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Posts Tagged ‘Alberta oil sands’

Interview: Neil Young with Jian Ghomeshi about oilsands, pipelines, music as politics

keystone-pipeline

This is from CBC.ca, an exclusive interview Jian Ghomeshi does with Neil before the latest Massey Hall show. Neil Young talks about his Honour the Treaties tour — a series of benefit concerts raising money to fight an expansion project at the oilsands in northern Alberta. Neil talks about the First Nations, the oil sands in Fort McMurray, being political as a musician, freedom of speech…

Short clip:

Audio of the full interview (aired on CBC TV this Wednesday):

http://www.cbc.ca/q/popupaudio.html?clipIds=2429818174

Video of the full interview (aired on CBC TV):

http://www.cbc.ca/player/News/TV+Shows/The+National/ID/2430282219/

The National| Jan 15, 2014| Neil Young Interview
Jian Ghomeshi sits down with the outspoken Canadian rocker and gets an earful on Alberta pipelines.

Neil Young screens “Petropolis”

Fort-McMurray_Alberta_oilsands

A Greenpeace movie that Neil Young will present during the week’s concerts at Honor-The-Treaties. Neil said “Petropolis”  was “probably the most devastating thing you will ever see.”

A trailer and more info can be found here:

http://www.petropolis-film.com/#

Shot primarily from a helicopter, filmmaker Peter Mettler’s “Petropolis: Aerial Perspectives on the Alberta Tar Sands” offers an unparalleled view of the world’s largest industrial, capital and energy project.

Canada’s tar sands are an oil reserve the size of England. Extracting the crude oil called bitumen from underneath unspoiled wilderness requires a massive industrialized effort with far-reaching impacts on the land, air, water, and climate.

It’s an extraordinary spectacle, whose scope can only be understood from far above. In a hypnotic flight of image and sound, one machine’s perspective upon the choreography of others, suggests a dehumanized world where petroleum’s power is supreme.

***

The (heated) debate: Neil Young and the Oil Sands

neil-young_honour-the-treaties

This is a longish collection of articles about the current “Honor The Treaties” shows that Neil Young performs in Canada to support the case of the First Nations in their fight against the exploitation of their land by oil companies. The tour is in support of the Athabasca Chipewyan First Nation (ACFN) and its fight against Shell Canada’s Jackpine mine, approved by regulators last month, as well as other First Nations fighting oilsands projects.

 

Today’s News Conference at Masey Hall

Neil Young blasts oilsands expansion, launches fundraising tour 4 concerts to fund First Nations legal fight against oilsands projects
CBC News Posted: Jan 12, 2014 by Mark Blinch, THE CANADIAN PRESS

TORONTO – Singer Neil Young has launched a blistering attack on the Harper government and Alberta’s oilsands.

Young told a news conference on Sunday as far as the governing Conservatives are concerned, “money is number one, integrity isn’t even on the map.”

The news conference was to kick off the first of four concerts aimed at raising support for an Alberta First Nations that is fighting development of Alberta’s oilsands.

Young, who said he recently visited one of the oilsands sites, compared the pollution to Hiroshima, the Japanese city where the first atomic bomb was dropped during the Second World War.

Young says Canada’s leaders are killing the people of the First Nations and their blood will be on “modern Canada’s hands.” The veteran Canadian singer says he wants his grandchildren to be able to look up and see a blue sky, but all he sees is a government that is “out of control.”

“I see a government completely out of control, and money is number one. Integrity isn’t even on the map,” he said. Young said he toured one of 50 oilsands sites with his son and was shocked at “the ugliest thing I’ve ever seen. It`s the greediest, most destructive and most disrespectful demonstration of something that has run amok.”

A spokesman from the Prime Minister’s Office defended Canada’s natural resource sector, saying it is a fundamental part of the country’s economy.

“Even the lifestyle of a rock star relies, to some degree, on the resources developed by thousands of hard-working Canadians every day,” Jason MacDonald said in a statement.

“Our government recognizes the importance of developing resources responsibly and sustainably and we will continue to ensure that Canada’s environmental laws and regulations are rigorous,”
MacDonald added.

A spokesperson from Shell Canada said that company staff and senior leaders meet regularly to deal with aboriginal communities to discuss projects, training, business opportunities and cultural activities.

“I’m sure our folks at the mine will continue to buy the albums, but we believe this is about long term constitutional conversations, and corporations are only one part of that,” said David Williams of Shell Canada. After his Massey Hall show, which will also feature Canadian jazz singer Diana Krall, Young will be performing at fundraising concerts in Winnipeg, Regina and Calgary later this month.

read all on: http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/toronto/neil-young-blasts-oilsands-expansion-launches-fundraising-tour-1.2493638

 

Neil Young blasts Harper government for allowing oilsands development

By Nick Patch, The Canadian Press

 http://ca.news.yahoo.com/neil-young-blasts-harper-government-allowing-oilsands-development-192437390.html

TORONTO – Canadian rock icon Neil Young launched a blistering attack on the Harper government and Alberta’s oilsands at a news conference on Sunday, saying that he was “shattered” after visiting a Fort McMurray industrial site he compared to the atomic bomb-devastated wreckage of Hiroshima, Japan.

