I wonder if the negative publicity for the Alberta tar sands that appears in the recent National Geographic will turn out to be a tipping point for the project. Canadian politicians have tried to downplay the impact of the magazine's unsightly photographs, but any BCer who recalls similar photos of coastal hillsides ravaged by clearcut logging will know the incredible power such images, seen by millions of people, have on public opinion. (See also, shots of baby seals being clubbed to death by Newfoundland sealers.)
So far Canadians have been remarkably passive about the ecological downside of the tar sands project. But if the country starts to be identified internationally with one of the worst environmental blights on the planet, politicians will be tripping over themselves to get out front of the issue.
Better late than never.