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Andrew Nikiforuk becomes first Canadian to win prestigious environment book award

Alberta writer and environmentalist Andrew Nikiforuk has been awarded the 8th annual Rachel Carson Environment Book Award from the U.S.-based Society of Environmental Journalists (SEJ). Nikiforuk, who was honoured for his book Tar Sands: Dirty Oil and the Future of a Continent (Greystone Books), becomes the first Canadian to win the $10,000 (U.S.) award. From the SEJ website:

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. The toxic residue that comes off the sands is stored behind gigantic dikes that leak, and downstream people and fish are sick.

Nikiforuk and the other winners of the SEJ’s annual awards for reporting on the environment will be honoured at a gala ceremony in Madison, Wisconsin, on October 7. Read Q&Q‘s review of Tar Sands here.