Quantcast
Environmental News for a Healthier Planet and Life

Help Support EcoWatch

Neil Young Stands With First Nations on Anti-Tar Sands Tour

Energy

By Emily Saari

Rock legend Neil Young launched a week long concert tour in Canada this week in solidarity with First Nations fighting against oil sands development in their territories. 

Neil Young’s latest tour, Honor the Treaties and also featuring Diana Krall, is a music tour with a political message.

Young is using his spotlight to draw attention to the massive injustice and environmental degradation associated with tar sands development in Alberta. In an interview regarding the message of his tour, Young said:

Canada is trading integrity for money, that’s what’s happening under the current leadership in Canada… It’s an embarrassment to any Canadians.

The Honor the Treaties tour began on Jan. 12 in Toronto and ends on Jan. 19 in Calgary. Prior to each concert, Young is taking part in a press conference about oil sands development alongside environmentalist Dr. David Suzuki, Chief Allan Adam of the Athabasca Chipewyan First Nation, and climate scientists.

All the proceeds from the Honor the Treaties tour go to the legal defense fund of the Athabasca Chipewyan First Nation (ACFN). ACFN spokesperson Eriel Deranger said:

We are honored that Neil Young and Diana Krall are standing with ACFN during this crucial time. Our struggle to preserve the Athabasca Delta isn’t about us but for all Canadians who care about protecting our lands.

The ACFN has been embroiled in a legal battle on several fronts against both the Canadian government and the extractive industry, challenging the encroachment of tar sands development into their land and the violation of their treaty rights.

In Dec. 2013, Shell Oil received approval from the federal government to nearly double the size of its Jackpine Mine in ACFN territory on the Athabasca River.

The Jackpine Mine expansion would devastate the river and its surrounding ecosystem, and severely limit the ability of the AFCN to practice their traditional livelihood—a right that is guaranteed to them in treaties between the sovereign leadership of the First Nations and the nation of Canada. To make matters worse, Shell has also proposed a new, additional mine in northern Alberta, the Pierre River Mine. The ACFN are taking legal action against both projects to protect their people, land and way of life.

If the Canadian government goes forward with its plan to fully extract the Alberta oil sands, the consequences of the development have been described as “game over for the planet.” The mining, refining and combustion of the oil sands would emit dangerous amounts of greenhouse gases that could warm the world past a global climate tipping point.

Because of these global consequences, Young is asking for widespread support of the ACFN legal defense. Early indications show that the public is behind Young, as initial polls suggest Young’s comments are supported by nearly 70 percent of respondents.

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

Visit EcoWatch’s TAR SANDS page for more related news on this topic.

 

EcoWatch Daily Newsletter

U.S. Vice President Joe Biden speaks during a White House Clean Energy Investment Summit on June 16, 2015 in the Eisenhower Executive Office Building in Washington, DC. Alex Wong / Getty Images

By Jake Johnson

With presumptive Democratic nominee Joe Biden's climate platform becoming increasingly ambitious thanks to nonstop grassroots pressure, fossil fuel executives and lobbyists are pouring money into the coffers of President Donald Trump's reelection campaign in the hopes of keeping an outspoken and dedicated ally of dirty energy in the White House.

Read More Show Less
The Food and Drug Administration is now warning against more than 100 potentially dangerous hand sanitizers.
Antonio_Diaz / Getty Images

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is now warning against more than 100 potentially dangerous hand sanitizers.

Read More Show Less
New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo speaks at a news conference on July 1, 2020 in New York City. Byron Smith / Getty Images

While the nation overall struggles with rising COVID cases, New York State is seeing the opposite. After peaking in March and April and implementing strict shutdowns of businesses, the state has seen its number of positive cases steadily decline as it slowly reopens. From coast-to-coast, Governor Andrew Cuomo's response to the crisis has been hailed as an exemplar of how to handle a public health crisis.

Read More Show Less
A whale shark swims in the Egyptian Red Sea. Derek Keats / Wikimedia Commons / CC by 2.0

By Gavin Naylor

Sharks elicit outsized fear, even though the risk of a shark bite is infinitesimally small. As a marine biologist and director of the Florida Program for Shark Research, I oversee the International Shark Attack File – a global record of reported shark bites that has been maintained continuously since 1958.

Read More Show Less
A girl sits under a temporary shade made by joining two bed in Churu, Rajasthan on June 4, 2019. Temperatures in the Indian desert city hit 50 degrees C (122 F) for the second time in three days, sending residents scrambling for shade. MONEY SHARMA / AFP via Getty Images

Current efforts to curb an infectious disease show the potential we have for collective action. That action and more will be needed if we want to stem the coming wave of heat-related deaths that will surpass the number of people who die from all infectious diseases, according to a new study, as The Guardian reported.

Read More Show Less
America Pikas are found from the Sierra Nevada to the Rocky Mountains, and have been migrating to higher elevations. Jon LeVasseur / Flickr / Public Domain

By Jenny Morber

Caribbean corals sprout off Texas. Pacific salmon tour the Canadian Arctic. Peruvian lowland birds nest at higher elevations.

Read More Show Less

Trending

Biologists are studying the impact of climate change on the Nenets and their reindeer herds. Deutsche Welle

Biologist Egor Kirillin is on a special mission. Deep in the Siberian wilderness in the Russian Republic of Sakha, he waits on the Olenjok river until reindeer come thundering into the water.

Read More Show Less