Rex Murphy is great at this.
His main point is certainly right: we can’t have the many benefits of energy without consequence and the National Geographic neglected to show these benefits. However, I do think that Canadians need to be aware of the trade-offs we are making and mitigate — to the extent possible — threats to our environment. For most of us, energy just appears when we flip a switch or drive to the gas station.
I think the tar sands are an important Canadian resource and with careful stewardship their benefits could far exceed their costs. However, my sense is that current policies are not focussed on stewardship and we risk squandering the opportunities provided by the tar sands.