I invite you to view this visual poem of Fort McMurray, Fort Chip, and the Peace Region of northern Alberta. It is shot by long time McMurray resident, helicopter pilot, videographer, blogger and fireman, Tim Moen.
I met Tim Moen last September when Neil Young came to Fort McMurray to shoot a documentary in the region and to meet with First Nations people in the RMWB. Tim flew his helicopter for the shots for the video.
I came to McMurray to meet Neil Young and his crew to give some context on the social realities of people working in and around the oilsands. Lot of good my input did. Shortly afterwards Mr. Young did his over the top comparison of Fort McMurray to Hiroshima. Tim's video belies that comparison.
Tim's video shows places in the oil sands region you don't see from the highway but that makes up the majority of the landscapes of the region. With all the industrial development going on the oil sands region we still have about 97% of the regional biodiversity intact.
The Alberta Biodiveristy Monitoring Institute is a great source for information and context on how this is measured and monitored. Look it up if you are interested. If you are an Albertan, you are an owner of the oil sands, so you will be interested in learning more I am sure.
The human settlements in the boreal forest make this biodiversity an imperative ecological value we need to protect while we create economic value from the resources in responsible and sustainable ways.
We also have to ensure the human social divesity in places like Fort McMurray are also valued, protected and social inclusion and cohesion are promoted.
Speaking of social divdersity, of the 74,000 or so people living in the urban core of McMurray, they come from 127 differenct countries and speak over 69 languages. That is a Petri dish to grow a global model for a sustainable, inclusive, vibrant and diverse society, or the largest dysfunctional truck stop on the planet...if we mess it up.
Tim's obvious love for the land and strong sense of place in his home in the RMWB made me think about these things. He articulates these sentiments so well with these visuals that I call the video a poem. It is a relaxing 12 minutes so take the time to enjoy and let the mood wash over you.
Here is the link