Press: The Royal Photographic Society Journal

Delighted to be interviewed by Kathleen Morgan at the RPS Journal for October 2017


In 2011, the plant at Mildred Lake site (shown) was the largest emitter of greenhouse gases of  in Canada. It is owned by the consortium Syncrude Canada Ltd. The 183-meter high smokestack shown here released over 13 million tonnes of CO2 equivalent into the atmosphere in 2011. This includes Ammonia, Sulphuric Acid, and Xylene. The latest available data from Environment Canada shows the plant has lowered emission to 11.4 million tonnes. It is, however, one of seven plants within a 30km radius that released 34 million tonnes of CO2 equivalent in 2015.

Out of sight for many, tar sand refineries are heavy polluters, categorized as ‘non conventional oil extraction’ by Environment Canada. At a time when CO2 levels in the atmosphere are already at the highest levels in 400,000 years. The colossal scale of industry and infrastructure in the region here supplies demand for existing oil-using infrastructure that has been building in OECD countries from around 1920’s-30’s . In the U.S. average consumption is 2.7 gallons (10.2 liters) per person per day. U.S. consumption compares to India’s 0.15 gallons (0.56 liters) per person per day3. Extraordinary, when taking into consideration world population. Countries with high populations contribute the least to the problem of consumption.

This was made possible by a bursary from the Royal Photographic Society and The Photographic Angle. See his work until 28 March at @syngentaphotoaward