Listen: Andrew Leach talks about fact checking Neil Young

Key facts and a conversation with CBC Radio about the holes in the rock star’s attack

Courtesy CBC Radio, here’s Econowatch contributor Andrew Leach in conversation with Jian Ghomeshi on Q:

In a previous post on Neil Young’s ‘Honour the Treaties’ Tour, I wrote that Mr. Young had made a few errors in his various media events which opened the tour.  I thought I’d run a little fact check on three of these statements in particular.  Shawn McCarthy has a similar analysis in the Globe and Mail.

The Size of England?

The first potentially false claim made by Mr. Young was that, “if the tar sands plan goes through until the end, the industrial area will be the size of England.” This comparison has been used frequently in other publications and similar claims have been made by the U.S. NRDC which stated that, “an area the size of Florida will become a wasteland if tar sands growth goes unchecked; most of this land has already been leased for development.” The land area of Florida (170,000 km²) and England (130,395km²) are similar to the land area under which lies Alberta’s oil sands deposits (140,000 km²) , so the implication is that, once these deposits are all extracted, the land area will be disturbed.

So, is the statement false? In this case, it’s hard to say definitively yes because Young used the term industrial area, but he clearly equated oil sands development with the mining projects located north of Fort McMurray and featured in the movie Petropolis. If you don’t want to give him the benefit of the doubt, you can assume that he’s imagining, as this article did, that, “more than 140,000 square kilometres of north-eastern Alberta may be irrevocably altered by mining for sandy oil.” That’s clearly false—only a small area of the oil sands deposit – about 4,750 square kilometres, or 3 times the land area of Los Angeles—is mineable, with the remainder accessible only with in situ extraction or, in some cases, not recoverable at all with current technology. Of that, only about 750 square kilometres has been disturbed by mining to date.

That, however, is far from the whole story. The Alberta government has leased almost 100,000 square kilometers of the oil sands deposit, so the potential certainly exists for an industrial project on the scale of England, if a little smaller. The purchase of a lease does not, of course, guarantee production, and only a small fraction of the area would be mined, but it would certainly count as being disturbed by industrial production.  In a 2006 report, Death by a Thousand Cuts, the Pembina Institute makes the case for the importance of considering not just the mined disturbance, but also the disturbance from in situ production, pipelines, seismic exploration cut lines, etc. For species like woodland caribou, a viable landscape must contain 65 per cent undisturbed land, and even something as small as a pipeline right-of-way creates a 500m effective disturbance in the landscape.

So, let’s be clear – will we ever have a mined area the size of England in Alberta? No. Will we have an area of land disturbed for the purposes of oil sands extraction that is reasonably similar to the size of England? If oil sands production continues to grow as industry predicts, it seems likely.

Going to China?

In his interview with Q host Jian Ghomeshi, Young stated that,  ”the Canadian oil coming out of the ground and being bled out of ground and pushed out of the ground and burned out of the ground at an immense cost in CO2…this oil is going to China…this oil is going not to Canada, not the the United States…the Keystone pipeline…they don’t have any idea, the people in those states, that the oil is going to China.”  There is no way to reconcile this statement with the facts.

To a reasonable approximation, Canada’s oil is used in two places – the U.S. and here at home.  Even within the U.S., we can be fairly specific about where it goes.  In the first four months of 2013 (the latest data posted by the National Energy Board), Canadian net exports and domestic consumption were a combined 3 million barrels per day. Of that 3 million barrels per day, 1 million barrels per day were consumed domestically, but it should be no surprise to anyone that we’re a net exporter of oil.  Our exports in the first part of 2013 averaged 2.6 million barrels per day. 75 per cent of these exports moved to the U.S. Mid-west and North-east, 17 per cent went to the U.S. West Coast and the Rocky Mountain states, 5 per cent went to the U.S. Gulf Coast, and the remaining 3 per cent went elsewhere, some of it even to China (h/t to @jrmarlow).

Will that change in the future? Yes and no. The U.S. is likely to remain the largest market for our oil for some time, even if oil sands production grows significantly. West coast pipelines like Northern Gateway or the TransMountain expansion would certainly make more Canadian crude available in the Pacific basin, but even there it’s a stretch to say that all of it would go to China.  In Enbridge’s analysis of the Northern Gateway pipeline, they found that a maximum of 200,000 barrels per day of the 525,000 barrels per day shipped on the pipeline would be shipped to northeast Asia, with a fraction of that going to China.

What about the oil shipped through Keystone XL? Isn’t that all going to China?  That’s certainly what Tom Steyer’s ad suggested would be the case, so perhaps that’s where Young is getting his information.  Again, this is hard to reconcile with the facts.  It would certainly be possible under current U.S. crude export laws for Canadian barrels to move via Keystone XL to the Gulf Coast for export, but you’d have to ask yourself why that would happen. The US Gulf Coast currently imports over 4 million barrels per day of crude oil, a number which is expected to decline but is unlikely to reach zero. Further, even if the Gulf Coast were to become a net exporter of crude oil, it’s still likely to be a net importer of heavy oil, while exporting lights. Canadian oil, in such a scenario, would displace Venezuelan or Mexican heavy.  To think that it would not, and that it would instead be exported, you’d have to imagine a tanker floating in to port laden with heavy oil, unloading its cargo, re-loading with Canadian heavy, and sailing out again.  The parties to that transaction would very quickly see that they could save the loading and unloading costs and send that heavy oil elsewhere in the first place.

Well, won’t that oil just be refined and shipped to China?  Maybe, but right now that’s not happening very much at all. So far in 2013, the U.S. has exported almost 4 million barrels per day of petroleum products, but only a small fraction of that is going to China – about 5 per cent of the total.  The largest volumes were going to Canada, Mexico, and the Netherlands.  The U.S. Energy Information Administration predicts that these net product exports will stabilize over time, and that the U.S. will continue importing approximately 7 million barrels per day of crude oil through 2040. Of course, forecasts can be wrong, but there’s simply no support for Young’s contention (or Steyer’s ad) anywhere in the data.

So, no, Mr. Young, that oil isn’t all going to China.

Two cars instead of one

Young said that, “every day those projects go on, they put out as much CO2 as all the automobiles in Canada on that day..that’s like doubling the number of cars on the road.”  This one is, again, up for debate.  Environment Canada data from 2011 show that emissions from cars, trucks, and motorcycles in Canada were 88 million tonnes, while the oil sands sector had emissions of 55 million tonnes when you account for production and upgrading.  Adding refining emissions to that number would get you closer to 65 million tonnes, but you’re still not at 88Mt.

Again, you could choose to give Young the benefit of the doubt that he was only talking about cars, not trucks, and then you are likely pretty close to the right number for oil sands emissions.  However, given that most of Young’s statements have equated the oil sands with the oil sands mining operations around Fort Mc Murray, it’s worth noting that the mining (and upgrading) of bitumen contributed 32 Mt CO2 emissions to Canada’s total in 2011, and that emissions from mining operations are expected to stay well below those of personal vehicles for some time.  I think it’s likely that someone based that number on the forecasts for future oil sands production where, by 2020, oil sands emissions are expected to be a little larger (101 Mt vs. 90Mt) than those from personal transportation.

Young was very clear in his interviews that he believed Canadians were subject to misinformation from politicians and the oil industry. That is often the case.  However, what’s good for the goose should be good for the gander, so Mr, Young might want to take a little more care himself.




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Listen: Andrew Leach talks about fact checking Neil Young

  1. So the films taken from the air that we see on news broadcasts are doctored and misleading? I’ve never been there but I thought I knew what i was seeing and it isn’t pretty. Open pit mining isn’t new; but this sure looks like something new.

    • Selective editing. Video of reclaimed land with grazing buffalo isn’t exciting for newscasts.

      Also, they don’t tell you that Canadian law uniquely forces resource companies to fill in and make former open pit mines into green grazing areas. Open pit coal and iron ore and copper mines in Wyoming, for example, are laft as open pits when the mining is done. no reclamation.

      Want to avoid the media bias? Simply use Google maps’ satellite view and go for a tour of the Fort McMurray area. Then compare and contrast with open pit mining elsewhere. Check out all the abandoned cement plants and limestone quarries in Ontario, for example.

      • Nor is a 5 hour drive from Edmonton to Fort McMurray through endless hectares of forests punctuated by small towns that exciting… Lots of outside observers that have never flown over Northern Alberta and seen the expanses of undisturbed land.

      • Writing a law and being able to live up to it are two entirely different matters. I haven’t seen one convincing article on reclamation success yet, from a source other than CAPP. A decent link would be nice. Rhetoric is cheap.

        • Kinda hard to write articles about reclamation efforts when reclamation isn’t happening. CAPP sure does love to tout the success of a few small-scale test sites though.

          • Indeed. Yet somehow all the misinformation is coming from Neil, as far as the industry is concerned.

          • Open pit coal mining areas in Alberta are restored after the mining. Several sites in my area have been fully restored. The oilsands area will be restored also.

          • I assume reclamation to them is 100% what it was before. That will be the only thing that is satisfactory no matter how ludicrous it is. Of course, anywhere we live and travel across doesn’t apply…

          • Thanks but i think i’d like to see some independent analysis of how well the reclamation is going around Fort Mac. There are certainly plans, but there are always plans.

          • I have to disagree with you, I lived in Fort McMurray from 1975-2009 and the restoration of the land is amazing. I have to say the land reclaimed by Syncrude is nicer now than what it was before they mined the land. Have a look at some of the pictures online. They have buffalo grazing in wild pastures, Crane Lake a bird sanctuary is beautiful spot to take in the nature. To date, around 4,400 hectares of land is either reclaimed or prepared for re-vegetaion activities. To date they have planted over 6 million tree and shrub seedlings throughout out the reclaimed areas.This includes 3,200 hectares of permanently reclaimed land and 1,200 hectares of land capped with soil preparing for reclamation. Not an independent analysis but a first hand view of what I have seen. Just saying there are things the media doesn’t report on!

