Never one to shy away from controversy, legendary Canadian musician Neil Young has called Fort McMurray, the town supporting the oil sands boom, a 'wasteland' that 'looks like Hiroshima,' at a National Farmers Union event in Washington, DC.
The comments came during an impassioned – if slightly rambling – defense of ethanol as a feasible alternative to fossil fuels on a large economic scale:
"There's a lot of disinformation about ethanol. People are sayin' that cars don't run on ethanol…that it doesn't run right…that ethanol's got a problem or something. We know that's all coming from the competition. That's just not true."
"Ethanol and other biofuels and cellulosic ethanol and biodiesel are the answer."
“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 or 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.”
And, taking the liberty, here are two of my favourites from Neil: