I have to give HUGE credit to the Edmonton Journal's Archie McLean for a great piece in today's edition on one of my biggest pet peeves.
As someone who was born and raised in Fort McMurray, I understand that what we mine up north are oilsands. It has been that way ever since the term was introduced by Karl Clark and Sidney Blair (two great pioneers, I might add) in the early 1950's.
The debate rages as to whether they are to be called "oilsands" or "tarsands". Interestingly enough, this is a non-issue in Fort McMurray.
We KNOW they're called oilsands.
Sadly, as our great resource has been rediscovered by foreign leaders and environmental activists alike, the use of the term "tarsands" has ramped up. Individuals ranging from Greenpeace spokesman Mike Hudema (one of Alberta's leading economic terrorists) right on up to U.S. President George W. Bush have been using "tarsands" as opposed to "oilsands". Their feelings on the subject are markedly different, i'm sure, but their use of the term "tarsands" stems from the fact that they are underinformed about the resource.
As an aside, an oilpatch historian does an excellent job of highlighting just how underinformed Mr. Hudema really is when he explains how "oilsands" came to be used, debunking the uber-left spin from Greenpeace.
Anyway, my point to all of you is this: This is a tremendous resource that is important to securing our long-term energy and economic future. Use the right term when you talk about it.