Neil Young And Regina Puddles

A couple hours ago Hofmeister  and I went out to grab a coffee. On the way to the cafe, we bumped into a team from local TV, out on the Scarth St. mall filming streeters for tonight’s news.

Their  question for the public was something along the lines of “What do you think of celebrities who take up causes?”

As we chatted about this important topic — celebrities, not the causes they support — I undid my jacket. I was a little warm, probably because I was over-dressed for today’s above-zero temperatures. Which, by the way, are a tad above the average Jan. 17 high-11°C.

Ya know… it borders on journalistic malpractice that a lot of today’s media coverage on Neil Young’s Regina went out of its way to avoid the issues he’s actually raising money for and drawing attention to — namely, Treaty rights and fighting global warming-causing tarsands development. Look at page A6 in today’s Leader-Post, for instance. Mandryk chases a tangent about rhetoric, Gormley is, well, his usual pro-Conservative, global warming denying self and the political cartoon is total propaganda that looks it was commissioned by a pipeline company.

It’s a flat-out bullshit page that’ll live in infamy as glaring example of a daily paper totally blowing a story.

You’d think that some media outlet besides Prairie Dog would have noticed that on the same January afternoon that Young is in town talking about global warming, there are puddles on city streets and sidewalks.

But I guess that would be expecting too much.

Just checked the temp: as of 4:39 p.m., it’s plus-2°. Happy climate change!

Neil Young: “Keep Your Word. And Clean Up Your Mess.”

Neil YoungNeil Young says that his parents raised him to do two things. “ Keep your word. And clean up your mess.”

The iconic Canadian rocker told reporters today that the federal government has done neither. It has failed to keep the promises of the treaties. It has failed  to properly oversee oilsands development and the consequence has been the devastation of  the land around Fort MacMurray.

Young’s response has been a  a four city benefit concert tour to raise money for the Athabasca Chipewyan First Nation’s (ACFN) Legal Defense Fund.  He told a press conference earlier today that he hopes the benefit concerts will raise a minimum of $300,000.

Young did not shy away from the controversy that has followed his tour. Instead, he addressed it head on, telling reporters, “ This is not about me. This is not about whether I’m qualified to talk about this. “

Much of the coverage of the concert tour in recent days by other media outlets has centered on some of the colourful language Young has used to describe the impact of the oilsands on the landscape around Fort Mac Murray. The rock star did not back down from those earlier comments; in fact, he followed them with a dramatic prediction of what would happen if treaties with First Nations were not honoured, a pronouncement that will no doubt garner  attention in some other media outlets.

But the real purpose of the tour is to Defend the Treaties. and Young was accompanied by a number of people with something to say about those issues, including Athabasca Chipewyan First Nation Chief Allan Adam, other ACFN officials, guests from Treaty 4 First Nations, renowned ecologist David Schindler and legendary environmentalist David Suzuki.. Continue reading “Neil Young: “Keep Your Word. And Clean Up Your Mess.””

About Neil Young’s Hiroshima Metaphor…

The  atomic bomb dropped on Hiroshima killed 140,000 people. According to the World Health Organization, global warming kills an eerily similar 140,000 people a year.

Maybe Neil Young’s metaphor is pretty goddamn apt after all.

Oh, and the tarsands DO look like a humongous bomb was dropped on them. (I guess a volcano might make a place sorta look like this too).

Wise MacPherson Trashes Silly Neil Young

Oh hooRAY, it’s the latest morsel of wisdom from StarPhoenix columnist Les MacPherson! In today’s column, MacPherson implies that Neil Young is a hypocrite to criticize the tarsands because Young has a job (being an awesome rock star) that comes with a high carbon footprint.

From MacPherson’s delightful satire, “If Neil Young Actually Walked His Talk, We’d See”:

In an effort to reduce carbon emissions and stick it to the oil companies, Neil Young says his fans must walk to the venues for his latest Canadian concert tour. The 69-year-old rocker said at a news conference that he cannot lament what he calls the “tarsands” while promoting concerts that plug up entire streets with exhaust-belching traffic. “If people walked instead of relying on internal combustion engines, we wouldn’t need the tarsands,” he said. Young said parking lots around the venues will be closed for his concerts. They should be reclaimed as green spaces anyway, he said, where children could play among grazing bison.

I get it! Great Master Of Satire MacPherson is making the point that Neil Young should just shut the fuck up because Young, like all of us, has to rely on existing energy infrastructure. He has to use planes! His fans often drive to his concerts in cars! What a hypocrite!

If Neil Young actually wanted to help, he’d invent an infinite reusable energy source that could painlessly end our dependence on fossil fuels. Has he? No? Well then, Young obviously has no business criticizing the tarsands.

Bravo, Les MacPherson!

Of course, I could  point out that MacPherson is a global warming skeptic who has written columns casting doubt on climate change by, for instance, pretending that petroleum engineers who advised then-Governor Ronald Reagan on energy policy are climate scientists whose opinions matter. I could also say that StarPhoenix editors were negligent for allowing a climate skeptic to even touch this topic. I could even toss around words like “journalistic malpractice”.

Nah, that’d be surly. I’ll leave the mud-slinging to Les MacPherson — I’ve got better things to do. Like actually listening  to rock stars whose opinions aren’t at their root informed by a maliciously stupid and cowardly understanding of science.