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Impacts of Tar sands development in Mordor, Alberta Canada

 Feminist theory, Power, Colonialism, Indigenous Women and the Environment

The paper is talking about effects that development of tar sands will cause to the environment in Alberta and Mordor. oil mining is the main source of tax to the Canadian government, the oil sands are the second largest after Arabia. The environmental community, indigenous people, and the scholars identified tar sands development in Mordor and Alberta as a crucial subject to be addressed. Environmentalists are against ecological distractions and discourses of environmental racism. They ridicule misuse of power to colonize the citizens of Canada. They are against dismissals of the stories on land destruction and cultural genocides caused by the tar development; they wanted the problem to be solved.

The story work of the participant has explained how feminist theory is applied to the environment. She goes ahead to display how power can affect the lives of the citizens leaving them in poverty. Foreigners come in the region and take the resources of the Alberta community and rule over them. The scholars explain several ways the foreigner control affects the Canadians .the researcher attempts to gain perspective on how women can be related to the environment. Using an indigenous research methodological framework, scholars seek to provide the understanding of all the complexities that are associated with the happenings in the environmental pollution in the Canadian communities.

It further seeks to identify, analyze and report how deep resilience and resistance found in the people of Alberta. They attempt to know how the environment is related to the decisions and actions made by their leaders. The Alberta and the Mordor community are critical in the analysis. The collection, analysis, and reporting of the sources of data came from daily activities of the Alberta community. The study concludes by emphasizing on the critically of collective witnessing effects of tar sands.

How do you see feminist theory operating within Starhawk’s presentation? Can you identify more than one kind of feminist theory in operation?

Feminist theory is the way of seeing the social world based on gender balance. The society views the right of women to be important. All activities of the event are conducted by the females. Those presenting in the congregation are women. From the beginning of the presentation, the moderator gives the chance to elder Betty to lead the blessings. The speaker Starhawk is women; a female can address important issues in the society. The drumming presentation is done by women.

There is a lot of feminism in the drumming; the voices that we hear are from the women. There is no balance in the voices; base, soprano, and alto. The music is sung addresses the mother; it honors the mothers for being the givers of life. Their body language shows how proud they are of being the mother of the future generation. According to the music, mothers have a lot of gifts to give to the world. They have both spiritual and loving gifts which they give to their young ones.

Considering the explanation in (“The Environmental Costs Of Tar Sand Development: Building Mordor. March 19, 2012”) water is the main source of life given to us by Mother Nature, everyone needs water for life. Feminism also comes in when the ecology is presented as Mother Nature by Starhawk.

(Kress, Margaret M.) It’s seen that the effects of the tar sands mostly affect females who carry the burden of being single moms living in poverty. The research says that 64% of the single parent families in Canada are headed by women.

How does Starhawk see systems of power operating? What are the consequences of the current balance of power and what would the consequences be if the systems of power were to shift?

Power is the main cause of the effects of tar sands. According to (G., Walker) there is a lot of insanity in the government of Canada.  They cannot see the huge impacts of the oil sands but they encourage the residents that the oil benefits them economically. They claim to create jobs from the sands but in the real sense very few jobs are being created as other jobs in the fishing industry are killed. As the jobs are being created the health effects are killing the laborers in the region. Instead, they use new technology to produce oil.

In addition, the tar sands are the second largest source of oil after Arabia. But instead of it being the pride of the Canadian it’s costing their lives. The government of Canada is hiding the real figures of those affected by the rare cancer disease and other disorders. (McDermott, Mat) further says that the effects have grown beyond control by the government as they continue to shut laborers and physicians from the oil companies.  Starhawk says that one of the workers in the oil industries noticed that the government had tampered with the monitor that gives real numbers. When he tried to correct it he lost his job. The real numbers are hidden; a lot of people will continue to suffer and die.

The construction of the zombie pipelines is supported by the government .all they see how the project will make their oils business efficient to transport. On the other hand, they ignore that pipelines leaks and its dangerous to lives. The leakage causes a lot of blowups that kills lives .the government is required to inspect the pipeline frequently but they don’t want to spend one billion dollars for inspection thus creating problems that will cost about 20 billion dollars to correct. Starhawk applauses the Brazilian leadership for taking action on those involved with the blowups, they are charged as criminals.

Moreover, those in powers at Alberta continue to lease land to foreign oil companies and granting them the right of exploring the oils. This action is leaving the citizens homeless as their land is used to dispose of poisonous water used in oil mining and processing. The poisonous water lakes claim the lives of the birds that land on them.

