Recently there has been a lot of negative publicity about the Alberta Tar Sands and its effect on the environment. As an Albertan who makes no income from the oil industry – as well as someone who leans to the environmental side of the discussion – I can’t help but be amazed at the foreign interest in this subject. The most recent publicity was the new documentary called Remember to Breath from film makers Andy Cobb and Mike Damanskis. I first came across the film when a story in the Edmonton Journal was saying how Travel Alberta was demanding Youtube take the video down for copyright infringement. And seriously – as if this wasn’t a specifically set publicity stunt by the film makers to get attention for their movie – but that is a different topic than this post.
What did strike me as odd about their movie, and their efforts to raise cash for the film via a social funding site called Indiegogo was the seeming out right dishonesty about their campaign. So far as of this writing they have raised $21,729 to make the movie. The problem is they have already produced the trailer with clips from the movie, supposedly complete the interviews and filmed that worst views they could find – and I can’t help but wonder when they say they need money to rent a helicopter and fly up to Ft Mac to make their movie ( both of which use gas and oil but let’s not confuse the issue ) How did they make the trailer already ? Subsequently if they need 20k from donators – wouldn’t it be easier and far more honest to say – ” Look we already made the movie and need the raise cash so we can pay back my Aunt for the money she invested in our project ? “
And now that I’m on a good rant – I find it plenty ironic that these guys are flying all the way from California in a commercial jet that takes a hell of a pile of gas and then up to Fort Mac to make their film using fuel most likely produced in the place they are complaining about. It’s almost like we need Alanis Morissette playing her Ironic song in the background of the trailer.
But what really irritates me about these guys isn’t their stand on the environment – God knows the Oil companies need to be kept honest and are some of the most corrupt corporations on the planet – but all of this publicity is making Canada and Alberta look bad when we are one of the friendliest and morally conscious nations on the Planet. Mean while, across the globe – a documented 114,392 civilians have died from the Iraq wars – a war completely about obtaining Oil ( some estimates put that figure over a million depending on who you listen to ) . When compared to the estimated 550 ducks that perished in the Oil Sands tailing ponds – personally I feel bad for the ducks as they are kind of cute and make neat noises – but seriously – are we so screwed up as a society that we consider the big issue here the Ducks and the Tar sands and the not the imperialistic pursuit of Oil through war and military spending.
The Tar Sands are not pretty – but if we have to extract oil for our global dependency – then this place – as barren and in the middle of freaking no where as possible – is a good as place as any. I could see if it was in the middle of Banff and the Rocky Mountains a guy might take issue with the visual aspect of the project – but not one damn bomb was dropped to get that oil out of the ground which in my books makes it ethical oil and a hell of a lot better than one more civilian or soldier dying so I can drive my car to work.
Here is that website for the film makers on Facebook.