Thursday, January 16, 2014

War Zone 
Via Tree Hugger 
Photographer: Peter Essick
"Before and after?: a forest in northern Alberta staked out by tar sands prospectors and the Suncor Millennium tar sands site, Alberta in the March 2009 issue of National Geographic" - "National Geographic Slams Tar Sands - Canadian Politicians Pissed"

Mainstream Canadian press catches up to Neil Young in Winnipeg during his Honour the Treaties tour raising legal funds to fight the poisonous tar sands expansion in Alberta, Canada.  Following recent statements by Mr. Young comparing the area to a war zone,  oil representatives moved in on the activist rock legend, environmental scientists and spokespersons, and First Nations leaders, bristling at Mr. Young's analogy, while claiming that Canadians needed oil and asserting that relations with First Nations communities were positive.  Activists have reported high cancer rates in indigenous communities targeted by oil development and similar findings have emerged in the U.S.

As blogged earlier, the Canadian federal government had given Shell Oil the go-ahead on the destructive Jackpine Mines tar sands project despite the Canadian environment minister's findings that expansion was likely to cause significant adverse environmental impacts.  

The Athabascan Chipweyan First Nations have stated that tar sands expansion also violates federal laws and treaties, a position supported by Greenpeace Canada who have also concurred with Canadian environmental minister's findings.

Below, the Winnipeg press statement by Neil Young prior to the second concert for his Honour the Treaties tour, along with statements by Athabascan Chipweyan Chief Allan Adam, zoologist David Suzuki, and University of Alberta freshwater scientist David Schindler. 

Mr. Young, who visited the Alberta areas in question, describing at the tour's Toronto stop, how guests choked on the air from 25 miles away, reasserted his prior war zone comparison, stating, "It's gone.  Reclamation is a myth."  

"It's not going to be a good thing for our grandchildren," he said, "If this continues."


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