromentalists weren't there, then there is a good chance that the oil companies would completely destroy the areas they are in within a matter of years. This is not a black and white issue. This issue is a rainbow issue. Its a very complicated, and complex issue that one can't simply say "Shut it down".

I've met so many people who want the industry shut down. That say it is disgusting and is the face of all that is our horrible nature. Then they get into they're car and drive home and turn up the heat, which is provided from natural gas.
I have to admire their passion, but people like that need to wake up. Its not just the oil companies, its all of us. They wouldn't be making money without us! We demand it, and they provide.

"Oh, but I drive a hybrid!"

Well don't get too uppity on that, as there are serious debates regarding hybrids. (I'm just saying, don't be convinced because  people on TV said it was good. Do some research!) (And also, with driving a hybrid, your still part of the demand for petroleum product.)

I'm not above this, I drive an in line 6 4.0L Jeep Wrangler for F sake. The fuel economy isn't that bad, but its not that good either. However I bought it because I actually put it to use, not because I think it looks cool. (But I do happen to think it looks pretty badass! :3)

You've got these people buying 4x4 capable vehicles that will NEVER see a dirt road. You know the ones I'm talking about. Those Four Door Rubicons and your H3's ussually blasting evacuate the dancefloor and various 50 cent garbage. Sure they are powerful, and can go almost anywhere, but when in their right mind would they ever take a $40,000 - $70,000 vehicle on a dirt road? They bought it because they are high rolling, straight up O.G, P.I.M.P, gangsta wannabe's, and they couldn't afford the ridiculous Lambo, so they went with something more within their price range, and by pricerange, I mean however much the could talk the bank into loaning to them.

Side note:
Jeeps and Hummers are supposed to be rugged, scratched, dented, beastly and will only be complete with a bullet hole or two. Other wise its just a barbie jeep.
End note.

Back on topic, people need to know more about what they are are talking about, and this job is giving me a great opportunity to learn what its like up here and the effect that its having on the area.

Unexpectedly, the place is kind of beautiful. Though its kind of a bitter sweet thing. At night, the flare stacks on the horizon light up the sky, and the occasional one is burning a brilliant blue (Caused from burning H2S). An owl sits in a tree just of the road, and wolves can be heard howling in the distance. But then you come to your senses and the flare stacks become ugly once again, and you realize that its almost as if the natural world is at war with industrialized civilization.

Thats one of the things I feel so conflicted about with working for quote un quote "the man".

This job does present real great opportunities for me. As said before, I'm learning and seeing this first hand. And when the days become longer, I will be able to see more of whats up here.

I've heard wolves howl, found fox dens and saw the northern lights for the first time in my life just last night. I wouldn't have if I didn't have this job. 
When the warmer weather returns, I'll be driving up here to work, but making a roadtrip out of it so I can see the places leading to and around Fort Mac. I'll probably leave 6 days in advance so I can make some stops in the interior and the rockies, as well as check out some of Alberta's Northern Wilderness. Also going to take ass loads of pictures.
So this job may suck, but it gives me a chance to do things I never would have been able to.

Though the money is good, life isn't about money. When I am out of debt, I will be returning to my humble job as a Park Ranger while I go to school. The pay is pretty bad as a Ranger, but the job is by far one of the greatest I've ever worked, and I would be happy, which is reason enough to do it. :3

When it comes down to it, the thing to remember is that we are all part of the problem when it comes to oil, and we can all be part of a solution. Do some research, and find out where your gas stations get their fuel. There are some gas stations that refuse to buy oil from any oil sands projects. Go online and learn about whats going on up here. There are many forums and orginizations that you can join and take an active part in reducing oil sands projects. Theres so much you can do if you look. :3

So is it wrong for me to be here? No, I don't think so. I think I am taking much more out then I am putting in, and am gaining valuable knowledge and the opportunity to see wildlife and nature in a completely different province.

Though I don't want to be here forever...

Thanks for reading my rant. :3

-TJ

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