          • Could you provide a link, I’m trying to keep an open mind, but there’s so much propaganda from all sides now.
            My info is even industry admits it can’t replace wetlands. I just can’t see how you can buy they’ve improved on nature. That sounds like industry bunf to me.

          • The govt’s own website points out that at best only 10% of the disturbed land is actively under reclamation.
            If i were Syncrude i would try and disarm my critics by hiring one of the ones they trust[ there are actually reputable enviro orgs] to conduct an independent survey. If that panned out they would be able to isolate the critics who are never satisfied. As far as i’m aware this hasn’t happened. Maybe you should ask yourself why not?

          • Are you able to provide an example of 100% reclamation of any disturbed area in the world whether it be a city, farmland, or mine that is to your satisfaction?
            Reclamation is happening. It doesn’t happen in a year, just like cities aren’t built in an year.

          • Reclamation is absolutely happening. I dare you to come up here and have a true look. Take the oil sands tour.

        • Restoration is a myth, you can never put the land back the way it was. Most restorations have been little more than grassing over the mess. They are trying something new in N.E. BC where two first nations are operating the Twin Sisters Native Plant Nursery. Local plants from a wide area have been collected , classified and documented over the summer , to be propagated in a greenhouse environment and used for the reclamation of lands disturbed by coal mining and other resource extraction. Not perfect but a step in the right direction. On that note, i am surprised that all the people objecting to the pipelines and export of oil to China seem to be unaware that the main export to China right now is coal which is far more damaging that oilwill ever be in terms of emmissions and extraction.l

          • Sounds smart, the twin sister’s thing. I’d just like to see one example of a successful oilsands restoration project that is independently certified. But even those guys admit they can’t restore wet lands.

            I knew coal was being shipped out of BC, but the main export to China? Really?

          • Unfortunately, it is hard to complete restoration when production is still underway.

          • In some cases the restoration can be better than it was! Read my reply to kcm2 above.

        • http://www.oilsands.alberta.ca/reclamation.html

          Reclamation is happening. You can’t restore 100% of land. Just like major USA cities have destroyed thousands of hectares of land that can never be reclaimed. But at least the oilsands are reclaiming that land to a high precent. They’ll bring them back to 80-90% undisturbed and over time nature will reclaim that last 10%.

          Also don’t believe the media. I’ve seen “pictures” of the same area in three different views. Some added shading to make them look dark and oil soaked, some added nice looking bloom effects to make it look pretty. Some were just a regular picture of a forest.

          Work currently undergoing does look destructive. It’s work. It’s not going to look pretty. If you only look at the work sites, and don’t try to find a picture of the area outside of the work sites, you’re going to have a very biased opinion.

          http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fort_McMurray

          Wikipedia page. Look at how much lush forest surrounds Fort Mcmurray.

          And for Americans worried about the oil sands. How about you guys worry about your coal mining instead?

          http://www.theguardian.com/news/datablog/2011/jan/31/world-carbon-dioxide-emissions-country-data-co2#zoomed-picture

          USA is the SECOND highest producing CO2 country in the world. Canada’s far behind the USA China and even India.

          • Thx for that, but that is a govt site and quite frankly the AB govt is not an independent source. IOWs it has a dog in the race. I want to see something from the likes of David Schindler, who’s proven both the industry and govt wrong or biased in the area of water monitoring and pollution.
            Even their own data shows only 10%of the disturbed land to be under active reclamation. It’s true that insitu promises to be better, although there are problems here as well.
            Pointing the finger at the US is pointless. They are on track to meet their emission promises, we aren’t.
            Edit: This tp that we only produce 2% of the global GHGs is becoming tiresome and beside a very big point if we intend to expand the oil sands 2 or 300%. It matters not if every drop of that is consumed in N American markets. You have to look at the complete life cycle of the energy product, not just its extraction or transportation footprint.

    • I could go to East Hastings in Vancouver and show the world that’s the city of Vancouver.
      Or I could go to Stanley Park and show the world that’s the city of Vancouver.
      See the difference?

      • So, are you saying that when someone says that Vancouver has a poor people in it, and show movies from East Hastings, they are biased and we should just ignore them?

        • Not sure what point you’re trying to lead to… I was only showing the difference between offering only one side.
          To show the world Vancouver consists of both East Hastings AND Stanley Park

          • Nobody is saying all of Alberta looks the devastation of the oil sands. You’re making it sound like they are.

          • When did I say that? I was referring to the obvious bias on only showing one side of the oilsands…and totally ignoring the reclamation side.

          • What they’re saying is that the entire region looks like open pit mines. Which is inaccurate, as most of the deposits simply can’t be mined, and more than 50% of all production in the region is from traditionally extraction methods that are used pretty much everywhere else in the world producing oil.

            That’s not to say the rest of the industry is super-duper clean or green or anything – it’s oil production, it’s all dirty. Just that showing nothing but open pits is selective and misrepresents the region and industry, not to mention ignores any reclamation efforts.

  2. It’s definitely misleading to say that the whole project is going to be surface mined in that same way, when it would be economically feasible in only about 4% of the deposit, yes.

  3. J.W.
    Oil companies with surface operations are mandated to reclaim the land. To date, only about 70 Km2 has been reclaimed, but once completed, you cannot tell it was a mining area at all.
    Minining is ugly……always has been. At least in Canada, we clean up after ourselves.
    One thing I do think needs to change though, is that the companies who are granted license to extract resources should be 100% liable for any cleanup….and some mechanism should be in place to see senior CEO’s and managers be impacted financially if they mess it up.
    You make a mess…..your company has to pay to clean it up…..and you forfeit X% of your pay for the year. Folks tend to be more careful when it will cost them from their own pocket.

    • See Alberta’s Mine Financial Security Program. I’ve written a few things about why it’s not ideal, but companies are liable. It does not have the mechanisms you describe to make executives personally liable. As I understand the legalities, that’s more easily done under Quebec’s civil code than under common law.

      • Certainly it’s also in the best interest for all employees of companies to safely do their jobs in an environmentally friendly manner.

      • so, am I to understand then if a pipeline bursts in AB and the spill clean-up is excess of $1 Billion that the pipeline company will be obligated to pay all costs, even if it’s say $10 billion or more? Enbridge NG seems willing only to pay $1 billion in BC, is it any different in AB? Or the same dog and pony show of declaring bankruptcy and the tax-payer is on the hook? The softball questions just ended, the hardball starts with us BCers, unlike your oil students of greed and glory.

        • Why not just ask the question, rather than throw an insult to my students at the end?

          Northern Gateway is structured as a partnership, so it is separate from Enbridge for liability purposes. That’s an issue that’s been raised by a few people, including Robyn Allan in the Gateway hearings. I’ve written here that, given the costs of the existing spill cleanup in Kalamazoo, it’s likely the liability insurance requirement for Gateway is too low, so the bankruptcy risk you talk about is real. How partnership liability would then flow back to the partners is something you’d have to raise with an accountant or lawyer.

          Gotta run…my students are almost done stealing candy from babies.

          • Welcome to BC pipeline politics…it’s a nasty world here of hate and fear of what governments and corporations can force us to accept against a vast majority’s wishes. But you did not answer my question. You said ” I’ve written a few things about why it’s not ideal, but companies are liable.” So please answer my questions about the liability limits instead of not answering. If there is a $10 billion spill/clean up will NG be liable and pay for the clean-up in its entirety if in Alberta or if in BC? Or do you think it will declare bankruptcy? Yes or no? I humbly ask for answer please, as this is THE major issue.

          • Too many unknowns to answer – basically, if the liability were greater than the future value of the pipeline, you could expect them to at least consider walking away. For that to happen, you’d likely need a bigger number than you’re talking about, or have it be closer to when the pipeline has reached its useful life, or there would have had to be a change in the market that lowered the pipeline’s value. So, the answer to your first question is that yes, they’d be liable. The answer to your second question is, it depends. The question of who would end up paying for the spill in that even is the part I am not sure about, so I’d be speculating. Depends on the law as it relates to limited liability partnerships of corporations.

          • thanks for the clear answer, though as you say, it is speculation…bottom line is if Enbridge/NG deem it to be not economical to repair/clean-up, then they’d walk away. Does not that concern you if you lived in an area of a spill that removed you from your home and livelihood, killed a river like the Skeena, or contaminated hundreds of miles of coastal BC? Would that not concern you? Would you fight to stop that considering the recent history of a company like Enbridge? Again, my thanks for your speculative answer, Enbridge is not so forthcoming unfortunately.

          • It’s a concern with any major development – that liability and cleanup rules can’t or don’t fully compensate those living close to the development. I don’t think you’re ever going to be able to, in practice, make everyone indifferent to a development, but given the cleanup costs in Kalamazoo, I do think it would have been reasonable to have a higher liability cap, no question.

          • please define “close”. The profound effects of a pipeline rupture could possibly extend from Houston to Rupert, an almost 500 km. stretch, or from the northern Fraser to Vancouver, half the length of BC. We have never experienced a catastrophic rupture near or on a major river in -40 degree temperatures under 25 feet of snowpack in the middle of mountainous nowhere. Bitumen floating or sinking is still being debated. It’s massive experiment with far too many unknowns. Let’s get many more answers before we conduct this risky endeavour. That is all we ask, more answers, and as a scientist, you know you’d prefer to have those basic answers before implementation on an experiment that results in a multi-billion dollar disaster..

      • That’s my point.
        As soon as you become “incorporated” you have a limited liability for your decisions. They can take away your business…but they can’t take away your personal assets.
        I think that is the correct way to do it, however, when a CEO of other senior manager KNOWINGLY does something that is unethical, that particular form of protection should be voided.
        (I’m thinking of tobacco company CEO’s who vigorously denied tobaccoo was harmless, even though they knew that statement was patently false)

    • That’s assuming the regulators are doing their job and not looking the other way. In Alberta, the ERCB (Energy Resource Conservation Board) is essentially owned by the oil industry, and they help the oil industry by passing lax (or no) regulations. They do not enforce reclamation requirements, that’s why it doesn’t happen. Heck, they even help the oil companies cover up spills.

