Soil overburden being removed to get at the tar sands below, in a mine north of Fort McMurray, Alberta, Canada. The tar sands are the largest industrial project on the planet, and the world's most environmentally destructive. The synthetic oil produced from them is 3 times more carbon intensive than conventional oil supplies, a disaster for the climate. They are responsible for the second fastest rate of deforestation on the planet. Second only to the amazon Rainforest. They produce millions of litres of highly polluted water every day which leaches out into the Athabasca river and has serious health impacts on First Nation peoples living downstream.