Homer's truth rang out again when I heard Neil Young — expatriate, now California-based rock immortal — staggeringly claim that the Fort McMurray oil site reminded him of atomic-bomb-blasted Hiroshima.
If Mr. Young really thinks this, he's blind. If he doesn't, he's shameless. On this one defamation alone, if he has a conscience — and I am sure he does — he should retract and utterly apologize.
Well, because to some — some — of the people opposing this project, Fort Mac has become the symbol of a campaign: the symbol of the "war against oil," or the symbol of what they see as the "fight against global warming."
Fort Mac is easy pickings
As is blatantly obvious, there are hundreds and hundreds of other projects, in other parts of the world, equal or vastly larger in scope, which will not be handled with a fraction of the care, scruple and oversight that this one in Alberta will. Fort Mac is on these terms "easy pickings." Will there be an anti-oil tour of China, India, Russia, Nigeria? Not likely.
But it should not be made the concentrated vessel of every wrong and mischance of the world energy industry, and most certainly should not be the first target for every autumn superstar looking for one last kick at the publicity can.
Fort Mac is not Blake's "satanic-mill." But neither is it Shangri-la. Between these poles there can be a discussion.
However, one-sided and over-toxic condemnations amplified by the voice of a rock star are not that discussion. Mr. Young has failed to be fair, and thereby he fails also to be persuasive.