photo by Jungbim (Wikimedia Commons)

Members of the Cree Nation have come to London in order to draw attention to the plight of their native lands in Canada.

Alberta, Canada’s oil sands or ‘tar sands’ are the world’s largest deposits of bitumen, a heavy, black form of crude oil, previously considered too costly and difficult to extract. Yet with pressure to get off ‘foreign’ oil and the high fuel prices of the last decade, extracting bitumen via surface mining has become more economically viable, despite its high environmental and human costs.

What’s happening in Alberta is shocking when witnessed: dirty stretches of smoking wasteland, dotted with refineries in what once was a rich ecosystem of pristine forest. This is the land of native Canadian tribes such as the Cree, who are concerned about how their habitat is being destroyed and contaminated by the tar sand oil industry.

Click here to see a BBC News video report with more on the story.

For more on the tar sands, including startling video footage, see the following video featuring Greenpeace Executive Director Kumi Naidoo as he flies over the tar sands for a birds eye view of the destruction.

Read about NASA scientist James Hansen’s objections to Alberta’s tar sands from All Headline News:

NASA Scientist Urges Canada Not To Touch Oil Sands