Wednesday, January 15, 2014

This Is My Hiroshima

Initially, I was a bit hesitant to do this but spurred on by fellow blogger Theresa, and also because I haven't posted anything in forever and a day, I decided to take the plunge.  If you are at all familiar with the latest ramblings of Neil Young you have a pretty good idea as to the motivation behind this post.  Theresa raises an excellent point (which I don't think is emphasized enough) that often those critical of the oil sands fail to distinguish between the industry and the surrounding community.  To lump Fort McMurray in with the oil patch is not only dishonest but unfair.  And to draw an equivalence between Fort McMurray and Hiroshima circa August 1945 is the paragon of stupidity.  (Yes, I'm being very careful of my language use here as I'm sure if I let loose on how I really felt about this guy I'd get banned off the internet for life.)  The Order of Canada does not make Young an expert on the oil sands...and apparently a $65 million net worth can't buy common sense either.  My other favourite line is about how Fort McMurray is just a boom town and has no real history but I'll leave that one for today.  Anyhow, I digress.

I thought I'd pick up on Theresa's suggestion in her latest post and post a couple photos of "My Hiroshima" (to borrow her phrase).  Hopefully in the future, I can make this a regular segment.

My Hiroshima includes over 130km of hiking trails, the largest recreation centre in Western Canada, a Junior "A" hockey team having a stellar season, generous people that make it the highest contributing community to the United Way, and my home of course.  It is also the place where my son was born.  Yes, this is My Hiroshima.


Rick Kargaard said...

Hey,,It is about time local writers and media people started to stand up for Fort McMurray, Alberta, and Canada. Most of what is written is so far from the truth as to be laughable. It is however doing a lot of damage that needs to be countered.Oilsands mining may not be as sweet and clean an industry as packaging lavender sachets but is does provide good livelihoods, does not employ child labor, makes a decent effort at improvement and will eventually be reclaimed. This cannot all be said for the cities that provide the market for the oil.

LesT said...

Well said! We all need to start being more verbal and stand up for our community and its industry. I agree with Rick, that while the oil sands business isn't "pretty", it's necessary. The people demand it. We all use oil and its by products in one way or another. Interestingly, I think those that bash Fort McMurray have no idea how deep they are in with how much they consume these products! Thanks for a great post, and for supporting Theresa, and our home!

Anonymous said...

Of course, you're missing the detail or rather ignoring the detail, that he was actually speaking of the mine, and not the townsite, in which case the comparison is not as far off accurate as posting pictures of houses and gardens would make it seem. Spin works in all directions...

Way Way Up said...


Actually, no. He said quite clearly that you could taste it in the air up here and that Fort McMurray is a wasteland. He then drew a direct comparison with Hiroshima. No where did he distinguish between the projects here and the community of Fort McMurray, which is exactly my point. "Fort McMurray looks like Hiroshima. Fort McMurray is a wasteland." This is a direct quote from him. See the CBC link here -

There are in fact SEVERAL things on which Young appears to be quite ignorant about our community. I am not trying to spin anything here. I live here. This is my home....and for someone to come here for a few hours and pass judgement on an entire community is both arrogant and ignorant. I am not here to say that the industry is perfect and that there are not problems. But at least I'm being open and honest. Young's blanket condemnation of Fort McMurray is anything but.

Way Way Up said...

Rick, LesT,

Thank you for commenting. I generally don't blog on the industry here since I work out there and know if I blog too much my blog will just be infested with loons. I certainly don't mind healthy debate, however. But I do draw a line when it comes to openly hostile and derogatory comments. The point can't be overstated enough that very often people like Young fail to distinguish between Fort McMurray and the oil sands. To conflate the two or to draw comparisons with Hiroshima is, as I've mentioned early, completely ridiculous.