Joined on the Massey Hall stage by representatives from the Athabasca Chipewyan First Nation, Young was especially scathing in his criticism of Prime Minister Stephen Harper’s “hypocritical” administration, which Young said was ignoring science to irresponsibly drive corporate profits.

“Canada is trading integrity for money,” said the environmentally engaged 68-year-old rocker. “That’s what’s happening under the current leadership in Canada, which is a very poor imitation of the George Bush administration in the United States and is lagging behind on the world stage. It’s an embarrassment to any Canadians.”

“I want my grandchildren to grow up and look up and see a blue sky and have dreams that their grandchildren are going to do great things,” he added later. “And I don’t see that today in Canada. I see a government just completely out of control.

“Money is number one. Integrity isn’t even on the map.”

Young was speaking hours before he took the same stage for a concert Sunday evening, the proceeds of which were to be directed to the Athabasca Chipewyan First Nation Legal Fund. The tour, which also features Canuck jazz chanteuse Diana Krall, was set to roll through Winnipeg and Regina before wrapping in Calgary on Jan. 19.

The stage was already dressed for Young’s show: a colourfully paint-smeared piano, a half-dozen guitars arranged in a circle, a majestic organ, a wooden First Nations figure and, behind it all as a massive backdrop, a red banner reading “Honor the Treaties.”

The Athabasca Chipewyan First Nation represents a community living roughly 200 kilometres downstream of current oilsands development. The group is embroiled in a legal battle to protect their traditional territory from further industrialization.

Young, who was born in Toronto before launching his storied music career in Winnipeg, was ferocious in his condemnation of what he sees as a violation of treaty rights.

“The name Canada’s based on a First Nations word. The word Ottawa’s based on a First Nations word, Ontario’s based on a First Nations word, Manitoba, Saskatchewan, Quebec — these are all First Nations words. This is where Canada came from,” said Young.

“We made a deal with these people. We are breaking our promise. We are killing these people. The blood of these people will be on modern Canada’s hands.”

Young said that last year he decided to drive his electric car from San Francisco to northern Alberta. Along the way, he stopped to meet Athabasca Chipewyan First Nation Chief Allan Adam — who sat next to Young onstage on Sunday — and visit others in the community.

It was on this trip that Young also decided to see the oilsands first-hand. The visit certainly left a mark.

“(I) drove around the tarsands in my electric car viewing and experiencing this unbelievable smell and toxicity in my throat — my eyes were burning,” he recalled. “That started 25 miles away from the tarsands. When I was in Fort Mac, it got more intense. My son, who has cerebral palsy, has lung damage, (so) he was wearing a mask to keep the toxic things in the air out of his lungs and make it easy for him to have lungs after he left.”

They soon came upon a “huge industrial site.”

“It looked very big and very impressive. Extremely well-organized. A lot of people were working — hard-working people, who I respect,” Young remembered. “That was one of 50 sites. The one we saw was the cleanest one. It’s the best-looking one. It’s the poster child.

“And it’s one of the ugliest things I’ve ever seen.”

During the week’s concerts, Young said he planned on screening the 12-minute Greenpeace film “Petropolis,” which he said was “probably the most devastating thing you will ever see.”

“It’s the greediest, most destructive and disrespectful demonstration of just something run amok that you could ever see,” he said. “There’s no way to describe it, so I described it as Hiroshima, which was basically pretty mellow compared to what’s going on out there.

“I still stand by what I said about Fort Mac and the way it looks. Not because the houses in Fort Mac look like Hiroshima, but because Fort Mac stands for 50 sites, the name Fort Mac stands for diseases that these First Nations people are getting, pollution, everything that’s happening there.”

Young’s comments, similar to ones he made last year, soon segued into another attack on the Harper government.

“This oil is all going to China. It’s not for Canada, it’s not for the United States, it’s not ours. It belongs to the oil companies. And Canada’s government is making this happen. It’s truly a disaster to anyone with an environmental conscience.”

Jason MacDonald, a spokesman for Harper, countered that “projects are approved only when they are deemed safe for Canadians and (the) environment” and stressing that the resource sector creates “economic opportunities” and “high-wage jobs” for thousands of Canadians.

“Canada’s natural resources sector is and has always been a fundamental part of our country’s economy,” MacDonald wrote in an email to The Canadian Press.

“Even the lifestyle of a rock star relies, to some degree, on the resources developed by thousands of hard-working Canadians every day. Our government recognizes the importance of developing resources responsibly and sustainably and we will continue to ensure that Canada’s environmental laws and regluations are rigorous. We will ensure that companies abide by conditions set by independent, scientific and expert panels.”

At one point during the hour-plus media session, Young was asked what he would say if granted a private consultation with Harper. Initially he demurred, muttering that the query “blew (his) mind.”

Later, however, he said he’d be open to such a meeting.

“I don’t think I’m going to get to see him anyway, but if he does want to see me, I’m ready to go see him. I would welcome the opportunity,” said Young, noting that he invited government representatives to attend the news conference and provide their side of the story, but the invitations were declined.

