Alberta's tar sands are sometimes called the Saudi Arabia of the North, an oil deposit so rich it has transformed Canada into an energy superpower. But there's a catch. This oil is heavy. Scraping it out of the earth and separating out the valuable stuff is a massive enterprise, and it's turning Canada into one of the most polluting countries in the world. In addition to the clear cutting of boreal forests, voracious consumption of fresh water and natural gas, the refineries have created 80 square kilometres of toxic tailings ponds and now annually emit 40 million tonnes of greenhouse gases. As this National documentary reveals, Albertans concerned about contaminated water, diminishing air quality and increased health risks say it's time to slow the pace down, and environmental groups are proposing steps to achieve a carbon-neutral tar sands.