Tagged: Tar Sands

Tar Sands

Update Nov. 18, 2014: TransCanada freaks out, plays dirty

In towns across Canada, troupes of mischievous activists, dressed as TransCanada reps (with "SaveCanada" logos instead), successfully derailed the attempts of TransCanada (the company building the stalled Keystone XL pipeline) to ram through another Tar Sands pipeline, Energy East, which would bring over a million barrels of oil to the East Coast for export, primarily to Europe and Asia.

During previous pipeline projects, stakeholders were able to express concerns in front of their whole community. To impede this type of opposition, TransCanada changed the format of community consultations, turning them into trade-show-like promotional events where stakeholders could only speak one-on-one with company representatives, or with PR contractors hired for the occasion. 

To outwit this ploy, local activists all along the pipeline route swarmed the events dressed just like TransCanada reps, but with lookalike "SaveCanada" name tags and brochures. Instead of promoting the pipeline, the SaveCanada reps communicated the risks. They even used TransCanada's map for an impromptu game of Pin the Spill on the Pipeline.

"Since TransCanada has come up with a new way to lie to the public, we had to come up with a new way to tell the truth," said North Bay farmer Yan Roberts, who helped to launch the unusual protest. "We're friendly folks, so our solution is to dress like them, outnumber them, and ‘out-friendly’ them in every community they're trying to scam.”

Visit www.save-canada.com for more.

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A fuzzy cell phone video of an Elijah Woods sighting in Alberta, Canada. A fake Alberta Film website touting the advantages of filming at the Tars Sands. A fake production company website, a gossip video blog, an angry press release by the Tolkien family, a fake video blog by Peter Jackson himself, director of the Lord of the Rings Trilogy, and now The Hobbit, and of course a Facebook campaign against Jackson, calling on him to stop filming in the Tar Sands: because it was too flattering to Mordor.

The only thing missing was a sighting of evil Lord Sauron.

This complex social media campaign, which had the blogosphere abuzz speculating as to when, how and why Jackson was shooting the Mordor scenes from The Hobbit in the Alberta Tar Sands, created an opportunity to further highlight the devastation caused by the Tar Sands. The Tar Sands, which NASA scientist and climate expert James Hansen has called Canada's "carbon bomb," is the country's single largest source of climate change enhancing greenhouse gas emissions. And at a time of worsening climate crisis, Canada is expanding operations at the massive industrial site.

The campaign was developed by a troupe of Toronto activists calling themselves Black Flood, along with the Yes Lab. The stated goal of the Canadian activists—"to stir up some hot and bubbly controversy on the Alberta tar sands"—worked like a charm.

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