Home a few days, flush and recovered from our Northern Exposure Tour with Sweet Soul Burlesque first to Whitehorse in the Yukon and this weekend past in Fort McMurray. For those of you not following along with Canadian politics, Fort Mac is a hot button topic, due to it’s ongoing natural resources rape and the tar sands. Because it was our good fortune to be able to perform in this magical festival, atop a frozen lake, it also tweaked my eco-social conscious since I knew that the money that was paying us was coming from the tar sands. A few facts and figures about why this was depressing can be found here, from my source, Wikipedia:
Critics contend that government and industry measures taken to minimize environmental and health risks posed by large-scale mining operations are inadequate, causing damage to the natural environment. Objective discussion of the environmental impacts has often been clouded by polarized arguments from industry and from advocacy groups.
Approximately 20% of Alberta’s oil sands are recoverable through open-pit mining, while 80% require in situ extraction technologies (largely because of their depth). Open pit mining destroys the boreal forest and muskeg. The Alberta government requires companies to restore the land to “equivalent land capability”. This means that the ability of the land to support various land uses after reclamation is similar to what existed, but that the individual land uses may not necessarily be identical.
In some particular circumstances the government considers agricultural land to be equivalent to forest land. Oil sands companies have reclaimed mined land to use as pasture for wood bison instead of restoring it to the original boreal forest and muskeg. Syncrude asserts they have reclaimed 22% of their disturbed land, a figure disputed by other sources, who assess Syncrude more accurately reclaimed only 0.2% of its disturbed land.
A Pembina Institute report stated “To produce one cubic metre (m3) of synthetic crude oil (SCO) (upgraded bitumen) in a mining operation requires about 2–4.5 m3 of water (net figures). Approved oil sands mining operations are currently licensed to divert 359 million m3 from the Athabasca River, or more than twice the volume of water required to meet the annual municipal needs of the City of Calgary.” and went on to say “…the net water requirement to produce a cubic metre of oil with in situ production may be as little as 0.2 m3, depending on how much is recycled”. Jeffrey Simpson of the Globe and Mail paraphrased this report, saying: “A cubic metre of oil, mined from the tar sands, needs two to 4.5 cubic metres of water.” Though actual water withdrawals for conventional production run at even less than the 0.2 m3 needed for in situ production.
The Athabasca River runs 1,231 kilometres from the Athabasca Glacier in west-central Alberta to Lake Athabasca in northeastern Alberta. The average annual flow just downstream of Fort McMurray is 633 cubic metres per second with its highest daily average measuring 1,200 cubic metres per second.
Water licence allocations total about 1% of the Athabasca River average annual flow, though actual withdrawals for all uses, in 2006, amount to about 0.4%. In addition, the Alberta government sets strict limits on how much water oil sands companies can remove from the Athabasca River. According to the Water Management Framework for the Lower Athabasca River, during periods of low river flow water consumption from the Athabasca River is limited to 1.3% of annual average flow. The province of Alberta is also looking into cooperative withdrawal agreements between oil sands operators.
Natural toxicants derived from bitumen in Northern Alberta pose potential ecological and human health risks to northerners living in the area. Oil sands development contributes arsenic, cadmium, chromium, lead, mercury, nickel other metal elements toxic at low concentrations to the tributaries and rivers of the Athabasca.
… and that’s just scratching the surface.
So you can see my emotional Catch-22 on the matter. So in an effort not to make my head explode with the conundrum of the whole affair while we were in Fort Mac last weekend, I decided to do what I normally do when I’m trying to distract myself, avoid an issue, pass time, or help me sleep: I decided to go to the shower and get myself off. This is where most people may blush and shy away but allow me to be blunt: I probably do this more than you, and I’ve already done this twice while making this post (see? I really do have a shitty attention span). Because I was sharing a room with Crystal Precious, who likely would be mildly put out to wake up and see me doing this, I decided to use the old tour stand-by.
Hello, shower head.
The use of the shower head is well documented and a favourite past time for us ladies. I’m not really sure if it’s something the gents go for. I don’t usually think to ask, and by the time I think to, the moment to slyly slip it into polite conversation has passed. But I’m speaking for a lot of the ladies who will testify that self pleasuring with a shower head that has good water pressure is AWESOME. So much so that Lola Frost even does a number in tribute to this. Really. Most chicks who will say otherwise are either lying or maybe Catholic and think that God’s watching (although if my masturbatory habits gets the Almighty’s attention, then I’m going to go ahead and say I’m amazing.)
Back to the matter at, er, hand. So, there I am in the shower and already we’re off to a poor start. There’s a little calcium build up on the shower head, it doesn’t detach from the wall, and worst of all, the water pressure kept fluctuating. So either when someone flushed a toilet somewhere it affected my water flow, or there were a lot of other chicks at the hotel having the same crisis of conscious that I was experiencing. Or they were bored. Basically, it took forever, far longer than normal and I didn’t get the multiple experience I normally have come to expect. Worse than that, a thought hit me: to distract myself from environmental matters, I had basically gone to get off an wasted a bunch of water because the pressure wasn’t where I needed it to be.
So now I’d established the very thing I had been trying to avoid thinking about blew up in my brain tenfold. Huge waves of West Coast girl guilt washed over me like so many of my orgasms hadn’t. This was utter bullshit. And the worst of it was I began thinking about all the OTHER times I had done the same thing and had the same difficulty in getting the job done. Now, think about all the other women doing the SAME THING.
Kind of makes your head want to detonate, doesn’t it?
My proposed solution is this: either allow women to fly with their sex toys as carry on in their luggage, or, for a small fee have as part of hotel hospitality have hotel vibes. If they sported their logo on it (much like complimentary shaving kits) when went home you would remember your stay with a smile. I can only imagine how much wasted water this could save. It may well save a giant portion of natural resources, as well as promoting safe self love and healthy sexuality. It also may ensure less spread of STDs at those all inclusive clubs where there may have been a few poor choices made based on liquor consumption and a build up of sexual tension with no safe place to release it. I may have use figured out a way to help minimize the effects of global warming.
I think my vagina need a Nobel Peace Prize nomination.
Little Miss Risk