O Canada! Neil Young's Tar Sands Oil Comments Go Viral
Near Fort McMurray, Alberta, Canada
(Click photo to enlarge)
Yesterday, we had the distinct pleasure and honor to listen to Neil Young eloquently speak of the evils of Canadian Tar Sands oil extraction and the wonders of clean, renewable fuels.
During Young's remarks, he said: “The fact is, Fort McMurray looks like Hiroshima. Fort McMurray is a wasteland."
The comments have sparked a fair amount of outrage and support.
(Click photo to enlarge)
350.org's Bill McKibben got it right from the environmental side:
Heart of green: Canada's Neil Young calls tarsands a lethal wasteland (and he's right) http://t.co/sFGyJb9cG7— Bill McKibben (@billmckibben) September 10, 2013
Sad that media only cares when Neil Young comments on the disaster that is the tar sands + not when Indigenous people who live there speak— Erin Tomkins (@tom_e_kins) September 10, 2013
But across Canada, Young's comments have not been well received.
The video coverage that we posted on Thrasher's Wheat yesterday has been picked up by numerous publications and gone "viral". (Or at least what we consider viral for our little blog.)
For us, many of the negative comments come across as unhinged rants without basis of fact or reason. Just pure raw emotion of wounded pride and failure to see what the world clearly sees: That indeed the Canadian Tar Sands Oil Fields do look truly like devastated landscapes. Take a look for yourself if you disagree.
Interested to see what the knee-jerk patriot, petrol-booster, FN-hating, Molson-swilling Tar Sand apologists have to say about Neil Young.— Lee Reed (@freeleereed) September 10, 2013
Many of the negative comments seem to entirely misinterpret the quote. When people refer to "Hiroshima" in this context they are referring to 1945 when the atomic bomb was dropped. Not how Hiroshima was before and not how it looks now. He used a symbolic metaphor, people. Similarly, Young is referring to the outskirts of Fort McMurray and not downtown.
Melissa Blake, the mayor of the Regional Municipality of Wood Buffalo, said she takes no issue with people who have environmental interests, but Mr. Young’s comments are “blatantly false” and she wished there was “more rationality” to his statements, The Globe and Mail’s Kelly Cryderman reports.
"When people say it's a wasteland, it really and truly isn't," Ms. Blake said. "When it comes to the community of Fort McMurray, you're overwhelmed frankly by the beauty of it. You've got an incredible boreal environment that's all around you. You proceed further north into the oil sands and inevitably, there's mining operations that will draw your attention because they take up large chunks of land."
One perspective that we don't entirely agree with -- but is sincere in approach -- is this essay on Fort Mac Philosopher: When Neil Young & Daryl Hannah Came to Town:
The other bit of Neil's message I take some umbrage with is his anti-Keystone XL stance. It seems a tad hypocritical to use the guns of government to cut people off from energy they want and force them to use OPEC conflict oil. Nobody is cutting Neil off from all the energy he's using and forcing him to burn bitumen, why would he do that to people who can't afford other sources of energy or who don't want to use bloody OPEC oil? In the same vein I don't want government pointing guns at land owners to force Keystone through their land. I just wish people would learn how to peacefully negotiate without constantly appealing to government to pull out guns on their behalf.
So Neil if you're reading this Keep on Rockin In The Free World! I dig your message of clean energy and I can't wait for affordable cleaner energy, one day if we extract enough oil and generate enough wealth like you we will be able to create a cleaner world and even be able to extend the lives of our sons and daughters and move on to a better energy source. If you would've looked a bit closer at the people in this community developing this resource you'd have found people of kindred spirit, we are concerned about the environment and about the health of those that live around the oil sands...this is where our children live. We want to leave this world a better place like you do and we have the energy to do just that. I challenge you to find a community of oil producers anywhere else in this world that more closely aligns with your values of stewardship and respect for this Earth and it's people. Not only do we not stone people to death, we don't even use plastic grocery bags.
A comment by jackie:
I see a whole bunch of people who are afraid to see the alternatives that we can begin to utilize that does not destroy the environment or has very little impact.“Neil Young is speaking for all of us fighting to stop the Keystone XL,” Jane Kleeb, Executive Director of Bold Nebraska, a coalition of landowners and others opposed to the $5.3-billion Keystone XL pipeline, told the Globe and Mail. “When you see the pollution already caused by the reckless expansion of tar sands, you only have one choice and that is to act.”
The fact is between all the oils spills that have happened recently that have destroyed our water, which impacts all life and the tar sands, uranium mining and proposed dumping. We can live without oil but we cannot live without water, plant life and animals,insects, everything is connected and is vital for all life.
Stop believing the government and these big corporations care anything about life or about you, or Canada. If they did they would not have found every way they can to silence those who are the experts and I'm not talking about those that are "paid".
Stop being afraid and start realizing that we have the ability to provide energy, that we can reduce the demand for oil and we can do it now, get up and demand change for the protection of all life in Canada.
From Neil Young's Lincvolt - Repowering the American Dream - Blog:
In Canada, where the dirtiest oil on the planet is extracted from the Alberta Tar sands at an immeasurable human cost to the First Nations people, and disease statistics reflect 30% increase in some fatal diseases, there is no freedom to choose an alternative to gasoline at the pump.Get the full story on Neil Young's Lincvolt - Repowering the American Dream - Blog
This is un-Canadian.
As a proud Canadian, I cannot let this go by without a fight. Canadians deserve Freedom to Choose the Fuel they use. Canadians should have a fuel choice at the pump that considers Future Generations. Canadians should have the freedom to express themselves through the choices they make, not have those choices made for them by a government that is too close to industry and over concerned with money and petro dollar value. We do not have to be spoon fed by the Big Oil Companies. Stand with me for Future Generations and Bring Light to the conditions In Canada as we move forward on this mission.
Once again. it seems that the The Inconvenient Truth of Greendale really upsets some folks.