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“Tar sands (also referred to as oil sands) are a combination of clay, sand, water, and bitumen, a heavy black viscous oil. Tar sands can be mined and processed to extract the oil-rich bitumen, which is then refined into oil. The bitumen in tar sands cannot be pumped from the ground in its natural state; instead tar sand deposits are mined, usually using strip mining or open pit techniques, or the oil is extracted by underground heating with additional upgrading.


Tar sands are mined and processed to generate oil similar to oil pumped from conventional oil wells, but extracting oil from tar sands is more complex than conventional oil recovery. Oil sands recovery processes include extraction and separation systems to separate the bitumen from the clay, sand, and water that make up the tar sands. Bitumen also requires additional upgrading before it can be refined. Because it is so viscous (thick), it also requires dilution with lighter hydrocarbons to make it transportable by pipelines.

“On World Environment Day, we’re left scratching our heads as Kevin Rudd and Brendan Nelson race to the bottom of the petrol bowser. They’re arguing about rising petrol prices whilst ignoring the elephant in the room – our rising greenhouse pollution.

We don’t need to remove the GST on petrol, we need to start weaning Australia off its oil addiction, with a 3 point recovery plan – massive federal investment in public transport, laws for dramatically more efficient cars, and an Emissions Trading Scheme which includes transport.

We’re tired of waiting for the bus while our politicians dither in Parliament. Tell your MP you want far-sighted, low-carbon transport solutions now!

The world is running out of cheap oil and head-on into the climate crisis caused by burning fossil fuels. World oil prices have more than quadrupled in the past six years and more than doubled in the past year. At the same time, transport is 14% of Australia’s greenhouse pollution and rapidly rising. Both these reasons mean we need to move Australia away from oil, and fast.

Previous governments have failed to prepare Australia’s transport system for rising oil prices. Our governments, Federal and State in partnership, must begin making major long term adjustments now. First, we demand a world class public transport system starting with a $5 billion investment from the new Building Australia Fund. Second, we must include transport in the Emissions Trading Scheme. Third, we need mandatory fuel efficiency standards for all vehicles to match other OECD countries.

Tell our political parties about the three steps to kicking Australia’s oil addiction and jump-starting cleaner transport.

We have only a short time left to re-frame this debate while the issue of petrol prices is still the main item in the news.

The government is scrambling to re-gain its climate credentials after their ill-informed decision to means-test the solar rebate, which has decimated Australia’s solar PV industry.”

“Leading global consumer products company poised to destroy Ivory Coast’s rainforests as both investor and customer, pushing three primates to extinction, just after its future commitment to rainforest protection and certifies oil palm in 2015 was much heralded by some.

One of Côte d’Ivoire most important primary rainforests is to be cleared by global consumer product company Unilever and others, despite Unilever’s recent promises to buy only “sustainable” palm oil from lands not cleared of rainforests for their production. Tanoé Swamps Forest in Côte d’Ivoire (Ivory Coast) is one of the last remaining old growth forests in the country and the last refuge for three highly endangered primates -the Miss Waldron’s Red Colobus, the Geoffroy’s colobus and the Diana roloway -as well as home to many endangered plant species.

Tanoé Forest is thought to contain the last remaining population of Piliocolobus waldronae (known as Miss Waldron’s Red Colobus). This is a species formerly widespread in Côte d’Ivoire and Ghana, but hunted to extinction over most of its range and declared extinct in 1998; yet a freshly shot specimen was found, in the early 2000s, having been hunted in the Tanoé Forest. If Unilever goes ahead with this project, it may be the first time in history that any company has deliberately profited from the extinction of a species.

Despite international protests, the palm oil company PALM-CI has just begun destroying this 6,000 hectare forest to convert it to oil palm plantations. They are currently building drainage systems at the periphery and, once the rainy season is over, they intend to clearcut all of the forest. If the forest is destroyed, the three primate species as well as many plant species will almost certainly become globally extinct. Large amounts of carbon dioxide will be released from the carbon-rich swamp forests.”

“People in the developed world, as well as some rapidly developing countries and cities – from Manchester and Manhattan to Moscow and Mumbai – can start right away to “Kick the C02 Habit”, the UN Environment Programme (UNEP) says. Some quite simple measures can more than halve the daily emissions of an individual, with even bigger cuts possible if sectors like power suppliers and automobile makers as well as aviation and appliance manufacturers contributed more to the greening of global lifestyles”

“World Environment Day (WED) was established by the United Nations General Assembly in 1972. WED is hosted every year by a different city and commemorated with an international exposition through the week of June 5. The United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), also created in 1972, uses WED to stimulate awareness of the environment and enhance political attention and public action.”

“This year’s theme “Kick the Habit! Towards a Low Carbon Economy” – urges people to cut down on activities that increase the amount of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere.

The date recalls the opening day of the United Nations Conference on the Human Environment in Stockholm, 1972 which led to the establishment of the United Nations Environment Programme.

While recognising that climate change is becoming the defining issue of our era, the day’s agenda is to give a human face to environmental issues.

It aims to empower people to become active agents of sustainable and equitable development; promote an understanding that communities are pivotal to changing attitudes towards environmental issues, said the union.

It also aims to advocate partnership, which will ensure all nations and peoples enjoy a safer and more prosperous future.”

At 8pm on March 29, cities around the world will turn off their lights for one hour to show that it’s possible to take action on global warming.

All households, communities and business are being invited to turn their lights off for one hour at 8pm on March 29, 2008.


About Earth Hour:

“On March 31 2007, for one hour, Sydney made a powerful statement about the greatest contributor to global warming – coal-fired electricity – by turning off its lights. Over 2.2 million Sydney residents and over 2,100 businesses switched off, leading to a 10.2% energy reduction across the city. What began as one city taking a stand against global warming caught the attention of the world.

In 2008, 24 global cities will participate in Earth Hour. Earth Hour is the highlight of a major campaign to encourage businesses, communities and individuals to take the simple steps needed to cut their emissions on an ongoing basis. It is about simple changes that will collectively make a difference; from businesses turning off their light when their offices are empty, to households turning off appliances rather than leaving them on standby.”





April 2021

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