Neil Young on tar sands: “It’s like Hiroshima”

"This is truly a disaster, and America is supporting this," said the singer-songwriter VIDEO

Topics: Video, Neil Young, Environmentalism, tar sands, Alberta, Oil, ,

Neil Young on tar sands: "It's like Hiroshima"Neil Young addresses the U.S. National Farmers Union (Credit: Screenshot, YouTube)

As an environmentalist and a son of Canada, it was only a matter of time before Neil Young weighed in on the Alberta tar sands, the country’s largest and fastest-growing source of greenhouse gas emissions.

Addressing the U.S. National Farmers Union Conference in Washington, D.C., yesterday, Young riffed on the planned talking points — alternative fuels — before redirecting attention to Fort McMurray, Alberta:



The fact is, Fort McMurray looks like Hiroshima. Fort McMurray is a wasteland. The Indians up there and the native peoples are dying. The fuels all over — the fumes everywhere — you can smell it when you get to town. The closest place to Fort McMurray that is doing the tar sands work is 25 to 30 miles out of town and you can taste it when you get to Fort McMurray. People are sick. People are dying of cancer because of this.

All the First Nations people up there are threatened by this. Their food supply is wasted. Their treaties are no good. They have the right to live on the land, like they always did, but there’s no land left that they can live on. All the animals are dying. This is truly a disaster, and America is supporting this.

The full speech is below; his tar sand comments begin around the 6-minute mark:

Lindsay Abrams

Lindsay Abrams is a staff writer at Salon, reporting on all things sustainable. Follow her on Twitter @readingirl, email labrams@salon.com.

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