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What if Canada 's so-called environmental nightmare was really anengineering triumph and the key to a stable and sustainablefuture?

For years, Canadians have been hearing nothing but bad news outof the Athabasca Oil Sands. From 20th Century economists decryingit as a perpetual money-loser in the face of more easily-extractedforeign oil to green groups around the world declaring it theworld's worst industrial enterprise, sometimes it seems as thoughno good could ever come from this so-called dirty resource.

But what if developing Canada's Oil Sands was the key tobridging the gap between current petroleum-based economies and thealternative energies that aren't ready for market yet? What if itmeant eliminating the threat of Peak Oil and providing economicstability not just for Canada and the rest of North America, butfor the world? And what if the environmental costs of the resourcewere both not nearly as dire as some would have you believe, butcurrently better than many other options with the industry alreadymaking huge advances in sustainability, energy use and waterreclamation?

That's exactly the case that Alastair Sweeny, author ofBlackBerry Planet, argues is at the core of the AthabascaSands: a bright future. By digging into the past, present andfuture of oil sands technology, Sweeny cuts through the hype andhysteria and makes a solid and engaging case that the Sands aren'tthe environmental boogeyman set to destroy humanity, but rather ourbest hope for a truly stable and sustainable future.

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