      The simple fact is that, with current oil prices and the costs of production given current technology, oil extraction in Alberta is barely economically viable. If reclamation costs were factored in, and if any meaningful royalty were imposed, oilsands development would be a money losing proposition.

      The net result of this is that Albertans get wastelands and no royalties, the corporations get all the profits, and future generations get screwed. There’s a reason Norway has $900B stashed away from its oil extraction, and Albertans have a meagre $10B fund that was mostly built up during the 70s, from conventional oil.

      • You lost me at the “no royalties” bit. Hyperbole much?

        • Practically none, and well below what most other countries get. Norway gets around 90%, Alberta 6%… and even that 6% is being phased out. Factor out the future costs of reclamation and cleanup that Alberta taxpayers will eventually have to bear, and we’re actually losing money. Not to mention that much of the cost of training oil workers, furthermore, is publicly funded.

          • Like, have you ever done economic analysis of a resource extraction project? To say that a 6% royalty is “practically none” is patently absurd.

          • No, pretending that 6% is significant is absurd.

          • No, what you just posted is absurd and patently idiotic.

          • If someone came to your house and offered to buy everything you own for 6% of what it’s worth, you would laugh in their face, because it would be an absurd offer. So, yes, selling off a public resource that cannot be replaced and the public only getting 6% of its value is absurd. Most countries get 30-90% royalties. Albertans are being sold out.

            Let me know when your next garage sale is… I could use some 94% off stuff.

          • Are you aware of the fact that certain royalties are payable regardless of whether a project has attained profitability or not? You seem to be ignoring the fact that a project has to be economically viable in the first place before it ever achieves the production stage at all. This depends, of course, on whether it’s something like a NSR royalty, which is payable to the royalty holder regardless of profitability of the project. So if you set a royalty like that at too high a rate, you kill projects, period.

            It’s different with certain royalties like Net Profits Interest royalties, which are only payable to the holder if the project achieves profitability, but that’s why entities like governments tend not to go for those sorts of royalties.

            Anyway, your account of relative royalty rates is grossly simplistic and misleading in this context. And your account of Alberta’s regime is misleading too, as you ignore the fact that there are sliding scales, and the fact that there are gross revenue and net factors taken together:

            http://www.energy.alberta.ca/OilSands/pdfs/OScurveRate.pdf

            http://www.stikeman.com/cps/rde/xchg/se-en/hs.xsl/13840.htm
            Your garage sale analogy is idiotic in this context. I’m not looking for, nor do I require, massive capital investment in my garage or anything I’m selling from my garage. Grab a brain.

          • You certainly are an expert on the royalty regime. Which oil firm or interest group do you work for?

            You hit the nail on the head about being economically though. The fact of the matter is that oilsands development ISN’T economically viable, at least today. Keep in mind the thin margins we make on the oil doesn’t factor in the true costs of the water being poisoned, climate change and health-related costs, or public money spent on infrastructure development to support the oil industry. Or the tens of millions in federal dollars that Harper & Co. are spending on promotion.

            I’m not against oilsands development, as long as the economic benefits go to everyone and not just to shareholdes. That is certainly not what’s happening. Until we can extract the oil in a way that doesn’t destroy the land and water, and is cost effective enough to provide margins capable of sustaining a royalty level that provides significant benefits to Albertans, we should be leaving the oil in the ground. Norway has it right, Alberta has it wrong.

          • You are as clueless as Neil Young.

          • Unless I’m mistaken, the royalties are to be low only UNTIL the company making the investment recoups their initial investment costs for development. After the costs are recovered, I think the rates for royalties go up substantially.
            Any albertans here who can clarify?

      • I don’t see any wastelands while living here…

        • Which part of Calgary do you live in? A lot of my family in Cold Lake works in the oilfield, and even they’re not happy about what’s happening.

          • I live 750km north of Calgary. Right in the “wastelands” Neil speaks of.

          • What does it smell like? Does it smell like cool fresh mountain air with hints of prairie grass? Or does 172 square kilometers of petrochemical waste tinge the air?

          • During the winter, their might be a faint whiff of diesel from the lifted trucks. Maybe for the first few seconds, after that my nostril hairs freeze from the cold temperatures. During the summer, there’s more of a musky scent perforated by a mixture of wild flowers, truck fumes and dust from the construction.

          • Michael,
            We could use the same anaology for Sudbury’s nickel mines, or Hamilton’s steel mills. Industry often smells bad….
            The question is what happens after the industry is completed operations.

        • I don’t see any mountains from where I live… I guess the ads about the rockies in alberta is just made up.

  4. This comment was deleted.

    • Care to provide a reference for oil sands development in what is now Wood Buffalo National Park?

    • “…their real goal is recession of the economy and socialist revolution”

      This is where you went from attempting to make a point to bloviating.

    • How long will it take and how much will it cost your children to clean up 172 square kilometers of toxic tailing ponds. You get a small surplus in 2014 and your kids get to clean up your mess. Is that justice?

  5. Integration not segregation do away with all the treaties we don’t ride horses anymore!!

    • You still need the land you promised to keep sharing back in 1982 with the consensus of Canada fully adopting the Constitution. You had a chance to make those arguments back then and they were turned down by our society.

      Be up front and ask any businessman if will enter into a partnership where you’ll eventually null the deal and absorb all of his assets. Tell him it’s for his own good.

  6. Good synopsis. Thanks.

  7. BREAKING: Rock Star speaks out. Media & Industry LOSE THEIR GODDAMN MINDS! Why, is everyone so focused on fact checking Young’s statements on the Tar Sands (Yes, tar, not ‘oil’, it becomes liquid ‘dill bit’ AFTER it is extracted), and I have yet to see any media coverage on the broken treaties that Young refers to. The tour is called “Honour The Treaties” folks… But, shhhhhh! Let’s not talk about corporate & Government violation of black letter law.

    • You seem to know a lot about oil sands.

      • He doesn’t even know what tar is…
        Certainly hasn’t read the treaties.

        • Good, that’s a start..although most people spell diluent with a single l, and the pickle seasoning with two.

          • Well, thanks for that. It’s far more important for you to play spelling cop, than to ‘fact check’ ANYTHING AT ALL about the treaty process. #SlowClap

          • You’re right…I haven’t written anything at all about that. Except for the article immediately previous to this.

          • you mean the one from the 15th? It’s a good piece. Bottom line here: I’m seeing a rock star who spoke his mind come under more scrutiny than any Omnibus bill Harper has passed. More scrutiny than any corporate entity pushing tar sands development, and it seems WAAAAY out of proportion. Meanwhile, fact checking oil & gas corps seems to be left to the environmental NGOs. Here’s an example of what I mean:
            http://business.financialpost.com/2012/05/10/majority-of-oil-sands-ownership-and-profits-are-foreign-says-analysis/?utm_source&utm_medium&utm_campaign=http%3A%2F%2F
            The FP didn’t do the research, Forest Ethics did. And I wonder why that is….

          • Occupy Medic…
            If you actually read the treaties you seem so concerned with….you would see that aboriginals signed a declaration that they “surrendered the land” to the crown, and gave up all mineral rights as well.
            Don’t get your knickers in a knot simply because MY ancestors were better negotiators than YOUR ancestors.

          • ^ And this, class, is how assumptions make you look stupid. My ancestors were refugees from Latvia who came to Canada post World War 2. So, although I benefit from the privilege of being white in a settler society, none of my ancestors were involved in those negotiations.
            it’s really a good thing that the Supreme Court has made no rulings whatsoever on how those treaties are defined, right?

    • Why is a misinformed rocker given so much time on the CBC? Why? Especially when the person is industry illiterate?

      • I guess CBC feels sentimental about his Dad, Scott Young, who produced Hockey Night in Canada for many years.

        • I’m sure it has absolutely nothing to do with anyone at the CBC having any sort of problem with Stephen Harper.

        • Interesting.

          Here’s to hoping that the CBC will keep Neil Young and his childlike view of reality in the news. Hopefully CBC will cover the native protest over gateway. Canadians will then see how absolutely nuts those protests are. Canadians will not vote to stall Canada’s economic outlook because of a few unhappy protesters. Keep it coming, CBC.

      • I suppose one has to work for the oilsands industry in order to be “industry literate”? How convenient that only the people that benefit financially from an undertaking are qualified to have an opinion!

        • Many people who are outside the oil industry can comprehend facts. But Neil “Rock stars don’t need oil” Young’s statements are so imbecilic that they make him a laughing stock.

      • His car should be featured on the technology page! A Ford factory motor making a cross country trip using no gasoline at all is very newsworthy in itself.

    • The treaties gave 100% of the land and resources to the Crown in return for money, food, clothing and housing. They were honoured. They are honoured. Neil Young spells it the American way – ‘honor’ – which is part of the problem. He doesn’t know the treaties at all, having not finished high school where Canadian history is never taught at any detailed level, and having lived and primarily worked in the U.S. since the 1960s.

      Key words in Treaty 8: “said Indians
      DO HEREBY CEDE, RELEASE, SURRENDER AND YIELD UP to the Government of
      the Dominion of Canada, for Her Majesty the Queen and Her successors
      for ever, all their rights, titles and privileges whatsoever, to the
      lands”

      Read the whole thing:
      http://www.aadnc-aandc.gc.ca/eng/1100100028813/1100100028853

      • Yes and the FNs have always argued the taken up and cede clauses were added without consultation, [after the fact] Do they get a say too? That they intended the land and its resources to be shared. A word that all levels of govt are careful to make sure never appears in negotiated documents. But as someone who knows everything about treaties, you already knew that, right!

        • “Share” isn’t in Allison Redford’s vocabulary, as her spat with Christie Clark clearly demonstrated.

      • @pingston
        Yet what the government gives them is not enough…..LOL. They should thankful for what is given to them. Those of us that are not aboriginal, don’t get visible minority status, first crack at jobs, free education, lower taxes if any , the ability to poach game legally, revenues from oil and forestry, tax free cigarrets, homes built for them through the government, and believe me the list goes on and on. Wish I was born aboriginal, I sure wouldn’t be complaining if I were.

