What exactly is Mr Cameron saying about the canadian tar sands mining??? - Tree of Souls - An Avatar Community Forum
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Old 10-07-2010, 12:21 AM
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Default What exactly is Mr Cameron saying about the canadian tar sands mining???

Check out this podcast containing Cameron and a scene from Avatar at 4:52: We are the insurgents at subMedia

It features a statement of Mr Cameron after his visits to the ongoing annihilation of the Canadian landscape in search for more oil. For those who dont know it, Canada holds some of the largest oil reserves on this planet. Bad thing though that that oil is in the shape of tar sands which have to be dug out in humongous mining operations dwarfing the Unobtanium mines of Pandora and the refining process poisons the rivers and lands of the Cree indians (you may remember them for saying "Only When the Last Tree Has Died and the Last River Been Poisoned and the Last Fish Been Caught Will We Realise We Cannot Eat Money").

Mr Cameron then actually talks about how this oil is a valuable resource in the energy starved future can serve North America to become independent from OPEC oil imports. So what is he saying, that it is better to crap in the own backyard than in someone elses? crap is still crap and Tar Sands mining is about the biggest crap around in terms of hydrocarbon mining:

Please, someone tell me that he had some goooood reason to say this - but it better be a really, really good explanation!!!
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Old 10-07-2010, 01:08 AM
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I've been following this... He certainly was not actually directly supporting them - if anything, he's been fairly critical of it from what I've read.
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Old 10-07-2010, 03:28 AM
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Because he's a realist? Oil is a need. There is no way to go back. So instead of beating up on one end of the world for it, get it locally.
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Old 10-07-2010, 08:57 AM
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Originally Posted by Human No More View Post
I've been following this... He certainly was not actually directly supporting them - if anything, he's been fairly critical of it from what I've read.
Oh I am sure he suggested to make the process more clean and to plant some trees in the wastelands left over by the whole thing, but that doesnt make it right. Then you could also build in fish elevators in the Amazonian dams and make them great projects to produce energy locally. After all hydroelectric is a "green energy", yes? Of course not - but obviously it is easier to go against the Brazilian government and support native people and rainforests there than to go against the Canadian government and the consumption of oil and speak out clearly on behalf of the native people there. Its just too close to home, I guess...

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Originally Posted by Aihwa View Post
Because he's a realist? Oil is a need. There is no way to go back. So instead of beating up on one end of the world for it, get it locally.
Yeah - it has to go on, doesnt it. We need oil and gas and coal and ever more of it and if we have to fracture our land, blast off mountain tops and dig up square miles over square miles of pristine landscape to get it, drill into the deepest ocean ... we cant turn away from it.

I call this an addiction! A serious one! It has all the symptoms, even denial. And as with all addictions, this is unhealthy (obesity, allergies, lung cancers,...), self destructive (depression, violence), destructive to others (the non-human inhabitants that live int he same home as we do) and hard to withdraw from - still as you probably would agree with any other addiction, withdrawal is the only choice. That simply is it - this society is hooked on energy and especially hooked on fossil fuels! And if that habit is not broken, the result is the same as with all addictions.....

So anonymous oilsuckers FTW!

Lol, what is funny in a very sad way is, that I actually in previous, half a year ago postings draw the comparison of the scenes at hells gate mine with the tar sands:

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Old 10-07-2010, 10:45 AM
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He's trying to tread a very fine line. If he handles things correctly he could be an influence for the better. If he falls down too heavily on the 'tar sands mining must stop now' side he risks becoming a pariah in his home country and being written off as an extremist, which won't help anybody.

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Old 10-07-2010, 12:09 PM
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Well threading the fine line is nice - I know that he is trying to do so. Just like Greenpeace occasionally does when they support building pipelines in return for some forest protection or people standing in for deer bridges over new autobahns. Sure they try their best, but threading a thin line makes you weak. You cant push anyone while standin on that line. So you may be able to change a little bit here and there that would make the whole thing even more horrible. You can achieve people building in sufur filters in coal plants to at least remove the toxic sufur dioxide from the exhaust but you still allow the CO2 to destroy the climate.

I keep saying this - doing little detours and slight course corrections wont help anymore. Sticking to the same path but moving a bit to the left and right again depending on who wins the game does not change that the path leads to a cliff. You have to jump tracks for that. Its like a meteor heading to Earth - if you start early enough, you can shift the course a bit and it misses, if you come too late, that little shift wont help and you have to shoot all that you have at it to move it. The time to act gradually is long past. Maybe it was in the 1970ie or 1950ies or even earlier. Half a century later, gradual little changes cant help. Sure, if you outright protest against some atorcity, the culture committing it wont like you. But the people may like you. And wasnt it the people who have the power? I am sure the Brazilian government and farmers dont like Cameron - still he protested that dam project. So what I am amazed is how easy it is for someone to criticize and protest (rightfully!) a project in a land far far away but not have the guts to do the same locally. It should franky be the other way around. Coming from North America, Cameron should fight for the land there, in his neighborhood - even more so than in some Jungle.

