Gates and Buffet Visit Oil Sands, Home of Two-Headed Fish


Ling Wang, Mikisew First Nation

Bill Gates and Warren Buffet are casing the joint at the Alberta Oil Sands, to satisfy "their own curiosity" but also "with investment in mind", according to the National Post.

We wonder if they were shown the mutated fish with two heads that was caught just downstream. Stuart MacMillan of Parks Canada calls it "really unusual. The fish has an obvious abnormality. I had never seen anything like that myself before. I can't speculate on what might have caused it."

Native people living in Fort Chip certainly were speculating. George Poitras of the Mikesew Cree showed it at a Keepers of the Water conference: "People were in disbelief. Here they saw a fish that we suspect is very much linked to tarsands development and contamination of the Athabasca River. Our elders tell us that what happens to the animals and the fish is just a sign of what is going to happen to human life."

The Regional Aquatics Monitoring Program in Alberta (RAMP), which identifies impacts of the oilsands, says that " it is normal to occasionally find deformed fish and that physical injuries or increased water temperatures in the egg stage can cause mutations."

The Star notes that a two-mouthed trout was caught in Nebraska in 2005, sparking headlines around the world. The angler who caught it donated the head of the fish to Harvard but ate the body; that might not be a good idea with this one. ::The Star

UPDATE: Joe Romm at Climate Progress says there is Simpsons angle to the story.

More on the Alberta Oil Sands in TreeHugger:
Tar Sands: The Most Destructive Project on Earth
Bad PR Week in Fort McMoney
Edward Burtynsky on the Alberta Tar Sands
Library Late Fees in Alberta Are 16 Times Bigger than Environmental Fines at the Alberta Tar Sands
Explore Alberta's Latest Tourist Attraction: The Tar Sands Resort
Tar Sands: The Most Destructive Project on Earth
Oil Companies and Alberta Government Go After Little Old Lady

Tags: Alberta | Fish | Oil | Rivers | Toxins

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