A Socially Dying Hippy's Last Stand

by SAnderson on February 27, 2014 - 8:46pm

            Neil Young, a Canadian icon and legend has recently headlined a tour entitled “Honor the Treaties”. The tour is basically a direct attack at the Alberta oil sands and to give voice to aboriginals who have apparently been treated unfairly or more precisely Fort McMurray which, according to Young, “looks like Hiroshima”. The controversy around this tour was and still is enormous. Personally I think Neil Young should just go back to his home, which isn’t actually in Canada, and just give back his Canadian citizenship while he’s at it. That comment might come off as harsh but it isn’t.

            Although he is a Canadian legend, Young has no rights to say what he said and is a complete hypocrite. First of all, if he wants to have a say in what happens in Canada he shouldn’t be living in the United States or, more precisely, sunny California. His 1 500 acre estate is actually built on land taken from natives without a treaty (neilyounglies.ca). I don’t like rich people telling me what to do or believe just because they’re wealthier than me what makes him think that I’d make an exception and listen to him just he made some good music back when being a hippy was cool. If he’s that concerned about the environment he wouldn’t be flying his jet to get to his tour destinations or have many tour busses and cars following him from venue to venue. Young has set himself up for all these articles going against him.

            After such obvious hypocrisy one question will linger: Why did he do this? Was it for another chance in the spotlight? Or perhaps an opportunity to make some extra cash? According to the Toronto Sun, a First Nations Chief had been funded $55,000 to publicly be opposed to the oil sands. According to the newspaper the Chief was just there as a prop so that the California millionaire didn’t seem like a bully to all us middle or lower class citizens. If a Chief could be corrupted who says Neil Young himself couldn’t be? His tour was supported by many “eco-groups” and they could’ve funneled him money. The press was able to catch the Chief because he wasn’t good at covering his tracks but Young, a successful millionaire has plenty resources to make sure nobody found out if he was being given money. Young and other people made things seem so bad when in reality they might not be, many people took hold of twitter after Young’s comparison of Fort McMurray and defended their land by posting photos of “their Hiroshima”(Huffington Post).

            In reality, the oil sands are doing much more good than harm to the world. Alberta’s total GDP is of $286.6 billion of which 27.6% is just from energy, meaning the oil sands produce about $79 billion to be put in the Canadian economy and help make more jobs and make the whole oil sands project greener. Alberta has the third largest oil reserve in the world, what if we didn’t exploit this resource? In 2011, Alberta supplied 15% of crude imports to the US and met 7% of the US’s demand for petrol (energy.alberta.ca). Technically some of the oil sands oil was used by Neil Young and powered his cars or heated, or should I say cool down because he abandoned the cold weather, his house. If the oil sands project is continued, the export of oil will more than double and make more money which can help Canada and it’s economy.

            Neil Young is way too cozy in his wealth and nice home he has that he must’ve forgot about the real world and that people need to make money in order for an economy to work. In a way he is sabotaging Canada. Neil Young is just an old hippy trying to make one last imprint in this world for his legacy. He should’ve stayed in his home and not make something which is perfectly fine become headlines for all the wrong reasons.