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The Patch

The People, Pipelines, and Politics of the Oil Sands
Written by: Chris Turner
Narrated by: Stephen Graybill
Length: 14 hrs and 1 min
4.5 out of 5 stars (13 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

Best-selling author Chris Turner brings listeners onto the streets of Fort McMurray, showing the myriad ways the oil sands impact our lives and demanding that we ask the question: To both fuel the world and to save it, what do we do about the Patch?

The Patch is the story of Fort McMurray and the oil sands in northern Alberta, the world's second largest proven reserve of oil. But this is no conventional story about the oil business. Rather, it is a portrait of the life cycle of the Patch, showing just how deeply it continues to impact the lives of everyone around the world.

In its heyday, the oil sands represented an industrial triumph and the culmination of a century of innovation, experiment, engineering, policy, and finance. Fort McMurray was a boomtown, the centre of a new gold rush, and the oil sands were reshaping the global energy, political, and financial landscapes.

But in 2008, a new narrative emerged. As financial markets collapsed and the cold, hard, scientific reality of the Patch's effect on the environment became clear, the region turned into a boogeyman and a lightning rod for the global movement combating climate change. Suddenly, the streets of Fort McMurray were the front line of a high-stakes collision between two conflicting worldviews - one of industrial triumph and another of environmental stewardship - each backed by major players on the world stage.

The Patch is a narrative-driven account of this ongoing conflict. It follows a select group of key characters whose experiences in and with the oil sands overlap in concentric narrative arcs. Through this insightful combination of global perspective and on-the-ground action, The Patch will show how the reach of the oil sands extends to all of us. From Fort Mac to the Bakken shale country of North Dakota, from Houston to London, from Saudi Arabia to the shores of Brazil, the whole world is connected in this enterprise. And it demands that we ask the question: What do we do about the Patch?

©2017 Blackstone Audio, Inc. (P)2017 Blackstone Audio, Inc.

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Probably one of the only books on the topic

Nice to read about this topic as it is very close to home. Gave a decently balanced perspective. The author is a tad too long windy and a little heavy handed with his figurative flights of fancy at times but it’s fine.

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Knowledge is everything - Learn about "The Patch"

Before you opine! - This book is a must read for anyone who wants to understand the history and work that has gone into the development of "The Patch". When early explorers found bitumen literally pouring out of the ground into the Athabasca river, they took notice. Every Canadian who uses the thousands and thousands of products that are produced using oil and its' byproducts should read this, and only then offer up an informed opinion. #Audible1

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  • Jamie Wilkie
  • 2018-12-17

Narrator needs to do homework before reading

I really wanted to get through this book. I may still buy an old time paper version. I have worked in the industry for a long time (though I'm moving to the edges of it) and I'd heard great things about it.

unfortunately, I am left to assume that the narrator failed to do any homework while narrating this story. The horrible mispronunciations of commonplace oil and gas terms (in particular, "bitumen", "in situ") were extremely distracting, and were making me think of the text as being similarly shoddy. To be clear, from the 40 mins I got through the book wasn't shoddy, in fact it sounded like it could be quite good.

I returned the purchase. I may still go get a paper copy. But know that if you work in or around the industry you will likely find it very distracting as well.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful