This isn't going to help Tar Sands fans in Calgary or Ottawa. The march edition of National Geographic will have a photo spread of the Athabasca Tar Sands. According to CanWest, the feature will include several pictures of Athabasca's enormous black tailing ponds.
The Alberta government is - on what has become a regular basis - in a pitched struggle with environmentalists and the media over control of the thorny climate change issue.
And the politics surrounding the oilsands - and the world's understanding of Alberta's oil reserves - may define the current Alberta government's time in power.
Earlier this week, Premier Ed Stelmach said comments that Alberta has the dirtiest oil on earth are ``most unfortunate. It's obviously disconcerting, but that's part of the misinformation that continues to roll out quite often from self-interest groups, painting Alberta and the country of Canada with a picture like that.''
But Simon Dyer, oilsands program director for the Pembina Institute, an environmental think-tank, said from the Stelmach's government's point of view, ``there still seems to be the perception that this is a public relations battle. ''
Dyer added, ``industry and government need to take responsibility for the environmental performance of the oilsands.''
After years of promising site remediation and environmental clean ups, especially the repeated promise of carbon sequestration, people are beginning to call Alberta's and Ottawa's bluff - and finding they're holding losing hands. It was good while it lasted but it's finally put up or shut up time for the Tar Sands.