Gord is a PhD on the topic. But more, he is by far the most accomplished presenter on the topic ever. His slides are surpassingly good–more works of art than PowerPoint slides. His words smooth you along and through the rough spots that tend to be the majority of conference presentations.
This presentation is, however, more than just beautiful slides and smooth words. He tackles the very difficult and contentious subject of reclaiming oil sands tailings impoundments. He has many answers, none of them totally mainstream: he calls for an increased multi-disciplinary approach and a time-phased patience.
He is ahead of the ERCB and maybe even the industry—if you accept that he is not the industry but just a damn smart consultant to the industry. He has reclaimed areas and to my knowledge is working hard to reclaim others. Would that there were more presenters like him and more end products like those he envisages.
To every one of those dreary, repetitive, nagative critics of the oil sands, I urge you look at what Gord McKenna has done, is doing, and what he proposes before you indulge in another of those weepy-waily, sorrow-wollowing, ignorant diatribes. The world can be made better; not by constant puerile carping, but by the kind of work Gord does. Here is one decent example of the successes of 2008. Let us look for more like this in 2009.