This is a guest post by our friend Heather Libby.
In my job at TckTckTck, I spend a lot of time worrying about the Alberta tar sands. I’ve read hundreds of articles, watched dozens of films and worked on my fair share of infographics about them. I could spend hours listing out all of the reasons why the tar sands are such a dangerous operation. And if after all that, you still didn’t believe me, I’d tell you to visit them for yourself.
This summer I had the pleasure of meeting seventeen-year-old students Liam and Daniel as they prepared to spend their summer vacation in Fort McMurray doing just that. When polarizing discussions around the tar sands began to dominate the media earlier this year, Liam and Daniel convinced their parents to allow them the space to make up their own minds. The best way to do that, as Liam wisely says in the film “is to see them for ourselves.”
During their time in Fort McMurray, Liam and Daniel toured an active tar sands operation and met with working residents. They talked to a doctor at the Fort McMurray hospital treating locals and workers. They stopped off in Calgary to speak with Andrew Nikiforuk, author of a defining book about the tar sands and its impacts on Canada. The resulting 10 minute film of their experiences is equal parts thoughtful, earnest, playful and honest. Don’t believe me? Watch it yourself: