Neil Young replies
Gary Mason, in his column Complicated, Like Neil Young Himself (Jan. 17) writes that I got some facts wrong about where production from the oil sands goes.
To put this in context, we were discussing pipelines. If pipelines are completed through the U.S. and Canada, the pipeline through Western Canada would send oil directly to China. The Keystone XL pipeline through the U.S. and Canada would serve oil to China and other world markets.
Both pipelines would necessitate great expansion of Alberta’s tar sands, destroying the homeland of the First Nations guaranteed under treaties and creating CO2 emissions most of the world’s scientists agree would practically guarantee a temperature rise on Earth of 2 degrees. That increase would cause catastrophic damage to the ecosystem.
First Nation treaties are legal agreements that would prevent this world environmental catastrophe. That is why we say honour the treaties.
Mr. Mason contends most Canadians have no choice “but to drive around in clunkers fuelled by gasoline. They don’t have a rock star’s bank account.”
I was making the point that there are better ways to fuel the future. My vehicle runs on biomass, a fuel the federal government has identified as a great future fuel. I travelled to the Alberta tar sands from the West Coast and then went on to Washington using that fuel in my electric car’s generator to make the point.
Mr. Mason may be right when he says that per day, the CO2 coming from the tar sands is half the CO2 emitted from every car in Canada. I don’t think that’s anything to be proud of. I don’t think the world’s scientists do either.
Neil Young, Regina.