Does colonization figure prominently? Explain how it manifests itself and what the consequences are.

(L, Veracini) brings out clearly the issue of colonialism at the tar sands. S/he says that there are a lot of fights over the oils in Alberta, Fort Chipewyan and other parts of Canada. Foreign oil companies settle in Mordor and establish oil mining and control citizens on use of their own resources. The indigenous people are ruled when companies from China comes to exploit their oils and expose them to environmental pollution.

Starhawk in her presentation shows how the government forcefully denies the Canadians right to clean environment (W, Warry). The oil companies do not see how rare cancer relate to petroleum is affecting the people. They only want to gain the benefits from the oils. (Kress, Margaret M.) Colonialism is also seen when the government leases the land of the people of Alberta. The miners are granted the rights to use the resource and exhaust them. (Denchak, Melissa) explains how the indigenous people are denied the use of quality waters. The oil company uses a lot of water in oil processing as the control the quality of water for human consumption, most of the waters is poisonous.

When the aboriginals are controlled by the foreigners they are denied a lot. (L, Veracini) The right of owning land is taken from them; the Canadians are also losing their jobs when foreign companies come with labor from their countries. Citizens continue living in the state of poverty due to unemployment. The ecosystem is affected by all the activities in the oil sands.

Whose voices are most prominent in the discussion of tar sand development? How might apply a feminist theory of gender impact whose voice you hear most consistently?

The voices of the affected citizens of Alberta, Fort Chipewyan and other parts of Canada are dominating the presentation by Starhawk. (G., Walker,) the government is ignoring the citizen’s cry of how tar sands development is affecting their lives. Cancer and disorder rates are increasing daily. The statistics show a huge increase but the government is shutting the figures released. The stories of ill health presented by the physician, elders and children and the labors are dismissed by those in power. Human population being displaced and the ecosystem affected are shuttered. Laborers and Physicians are losing their jobs as a way shutting the call to stop tar sands expansion.

Feminist theory is displayed in the presentation when Starhawk claims the women are affected the most .a lot of families have lost their jobs and they continue to live in poverty. More than half of wealth produced by the tar sands in Canada goes to foreign countries and the remaining to the rich families in Canada. Females are affected by the increased single parenting families. Statistics show that 64%of the females are headed by women.

Furthermore, the voices of the community physician are also heard as they insist on the alarming rate of cancer in the country. Although they are concerned with people’s health, the federal authority rather charges them for raising unnecessary alarm. Besides the claims being proven scientifically the government stands strong to dismiss the claims (L, Veracini).

What are the impacts of all of these in the ‘real world’? How might tar sands development affect women differently than men, and the colonizer than the colonized?

Firstly, a lot of lands owned by the Canadians are wasted on oil mining leaving the people homeless and poor. About 84000 kilometers of land in Alberta are leased to oil companies. It accounts for about 60% of the resources of the country is being leased for tar sands. The residents are forced to migrate from their lands to other places due to pollutions. (Charpentier, Alex D et al.)A lot of poisonous emissions go to the lands thus affecting farming making the lands infertile. Despite the effects being visible the government does not act to solve it. All they need is the benefit they get from the oils and land. Its challenging to reclaim the lands since most of the resource is covered with poisonous products from the oil industry.

Secondly, Massive disturbances are created on the fragile pristine Boreal forest. The forests are the main water catchment areas on the ecosystem. When destroyed the wetlands, the aquatic and watershed are affected heavily. Despite the impacts of the destructions on water areas, oil companies are using a lot of water and energy in the extraction of tar. The process of oil production takes 3-5 barrel of water to produce a single barrel of oil. Water is life; research by (McDermott, Mat) explains that one billion gallons of water are polluted by oil companies per year. It’s true to say that we can live without petroleum but we cannot live without water.

In addition, tar sands in Mordor affect human beings and the environment. Irreversible effects are created on the biodiversity and the natural environment says (Kress, Margaret M.) .oil processing causes greenhouse gas emission and global warming. Global warming exposes the people to the rays that cause skin cancer. Starhawk in her presentation says that gases emanated from the atmosphere will slowly destroy the ecology. Statistics show that 64-164 kilograms of CO2 are released into the air per barrel of oil produced. She goes ahead to say that the amount of greenhouse gas released from oil production is five times greater than gas produced by renewable energy.

