Athabasca Tar Sands – No Day At The Beach

National Geographic’s latest issue has a timely article on the massive tar-sands mining operation that is chewing up large swaths of boreal forest in Alberta, Canada. It’s accompanied by a stunning online photo gallery and video. This heavy-oil extraction process ranks right up there with mountaintop removal mining as one of the truly apocalyptic things we’re doing to the planet. And truly un-fixable, unless we wait for a few million years of plate tectonics to clean up after us.

SkyTruth has produced satellite images showing the scope of this operation, and how fast it’s grown since the early 1990s. Check out our latest Flickr image gallery.