      • So why aren’t the legions of Crown lawyers using that old 1st edition treaty argument I see pulled out in the Internet and waved around. Crown lawyers laugh at that ‘legal logic’, and Judges just roll their eyes.

        Constitutional rights are law. Diana Krall knows this, she fully supports honouring the treaty she knows she benefits from like all other Canadians.

  8. Andrew needs to check some of his own ‘facts’. He says “for a species like woodland caribou” . . . . FYI, woodland caribou are not a species. All caribou, and reindeer for that matter, are one species, Rangifer tarandus. All caribou east of Manitoba are the woodland caribou sub-species, although there are woodland caribou west into and including much of the Yukon. There’s about a million woodland caribou in Quebec. As a species, there are as many caribou in Canada as there are moose, deer, elk, white-tailed deer and mule deer combined. So caribou, as a species, are doing well. Some populations are not doing great, but the species itself is in no danger of extinction whatsoever.

    • Sorry, will make sure to add the term “sub” next time.

    • That often overlooked fact is that you are Treaty People also. You and your great grand children will be here for generations to come. You will stay for the clean up, no declaring bankruptcy skipping off back to Europe when the profits dry up. Now what are you going to do with 172 square kilometers of toxins we can all clearly see from space? 300 acres of reclamation is a feeble start for such a technological superior nation.

      • You are lost in space.

  9. This is not about practicalities but ideologies. Practically speaking the oilsands are a tiny speck of land mass in Canada, which speck will eventually be reclaimed. Practically speaking, oil will be burned. It will be burned if produced by despotic regimes who have nary an environmental concern, or by Canada with its rigid standards. And it will almost certainly be burned by those who speak out against the oilsands, often in much larger amounts than the average person (I’d suggest Neil has burned a fair bit more jet fuel than every reader here).
    The movement against oilsands is not based on facts and reason, but is invariably coupled with anti-development generally, and part and parcel of a far left ideology. Ideology will always trump facts to those who are ideologically driven. Of course, personal convenience and lifestyle trump all, which is why opponents of “big oil” never really stop themselves from buying big oil’s products (directly or indirectly) when it means that trip to the Bahamas, those goods and services dependent on heavy transport, or the direct purchase of oil for that car ride to the local pub.

    • What a shallow piece of reasoning. Perhaps you could offer up an alternative or two for people in the second largest nation in the world to travel from place to place.
      I”ll bet when those tank cars exploded in Lac Megantic a few months ago, you puffed out your chest and ranted about how if environmentalists didn’t stop all pipelines the oil wouldn’t have incinerated 47 innocent Canadian citizens.
      Here’s a news flash. Big Oil doesn’t give a rat’s @ss about innocent Canadians dying because of their sloppy business practices or about the rights of First Nations to have their treaties honoured.

      • Yes, I’m sure you reserve your car use to driving to Regina or Vancouver, otherwise leaving it parked while walking to the local grocer, with only locally grown food every time. Of course, of course. As for the disaster, when was the last time you heard of a pipeline exploding in Canada? The environmentalists are vehement against transporting by pipeline, as if unicorns and fairies will deliver the oil that they crave. Keep opposing pipelines and it will have to be delivered by means of a large internal combustion engine pulling highly flammable fuel on two thin metal rails.
        Or alternatively, those same unicorns and fairies can simply power your car my magic and we won’t need oil at all. (Although in fairness, you only drive your car for interprovincial, necessary travel).

        • Yes yes we get it Biffer…it’s either the environment or big oil. We only have two options. Curious….does the pmo pick up your tab for keeping this a polarized either or or issue, or does CAPP cut the cheque?

          • The point is that you don’t get it. You just don’t get it. That is the point.

          • One more time please. You might even go for a full house.

        • Finally some common sense

        • The point is that we should be transitioning off of petroleum use. The oil industry fights this with every tool at their disposal… that’s why they killed the Volt back in the 90s.

          The “you use oil so you have no right to complain” line is a tired argument as long as oil interests (by interests I mean oil companies, their lobby, and their purchased politicians) continue to sabotage efforts to adopt alternate fuels.

          • Just to make things accurate: It was the EV1 that GM decided to take out of production in the 1990s, not the Volt. The EV1 was a purely electric (battery powered) car. It was available only by lease and only in very limited geographical areas which I believe were all in the state of California. The Volt is a current GM production model using a “hybrid” gasoline and electric power train. You can walk in to any GM dealer and lease or buy one (if you have the money!).

      • And open your fridge and take a look at all that delicious food. Guess what? Most of that you don’t “need” but “want”. Those succulent grapes from Chile, the bananas from Mexico, mmmmm delicious aren’t they? And all of those cheap household goods? Hey who doesn’t deserve a Swiffer made in China, or an inexpensive suit from Taiwan?
        Did you think all those luxuries got to you by means of flying elves?
        Guess who got all of that stuff you crave to your home? That’s right, “Big Oil”. Now I shouldn’t keep you any longer, you probably have to un-mothball your car for that urgent drive to St. Johns.

      • Most Canadians like Big Oil. Big Oil as an industry is the largest employer of First Nations people in all of Canada.

        It’s wealthy 1%er rockers who don’t give a rat’s @ss about you or me.

      • The treaties have always been honoured. Give it a break. The natives had a few Centuries to clean up the world’s largest oil spill — the oil sands — and didn’t. It’s now being cleaned up and turned into productive land for animals, grasslands and new boreal forest growth.

        The natives in the area aren’t sitting around whining. They’re working. They’re building their futures through hard work and companies they started and operate to support the clean-up of the oil sands.

        Meanwhile, Neil Young spews lies and half-truths to raise money to pay lawyers. Who sponsored the propaganda that suckered him? The Saudis, who want to sell oil to U.S. The Venezuelans who want to sell oil to U.S. Canadian law needs to be changed so foreign millions can’t finance propaganda here.

        • There ‘s a new twist on crazy. Haven’t seen that one before.

        • You forgot the mention that part where “natives in the area” suffer elevated rates of cancer. Hard to build a future when you have cancer.

          • And you forgot to mention the part that natives in all parts of Canada suffer elevated rates of cancer.

      • Funny. I didn’t realize Big Oil consists of one person doing all the work to turn Alberta into Hiroshima.
        No way, tens of thousands of Albertan citizens work for these ‘Big Oil’ just to turn Alberta into a wasteland. These familes from Ontario to Newfoundland work hard daily and pay taxes daily just so they can destroy the environment for their children. Right?
        Who’s ranting now?

    • I think in a lot of minds, it has a lot to do with Harper, consciously or unconsciously. Harper has become like Mulroney had become near the end of his mandate: someone who so enrages so many people, once a policy (in this case, oil sands development) becomes seen as a “Harper policy”, a significant and growing number of people just automatically oppose it. In Mulroney’s late mandate, it was Free Trade, GST and Meech Lake — Mulroney was in favour of them, so they must be bad. This is why I personally think it would be good for the country, and for public policy in this country, if Harper exited the stage ASAP. It’s like we can no longer have rational debates about these sorts of issues because of the intense hatred that so many people have for Harper. I’m not blaming anyone, I’m just saying it’s a fact. Note that as soon as Mulroney’s government left the stage, the ensuing Liberal government pursued Free Trade, kept the GST and did budgetary slashing that would have had Mulroney guillotined. As they say, sometimes only Nixon can go to China. Same with the oil sands. They’ve become negatively identified with Harper, but I predict that a Liberal government will do a bit of fiddling here and there, a bit of window dressing here and there, but pursue more or less the same policy. But the Harper witch will have been burned, and for some reason, people will have far less of a problem with the oil sands.

      • The oil sands commercial exploitation began when the Liberals were in Ottawa, decades ago. They didn’t say ‘boo’. Indeed, in the 1980s, they wanted to ignore the fact that resource extraction is a provincial responsibility and hijack control of all oil in the egregious National Energy Program, but they certainly didn’t want to stop it. Oilsands clean-up and oil extraction did not begin when Stephen Harper was elected in 2006, but 40 years previous. The fact people didn’t object beforehand shows that this is merely politics.

        Then there’s the whole CO2 stupidity. More CO2 actually makes our forests grow faster and all plants use water more efficiently when they’re in a richer CO2 environment. And all those who shivered through the recent ‘polar vortex’ may now understand why people in the north wish there were some global warming. Farmers also appreciate faster growing crops. But for those who politicize issues, there is never an other side to issues they are always right on. meanwhile governments balance economic and environmental concerns in canada with the toughest regulations in the world.

        • “The fact people didn’t object beforehand shows that this is merely politics.”

          And there was a vigorous CC debate back then wasn’t there?
          The rest of your post is standard denial rationalization.

        • uh, no. Drastic oversimplification of the physics. You may not believe in global warming, but there is a danger in pontificating when one lacks an understanding of the physical processes (or the methods used to simulate them on computers). Rising temperatures need not be uniform, and the effects are likely to be regional and unpredictable at a micro level.

        • The best part of being a climate change denier is not being around when your great-grandchildren curse you.

      • Psychologically speaking i think your argument is sound and fair comment. It must however be pointed out that opposition by greenies didn’t just pop up because Harper was elected. There is a rational case to be made for getting off our addiction to fossil fuels. And Harper has made the whole thing far more polarized by choosing to so clearly favour one side of the debate.
        I think Trudeau might handle this issue better for pretty much the same Nixonian reasons you do. But opposition, or indeed a genuine case for moving away from Fossil fuels wont magically evaporate just because there’s another Trudeau in charge.

