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Thursday, September 12, 2013

When Neil Young Speaks Truth To Power, The World Listens

Neil Young: Tar Sands Site "Looks Like Hiroshima" | Democracy Now! @ 8:15

As we reported yesterday, Neil Young's Tar Sands Oil comments have gone gone viral provoking both widespread applause and condemnation.

And much to our amazement, our exclusive video coverage that we posted to YouTube has been picked up by numerous websites and telecasts. The footage has appeared in headline news on Democracy Now! and the Canadian national news on CTV News, among others.

CTV News Channel: Young faces backlash | CTV News
If nothing else, Neil Young's comments and the furious reaction indicate that he has struck both a nerve and a chord. Neil has spoken truth to power and they are not happy. Many are clearly threatened by Young's comments, otherwise they would have been ignored similar to what many others such as First Nation People's who have been decrying such injustices for decades and centuries.

But really. What impact does all of this coverage have?

Certainly Neil Young has invigorated the debate on energy production and its impact on the environment. Hopefully, some have come away from all of this with a new found appreciation of the complexity of the matter and how we as a society produce and consume energy. And that seems like a good thing of which we're glad to be part of.

A comment by Dan1 partially captures what this episode entails in terms of casting Neil Young as a villain rather than a seeker of a better way forward:
IMHO I think you're wrong about Neil's motivations.

It's one thing to disagree with his political, environmental, and scientific views. I for one agree that the 'global warming coalition' has opportunistically managed to shift the debate so much that most people accept as fact the hypothesis that human activity with respect to carbon will ruin the planet. And I also agree that the trade-off between a cleaner environment vs. eliminating people's livelihoods is a complex one.

I do feel infuriated when I see Al Gore for example build a $500m fortune and live a Hollywood lifestyle from his global warming exploits ... That said, I think you tagging Neil as trying to profit from his views could not be more off base ... I see Neil's MO as being willing to say what he feels irrespective of pissing off fans ("ain't singing for Pepsi ..") he's totally not commercial that way at all ... he says what he feels, sings what he feels, expresses what he feels in whatever medium he sees fit ... those expressions are artistic at their core, and are pure, which is why it resonates so deeply with people ... LWW was not done to advance his commercial status, trust me, if its not 110% obvious ... LWW is called a career killer move, I'm sure Elliot was bemoaning that artistic decision ...

so in summary, if you stick to the issues and argue the facts in a mature and respectful way thats cool ... the personal attacks seem childish and frankly embolden the (incorrect) arguments of the left suggest if you don't believe global warming is a certainty you're somehow less educated or intellectually inferior to those who have a more 'enlightened' perspective. I don't think your personal attacks calling Neil a hypocrite deserve a response other than to say the Lincoln Volt project with all its expenditure and time invested by Neil along with the publicity about clean energy (note LV doesn't use ethanol) represents a substantial investment in walking the walk ... its hard to find many (or any) other celebrities who are willing to dedicate themselves so sincerely toward a cause they believe in ...

I don't always agree with all of Neil's political views but I admire his integrity a lot.
Thanks Dan and everyone else who has participated here at TW in a mostly civil debate.

It doesn't have to be an Angry World because Yes, There's Definitely A Hole in The Sky. So just "Light a Candle" and take a chance on love.


"We're The Ones We've Been Waiting For"


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At 9/12/2013 11:39:00 AM, Blogger Jason Smith said...

... WOW, the video was picked by CTV news and something called Democracy Now, so the "World is Listening"?

At 9/12/2013 02:04:00 PM, Blogger Randy Reynolds said...

Dan1's blog is thoughtfully and intelligently written, and pretty much hammers the nail spot on. Unfortunately, this is just one of many issues that need attention and corrections in this world of oh so many issues that need attention. My point is, we need to work together on any issue, and whatever powers that try to keep us at odds are the problem to these situations being rectified. We need to all be on the same page, or at least a majority need to be, to get anything that needs correcting...corrected. Unfortunately, right and wrong have become convoluted to the point of being clouded and twisted due to our unwillingness to be open minded and what should be common sense solutions are far from common sense in their capabilites in soceity's understanding of them.

At 9/12/2013 02:11:00 PM, Blogger Thrasher Wheat said...

@Jason - the point being this is not simply a local Fort McMurray story.

See this:

@Randy - thanks. Yes. "we need to work together on any issue, and whatever powers that try to keep us at odds are the problem to these situations being rectified."

United we stand, divided we fall.

At 9/12/2013 02:14:00 PM, Blogger Matthew L. said...

Right on, Neil!

And right on, Dan1!

And right on Thrash!

