Canadian wins enviro journalism award for book

Alberta-based journalist and author Andrew Nikiforuk has been honoured with the Rachel Carson Environment Book Award from the U.S.-based Society of Environmental Journalists (SEJ).

Nikiforuk is the first Canadian to win the $10,000 award. He won it for his book Tar Sands: Dirty Oil and the Future of a Continent.

The award is named after Rachel Carson, author of Silent Spring.

Of the book the SEJ states:

“Andrew Nikiforuk paints an alarming picture in northern Alberta, Canada: International oil companies clear cut huge swaths of boreal forest, rake off the boggy soil, scoop up giant shovelfuls of oil sands with the largest machines on earth and use copious amounts of boiling water to separate tarry bitumen from the sand so it can be turned into petroleum for your car in Kansas…Nikiforuk shows that government agencies kowtow to industry, and that its models for monitoring environmental degradation are dubious. He found credible voices that question the sustainability of an explosively growing industry whose lifeblood is fresh water, an industry with holding ponds that rival, by volume, some of the largest dams on the globe…”