        • Opposition to Free Trade, GST and budget slashing did not automatically evaporate when Chretien got elected PM. But for some magical reason, most people weren’t so bitterly opposed to those policies being pursued as they were when Mulroney was seen as promoting them. I’m not a huge fan of Lorne Gunter, but he did write one excellent piece a few years back about how a lot of Canadians just have this congenital “comfort factor” with the Liberal Party. It’s seen as not too extreme on either side (some would cynically say it’s becuase the LPC is a metamorph with zero principles, but whatever). Because of that “comfort factor”, a lot of Canadians simply trust the Liberals to do certain things that they don’t trust the Conservatives (or the old PCs) to do, like slashing spending to get rid of deficits or implement Free Trade. I predict a similar dynamic re: oil sands development under our future Liberal government. I agree with you, of course opposition will not “evaporate”, far from it, but it will be like the budget cuts under Martin — only those hard core activists and those directly adversely affected will be heavily engaged. A lot of casual voters will trust the Liberals to do the right thing, however rational or irrational that may be. I mean, do you think it was rational to excoriate Mulroney for bringing int the GST, and then re-electing Chretien twice after he lied about getting rid of it? A lot of people are not particularly rational about this sort of stuff. Having said that, I can see a rational argument that says if you’re going to go ahead with oil sands development, better to do so under an administration that is not seen as so congenitally friendly to the oil industry.

          • Yup. I think i’ve undergone a sea change in my view of how people see politics – both positive and negative – in the last couple of years. It is much more of a gut thing them many pundits would like us to believe.
            Liberals aren’t the only ones who know how to play this game. Harper has obviously made a close study of their methods and incorporated them into in NGP agenda – only this time a CPC one.
            I’m sorry to say i was one of those who gave the 80s PCs no credit whatsoever. I might one day even be persuaded to vote for a national PC govt, if it were led by someone like Prentice or even Wall. Despite his flaws i believe in the long run it is easier to get a moderate Conservative agenda advanced if you have the red Tories pulling the blue, rather than the other way around. Obviously i’m behind[or ahead] of the times.

          • Yes, and it’s a helluva lot easier to get a Red Tory agenda implemented in Canada if it’s a Liberal government doing it (witness Chretien/Martin).

          • Your talking nationally. There never seems to be as much of a problem provincially. I don’t consider Harris red, but Ralph was and he did ok considering.

      • The more Neil Young spews his nonsense, the more votes Harper will get.

      • Harper should step down because his political opponents don’t like him? Just because leftists get into a rage when there’s a Conservative government doesn’t mean that Conservative’s should stop running for public office.

    • This message brought to you by the non ideological poster Kody/biff/chet/charles/Soudas? on behalf of the disinterested big oil interests who oddly enough are in the business of finding, extracting and selling lots of oil!

      • Selling oil to whom kcm, to whom? Sorry to break it to you, but it is you who the oil companies are selling their wares to. Or more accurately, it is you who is demanding that they produce and sell you their oil. This is not ideology, it is reality. Unless of course you live in a hut, don’t drive, or use transportation, nor have any goods that required oil to produce or deliver.
        I’m fairly certain you wouldn’t fair too well in dark ages conditions, that is, in a world without “big oil”.

        • And we can never change that reality, can we? As for how well i’d do. I suspect my experience in the bush might keep me going a little longer then you. But hat’s beside the point. Look! I’ve created an opening for you to pen a rant about folks who’d rather live in caves then drive hummers.

      • I like how, in your view, somebody with experience in the industry being discussed is disqualified from debating the issue. But a burned out hippy rockstar from California is welcomed to the debate, despite the fact that he himself admits he doesn’t know what he’s talking about.

        • Kody is an expert? News to me!

          As Neil says, since when did it become against the law for a musician to have an opinion? And let’s completely ignore the fact Young’s been messing around in alternate energy stuff much of his adult life. Let’s just call him names and a burn out instead. Your logic is compelling as always.

          • Nobody’s saying that Neil Young can’t have an opinion. What he’s not entitled to is creating his own facts to fit a predetermined narrative. And if his “opinion” had any merit whatsoever, he wouldn’t be so defensive about people pointing out the many, many flaws in his opinion.

            I also think it’s grossly irresponsible for an aging, drug addled rocker to be publicly spouting off on an issue which he himself acknowledges he doesn’t know what he’s talking about.

            I wouldn’t take medical advice from a hairdresser, and I won’t take environmental or economic advice from an old hippy from California.

          • And i’m not interested in someone who conflates facts with opinions as often as you do, making some plea for rational discourse from others. Particularly someone[NY] who’s also trying to raise money so that FNs will have a more effective voice at the table or in the courts.

    • When will it be cleaned up and by whom? Tar sands inc still has on clear idea on how to clean up 172 square kilometers of toxic tailing ponds.They nearly broke the bank trying to reclaim less than 300 acres, so your grand kids will inherit that toxic wealth you generated for a budget in 2014.

      All Canadians would feel a lot better if tar sands inc could lay out real enforceable time tables on clean up BEFORE they ask for a blank check to expand and line their international pockets.

  10. If anyone, including the columnist who penned this so called “fact check” believes most of the tar sands won’t be impacted, I’ve got a few bridges for them to ponder as good investments.
    As to the second “fact”, sure Canada isn’t exporting tarsands oil to China yet, but why is it a stretch to think it will given that Chnia has invested billions into those very tarsands developments.
    That aside, Big Oil in the US, led by the Koch brothers are lobbying hard to have an export ban on crude lifted in the US so if or when the Keystone line gets approval the growing surplus of oil pushed through it can be exported. Fact is, all those heavy oil refineries on the Texas coast are just about chockablock full with other crude.
    If that doesn’t smell like Chinese fast food then perhaps its time to revisit the debate over the northern Gaterway line through Alberta, which Enbridge has stated will be used to ship the crude to China.
    It’s easy to disprove comments if you look in the wrong places for the facts.

    • Did you read the part of the article where I mentioned the fact that 100,000 km2 are already leased, or not?

      Also, the part about the loading and unloading of tankers? Care to explain how that would make sense if more Cdn heavy was arriving in the Gulf via pipeline?

      • C’mon Andrew, your own article makes the case for this amounting to a play on our part for market share…we push out the SA and Mexican oil, we win! I can see the logic of that in terms of N.American security. I can’t see any logic in terms of global emissions. Venezuela and Mexico will just find new clients…China perhaps!

        • You did read the statement that was, “we are supplying oil to China,” did you? This doesn’t make a case for or against it – makes a case for the fact that Canadian oil isn’t likely to go via the Gulf Coast to China in large volumes.

          • But in my defense i did point out that the push for Gateway only got going big time[ with the PMs explicit backing] once keystone looked iffy. You can’t just factor in Gateway after the fact.[ or did i miss your point altogether?]

          • The Gateway analysis assumes Keystone XL is operating, if I recall correctly, so it’s not a matter of factoring it in after the fact. I choose that example because, if any pipeline is going to see a majority of its shipments headed to China, it should be the one with the lowest transit time to China and, at least based on Muse Stancil’s forecast, that doesn’t look like how the world crude market would re-distribute if Gateway were built.

          • Now you’re making me do more reading/research[ grumble] I’ll be back.

    • This comment was deleted.

      • Not to mention those Evil Bilderbergers . . .
        Interesting too how there are Evil Billionaires (those who are seen as right of centre) and “Progressive” Billionaires (those who fund “progressive” causes). If an Evil Billionaire does anything that might possibly impact Canada, however tangentially or indirectly, this is cause for alarm and panic. If a “Progressive” Billionaire directly funds political causes and groups in Canada (e.g., Tides Foundation, etc.), it’s awesome. And that, of course, is because anything that liberals and lefties label as “progressive” is ipso facto good and exempt from criticism of any sort.

      • nazi reference? I believe the Koch brothers are Jewish, so that would be a little odd.

        • Well, as long as they’re appropriately demonized in cartoon fashion. Perhaps we can accuse them of being witches.

  11. Perhaps the greatest irony (layered with ignorance) is the notion that “big oil” is some autonomous monster out there to destroy the environment rather than the simple provider of a product we demand.
    That pen in your hand, the clothes on your back, the food on your table – virtually everything we are accustomed to, is dependent on oil (whether through production or transport). This is in addition to our direct demand for oil when we wish to go from “A” to “B” in comfort.
    Simply stated, oil is produced because we demand it. “We” includes those who damn it on places such as this blog, while simultaneously enjoying the comforts it provides. Oh sure, the big oil opponents will drape themselves in minor symbolic gestures (“hey I turned my lights off in my office did you??”) to give themselves a feeling of self importance and superiority over those “lessers” who leave the lights on. But you’ll see them in their (often big) houses, with their multiple cars, taking trips, enjoying all that which big oil provides.
    Opponents of big oil absolutely detest being told that if they don’t buy it from Canada they’ll be buying it from the Mideast where there are no standards. They detest it because they are confronted with their own demands for oil, and that those demands are the reason for the production in the first place.
    Of course it would be nice if unicorns provided us with a “clean” source of energy to fulfill our insatiable desire for energy. But until that happens, you can thank your lucky stars we have the oilsands.

    • I like Big Oil.

    • “Opponents of big oil absolutely detest being told that if they don’t buy
      it from Canada they’ll be buying it from the Mideast where there are no
      standards”

      You mean that place where western oil companies[ oil companies in general] have been operating for more than a century now…that place? Those companies?

      Young took the time and effort to drive his bio car up. He isn’t the hypocrite; and it’s you who come off sounding self important and superior here Biff.

      • Ahh yes, his enviro drive up here. That’s called theatre. Do you really think he doesn’t fly expensively all the time? Here’s a link to an areal photo of his sprawling mansion:

        http://virtualglobetrotting.com/map/neil-youngs-house/

        Do you really think his fridge is free of imported fruit. The myriad of goods adorning his mansion were all hand made by locals from local goods? And the mansion is probably powered by a Neil Young power producing treadmill?
        You are desperate to eat up the tiny bit of theatre, and to ignore the stark reality of the demands of his lavish consumption (and that of yourself and all other “environmentalists”.) Yes, yes, Neil drove up in a smart car. That’s all you need to know I suppose.

