The best of EcoWatch, right in your inbox. Sign up for our email newsletter!
Neil Young Stands With First Nations on Anti-Tar Sands Tour
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
‘Companies Should Not Be Allowed to Use Hazardous Ingredients in Products People Use’: Michelle Pfeiffer Speaks Up for Safer Cosmetics
The beauty products we put on our skin can have important consequences for our health. Just this March, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) warned that some Claire's cosmetics had tested positive for asbestos. But the FDA could only issue a warning, not a recall, because current law does not empower the agency to do so.
Michelle Pfeiffer wants to change that.
The actress and Environmental Working Group (EWG) board member was spotted on Capitol Hill Thursday lobbying lawmakers on behalf of a bill that would increase oversight of the cosmetics industry, The Washington Post reported.
By Julia Conley
Scientists at the United Nations' intergovernmental body focusing on biodiversity sounded alarms earlier this month with its report on the looming potential extinction of one million species — but few heard their calls, according to a German newspaper report.
The climate crisis is a major concern for American voters with nearly 40 percent reporting the issue will help determine how they cast their ballots in the upcoming 2020 presidential election, according to a report compiled by the Yale Program on Climate Change Communication.
Of more than 1,000 registered voters surveyed on global warming, climate and energy policies, as well as personal and collective action, 38 percent said that a candidate's position on climate change is "very important" when it comes to determining who will win their vote. Overall, democratic candidates are under more pressure to provide green solutions as part of their campaign promises with 64 percent of Democrat voters saying they prioritize the issue compared with just 34 percent of Independents and 12 percent of Republicans.
President Donald Trump has agreed to sign a $19.1 billion disaster relief bill that will help Americans still recovering from the flooding, hurricanes and wildfires that have devastated parts of the country in the past two years. Senate Republicans said they struck a deal with the president to approve the measure, despite the fact that it did not include the funding he wanted for the U.S.-Mexican border, CNN reported.
"The U.S. Senate has just approved a 19 Billion Dollar Disaster Relief Bill, with my total approval. Great!" the president tweeted Thursday.