That last blog about Betelgeuse, one of my first and best stars, took me to Beetlejuice, the movie ‘cos the writer used the word for the star Betalgeuse he adapted to the Beetlejuice.  Say Betaljuice 3 times and “it” shows up – that bio-exorcist ghost that is always trying to make a deadly deal.

Betelgeuse , took me to Betaljuice that took me to Beetlejuice that took me Bitumen. Stay with me on this. Bitumen. Bitumen. Bitumen! If you say it 3 times , the Bitumen bio-hazard ghost  shows up.   The Bitumen Ghost is always looking to make a deal with the living from the land of the dead.  And that deal will haunt us perhaps forever.

Bitumen is that stuff they take out of the oil sands, at great profit to oilmen and politicians (who win elections scaring people that without bitumen the world will end). So the land is dying but the profits aren’t.

Creative Commons licence – photo (cc) Dru Oja Jay, Dominion

Creative Commons licence – photo (cc) Dru Oja Jay, Dominion

It takes about 2 tonnes of oil sand to produce a single barrel of oil. Two tonnes  for one measly barrel of oil. And it takes a 400 ton heavy hauler with huge hydraulic power shovels to excavate that oil. Probably thousands of trucks (but I will admit I haven’t counter, but there has got to be hundreds of these trucks) – so we could get a barrel of oil. And it takes 2.4 barrels of freshwater to extract and upgrade one barrel of bitumen. According to the Pembina Institute, “daily freshwater use in 2022 is projected to be 4,861,389 barrels (772,900 cubic metres). This is equivalent to filling 4.8 million bathtubs or 309 Olympic swimming pools with freshwater every day.”

See, it’s evil like Beetlejuice. The ecosystem they’re screwing up took thousands of years to create since  the last Ice Age. And it’s gonna take thousands of years for that land to heal. And for what? For the equivalent of about a five year supply of crude oil (at about 90 million barrels a day).  Five years! All that destruction for 5 years of crude oil. They can’t even say: hey,  we have to make this oil from bitumen because we will never need to make oil ever again. No, just 5 years  worth of crude oil. Germany gets 20.7 percent of its electricity from renewable energy and Canada is doing what?  Because of all the tax breaks, the oilmen make about twice as much profit per barrel as they do from regular crude oil – not much of an incentive to get off the bitumen.

Bitumen was used by our people – we sometimes used for waterproofing birch-bark canoes, and glue to help bind arrow points to their shafts. Sometimes it was pitch from trees, but there are tar pools (been to the La Brea Tar Pits in LA? That’s bitumen) .