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the effects of the development of tar sands on the environment in Alberta and Mordor

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

The paper talks about the effects that the development of tar sands will have on 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 scholars identified tar sand development in Mordor and Alberta as a crucial subject to address. Environmentalists are against ecological distractions and discourses of environmental racism. They ridicule the misuse of power to colonize the citizens of Canada. They are against dismissals of the stories of land destruction and cultural genocides caused by the tar development; they wanted the problem to be solved.

The participant’s story work has explained how feminist theory is applied to the environment. She goes on to display how power can affect the lives of the citizens, leaving them in poverty. Foreigners in the region take the resources of the Alberta community and rule over them. The scholars explain several ways foreign control affects Canadians. The researcher attempts to gain perspective on how women can relate to the environment. Scholars seek to understand all the complexities associated with environmental pollution in Canadian communities using an indigenous research methodological framework.

It further seeks to identify, analyze, and report on how deep resilience and resistance are found in Alberta’s people. It attempts to understand how the environment is related to the decisions and actions made by their leaders. The Alberta and the Mordor communities are critical in the analysis. The data sources were collected, analyzed, and reported on from the Alberta community’s daily activities. The study concludes by emphasizing the criticality of witnessing tar sand’s effects.

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

There is a lot of feminism in the drumming; the voices we hear are from women. There is no balance in the voices; base, soprano, and alto. The music that is sung addresses the mother; it honors the mother for being the giver of life. Their body language shows how proud they are of being the mother of the future generation. According to the music, mothers have many gifts to give the world. They have spiritual and loving gifts to 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 Starhawk presents the ecology as Mother Nature.

(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 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 power systems 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 to believe 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 being the pride of the Canadians, it costs their lives. The government of Canada is hiding the real figures of those affected by rare cancer disease and other disorders. (McDermott, Mat) further says that the effects have grown beyond the control of the government as they continue to shut laborers and physicians from the oil companies.  Starhawk says that one of the workers in the oil industry 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 is how the project will make their oil business efficient to transport. On the other hand, they ignore the fact that pipelines leak and that it is dangerous to lives. The leakage causes a lot of blowups that kill 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 applauds the Brazilian leadership for taking action on those involved with the blowups, they are charged as criminals.

Moreover, those in power in Alberta continue to lease land to foreign oil companies and grant them the right to explore 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 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) clearly identifies the issue of colonialism in the tar sands. S/he says there are many fights over the oils in Alberta, Fort Chipewyan, and other parts of Canada. Foreign oil companies settle in Mordor, establish oil mining, and control citizens using their own resources. The indigenous people are ruled when companies from China come to exploit their oils and expose them to environmental pollution.

Starhawk in her presentation shows how the government forcefully denies the Canadian’s right to a clean environment (W, Warry). The oil companies do not see how rare petroleum-related cancer affects 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 right to use the resources and exhaust them. (Denchak, Melissa) explains how the indigenous people are denied the use of quality water. The oil company uses a lot of water in oil processing to control the quality of water for human consumption, most of the water is poisonous.

When the Aboriginals are controlled by foreigners, they are denied many rights (L, Veracini). The right to own land is taken from them; Canadians also lose their jobs when foreign companies hire labor from their countries. Citizens continue living in poverty due to unemployment. All the activities in the oil sands affect the ecosystem.

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 dominate the presentation by Starhawk. (G., Walker,) the government is ignoring the citizen’s cries about 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 down the figures released. The stories of ill health presented by the physician, elders, children, and laborers are dismissed by those in power. The human population is being displaced, and the ecosystem is being shuttered. Laborers and Physicians are losing their jobs as a way of shutting the call to stop tar sands expansion.

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

Furthermore, the voices of the community physicians are also heard as they insist on the alarming rate of cancer in the country. Although they are concerned about people’s health, the federal authorities charge them for raising unnecessary alarms. Besides the claims being proven scientifically, the government stands strong to dismiss them (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 country’s resources being leased for tar sands. The residents are forced to migrate from their lands to other places due to pollution (Charpentier, Alex D et al.). Many poisonous emissions go into the lands, thus affecting farming and making the lands infertile. Despite the visible effects, the government has been unable to solve it. All they need is the benefit they get from the oils and land. It is challenging to reclaim the land since most of the resources are covered with poisonous products from the oil industry.

Secondly, Massive disturbances are created in the fragile pristine Boreal forest. The forests are the main water catchment areas in the ecosystem. When the wetlands are destroyed, the aquatic and watershed are affected heavily. Despite the impacts of the destruction on water areas, oil companies are using a lot of water and energy to extract tar. The process of oil production takes 3-5 barrels of water to produce a single barrel of oil. Water is life; research by (McDermott, Mat) explains that oil companies pollute one billion gallons of water annually. 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 biodiversity and the natural environment (Kress, Margaret M.). Oil processing causes greenhouse gas emissions and global warming. Global warming exposes people to the rays that cause skin cancer. Starhawk in her presentation says that gases emanating 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 says that the amount of greenhouse gas released from oil production is five times greater than that of 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 hurricanes due to temperature changes. High temperatures will melt things in the ecology.

In Canada, many women and men built their hearts and spirits on their land’s social order, politics, and economics, 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, physical, and emotional effects on women. Families living in poverty are increasing daily. Poverty is increasing in single-parent families and 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 the country’s water, land, air energy, and food. 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 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 the environment is made up of both animals and plants. She highlights that ecological design is guided by 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 us. Based on this understanding we have the ability to work in harmony with nature instead of going against it. She encourages us to envision how the world will be in the future.

She has helped us understand the importance of water to life. Water should be preserved since we cannot live without it, but we can live without oil. She explains that trees are Mother Nature since they can absorb carbon from the atmosphere. We should conserve forests and plant more trees to ensure a balance. Research shows that by 2020, more carbon will be produced by oil processing companies than by cars and truck tires.

More disasters like floods, hurricanes, and droughts are caused by climate changes according to (Kress, Margaret M.)The climate is changing because human activities emit poisonous gas into 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 comprises remorseful people made from the human connection of love and relationship. Humans should have a good relationship with the environment to be happy.

The environment has an indigenous culture that defines where it came from. Humans come from a heritage of people who live without polluting the environment. They are supposed to make the environment better and not cause harm. I realized that species in the ecosystem work together and depend on each other to make the earth diverse and beautiful.

In conclusion, the study aims to identify the effects of tar on ecology and find ways to deal with it. The greedy leaders are the main cause and they can be stopped if power is taken from them. This denies them the authority to approve the projects. The community should be educated about the effects of oil sand development through campaigns. The Mordor and Alberta people should not sign treaties for the establishment of zombie pipelines through their land. They can also intervene in production points and block trucks transporting oil for exportation. The gas stations where oil companies supply their products should be intervened to stop the oil supply. 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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