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February 25, 2009

This month's issue of National Geographic contains a 24-page feature on the tar sands, titled Scraping Bottom. The impact could be huge - the magazine has 50 million readers in 32 languages.

BEFORE AND AFTER PHOTOS
Colimnist Don Martin writes in today's Ottawa Citizen that, "It opens to a three-page aerial spread of pristine boreal forest dotted with lakes beaming through the trees as a luminescent robin-egg blue. This is the 'before' picture. Flip over the fold-out at the front of this month's National Geographic magazine and you're confronted by the 'after' photo, a ground zero of environmental devastation, with sickly grey ponds bisected by slick roadways prowled by mammoth trucks carrying now-discounted black gold."

BABY-SEAL MOMENT
"This photo shoot for the magazine's influential global audience is described as the 'baby-seal moment' for Alberta's oilsands, a public relations hell equal to a seal pup's skull-clubbing death that no amount of damage control can overcome, no matter how reasoned the argument."

February 24, 2009

Reuters is reporting today that, “Nestle is cutting investment in bottled water as it suffers from the economic downturn and environmental concerns, but will push the health benefits to help the business rebound, it said on Tuesday.”

NESTLE CUT CAPITAL EXPENDITURE ON ITS WATER BUSINESS BY $236 MILLION IN 2008, MORE CUTS PLANNED FOR 2009

"Chief Financial Officer Jim Singh told an investor roadshow webcast from London that Nestle had cut capital expenditure on its water business by 275 million Swiss francs ($236 million), or 26 percent, in 2008, and would trim further in 2009."

NESTLE WATER BUSINESS RECORDED FALLING SALES IN 2008

February 24, 2009

Columnist Linda McQuaig writes in the Toronto Star today that, “The thousands who braved the cold for hours on Parliament Hill weren't there to show their support for deeper Canada-U.S. integration – the agenda of the our financial elite. They were there because Obama's message is the first sign of a possible breakthrough in dealing with the world's two foremost crises, the global economic meltdown and climate change, both products of the unregulated capitalism of recent years.”

NAFTA

February 24, 2009

The Canadian Press is reporting today that, "Quebec Premier Jean Charest is calling on the United States to support and even expand free trade. In a speech before some 150 Ivy Leaguers at Boston's Harvard University on Monday, Charest suggested the North American Free Trade Agreement be re-opened and expanded across the Americas."

Charest is quoted saying NAFTA should be re-opened, "Not for the purpose of closing it down but enhancing, for example, with a continental agreement on energy. That would be a good place to start."

The article also notes, "Charest also outlined his desire for free trade between Canada and Europe and expressed hope that the U.S. would support such an initiative."

February 24, 2009

Globe and Mail columnist Jeffrey Simpson writes this morning that, "On Thursday, President Barack Obama will present his 2010 - yes, 2010 - budgetary proposals. Albertans in particular and Canadians in general might get a shock.

US EMISSIONS CAPS COMING
"Mr. Obama will propose what he's always promised: emissions caps for greenhouse-gas emissions that cause global warming. He will create a market for permits to be purchased from the government, then traded among emitters."

THIS IS DIFFERENT FROM HARPER'S 'INTENSITY' APPROACH "Nothing like this has been proposed by the Harper government...The centrepiece of the Harper approach has been that companies will have to reduce the intensity of their energy use and emissions and, if not, pay into a technology fund that might some day come up with ways of lowering emissions...This intensity approach is quite different from Mr. Obama's hard cap...The Prime Minister and his spokesmen have been saying the two systems - intensity and hard caps - amount to the same thing, when, in fact, they do not."

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