        • You know zilch about the guy do you? Sure there are lots of hypocrites on the greenie side of the argument. Young deserves some credit for trying.
          Then there are paid shills like you. I know what i’d rather be…a guy who tries to make a difference. By your absurd logic no religious organization should be solvent or have a bank balance – they’re all hypocrites too. Aren’t they all supposed to follow Christ and give to the poor? Why aren’t they Biffer?

      • Yes he means those places. And those very same companies will do as their hosts allow. So, if there are no environmental standards in these countries, then bully for them! When in Rome and all. As for Young and his bio car, whoopdie do! How many tractor trailers are rolling down the highway carrying the gear are there? Or are the shows a cappella?

        • “When in Rome and all”…i guess you extend that to your human rights ethics too eh? Cynicism seems to be your brand.
          So he needs to be perfect in your eyes before he cn preach? I believe he does have a bio fuel bus. But i suspect nothing less then perfection will suit you.

      • Young took the time and effort to drive his bio car up here….. sure. He also had his film crew following behind him in a diesel bus. Rented a helicopter for 2 hours just to get some video of him driving his car from the air. I’m pretty sure any GHG’s that were offset by him driving his bio-car up here were rendered null and void as soon as the helicopter landed.

        • Source please. Or should i go right to scum, er Sun news?

          • Finally a link from you. But what point is it meant to support? The blog was perfectly reasonable. I didn’t agree with all of it, but that’s fine. He certainly didn’t call Young a burn out like you.
            So Young is misinformed about some things, exaggerates other. Should he just shut up and go away?
            He used a helicopter for a couple of hours – big deal. That wasn’t even close to the worst of his sins.
            He’s a partisan on this issue. So are lots of people on the other side. One glance at this blog ost will show that.

            “That’s why I don’t consider it hypocritical of Neil to preach clean energy while creating a bunch of pollution and why I’d like him to grant the rest of us the same consideration. We are conscientious adults with the same goals he has.”

    • Thank you Charles… it’s as if there’s this one mothership that controls all of Big Oil to destroy the world as we know it.
      It couldn’t possibly be us creating this demand could it?

    • The hypocrisy is well-entrenched.

      Neil Young lives beside Silicon Valley, minutes from where mega-pollution is caused by the processes, chemicals and compounds used in manufacture of silicon chips and circuit boards. But he’s not complaining. All that growth in Palo Alto, Cupertino, Menlo Park and Sunnyvale has made his 1500-acre ranch in the mountain foothills so much more valuable. It was originally covered with a thick forest. It isn’t now. In the 45 years since he bought the land has Neil Young re-forested the land? Nope. When it comes to legitimate conservation efforts he’s all hat and no horse. Yep, he built a huge mansion and many outbuilding and recording studios on the land, but while his neighbours have forest lands he leaves his wide open. He builds a million dollar Lincoln version of a Chevy Volt, complete with an internal combustion engine to re-charge its batteries and he has the temerity to say he doesn’t ‘use’ oil? Millionaires who live in the artificial paradise of hero worship aren’t used to being challenged. They’re surrounded by ‘yes’ men, or they’re replaced. They deal in perception, not reality.

      Young’s hypocrisy is easily seen. He supports Democrats, yet in songs such as Southern Man and Alabama, and especially in its Journey Through the Past incarnation, he casts aspersions on southerners while equating them with Republicans. Yet the Ku Klux Klan was a Democrat organization founded to kill southern Republicans along with blacks freed as slaves. It was the Democrats who persecuted blacks, who passed the Jim Crow laws and fought Civil Rights legislation. Neil Young either doesn’t know or ignores that it was republicans who passed the first civil Rights Act in the 1950s and were the majority in the landmark legislation which strengthened it in 1964. His rose-coloured glasses limit what he sees.

      • Not to mention all the CDs/Tapes/Records he sold over the years were all produced on petroleum based media.

      • You oversimplify the role of the Klan, but you are right about the ideological and party allegiance. There is also a labor politics element in the history of the klan that can’t be ignored. The rest of your post seems spot on.

    • It would be nice if Canadians had a say in the choices of energy for their future instead of everything for tars sands forced down their throat. Take some of that corporate welfare and invest just 1% of that in that technology Neil Young proved was viable in driving cross country in a factory motor with no gasoline. Use some of that “Great Technological Superiority” to free yourselves.

      • Are you referring to the car Yound spent $1Million converting to electic? The car that needs to be re-charged from the power generated by coal plants that predominate in Calefornia?
        That car?

        • That’s the one! He’s proud that he had the free will choice of what source he used. $1 million was for the prototype for using no gasoline at all.

          If you don’t understand prototypes within the modern business model, go on Dragon’s Den and tell them you are going to market your vehicle with the retail price the same as your prototype price and see the laugh you get.

  12. many pro-oilsands supporters talk about Neil Young being a has-been washed up musician. Here’s a bit of his next leg in Europe:
    2014-07-10, Live At The Marquee, Cork, Ireland
    2014-07-12, Hyde Park, London, England
    2014-07-17, Yarkon Park, Tel-Aviv, Israel
    2014-07-20, Münsterplatz, Ulm, Germany
    2014-07-21, Collisioni Festival, Barolo, Italy
    2014-07-23, Wiener Stadthalle, Wien, Austria
    2014-07-25, Warsteiner Hockeypark, Mönchengladbach, Germany
    2014-07-26, Filmnächte am Elbufer, Dresden, Germany
    2014-07-28, Zollhafen – Nordmole, Mainz, Germany
    2014-08-01, Bergenhus Festning – Koengen, Bergen, Norway
    2014-08-05, Lokerse Feesten, Lokeren, Belgium

    • His worldview is washed up. His thinking is washed up. His hypocrisy is breathtaking. He isn’t even a Canadian anymore.

      Neil Young, however, remains a brilliant musician.

      • He’s been exploring alternate energy for a long time. He even took the time to drive his E car up to For Mac. Give the guy some credit for walking the talk. I don’t think you know whatt that word hypocrite actually means.

        • Anybody with a huge bank account could certainly explore alternate energy. Heck, give me a million dollars and I will turn my sports car into an E car.
          Just let me know, I’ll give you my banking info.

          • That is a fair point. One that i’d bet Neil would concede. It isn’t however a good enough excuse to do nothing.

          • Lots of people who are concerned about the environment could install sun panels on their roofs. And how many Canadians are prepared to do that? Or how many have in fact installed sun panels???

          • Sigh…lots do.

          • Lots…. is speculative.
            What’s the cost to install these solar panels? How much of the daily consumption of electricity would be due to solar energy? During the summer? During the winter?

          • I’m just saying a know of plenty of people who have had them installed. FV seems to be implying enviros never walk the walk.

          • Fair enough. I don’t doubt that. The unfortunate aspect of all this back and forth, is the people with real concerns and creative, potentially feasible ideas are totally over-shadowed.
            The only debate right now is over who’s right or wrong. There’s no solutions being presented.
            And no, shutting down the oilsands is not a solution. Nor is only green energy the solution. It’s the combination along with feasible technical application to the real world that is the solution.

          • Yep, i’ll sign on to that.

            Despite the fact Neil got some of his facts wrong, i’d say he deserves some credit for trying to be part of the solution and at least giving the issue some more profile. And to be fair his main push is on the treaties which really should come under more public scrutiny.

          • Got some of his fact wrong?
            Geez man….he got ALL of his facts wrong. Not only the facts about the oil sands, but also his facts about the treaties.
            YOu have heard the story about the rent-an-indian that was sitting on stage with Mr. Young haven’t you? Apparently, if you give this Chief $55,000 he’ll fly to Toronto (not an electic plane) and sit with you on stage….even though the majority of folks on this chief’s reserve depend upon the oil sands for their livilihood.
            I’m sure you won’t hear about this story in the mainstream media, but if this was an oil company giving $55,000 to an MP to extol the virtues of the oil sands……we’d never hear the end of it.

          • Getting a lecture on “facts”from you must feel something like getting an ethics lesson from Rob Ford.

          • Some walk the talk but not very many. Most Canadians talk about wanting to save the environment from fosil fuels but they rather pay for a holiday by plane over installing solar panels.

          • Actually, the reason you just state is one of the primary reasons that the Alberta gov’t needs to stop subsidizing the oil industry with its ridiculous royalty rates and tax advantages.

            If people had to pay the actual cost of oil and gasoline, including mitigation costs for CO2, there’d be a lot of economic room for alternative energy companies to thrive. More of them thriving means more of them competing.. which means faster development and cheaper prices and a better world overall.

          • The Alberta govt doesn’t squash alternative energy development around the world… How does royalty rate and tax advantages in Alberta affect European countries, Asian innovations, and American power in developing clean energy?
            Perhaps, current technology just isn’t viable due to the “cheap” price of oil in the global market.

        • He didn’t “take the time” to drive his car up to Ft. Mac. He was shooting a documentary ABOUT the car. He was being paid quite handsomely for his time.

        • If you want to know why hypocrite means….few points.
          1. Look at the buses required for Neil and his entourage. They run on diesal….which is the fuel required for the massive engines needed to carry all that gear and staff.
          2. Look above at the concert dates provided by keithcummings in the post above. Do you honestly think Neil and his massive entourage are going to get there in his electric car?
          There’s a place to start.
          Apparently, like most celebrities with a cause…..what they espouse for us “little people” doesn’t apply to them.

          • Yes, yes, no environmentalist, in fact no critic of anything you don’t like, must opine before they are squeaky clean in Ezra’s eyes…does that about cover it?

    • Will he swim across the oceans?

    • Is DIana Krall appearing at the European venues? Her support of treaty is invaluable.

  13. “Rock stars don’t need oil.”

    That one is true.

    • Rock stars use oil like crazy. Fuel for tour busses, planes and generators, plastics for 8-track, records, cassettes, DVDs, CDs, videotapes, guitar picks, wire coatings….
      Maybe someone could attempt to tally up the oil consumption of Mr. Young’s career.

    • That vehicle was almost as miraculous as Diana Krall’s smile in support of treaties. Neil used a Ford factory motor to make a cross country trip using no gasoline at all, only a tar sands PR monkey would argue that has no value to Canada.