Environmental activist David Suzuki, who moderated the session, pointed out that he had personally tried to meet with Harper three times but had been rebuffed on all occasions.

“Well, you got a bad reputation,” Young replied with a smirk.

Young has been politically active on other matters recently as well. On his website, he’s posted messages questioning the pollution level in Shanghai and shaming Harper for competing “with Australia’s pro-coal government for the worst climate record in the industrialized world.”

The restlessly prolific guitar wizard hasn’t released new music since issuing “Americana” and “Psychedelic Pill” within a few months of each other in 2012. In 2009, he released an album about fossil fuels called “Fork in the Road.” He was asked Sunday whether this new campaign might similarly inspire new music.

“I don’t plan it. If I write something, it’ll come to me,” said Young, clad in a tassled light brown jacket, his face shaded by a black hat. “I think it will happen, but I don’t know.”

 

Neil Young’s comments spark outrage, support

By Marty Klinkenberg, Edmonton Journal & Canadian Press January 13, 2014 7:06 AM

EDMONTON – Neil Young is either a prophet or a jerk, based on the reaction to his latest explosive comments about Alberta’s energy sector.

Thousands took to Twitter to wade in after the Canadian music legend bashed the Harper government and the oilsands during a news conference in Toronto on Sunday before the first of four concerts on his Honor the Treaties tour.

Introduced by environmentalist David Suzuki, Young took the stage for the news conference at Massey Hall — where he entertained a sellout crowd a few hours later — and launched a blistering attack.

The Honor the Treaties tour moves to Winnipeg on Thursday, to Regina on Friday and Calgary on Sunday. At each site Young plans to screen a 12-minute Greenpeace film about the oilsands called Petropolis.

Sellout crowds are expected at each venue, as is the continued vitriolic debate.

“I love Neil Young,” one fan wrote on Twitter. “I wish all rock stars had a fraction of his integrity.”

“I am surprised to hear Neil Young is still alive,” said another.

read all: http://www.calgaryherald.com/news/alberta/Neil+Young+comments+spark+outrage+support/9379049/story.html

 

Harper fires back at Neil Young’s anti-Tar Sands tour

Posted January 12, 2014 by Common Sense Canadian in Canada

Legendary rocker Neil Young should mind his own carbon footprint, says Stephen Harper

Read this Jan. 12 story from Sun News on Stephen Harper’s response to an anti-Tar Sands tour being led by Canadian-born rock legend Neil Young.

OTTAWA – Responding to Neil Young’s anti-oilsands tour, the Prime Minister’s Office says the rocker and political activist should mind his own carbon footprint before opposing projects it says present First Nations with economic opportunities unprecedented in Canada’s history

“The resource sector creates economic opportunities and employs tens of thousands of Canadians in high-wage jobs, contributing to a standard of living that is envied around the world and helping fund programs and services Canadians rely on,” Prime Minister Stephen Harper’s spokesman, Jason MacDonald, told QMI Agency.

“Even the lifestyle of a rock star relies, to some degree, on the resources developed by thousands of hard-working Canadians every day,” MacDonald noted.

read all: http://commonsensecanadian.ca/REPORTED_ELSEWHERE-detail/harper-fires-back-neil-youngs-anti-tar-sands-tour/

Neil Young speaking to reporters before his Massey Hall concert

Honor-the-treaties-CA

Neil Young said he supports First Nations in their fight against expanding oilsands projects because of their destructive impact on the environment.

“I see a government completely out of control, and money is number one. Integrity isn’t even on the map,” he said.

Young said he toured one of 50 oilsands sites with his son and was shocked at “the ugliest thing I’ve ever seen. It`s the greediest, most destructive and most disrespectful demonstration of something that has run amok.”

More links to the Jackpine pipeline: CBC.ca/…/neil-young-launches-fundraising-tour…

Now Off to Canada for “Honour the Treaties” Shows

CTVNews.ca says, January 11:

“Canadian and Albertan environmental protection laws have been greatly eroded in recent years, and what laws do exist are rarely if ever followed, or law-breakers penalized,” the Honour the ACFN website explains.

The federal government gave the go-ahead for the Jackpine expansion plan last month, despite a review panel’s conclusion that the project would result in severe and irreversible environmental damage.

In a statement last month, Environment Minister Leona Aglukkaq said the environmental effects from the Jackpine expansion plan are “justified in the circumstances.”

Greenpeace Canada has accused Ottawa of putting the interests of oil companies ahead of First Nation treaty rights and environmental protection.

“Canada would be much better off diversifying its economy, investing in renewables, green jobs and projects that get ust out of this madness not deeper into it,” the group said in a statement.

read more :: http://www.ctvnews.ca/entertainment/neil-young-set-to-launch-honour-the-treaties-tour-to-benefit-alta-first-nation-1.1634806

Random Quote

““Fort McMurray is a wasteland,” Young said. “The fuel’s all over, the fumes everywhere – you can smell it when you get to town. The closest place to Fort McMurray that is doing the tar sands work is 25 or 30 miles out of town and you can taste it when you get to Fort McMurray,” he said. “People are sick. People are dying of cancer because of this. All the First Nations people up there are threatened by this.””
by -- Neil Young

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