Though concerns over global oil depletion were of course well-publicized during the early 21st century, a number of intriguing possibilities for alternate sources of fuel surfaced, including but not limited to the possibility of tapping energy from hydrocarbon deposits housed in "oil sands," such as the massive deposits reportedly lying beneath the fields of Alberta, Canada. The World Energy Council at one point estimated that such territory could draw as much as 1,600 <I>billion</I> barrels. That would be enough to power the world as a whole for 15 years, or Canada alone for 475 years. But what of the negative implications associated with doing this? Such is the taking-off point for this 2008 environmentalist documentary, which unflinchingly examines the truth behind these claims and - as the flipside of this promise - the potentially disastrous consequences for the ecosphere. These considerations include the fact that much energy is needed to extract and refine the oil; the fact that these processes produce an obscenely high amount of greenhouse gas; and the fact that it would mean indiscriminately wiping out forestland and leaving massive, gaping holes in the ground.
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