      • Give everyone who owns a car $1,000,000 to make the conversion to electric…..and we won’t burn gas either.
        Of course, we’ll still need to charge these electric cars with coal, nuclear, or natural gas produced electiricity.
        But hey…it it makes us feel better.

        • Hey this is no longer the days of Wilbur and Orville creating a totally new avionics science application in a bicycle shop, get with the modern times and out of the old industrial age mentality.

          The need for Energy is growing, the How is still a variable that human beings should have the free will to decide not a handful of CEOs.

  14. “The US Gulf Coast currently imports over 4 million barrels per day of
    crude oil, a number which is expected to decline but is unlikely to
    reach zero. Further, even if the Gulf Coast were to become a net
    exporter of crude oil, it’s still likely to be a net importer of heavy
    oil, while exporting lights. Canadian oil, in such a scenario, would
    displace Venezuelan or Mexican heavy”

    Splitting hairs and missing the larger point today a bit aren’t we Mr Leach?
    Not all Gateway content is bound for China, rather NE Asia…i wonder if that’s a part of the developing world too?

    And if i’m getting this right, you’re saying that doubling or tripling of the oil/tar sands will probably stay mostly in the US domestic market because it will push put Venezuelan and Mexican heavy oil. But that oil wont just go back into the ground will it? It’ll find a customer. So we aren’t really displacing anything in terms of GHG production are we ? It matters not whether added production is burned in American, Canadian or Asian vehicles. Am i stretching it to say you’ve jumped the shark here Andrew? Is this logical extension of the ethical oil nonsense? We’re just supplying the N. American demand…everything else will just fade away, including the global implications.
    I think my point stands since Gateway only really took off when keystone looked to be in peril.

    Thanks for the info though. I wont pretend good information on this isn’t hard to come by all around. However i wonder if Pembina still disputes your analysis of where the oil might be bound?
    http://www.pembina.org/pub/2407

    Edit: No where in your analysis is the question of how rapidly growing US oil production might affect the possibility of Gulf bound oil/tar sands crude heading out to sea.

    • So, when he said, “Canada is producing oil for China,” and went on to talk specifically about China and its environmental problems, what he really meant is that some barrels on a not yet built pipeline will go to China and that the total capacity of that line will only represent about 15-20% or less of total barrels moved out of western Canada?

      Re: your edit: The US Energy Information Administration does tend to look at US oil output in constructing its forecasts of US oil imports and exports.

      • I haven’t caught up with your last reading assignment yet, darn you prof.

      • I’m having increasing difficulty with who said what, and how or where it’s going. So Neil is misinformed about some things, so am I, even experts like you get it wrong some of the time.
        If the goal is to double or triple oil sands production, which pipeline it ends up in, or whose car burns it is largely irrelevant, if we are to meet our 2020 emissions targets and stay under the 2 degree threshold that we signed up to in Copenhagen.
        Displacing foreign oil from N America may have its upside , but it still misses the point.
        Ethical oil for instance, is a silly marketing and political ploy. It won’t make us any safer and I can’t see how we can meet our global GHG commitments without at least slowing down the pace of oil sands development.

        • “So Neil is misinformed about some things…”

          Reading the article, it seems (to me at least) that what he’s been saying is essentially correct, though some of the numbers he’s putting out may be debatable.

        • These are, with the right data, the questions that Neil Young should have asked. The point he chose to make was that we were supplying oil to China, We’re not.

          • I know that’s true in the abstract. But i don’t think that’s an entirely fair judgement. For one thing he’s an artist. It’s all coming from the heart,and he doesn’t pretend he has all the answers. OTOH these questions are either being dodged, denied or evaded by some very smart men and women in the energy biz who should know better. To my mind Neil has it right. There’s an absence of ethical responsibility being shown here by the very people we as Canadians should be trusting to do the right thing. I guess there’s simply too much money on the line and that’s sad really.
            Someone has to step up and take a leadership role. Neil is rattling some cages, and that’s a good thing.
            And let’s not forget, it is also about honouring the treaties, a fact often lost in the rhetoric.
            Thx for taking the time and making the effort. It’s much appreciated.

        • “Ethical Oil” is not a marketing ploy at all, if you take the time to actually see it for what it is.

          Every dollar spent on Canadian produced oil….is a dollar that won’t go to Saudi Arabia; which is a worldwide financier of islamic and terro idoelogy. Le’ts not start on how they treat people.

          It’s a dollar that won’t go to Iran, who are also supporters of terrorism, and tend to treat people just as badly as the saudi’s

          AT least in Canada, we have stringent environmental laws…and do a much better job of looking after the environment than most other oil producing nations.

          Canadian oil….is by far, the most ethical choice we can make. That is the reality….it is not a marketing strategy.

          • Ethical oil does not prevent one drop of Saudi or Iranian oil getting to somebody elses market. How does this make the world any better or even us any safer?
            I do agree our oil is ethical in the sense our standards are good, as our wages. Pity those Canaidian companies don’t try a little harder to make sure the same thing applies when they drill in other states that don’t do it so well. Heck, they might even refuse to drill for unethical oil once in a while. Clearly their hands are tied. Someone has to do it of course. Almost as those big oil ethics are situational, isn’t it?

    • Why isn’t Canada or Alberta for that matter actual profiting like the numbers that the Governor General promised with his new era of surplus wealth coming out of our ears with 3 jobs for every man woman and child? Alberta is $22 billion in DEBT. So what the deal about that promised tar sands silver bullet to save us all?

      • Mikey…….
        It’s hard to produce the wealth promised….when folks who do not LIVE in Alberat….do their level best to see that the resources need to provide the aforementioned wealth…..is stopped.
        Can’t use oil money to pay down debt….when you can’t extract the oil required to fund it.

        • Then I don’t understand why Fort McMurray School District are having budget problems. The Star reported last year on Feb 13th that they were $4.4M in the red.

  15. Remember too, Neil Young only went to Fort McMurray so that the documentary film crew could film him. He has the same filmmakers filming every step of this careful scripted performance.

    Neil’s ‘friendship’ with the Fort Chip First Nation band only exists because those natives are a necessary prop to establish Neil’s bona fides as an ‘authentic’ progressive.

    This whole controversy is contrived. Wait, you will soon see Neil’s banal CO2 documentary being released.

    This is all phoney, contrived ‘edginess’ by a musician of unimaginable wealth.

    • ya, just like his days of fighting the Vietnam War, a mere prop, all for his fame and wealth. Where does common comprehension even begin with those supporting corporate wealth at environmental destruction?

    • How much wealth is Diana Krall getting out of all this? She knows that when we all Honour the Treaties we honour ourselves as Canadians.

  16. It is no surprise that Neil Young is wrong on most of his “facts”. Most activists are long on hysterical rhetoric and short on facts and truth.
    The last refuge of a fading “star” is the ” save the planet:, and my career”, movement. Neil feels righteous, his accountants are ecstatic.

    As the UN’s climate change head said recently, democracy is not good for preventing climate change. What is needed is a dictatorship like China’s.

    Chairman Harper. I wonder how that would go over .

    • And Diana Krall? Her days are far from over. But we would all benefit from the invaluable facts and data that Mr Young recorded on how a Ford factory motor can make a cross country trip with no gasoline at all. Who wouldn’t want investment shares in that technology?

  17. alltruths wrote: “Anybody with a huge bank account could certainly explore alternate energy…”

    you city folks are so out of touch with life sometimes, really living with your hands dirty from making a life for yourselves on your terms. For many generations and certainly now, there are many tens of thousands of people in areas of Canada where you “live off the grid”. These folks are mostly self-sufficient, hardly of any wealth that city folks have, and alternative energy is everywhere.
    Lunch boxes, sub-urban rats, completely ignorant of life outside a subway station, the 401 and their condo.

    • You certainly provided a wealth of information on which many could debate upon.. But yes, let’s all 32 million Canadians live in the middle of nowhere driving on dirt roads and growing our own food in the winter while trapping beavers for their skins to trade.
      FYI, I don’t live in Toronto. We don’t have a subway station here, but we do have local buses that come every 30 minutes. Heated bus stations are a luxury when the temperature is -30 outside when the winds not blowing.

      • the way this planet is heading, you described our future very accurately. Well, not our future, but likely our grand-kids and their kids future. All because of your corporate-loving greed.

        • I’m glad we had a fruitful debate with you attacking me based on nothing.
          Better turn off that computer, you’re using rescources and electronics created by these corporate entities that are out to destroy the world.
          Don’t forget your tinfoil hat either.
          Cheerios

          • you seem to have no problem attacking Mr. Young, and Mr. Young represents many many Canadians like myself, 77% of Albertans in fact. We do need business, but it is imperative that these same businesses are responsible and have an eye on Canada’s future, just not their third quarter profits. It’s all not black and white and it appears by being b/w you haven’t the life skills yet to understand that point.

      • heated bus stations? Try living in the north or the Prairies when it’s way colder than -30 and ya, we go into our heated Greyhound bus-station. Dream on. Sure. Right…Like I said, you are a lunch bucket when it comes to life in the country.

        • I live in Northern Alberta thank you very much.

          • nice that you’ve got heated bus stations, most stops, such as the flag stop that I use, on the Prairies don’t.

  18. Thanks Andrew for putting some facts into the discussion. It gives us something to ponder instead of a kneejerk emotional reaction to an ‘image’ created. Not that I have any issue with Neil Young having an opinion and stating it publicly. Whether I agree with Neil Young’s opinions or not, awareness and discussion is .not. a bad thing. So thanks for facts.

    • so, let me get this right, you thank Andrew for facts, awareness and discussion, whereas Mr. Young merely has an opinion and a kneejerk emotional reaction. As FoxNews and SunNews say, that’s fair and balanced reporting…as long as it supports our view.

      • So, what piece of my column do you not think was accurate?

        • Andrew,
          People won’t judge your column simply based upon the accuracy of the facts you provide. They will also judge your column based upon the facts you choose to omit.
          Telling half a story, is not reporting; it’s opinion.

