Over the last few months, some of the oil industry's biggest fans have made what they think are startling revelations about us.
They've discovered that Americans give us money. And they say this money forced us to talk about the pollution and destruction that come along with tar sands extraction.
They think we're ashamed of this. We're not. But we are ashamed of something. We're ashamed of what their friends in the oil industry are doing to our climate, to Canada's international reputation, to northern Alberta, and what they would like to do to northern British Columbia, too.
So let's burst their bubble.
Do we take money from Americans? Yup. It's roughly 10 per cent of our annual budget.
Did this money make us sound the alarm on what their friends are doing? Nope. Funnily enough, Canadian environmentalists objected to Canadian environmental destruction long before we saw one greenback.
Now that's out of the way, let's talk about the real issue.
Charities work to fix problems. Often, these problems -- starvation, human rights abuses, humanitarian disasters -- are abroad. So Canadians give to charities that work abroad: World Vision, Médécins Sans Frontières, Amnesty International, The Red Cross.
What we're not used to is actually being the problem. We should get used it. Because not only is tar sands oil already some of the dirtiest, but things are getting worse. The tar sands are Canada's fastest growing source of global warming emissions and the main reason that Canada has become an international pariah on climate change.
Worse still, according to the industry itself, tar sands oil is getting even dirtier: a recent report by the Canadian Association of Petroleum Producers (CAPP) showed that emissions per barrel of tar sands oil are on the rise.
The impacts of tar sands have led environmentalists, in Canada and the United States, to do what we've done many times before -- work together. We worked in partnership to create change on a major environmental issues, just as we did fighting acid rain, or on Devils Lake on the North Dakota-Manitoba border, or in the Great Lakes.
Follow Rick J. Smith on Twitter: www.twitter.com/@envirodefence