But its always like that, no? People donate money for organizations helping the Amazon or the Elephants or protest projects in Africa and Asia. That is all cool, but they dont care for their own homes as much. Why is that? Why do people spend more on saving the rainforest than preventing the cause of the ongoing extinction of animals and all that? Because it is far away - people can hope that it works, they dont have to face the opposition for it. If people there hate you for your environmentalist efforts, you dont have to deal with them. Doing something locally will let you face the people that disagree, you may be standing in the front line facing some stormtrooper police force and get teargassed. Fighting locally means also feeling the consequences locally and that, Mr Cameron is what you seem to not want to face.

Imagine someone like Cameron with all the fans of his with all his VIP-ness taking a stand against oil sand mining. Him standing in front of the bulldozers that want to deforest another mining area. Dont you think that would be massive? Even more massive than him begging the governments and oil companies for a little more safety in their refining processes and a bit better conservation efforts for the rivers that are poisoned by the sludge?

What is the goal here - to make the disaster a little less disastrous or to really stop that disaster from going on?

I know many people suffered and got beaten up and lost their "respectability" in "normal society" for their actions agains nuclear power in Germany. But without that fight by "extremists", we'd have more nuclear plants, more radiactive waste in unsafe mines and probably one or two "Störfall" in that area. Threading a fine line by slightly influencing the numbers of years a plant can run or running more experimental salt mines for storage does not attack the problem, it is merely fuddling around with the symptoms... None of these actions are aimed at the cause of the problem, they always just try to make things a bit easier. Like taking painkillers for the brain swelling you have that causes you headaches instead of getting a surgery to get rid of the swelling...
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Old 10-07-2010, 01:38 PM
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Hmmm. These are some good points.
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Old 10-08-2010, 08:38 AM
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If I remember the commentary correctly, here in Canada on our news, the reporters thoughts were, as Cameron is from Canada, that he didn't want to ruffle too many government and bureaucratic feathers here and the comments were something about being 'proactive' rather than 'anti-something" was a better way to go. (srry it was a week ago, don't remember much but the gist of it).
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Old 10-08-2010, 02:22 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mika View Post
[...]he didn't want to ruffle too many government and bureaucratic feathers here and the comments were something about being 'proactive' rather than 'anti-something" was a better way to go.
Yeah - dont stir up too much. Play nice. Be a good part of the society... Buy organic food and put bioethanol in your helicopter. I mean, I can understand him. The vast majority would act like that and try not to stir up too much controversial thoughts. As I said - if you oppose environmental destruction you always step on some peoples toes. Always! That is because there are reasons for the destruction in the first place. Reasons that promise things like money, prosperity, economic growth, jobs, infrastructure, development. And these are all seen as positive and many of them affect "simple people" as well as the rich ones. Close down the Tar sands extraction and Canada has to import oil, people loose their jobs and no more roads and rails will be built into that region.
It is always a tradeoff - nobody said that beeing on the side of nature is easy. Unless maybe the people whose toes you step on are far enough away, like lets say in Brazil which definitely would make more money, more development, more jobs, more growth, more development, more infrastructure possible if they build that dam, JC opposed. I am sure the Indigenous cheer, but the farmers, city dwellers, government officials dont really like Cameron now.
So what does it take - some famous Bollywood filmmaker who travel to Canada and stands up against the tar sands???

Sorry - Cameron lost basically all the credibility he gained with his opposition of the dam project with me. He makes fine and inspiring and great movies, but that is about it - that is his job, I like him for that, but his environmentalism beyond that is something I currently do not believe in anymore
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Old 10-08-2010, 05:29 PM
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So you lost all respect for him... Because he's a moderate?


I just love being in the middle of the road sometimes. Everybody hates us!
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Old 10-09-2010, 01:59 AM
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Nah - I lost not all respect of him. But a lot of any respect for his environmentalism work. Telling Brazilians to not build a dam for their energy needs but agreeing on the hydrocarbon mining in the own country is kind of odd, dont you think? If he had at least said, that he does not like the mining there, that people should leave it, but if they insist on using it, then do this and that. And not saying it is a valuable asset and resource for the future development of the country.
And in a way yes, I dont like the people who try walking "in the middle", as this path is exactly what brought us here. People who do not dare to go too far away from the center path. It is the reasons why politics of a country are always similar despite of the voted party in parliament. It is why environmental protection is always weakened to the point it fits the economy.

