In August 2007, a group of nineteen young environmentalists set out by bike from Alberta's southern boundary to learn the truth about the tar sands and what they mean for people and the environment. As members of the Sierra Youth Coalition, coming from all across Canada, they were passionate about the chance to see things for themselves. They knew that the tar sands are the biggest obstacle to Canada meeting the terms of the Kyoto Protocol. They wanted to better understand why developing this resource is so important and appealing not just to oil companies but to ordinary Canadians as well.
This book is the story of their trip, told by the riders and illustrated by their photos. It describes the people and places they visited, what they learned on that journey, and the friendships and adventures they shared in the three weeks it took them to travel the hundreds of kilometres from the pristine beauty of Waterton Glacier Park, at the US-Canada border in the south, to the vast industrial pits near Fort McMurray in the north. Through the eyes and the experiences of these young environmentalists, Canadians can learn first-hand about the real meaning and the impact of tar sands development on the people and environment.
TIM MURPHY is active in promoting awareness of ecology and energy conservation issues. A former coordinator of Sierra Youth Coalition's Community Youth Action Project, Tim is a member of the organization's executive committee. Born and raised in Moncton, Tim now lives in Montreal.
"The journal-style entries that comprise this short book are a fine blend of the personal and the political, giving both a nuanced view of the issues involved and a close-up look at what being part of the solution means to an individual. Combined with the short section of tar sands facts at the back of the book, they make [this book a useful engaging primer on the environmental, economic and social issues associated with tar sands exploration. We could do with more books like this one, and more people like the ones who contributed to it."