      • Fair and balanced reporting requires media outfits to report BOTH sides of the story. IN Canada, SUNTV has been the only group to do that.
        They have pointed out where Neil was wrong on his facts, and they pointed out that the “Chief” on stage with Neil is the chief of a Reserve that benefits greatly from the oil sands. They also pointed out, that it only cost $55,000 for the chief to show up.
        Organizatoins such as the CBC or the STAR….only report the “facts” that fit their specific narrative. On SUN….they provide both sides, and let the viewers see what the real facts are. YOu may not appreciate that aspect of SUN…but it happens to be true.

  19. just because you plant grass and flowers on it the toxins are their spreading… eat the flowers nature sip the poison in your honey… it would take 1000 years with 100 year supply for the Cascading effects to stop… that is just the oil sand… one item from mass items….

    you refuse to live in balance so you kill the earth and all it provides…

    500 years of fighting the greed monkeys….
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zThr9uTq4G4

    4th age ends in greed just like the 3d did
    greed has its logic to take…. to avoid harmony awareness exchange trade
    its a fairy tail
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MW1526nifXg

    • Plants, grass and flowers grew just fine when the bitumen was there in the 1800s.

      • yet it was in-cased by diversity and not spreading out like it is in high volumes…. then you have emission spews for using its on a global scale leaving synthetic particles everywhere its not just about covering it up
        with building codes of 40 years…9/11 repairs need the same stuff you built it with…
        just add it up and see if you get 7 generations… you don’t so what path are you on…

        500 year war on greed monkeys… fence out nature creates what path extinction event

        • native Americans were never cave duelers as you preseive them to be…like living in dark age of stupidity…

          the ran an oasis economy…. everything calculated was out of respect in trading… or they would shed it

          like food…. the base of any-type of economy…. should you hog it…. is that respectful no so they would deliberate in consent a better path of awareness exchange…. zig and zag learning nothing is wasted and all is exchanged in awareness…

          they had no exclusive rights to patents… they exchanged awareness under a deliberation code of respect for one and other and yest there were spats yet the would then run healing circles for the disrespect to find respect…

          like potatoes would spread along trade trails whey… they would eat them and plant them all at once… don’t take things without a re-offering to create plentiful… see you cant do that anymore greed monkeys fenced it in building monkey cages..

          its why you need to learn how to plant something…or you die from extinction…you cant stop greed you can only let burnout…
          http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=g7cylfQtkDg

          • 1776 gold to currency no more seashell values…. digging holes for the greed monkeys for living with goldjob…. under a new cunt-in-tree with a snake control owner….
            http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=G_3NyB8-rC0

          • corn 3 sisters planting with a planting stick and the medicine wheel showing what to plant harvest….. as they moved around every where…. you replenish what you take
            just saying it was just different it was not built on greed and monopoly to that greed…..

            its why when you set foot here you claimed we had so mush….the hole place was a refrigerator of goods

            its not like the king demanding everything be planted in proper rows then flirt-in-lies and all things in the forest belong to the king hunting events

            wwf and the kings wide life reserve…. hunting preservation..
            http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CRls4DHDUS0

            when you see the truth would you believe it….. a narrow minded calculated of control with flirtation events…. everything is expendable to it… greed monkeys

          • you think i;m joking right…. fallow the rabbit hole… to why your on the verge of extinction… and they build this under ground con-caves…. and creation will just snap a switch on them… no harmony
            http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/British_Israelism

            as they rant your not see-evil-lies and the biblical god of mandates… they need new a savoir to hide their trash view with… to dictate to the people to work for… planting in rows to lick the honey from…

  20. I think you’re missing Neil’s point.
    I personally have no faith in politicians who will not be in power later on down the road when implications are felt. There is an obvious profit incentive to those making the decisions, and in my opinion, the argument that jobs would be created is true for any energy industry, whether it’s clean energy or dirty, corrupt energy.

  21. The tar sands situation is not perfect, I think most reasonable people would agree with that. However, when a rich, fading rock star hypocritically runs it down, it starts to rub people the wrong way. I don’t know what world this guy lives in, but he seems completely out of touch. Must be all that good smoke over the years.

    Hopefully after he unplugs his electric car and starts to head south there is room in the back seat for his pal Suzuki.

    • seems 77% of Albertans agree with Neil Young about the oilsands, you must feel a little lonely in Edmonton with your views. And considering he’s soon to embark on a tour of 12 European cities, one every three days, you’d be dead wrong saying that he’s fading. If you know as much/as little about Neil Young as you do the oilsands, and you live in Edmonton presumably, Alberta is in deep trouble.

      • 12 European cities…hmm, that’s a long ways from here. Following his line of thinking, I take it he will be swimming over there and hiking from show to show?

        But I also wonder – if 77% of Albertans agree so much with Neil on the oil sands, why do they keep electing people that don’t say a peep?

        • geez, you don’t even read the Edmonton Journal or Calgary Herald? You Edmonton pro-oil folks are so aware, well read and on top of things.. everyone that’s pro-oilsands on this comments board has proven to be a lunch box. Dogmatic, but not informed by local industry news, let alone Canada news.

    • Say what you will of Mr Young, it is fabulous that a stunning personality like Diana Krall has taken notice and has joined the call to Honour the Treaties and stop this irresponsible tar sands expansion. She’s my new hero.

  22. Even revised and giving Maclenas the biggest possible part of the doubt those numbers are still quite staggering.

  23. I am curious as to how different things would be if the tar sands disappeared tomorrow. It ain’t going to happen, but interesting to ponder.

  24. Hearing that oil sands put out ALMOST as much CO2 as all the passenger vehicles in Canada every day, and hearing that they put out the SAME amount…. really shouldn’t change your opinion at all. Also it’s expected to quadruple by 2030. That’s truly frightening. Oh, please stop using Neil Young songs in your articles like “the oil sands and the damage done” and “take a look at yourself”. Cliche times a million.

  25. How many times have the mainstream media had to apoligize for mistakes they’ve made in their reporting? How many mistakes have we observed which they’ve never noticed or otherwise failed to apologize for? It isn’t fact-checking every thing Neil Young says here that matters, it’s the significance of what he is doing and the question of what is right for Canada, our peoples and our future, Vs. big corporate powers.

    • so true, but as I have discovered about this comments board, it’s pro-oil people without little knowledge but loads of dogma. Like young kids making hand over fist bucks in the oilsands that are writing in. Can’t blame them though, all they care is about their bank accounts and next big truck they will buy.

  26. This is all a ridiculous distraction from the basic facts. Argue over numbers all you want, but the fact remains that our fossil fuel infrastructure needs to be transitioned to truly clean and renewable energy sources. We have already surpassed what an international, independent scientific consensus has agreed is the point of no return in terms of carbon in the atmosphere. We are destabilizing the climate because we have built a “civilization” whose infrastructure is based on fossil fuel energy. Is it going to be difficult to transition from this source of energy, to transform the processes on which this type of energy rely, and to dramatically reduce our overall consumption? Absolutely. But we don’t have a choice if we care at all about other human beings, both present and future, or the integrity of the planet that gives us life. It sounds like a lot of you think this is negotiable. It’s not.

    Furthermore, the constant encroaching on lands on which First Nations people depend for their livelihoods and the maintenance of their cultures cannot continue. It’s genocide, plain and simple. It violates our Constitution as well as international conventions on indigenous rights. Aboriginals have a right to sovereignty and self-determination, and it’s time that settler Canadians listen to what they have to say about what it means to have just and peaceful relationships with each other and nature, of which we are a part. We have come to a point where we must make a choice between clinging to selfishness and ignorance, and once and for all uniting to secure a future that is sustainable and just. It cannot include a parasitic system that forever shoves down our throats a destructive vision of “development” and “growth”. Many communities have implemented creative and democratic energy solutions. We can do this. HONOUR THE TREATIES.

    • Constitutional rights are law. Any ‘raced based’ arguments against it had their chance to be heard by the Canadian people well before consensus enshrined it forever in the law of the land in 1982.

  27. Again, the media want to keep this story going,as long as possible,and also anything
    To keep the story off the main issue as pointed out by the artists and the First Nations that look what they have done to my country! Or my song, maa

  28. Rock stars don’t need oil. That’s the only fact that matters.

    • Canada needs Treaty and the land it affords us all, so says Diana Krall.

      • Yes, we should all just listen to Diana Krall and let her tell us what to think. That’s so much easier than thinking for ourselves.

        • The Canadian Press did an article of her performing a Canada Day concert for expats in Greece. They used the word Krall and Canada/Canadian over a dozen times each. Great branding for such an iconic and responsible Canadian celebrity.

  29. Environmental Law Centre at the University of Victoria taking Enbridge to court.. cool. It’s UVic vs. UofA. UBC in PG will get in there too no doubt. We have the millions of people, we got the smarts, all Enbridge people have is corporate bribery and money for tv ads. With 77% of Albertans supporting Neil Young, you guys is in deep ummm, by-products of digestion.

  30. That’s it? That’s all he has for his Honour the Treaties Tour with Diana Krall? This is a fundraising tour to start matching our own legal funds against the Harper Government’s $106 million dollar legal war chest to fight these Constitutional rights. The CRA only spends $66 million.

    Treaties are human being to human being agreements. The consensus of Canada heard all of the arguments (race based and otherwise) then declared in 1982 that treaty rights are Constitutional. We all have the Constitutional Treaty Right to have good relations with each other. And we should because we are neighbors on the same land side by side.

    Consult with your neighbor is Constitutional mandate, and by gosh just a good polite Canadian thing to do. Honour the Treaties and join Neil Young and Diana Krall in support. Honour ourselves as Canadians again.

  31. Quiet impressed with talks over mining and many such issues related to oil sands!

    Oil Sands Exploration

  32. Anyone actually read the treaty?
    What isn’t being honoured?
    Cut and paste the clause please….

  33. Still waiting for all those crack investigative journalists to dig through the two page Treaty 8 and reveal to us what part of the treaty is not being honoured!

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