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Stupid to the Last Drop: How Alberta Is Bringing Environmental Armageddon to Canada (And Doesn't Seem to Care) Paperback – Sep 30 2008


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 256 pages
  • Publisher: Vintage Canada; Reprint edition (Sept. 30 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0676979149
  • ISBN-13: 978-0676979145
  • Product Dimensions: 1.8 x 13 x 19.8 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 141 g
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (13 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #57,007 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
  • See Complete Table of Contents


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27 of 32 people found the following review helpful By Peter Lemieux on July 28 2008
Format: Hardcover
I've heard it said several times that this book is a polemic. It is: the tone is certainly strident. But it's very difficult to argue with the facts that are presented in it. Between what we are doing in northern Alberta to the Aboriginal communities along the Athabasca River, and the disregard our government seems to have for its citizens who have been affected by oilsands or coalbed methane development, it's enough to drive you to distraction. Reading this book, you begin to understand, even if you can't condone, those who take the law into their own hands. The government of Albertan appears totally unwilling, or unable, to put the brakes on this runaway train of an industry. The entire system appears stacked completely in favor of industry. If even half of what is presented in this book is factual (and I'm quite sure that much more than that is), it would still be a stinging indictment of "business as usual" in the oil province.

All this from one who lives here.
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37 of 47 people found the following review helpful By A. Brown on March 4 2008
Format: Hardcover
This should be mandatory reading for all high-school, college and University students. Every Canadian should be reading this one. As an Albertan and someone who works in the oil industry - this one is an eye-opener for myself and I've seen things those not working in Syncrude, Suncor and in Edmonton wouldn't believe.

Please Canada: Save us from our selves. We've elected more losers to make foreign companies rich, while starving our own people and the rest of Canada. Help, we're Stupid to the Last Drop and there is no 'seeming' about, we really don't care!
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22 of 26 people found the following review helpful By Steven Teasdale on Sept. 23 2008
Format: Hardcover
William Marsden is an author and investigative journalist who bravely took on the Hell's Angels biker gang in a series of books and columns. Now he's after a bigger, richer, and far more deceptive foe... the Canadian oil industry. Marsden goes to the physical and metaphorical heart of Canada's oil country to provide an incisive examination of an environmental catastrophe effected by a manipulative oil industry in denial and aided an impotent and incompetent system of governments.

Marsden begins by supplying a great deal of informative historical background of the oil sands project, including a bizarre scheme in the 1950s to extract oil via controlled nuclear explosions. He also provides an inside view of the immense scale oil sands excavations by visiting the projects and talking with the workers. This sets the stage for the critique to come.

The two primary targets polemically identified by Marsden (the "stupid" ones of the title) are the oil industry and governments within the province of Alberta.

Marsden describes a heavily subsidized industry that flouts the rule of law, uses propaganda and intimidation to achieve its ends, is deliberately deceitful, and remains astonishingly ignorant of the long term effects (environmental, social, and financial) of its activities. He illustrates how time and time again the massive public relations machine of the oil industry obscures facts and keeps citizens in the dark (for example, by stating that the toxic petrochemical-related products suddenly infusing wells and land are naturally occurring).

The second side of the problem rests with an impotent and largely incompetent provincial government.
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13 of 17 people found the following review helpful By Trevor Gendre on June 27 2008
Format: Hardcover
After reading this book, I find that the author really changes your perception from what is said in the media, and what the actual and very detailed truth is of the oil business.
A lot of the material and facts presented in this book are things that the media will never go into depth with because it is very complex, and is beyond basic understanding. When you read this book you will see that there are reasons the price of gas is so high and all though you may not accept gas prices, you will have an understanding of how they got there, and what is expected to happen in the future, and from the way that this author presented the material, he gives you the idea that this gas battle has just started and that many of the major problems (demand & supply) are just starting to surface.
I will stop there because I don't want to spoil it, but I do recommend that you read it. Although it may be hard for some people to read because it is not an easy read, as it has many senoir University level words in there
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Excellent walk through the unbelievably crazy history of the tar sands, and the US interest in them. The title says it all. No wonder it is a national best seller.
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8 of 12 people found the following review helpful By Jonathan Clark on Nov. 18 2008
Format: Hardcover
When I first learned about 'Stupid to The Last Drop,' by William Marsden, I knew that I had to read it. Not only did it relate to the oil and gas industry, it specifically focused on part of Canada. And even better, it was about Alberta, a province where I work every summer. In fact, I work in the oil fields (although I work for forestry companies, not for the energy industry). And saying that I work in 'the oil fields' is probably misleading or non-instructive, since just about the entire province qualifies for this descriptor.

The product description for this book gives you a good idea of what it's all about: 'In its desperate search for oil and gas riches, Alberta is destroying itself. As the world teeters on the edge of catastrophic climate change, Alberta plunges ahead with uncontrolled development of its fossil fuels, levelling its northern Boreal forest to get at the oil sands, and carpet-bombing its southern half with tens of thousands of gas wells. In so doing, it is running out of water, destroying its range land, wiping out its forests and wildlife and spewing huge amounts of greenhouse gases into the atmosphere, adding to global warming at a rate that is unrivalled in Canada or almost anywhere else in the world. It's digging, drilling and blasting its way to oblivion, becoming the ultimate symbol of Canada's ' and the world's ' pathological will to self-destruct.' Well, at least there is no misunderstanding of the author's opinion about what's happening in Alberta.

This book is not really focused on peak oil issues, although it touches on them. Rather, it is more written as a hard look at the current state of the industry, and mismanagement of the existing resources.
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