I love when Neil gets political, it's when he's at his most human - he puts himself out there and makes himself vulnerable without fear of repercussions. People who seem to have no understanding of Neil come out of the woodwork and accuse him of hypocrisy or profiteering, and of course people who disagree with his points will try to assassinate his character. The radio station with their Neil Young bonfire are just shooting themselves in the foot. If they don't agree with Neil, maybe they'd be better off ignoring him rather than giving him a pulpit by publicly airing their anger, and condemning him as if they are somehow experts on the issue. Honestly, I think they're just blinded by their own false pride.

At 9/12/2013 02:16:00 PM, Blogger Matthew L. said...

Jason - Democracy Now is a very popular progressive news show featuring Amy Goodman, who is quite famous in the states, and known worldwide. A lot of people listen to her show.

At 9/12/2013 02:25:00 PM, Blogger Bill Burns said...

Now I know why Archives 2, Trunk Show et al are so long in coming....Neil is waiting for electric delivery vans for shipments. Sorry to be a little cynical, but really, Neil has the right to his opinion and that's all it really man's opinion. The real story lies somewhere else, but ii's been buried between both factions of the oil debate and their rhetoric.
I live in Alberta, and far be it for me to complain about the coal mines in the eastern USA creating acid rain for decades that polluted the Great Lakes and nothing being done about because of the powerful coal lobby groups in DC, or the Greenpeace report stating that these coal mines are far more disastrous than the 'tar' sands. And what about the oil from California, some of which is 'dirtier' than the oil sands.
We know it's not perfect, but something you should know...95% of that oil is bought a discount prices by the good ol' USA, and if the USA's dependance on fossil fuels ever abates, than perhaps something can be done to 'fix' the problem.
This is a very complex issue to which no one entity has the answer.
We must work together, not divided.
However, as a proud Canadian, when one of my brethren throws my province and country under the bus, I get a little pissed off, Neil or no Neil!
I can tell you that here in Alberta, Neil has sparked a debate of sorts, but not the one he had intended. Now it appears as though Neil would have a hard time filling a small club, let alone a larger venue. Folks here are pissed at a fellow 'Canadian' shootin' his mouth off to the American media for what...publicity?!
Perplexed in Calgary

At 9/12/2013 03:10:00 PM, Blogger Matthew L. said...

See, it's just silly to accuse Neil of shooting his mouth off for publicity's sake. He actually cares, which I understand might be hard for some people to swallow, but if you've followed Neil long enough, you'd know that he's a truly genuine guy. When he comes out passionate about an issue, it's not a publicity stunt.

And honestly, again, the root of the backlash has everything to do with having a blinding sense of pride, and less to do with reality.

At 9/12/2013 03:12:00 PM, Blogger Dominic Holdem said...

At 9/12/2013 04:10:00 PM, Blogger Jason Smith said...

... Well said Bill, and I don't think it is what Neil stands for that is the issue, it is the imcomplete information and blatent miss representation of facts that people (primarily in Alberta) have an issue with.

Neil says "Coal burns cleaner then gas". Is that not just a little simple and miss leading?

At 9/12/2013 05:43:00 PM, Blogger Bill Burns said...

Thanks Dominic for the link. I had heard of this article and after reading it, the backstory comes out, as I knew it would. Everyone has an agenda, it's just that some come to it with open eyes and others,,,well let's just say they see things as they want to see them, to further their agenda.
And to Jason, I enjoyed reading your contributions, among all who have commented, as well.
...still waiting for the electric sedan delivery vans!

At 9/13/2013 11:37:00 AM, Blogger Jason Smith said...

... you will be waiting a long time for that Seden Deivery Bill, renewables are heavily subsidised by the government and the last I checked the U.S. has run out of $$$. Hummmm just like LinkVolt will be heavily subsidsed by the CD, Video and Book.

Neil follows the muse (code word for smoking a joint) so this to will pass. I am sure Graham Nash will agree.

No offense to Neil and the Board, just trying to have some fun with this. I do admire the LinkVolt project.

At 9/15/2013 09:10:00 PM, Blogger John EH Connelly said...

We are all dependent on an oil based economy .
A real distasteful feel when a rock star lays a guilt trip on the the working class who are slaves to oil . Like we have a choice of spending our paychecks on pipe dreams like Lincvolt .
Good for discussion , for most of us normal folk , feels like a scolding from a preacher man , who burns more oil than the Pope !
Passed through Fort Mc last summer on my way to the Barren Lands .
Was in Detroit in 09 .
Wonder if Neil has recently visited the Motor city , the American Dream , from my experience Detroit in comparison of the two , is a shit hole !
Next time ya preach to us Neil , take a good look at your American Dream , and if your ever up in Drumheller Alta , ya 'll see dinosaurs in sand , who have long known it's time to give what's theirs.
God Save the Queen .

At 9/16/2013 12:18:00 AM, Blogger Dan1 said...

Honored to have my comments posted on TW!


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