"The facts are that they invited you to Alberta and not Al McKibben, and you're parroting the Canadian government's line that opponents are ill-informed and naive."
Don't let misinformation get in the way of making your point. They invite environmental organizations all the time. I was only one of maybe half a dozen journalists on the trip. And last year, Scientific American's David Biello was a guest, and he also wrote a series of informative articles on the oil sands. I can understand why some might feel that bringing this information to readers is threatening, but my feeling is that it's better to be informed.
As far as "parroting the government line" -- I have been arguing for a couple of years -- and showing why -- opponents are ill-informed. It has zero to do with the Canadian government's position on the matter. Take a read through the link I provided where I show the relative impact of oil sands versus the world's coal. It's just a gross misallocation of resources given the relative threats. Oil sands -- under any realistic scenario -- won't make a thimble full of difference. Coal makes all the difference. Chinese coal to be specific, which once again set a record for use last year. The Chinese are adding a Keystone XL equivalent with every coal plant they build, and there are 1200 new coal plants in various stages in developing countries (3/4ths in India and China).
"it's reasonable under any standard to suggest a conflict of interest exists when a journalist is compensated by a source."
I think it would reflect better on you to simply argue the facts, instead of trying to leave the implication that I am wrong because the Canadian government expenses (which I wouldn't call "compensation"). Most of the feedback I have gotten is that my articles were quite balanced. If you haven't read them all, maybe you might come to a somewhat different conclusion regarding your propaganda claims.
"I would argue that you don't understand the drivers which motivate people to stand in freezing lines with banners at the White House."
Of course I do. They want to make a difference. It is also what motivates me to do what I do. It's why I have been living out of a hotel for the last 3 months to work on a project that will actually make a difference. But I would argue that the average person standing in those lines doesn't have a good grasp of the problem. They are focused on a patient's hangnail, and thinking that's going to make a big impact, while a brain tumor is killing them.
The growth in oil sands production argues otherwise; that the oil is still getting to market precisely because of that huge differential. That's my point. That is the driver for all of these workarounds, and as long as it persists the workarounds will keep popping up.