Who doesn’t love a nature documentary about some adorable critter’s heroic journey over mountains, through valleys, and across rivers to fulfill their species’ destiny? Most such films chronicle audacious quests for food, risky migrations, or traditional pilgrimages to sacred breeding grounds.

But this spin-off of National Geographic Channel’s Great Migrations miniseries tells the story of an unexpected creature: The Tar Sands Pipeline. Watch for a classic tale of symbiosis — the Environmental Defence video points out the mutually beneficial relationship between migrating tar-sands oil and the bank accounts of transnational oil companies and their wealthy executives. Our appropriately accented host introduces The Tar Sands Pipeline’s journey thusly:

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In today’s episode, we follow the path of the majestic, and misunderstood, Canadian tar-sands oil, as it makes its way from the idyllic shrouds of the Athabasca River over 4,000 kilometers across the breadth of Canada, to an oil tanker in the Atlantic Ocean.

However, this brief broadcast reminds us that many barrels will fail to complete this “epic and harrowing journey” — and not only those that spill into rivers, lakes, and suburban environments. According to the narrator, “Others still will be stopped by ordinary people who care about their planet and their children’s future.”

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