Fat Cat Canada’s Giant Litter Box

Fat Cat Canada’s Giant Litter Box

by Franke James

Fat Cat illustration by Franke James

Fat Cat, population and fresh water illustration by Franke James

waterfall illustration by Franke James

tailing pond photo illustration by Franke James. Photo Copyright © 2005 The Pembina Institute Photo: Dan Woynillowicz, The Pembina Institute OilSandsWatch.org

dead duck illustration by Franke James

tailing pond and methane illustration by Franke James

cow illustration by Franke James

Big as England illustration by Franke James features Syncrude Oil Sands photo © 2006 David Dodge / The Pembina Institute. Map copyright Google. Wikipedia map by Norman Einstein.

Canada is number one exporter illustration by Franke James

Biggest energy project illustration by Franke James

cartoon illustration of Prime Minter Harper illustration by Franke James

Grand Vision illustration by Franke James features: Suncor upgrader complex adjacent to the Athabasca River. © 2002 Chris Evans, The Pembina Institute

Sky Sewer illustration by Franke James features: Syncrude upgrader and complex with Hwy 63 and tailings ponds in the background. Photo ©  2006 David Dodge, The Pembina Institute; Environment Canada statistic from Kelly Cryderman Vancouver Sun Dec 6, 2009

co2 toaster header by Franke James

co2 toaster bottom by Franke James

ozone layer polar bear illustration by Franke James

backpack flag love illustration by Franke James

fossil illustration by Franke James

dirty old man illustration by Franke James

fat cat villain illustration by Franke James

Harper demonized illustration by Franke James

Shared Values: Canadians & Sustainability national study by Hoggan & Associates, 2006-2009. Quote from Globe letters. embarrassed illustration by Franke James

Heavy lifting illustration

grocery bags illustration by Franke James, TTC bus photo by istock/kozmoat98

shoes and boots CO2 illustration by Franke James

twitter screen grabs and fact cat illustration by Franke James

twitter and cat tail illustration by Franke James

Flamingo Florida north illustration by Franke James

health canada report cover

health canada report cover

shoe and boot smog illustration by Franke James

Greenpeace Canada photo of Ottawa action Dec 7 2009

call PMO illustration by Franke James

call PMO illustration by Franke James

Prime Minister Stephen Harper
PMO’s Ottawa Office: (+1) (613) 992-4211
Toll-free: 1 (866) 599-4999
Calgary office: (+1) (403) 253-7990
Twitter: @PMharper
e-mail: pm@pm.gc.ca
fax: 613-941-6900

send canada a message illustration by Franke James

Fat Cat illustration by Franke James features: Syncrude 2007 - 12. Photo ©  2007 David Dodge, CPAWS

What Canadians Can Do

If you’re a Canadian reading this, here’s the action plan from CLIMATE ACTION NETWORK CANADA:

  1. Take action to make sure your federal elected official:
    a) Signs the Kyoto Plus Pledge For Elected Officials
    b) Supports and implements the Climate Change Accountability Act 

    The Climate Change Accountability Act is currently moving through Parliament. The bill asks Canada to commit to reducing its greenhouse gas emissions by 80% by 2050 and define Canada’s approach to climate change moving into the climate treaty negotiations in Copenhagen.

    Contact Your Federal MP:
    You can find your Member of Parliament using your postal code

  2. Educate your friends, colleagues and co-workers about the need to take action on climate change NOW!
  3. Attend events in your area hosted by CAN member groups. Also check out The World Wants a Real Deal
  4. Contact CAN members to find out more ways to get involved
  5. Sign the petition at kyotoplus.ca

Visual Essay Credits:

“Fat Cat Canada’s Giant Litter Box” © 2009 Franke James

Photographs, illustrations and writing by Franke James, MFA, except as noted below in order of appearance:

Tailing Ponds illustration features: photo © 2005 The Pembina Institute, Dan WoynillowiczOilSandsWatch.org Pembina Institute

“Big as England” illustration features: Syncrude Oil Sands photo © 2006 David Dodge, Pembina Institute

Grand Vision illustration by Franke James features: Suncor upgrader complex adjacent to the Athabasca River © 2002 Chris Evans, Pembina Institute

“Sewer Sky” illustration features: Syncrude upgrader and complex with Hwy 63 and tailings ponds in the background. Photo © 2006 David Dodge, Pembina Institute

Scaling Parliament Buildings in Ottawa: December 7, 2009 ©Greenpeace Canada

“Fat Cat Litter Box” illustration features: Syncrude 2007 -12 Photo © 2007 David Dodge, CPAWS.

Background Research & Resources:

My thanks to the following people and organizations who helped with research reports and photographs for this essay: Andrew Nikiforuk, Gavin Dew at desmogblogGreenpeace Canada andPembina Institute.

Shared Values: Canadians & Sustainability national study by Hoggan & Associates, 2006-2009

Building on a comprehensive national study that began five years ago, this new 2009 survey examines the views of 4,368 Canadians as well as 1,000 of the country’s “thought leaders”senior-level individuals in business, academia, government, non-government organizations, and media. The study explores their beliefs and attitudes about sustainability, global warming and a wide range of social and environmental issues.


Dirty Oil: How the tar sands are fueling the global climate crisis by Andrew Nikiforuk for Greenpeace, September 2009

Health Canada Report: Harper Government Suppresses Climate Report Now Available Here

Does the Alberta Tar Sands Industry Pollute? The Scientific Evidence
Kevin P. Timoney, and Peter Lee
Cattle statistic: Page 10: “At the Mildred Lake Settling Basin (MLSB), 60-80% of the gas flux across the pond’s surface is due to methane; the pond produces the equivalent methane of 0.5 million cattle/day [11].”

Climate Leadership, Economic Prosperity: Final Report on an Economic Study of Greenhouse Gas Targets and Policies for Canada; The Pembina Institute, October 2009

Taking the Wheel PDF The Pembina Institute [www.oilsandswatch.org]

Survey of Albertans on Oil Sands PDF The Pembina Institute [http://www.oilsandswatch.org]

Carbon 2008 PDF Corporate Knights [www.corporateknights.ca]


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3 Responses to “Fat Cat Canada’s Giant Litter Box”

  1. Douglas AdamsDecember 21, 2011 at 11:52 am #

    Ms. James
    Let me join with all the rest and compliment you on your “Fat Cat Canada’s Giant Litter Box”.
    I’m a great fan of this kind of communication. I tried to get the Population Institute of Canada to get charitable status so they could get some money to do this kind of thing but I was unsuccessful for reasons that I found most unpersuasive.
    I was arrested along with 200 others protesting the Tar Sands on Parliament Hill and am trying, so far without success, to get the Chipewayans and their children to bring legal action on the basis of the degradation of the Athabasca watershed. You refer to Timoney, You may have mentioned David Schindler. He’s in there too. If you plan more stuff and think a lawyer on your team might help I’m here. Not sure I can supply much imagination though. Oh – I did write a lette to my family kind of detailing my concerns or at least starting in that direction http://olddougie.wordpress.com. The big problem is – how to get through and you are great at that. Don’t take this wrong. I’m a big fan of people like Jim Hansen, Gus Speth, Thomas Homer-Dixon and on and on but they need people like you to pick up the ball and you did that very well in Fat Cat.
    Hope you don’t need much sleep.-

    Admiringly yours
    Douglas Adams

  2. Franke JamesDecember 21, 2011 at 1:26 pm #


    Thanks very much for your comment. Congratulations to you on taking action and using your skills as a lawyer to make the government accountable.
    I think one day we will see major class-action lawsuits brought against the oil companies and the government for the health impacts of the tar sands. Signs are bubbling up that shareholders are becoming aware of the risks of unsustainable and destructive environmental polices — and asking companies to take action to mitigate that risk. Here’s an example of shareholder actions re: climate change in 2010: http://www.businessgreen.com/bg/news/1800633/climate-change-shareholder-actions-hit-record) .
    And this one from 2011: http://www.care2.com/causes/power-company-shareholders-demand-action-on-climate-change.html

    I’d be delighted to ask your advice on a new project in 2012. Let’s continue this conversation. Please follow me on Twitter: http://twitter.com/#!/frankejames and/or on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Franke-James/27363472807

    Best wishes for the Holiday Season,


  3. l d tannerDecember 30, 2011 at 12:58 pm #

    I agree with your positions on climate. Hope you also consider overpopulation of canada and wdorld.

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