The other impacts are habitat loss, habitat fragmentation and the disruption of the lifecycle of our endemic wild animals.  It also causes climate changes leading to droughts, floods and hurricane due to temperature change. High temperatures will melt things in the ecology.

In Canada, many women and men built their hearts and spirit on social order, politics, and economics of their land which they recognize as their mother. Land leased for oil mining leaves families homeless. Women are exposed to physical abuse like being sexually abused compared to men. The effect of neglected rights has more immeasurable psychological, physically and emotionally to women. Families leaving in poverty are increasing daily. Poverty is increasing single parenting families to about 64% are headed by women in the absence of men.

The Canadians are affected more than foreign oil companies and the government. Tar sands are displacing the inhabitants with the claims of modifying water, land, air energy and food in the country. The people in Fort Chipewyan are affected by genocides, eco-crimes and the crisis of water quantity while lacking quality water for consumption. The tracks used by the foreign company to transport oil damage the roads in Alberta. The oil companies and rich families in Canada take all the benefits that come with oil mining while citizens receive nothing. Oil companies invest in the country but they don’t employ the Canadians, they come with their labor leaving Canadians jobless.

Has Starhawk’s talk changed how you understand the environment? Explain.

Starhawk’s presentation explains that environment is made up of both the animals and plants. She highlights that ecological design is guided by the spiritual principles and everything on earth is alive, interconnected and communicates. She challenges us to honor and listen to what the natural world is trying to say to tell us. Based on this understanding we have the ability to work in harmony with nature instead of going against it. She encourages us to have a vision of how the world would be in the future.

She has brought the understanding of the importance of water to life. Water should be preserved since we cannot live with water but we can live without oil. She explains that trees are the Mother Nature since they can absorb carbon from the atmosphere .we should conserve forests and plant more trees to ensure there is a balance. Research shows that by 2020 more carbon will be produced by oil processing companies as compared to cars and tracks tires.

More disasters like floods, hurricanes, and droughts are caused by climate changes according to (Kress, Margaret M.)The climate is changing because of human activities that emit poisonous gas to the environment causing global warming. Climate change affects the ecosystem causing the huge extinction of habitats. Starhawk explains that human happiness comes from profitable things. The environment has profitable resources for people. The environment is made up of remorseful people made from the human connection of love and relationship. Humans should have a good relationship with the environment for them to be happy.

The environment has an indigenous culture that defines where came from. The human comes from a heritage that people lived without pollution of the environment. They are supposed to make the environment better and not to cause harm. I realized that species in the ecosystem work together and they depend on each other to make earth diverse and beautiful.

In conclusion, the purpose of the study is to identify effects of tar to the ecology and find means of dealing with them. The greedy leaders are the main cause and they can be stopped if power is taken from them. This denies them the authority of approving the projects. The community should be educated effects of oil sands development through campaigns the Mordor an Alberta people should not sign treaties of establishment of zombie pipelines through their land. They can also intervene production points and block trucks transporting oil for exportation. The gas stations where oil company supply their products should be intervened to stop supply of oil. The Alberta community should practice organic farming; this will reduce the gasses emitted into the atmosphere.

Works Cited

“The Environmental Costs Of Tar Sand Development: Building Mordor. March 19, 2012.” Starhawk – The Environmental Costs Of Tar Sand Development, 2012,

 Charpentier, Alex D et al. “Understanding The Canadian Oil Sands Industry’S Greenhouse Gas Emissions.” Understanding The Canadian Oil Sands Industry’S Greenhouse Gas Emissions,” Environmental Research Letters 4, 2009,

Denchak, Melissa. “The Dirty Fight Over Canadian Tar Sands Oil.” NRDC, 2015,

 G., Walker,. The Conceptual Politics Of Struggle: Wife Battering, The Women’s Movement, And The State.. Autumn, 1990,.

Kress, Margaret M. Wise Women Of The Cree, Denesuline, Inuit And Métis: Understandings Of Storywork, Traditional Knowledges And Eco-Justice Among Indigenous Women Leaders. Winnipeg, Margaret M. Kress, 2014,

 L, Veracini. Introducting Settler Colonial Studies. Settler Colonial Studies,. 1st ed., 2018,.

McDermott, Mat. “Economic, Environmental Costs Of Developing Tar Sands & Oil Shale ‘Unthinkable’.” Treehugger, 2008,

W, Warry. Ending Denial: Understanding Aboriginal Issues. 2nd ed., Peterborough, 2007,.



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