Beginning in 1967 and for just over 30 years, the oil industry toiled in the relative obscurity of Northern Alberta as machines peeled away earth and boreal forest to exhume what has now become one of humanity’s most precious and contentious resources: bitumen. As the years passed, the bitumen mines sprawled, poisonous tailings ponds spread, toxins polluted the environment, cancer reared its head downstream and the price of petroleum soared beyond all expectations.
As plans continue to build the Keystone and Northern Gateway pipelines, a growing number of scientists, journalists, First Nations and environmentalists are fighting to raise the alarm about the implications and propaganda surrounding the world’s largest energy project.
In his second RMB Manifesto, Jeff Gailus dissects the global war on truth that has come to define the battle for oil. It is a battle fought not with bullets and bombs but with a dark web of Little Black Lies that poses a threat not only to environmental and human health, but to our moral and social well-being.
"Little Black Lies is a painstaking depiction of how the Canadian government's oil sands obsession, coupled with the United States' oil addiction, has smashed aside the once-vaunted environmental safeguards of both nations, enabling Big Oil to wreak havoc upon the health, safety, political discourse, and civil society of two failing democracies. Under these extraordinarily dark circumstances, Gailus' call for a resistance that matches the monomania of tar sands boosterism is simple common sense."
– David James Duncan, author of The Brothers K and The River Why
"Jeff Gailus has a finely tuned bullsh*t detector and a sharp tongue. He exposes and explains the disingenuous and dangerous propaganda spewed forth by Big Oil and Canadian governments in their attempt to greenwash Alberta's tar sands."
– David R. Boyd, Adjunct Professor, Resource and Environmental Management, Simon Fraser University and author of The Environmental Rights Revolution: A Global Study of Constitutions, Human Rights, and the Environment
"Little Black Lies adds new meaning to the words of the Canadian anthem: 'Oh, Canada [...] we stand on guard for thee.' Today, it is not armed alien invaders that we must stand on guard against, but an avalanche of misinformation from industry and government. It is incredible that some of this comes from people in positions of power within our system. George Orwell would find it fascinating. Little Black Lies is a must read for Canadians who believe as I do that a healthy democracy can only function if based on fact, not unsubstantiated drivel."
– David W. Schindler, Killam Memorial Chair and Professor of Ecology at the University of Alberta and co-author of The Algal Bowl: Overfertilization of the World's Freshwaters and Estuaries
"Canada's tarsands are one of the handful of focal points that will decide the planet's environmental future – because there's a huge pool of carbon there, but also because, as Jeff Gailus makes clear in this revealing book, there's an epic struggle between a government that's a subsidiary of the fossil fuel industry, and a citizenry that's increasingly seeing through their lies."
– Bill McKibben, founder of 350.org and author of Eaarth
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