Say what you like about egotistical moral puffery, James Cameron is doing us Albertans a favour.
Some people are howling about his gall in coming down here to tell us hicks what we should do with our oil sands ("Golly gee willikers mister, thanks a lot!"), some people are annoyed that the whole issue is in the public spotlight at all, and some just think it's neat-o that James Cameron is here. Although he's touted as a Canadian filmmaker, he was originally born in Ontario, and we're just hypocritical enough to claim him as our own to the world, but bristle when he's on home turf acting like he owns a cowboy hat. (Priorities, man; everybody in "Gangs of New York" may have rioted over the draft, but that doesn't mean they didn't try to knife each other later.)
So this all begs the question; why should we like the fact that he's down here like the cock of the walk, judging us under a veil of "proper management"? Two reasons: Alberta's been getting some stinking bad rap lately. Not that a huge part of our income comes from tourism, but there's no sense snubbing it if we can help it; the mall isn't cool enough to bring in everyone single-handedly. If we want a chance to shine on and act like we really give a damn about the rest of the world and the environment, this is a good start. We can shine our shoes and scrub our face, and curtsy to everybody saying, "We're a good girl, we are." He's our Henry Higgins.
Wow, that's a bit cold, don't you think?
It is, Dear Reader, so allow me to justify myself. Alberta's divided on the oil sands. We want it, we don't want it, we want it to change so we want it; we run the gamut. But there's one thing I can guarantee we all want: we want to decide what to do with it, on our own. It's our dirty oil, and we don't need other people making the calls for us, especially when they have a vested interest in one side of the coin, and no benefits from the other. How's James Cameron going to get this for us? Let me point something out for you; Once Jean Wyclef and every other pop/rap/hip-hop/actor/dancing/what-have-you star lost interest in supporting Haiti (check out Jean's speech about why he's not running for Haitian president anymore; he functionally says he's not good for the country), what happened? The money and attention dried up. Haiti didn't get better overnight; they're still desperate and ruined, but once the media spotlight dropped off, no one cared anymore. Once Mr. Cameron packs up and ships off to go produce a film about orange people in a big shrubbery that's sinking in the pacific, the majority of people are going to go to bed feeling righteous and assuming that the world is a better place. Then we, as a family of Albertans, can decide what the heck we're going to do with/about the oil sands.