I think people have to "get it" and "see", that we cannot any longer insist on this economy as the building structure of a society or a world. We have to realize that the natural world and clean water and clean air and a healthy soil and biodiversity just cannot be paid in dollars. And Avatar speaks for that. And Camerons activities in Brazil seemed to go for that - protect the land, even if it means sacrificing development in industry, infrastructure, economy. That was the right course. To turn the coat when it comes to North america and say it is unpleasant and destroying parts of the land, but we must do this for our development in industry, infrastructure and economy - that is something I really did not expect now.

Avatar is as far from "moderate" as you can get - so I never expected JC to follow the theme of his movie - I thought he did a great movie, wonderful thing, powerful message - but he is a technophile rich hollywood person, he would not personally get engaged - him going to Brazil let me to think he really took in his own message in the movie - seeing him taking action like that, making a docu on the people there, running around in the jungle with face painted and promising the people there to try his part in preventing their world from beeing destroyed - that last episode reverts that to the beginning, to me thinking of him as a great director, but not really an environmental acivist when it comes to personal action. His job in that area may simply be to make good movies that get people to think, that was what I expected from him in the beginning. If it was not for the Brazilian episode, I would not be as disapppointed as I was when I saw that statement some days ago now. In the end, itis his talent to make movies. I want to see Avatar II and maybe he will make some more that get peole to think. That is what he can best
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Old 10-09-2010, 02:05 AM
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Moderates make up more than 3/4 of the world, but all we seem to get in any position to speak are the crazies on both sides. JC, a moderate, speaks out, and of course the right already dislikes him, and now the left too shall abandon him.
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Old 10-10-2010, 12:56 AM
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Sad really... Not everyone can stand on an extreme all the time.
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Old 10-11-2010, 05:10 PM
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Ok, I may have been a bit harsh on JC (though I do not consider myself part of the silly one-dimensional left-right game of politics). It is just - I have seen a lot of information in the past months and really think that it is not anymore the time to be moderate. Beeing moderate means that nothing much will change and Earth cannot really afford that. That is my opinion of course and I have to accept that JC does not share this. The main point I think for me was, that he takes an extreme position in Brasil and a very moderate position in Canada, where he could potentially foster a lot bigger changes by taking position - bringing the discussion home to the people who have seen all his movies, who know him, who paid for his movies. To turn towards beeing moderate again after beeing on the more extreme range just because it is more convenient is a bit weak. The main argument for that is usually to say "if I take an extreme position no one will listen to me at all anymore, so I better suggest some minor changes only - better to have them in place than nothing at all". I would challenge that this assumption is true. Of course JC proposing all people to live like the NA'Vi and taking a stand against any kind of mining and even technology would place him in an extreme corner. Compared to that, taking a stand against vast clearcutting and mining operations just for oil is moderate in my mind. Especially if he would just speak out on that behalf - he does not have to chain himself to a tree or something - just say openly, that this whole thing is a very bad idea in general, that no matter how it is safeguarded, tailings dams can fail (as in Europe last week) and the deforestation cannot be minimized in any way as cant the massive amounts of water used and CO2 produced.
Settling for some increased safety measures, more efficient processing and a financial compensation for the native americans living in the affected area is not helping. The NA'Vi would not take light beer and blue jeans or roads as a compensation for leaving their homes, so there is not really any true compensation or minimizing of the impact this has on the human and nonhuman population of Alberta (and who would pay the deer and the birds and the fish a compensation anyway).
So I did not expect him to physically stand and protect the area, I did not expect him to tell people about living differently as a solution, but I expected him not to endorse the whole thing as a "valuable resource" that is good for the people in Canada if they exploit it. The least I would have expected him to say is, that it is a bad idea, but if it has to be done, safety measures should be improved etc.
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Old 10-11-2010, 06:08 PM
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He thinks for himself, see, you may think you're outside the the spectrum of politics, but you're not. Nobody is, I'm not, JC's not. However, based on what I've observed, you lean waaaaaay, waaaaaay to the left. On just about everything. Whereas myself and JC, seem to take less extreme views on some things, and perhaps more extreme left OR right views on other things.

I'm for alternative energies, and for allowing oil drilling.

Healthcare and keeping guns in US citizens hands.

I refuse to chain myself to a single sides way of thinking, JC seems to do the same, and I applaud him for that.


A lot of people think similarly, but they don't talk much, so you never hear about them. Its always the extreme left and extreme right doing battle with the rest of us just kind of sitting here.
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