The following is an excerpt from the above linked-to article by Eugene Lang:
Today Young is outraged again, only this time it’s with his home country. He hates the oilsands. He thinks it’s the world’s greatest environmental disaster and he believes the health of First Nations peoples, who live near the projects, is threatened…
He was characterized as just another in a long list of celebrity activists who uncritically accept the views of those opposed to the oilsands.
The oil industry and its supporters have made a strategic error here. Young is vastly different than other celebrities who have shown their opposition to the oilsands…
Big oil has spent tens of millions of dollars in advertisements and public relations gimmicks to convince Canadians and Americans of the unambiguous merits of the oilsands…
The message to Big Oil should be clear. When an angry Neil Young shows up on your doorstep, don’t dismiss him the way you do all your other critics.
Well, I don’t recommend bravado and there’s some of that in Eugene’s article. The problem with bravado is that you can get carried away by the emotional force of the fist pumping and loud shouting and make predictions. If you set people up, with bravado, to expect a good outcome and to ‘not’ expect anything else, and that good outcome doesn’t happen, it will demoralize people. It will turn people off. Only God knows for sure what will transpire. Which isn’t to say that Eugene’s look at Neil’s activism wasn’t welcome.
As for the millions spent by the oil industry, I recall sitting (more than once) in the theater, waiting for my movie to start and having to endure ads touting the tar sands operations. I can’t tell you how frustrating and angry that made me feel. But the message isn’t just for me. I can’t stop the destroyers. But someone else who has to listen to the taunts can.
The following is my online response to the above linked-to article. I will activate the hyperlinks for your convenience:
Neil ‘has’ showed up on Big Oil’s doorstep and been dismissed. But caring is never a waste of time. Imperfect humans can’t overcome this darkness or the pathology of those who embrace it. These people have rejected God. It disturbs them and that disturbance, a loss of peaceableness, gets transferred to society. Disturbed people become troublemakers. Obama (who commits murder and gets away with it, helping to convince him he’s God), Stephen Harper (attacking, while presiding over a government of lawbreakers, the vulnerable: Palestinians, First Nations, the insecure working class, immigrants, seasonal workers http://bit.ly/1eemuAx) and politicians who follow his example, such as Alison Redford (her government’s attack on free speech and the freedom of association http://bit.ly/1n2Vauq), are examples of the pathology of those who would replace God and need to prove to themselves that he’s not there. The fix (God’s visible absence) is always temporary, the taunts seen as too mild…
I would have added in a link to Haroon Siddiqui’s Toronto Star article but I had to pare my comment down to get what you see to fit. Haroon’s article is titled “How To Read Ottawa’s Latest Immigration Changes.” An excerpt follows:
There are two ways to govern in a democracy after winning an election: serve your own partisan constituency or cater to the common good. After winning his majority in 2011, Stephen Harper made an uncharacteristic promise — he would serve all Canadians. But a leopard can’t change its spots. He continues to play by the Republican playbook — pandering to his core supporters through a handful of symbolic issues that serve as a branding exercise. For example, his Conservative party never tires of demonizing criminals and immigrants while lionizing the armed forces.
Crime has been steadily going down but Ottawa keeps passing legislation after legislation getting “tough on criminals” and spending billions it can ill-afford — like the Republicans emptying the treasury to build jails they ultimately could not afford to maintain and had to free some of the inmates.
The following is an excerpt from a recent interview of Bill McKibben by Bill Moyers:
BILL MOYERS: You said a moment ago that theoretically, Obama cast himself as an environmentalist, and certainly during the 2008 and the 2012 campaign, he was right out front on his pronouncements. But then he made a speech during the 2012 campaign, in Oklahoma, where the pipeline connects with the southern leg of that line and runs all the way out of the Gulf Coast. Listen to this excerpt from the speech President Obama gave in 2012.
PRESIDENT OBAMA: Under my administration, America is producing more oil today than at any time in the last eight years. Over the, that’s important to know. Over the last three years, I’ve directed my administration to open up millions of acres for gas and oil exploration across 23 different states. We’re opening up more than 75 percent of our potential oil resources offshore. We’ve quadrupled the number of operating rigs to a record high. We’ve added enough new oil and gas pipeline to encircle the Earth and then some.
BILL MOYERS: If that’s not drill baby, drill, what is it?
BILL MCKIBBEN: That was a shameful speech. And it came with shameful action. The president said, well, we’ll delay and study some more of this northern leg of the Keystone pipeline, but I’m instructing my administration to expedite approval for this southern leg, from Oklahoma down to Texas. We’ll get the permits in record time. And indeed, they have. As of last month, there was oil flowing through that southern leg of that pipeline.
That’s why people don’t trust him on this issue. He’s done some good things, but his record is mixed at best. And he will be remembered at the moment, as the president who produced more carbon than anybody thought possible, unless he begins to act now with real power.
Bill, like other paid, professional progressives, needs to completely shake off the illusion that there is a reformable system out there rather than a wild, godless, beast that some call corporatocracy. Obama is a complete disaster but he’s done some good things? Bill’s really got to work on that.
My last quote will be from a special book that I hold in high regard even if I don’t think it’s perfect (depending on how you look at it):
“But the nations became wrathful and your own wrath came as did the appointed time for the dead to be judged and for you to reward your slaves, the prophets and the holy ones and those fearing your name, the small and the great, and to bring to ruin those ruining the earth.” -Revelation 11:18