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Developing Our Resources Doesn't Have to Cost Us the Earth

CENTURY, JACK R., JOHN WONFOR, PAUL FUENNING, TOM HEWITT, JR., ROBERT TENANT, and MICHAEL BREITENEDER, J. R. Century Petroleum Consultants LTD, Calgary, Alberta, Canada

The Environmental Geology Division of the CSPG was organized in 1990 "to promote the study, evaluation, and protection of the environment as it relates to geology and the earth sciences." Since the problems range from local to global, a pragmatic approach to activities was adopted, matching professional strengths with our environmental concerns. The following standing committees were formed with specific priority projects underway: (1) scientific measurements of global change, (2) environmental protection solutions, (3) environmental effects of recent geological processes, (4) monitoring global changes by remote sensing, and (5) economic and environmental energy rationalization.

Visual displays will be shown at the oral and poster sessions.

Examples of the effects of man-made and naturally occurring events are best illustrated through remote sensing images. The Amoco Cadiz

major oil spill of 1978 off the Brittany coast and a 1977 winter "Chinook" in the Calgary region are contrasts in change.

Land reclamation of coal mines in the Grand Cache area of the Alberta Foothills illustrates a balanced approach to resource extraction and surface environmental values. A recent environmentally successful case history of a sour gas plant project will be presented also. The Hewitt Oil Golden Spike emission-free gas-processing plant was opened in 1987 after a small operating company and the affected public went from confrontation to cooperation.

Illustrations from the geologic record of geosphere/biosphere greenhouse gas variations (CO(2) and CH(4)) show current high rates of increase greater than any since 150,000 years B. P. Examples of major Phanerozoic fossil extinctions and large mammal species extinctions during the period 6000-14,000 years B. P. depict an alarming contrast--man's destructive impact on the biosphere during the Holocene.

Finally, a precise correlation between human population growth and the unprecedented Holocene rate of net increase of CO(2) to the atmosphere during the period 1959-1991 (the Newell Curve, updated) and the stark significance of this relationship will be discussed.

All of this caused the CSPG Environmental Geology Division to adopt and promote this sensible and guiding principle: Developing our resources doesn't have to cost us the earth.

 

AAPG Search and Discovery Article #91004 © 1991 AAPG Annual Convention Dallas, Texas, April 7-10, 1991 (2009)