AP NEWS

Neil Young takes aim at Trump while urging for environmental reform amid California fires

November 15, 2018

Neil Young pleaded against letting President Trump divert attention from environmental reform in light of the Grammy-winning musician losing a house in the ongoing wildfires ravaging California, pledging support for the ambitious “Green New Deal” resolution led by incoming congressional Democrats.

“WE have to take care of this world,” Mr. Young wrote on his website Wednesday. “WE can’t wait any longer. WE need to stop using fossil fuels. Get behind the green new deal. WE are running out of time. Stop being distracted by Reality TV shows in the White House. Climate Change is what Reality looks like.

“The mud slides are coming,” he wrote. “The rain is coming. The timing is all off. The rain could have saved California. Now it is coming to bury the things we’ve done. This is what you and I are leaving our kids. Wake up. Love one another. Save one another. The Earth is talking to us.”

Mr. Young, 72, previously said that his home was “lost” by wildfires that have scorched huge swaths of California since last Thursday, placing him among tens of thousands of people displaced by the state’s deadliest fire ever.

In a post published over the weekend, the Canadian-born Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inductee lashed out at the “so-called president” over his initial response to the wildfires, specifically taking aim at Mr. Trump’s claim that poor forest management was responsible.

“We are vulnerable because of Climate Change; the extreme weather events and our extended drought is part of it,” Mr. Young wrote Sunday. “It really is time for a reckoning with this unfit leader. Maybe our new Congress can help. I sure hope so.”

Led by Rep.-elect Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, New York Democrat, the “Green New Deal” cited by the singer would implement steps aimed at preventing worsening climate change, including shifting toward exclusively using renewable energy sources and building a nationwide, energy-efficient “smart” grid, among other measures.

Democrats are slated to take control of the House from Republicans in 2019 as a result of last week’s midterm elections, potentially putting the proposal on track for consideration on Capitol Hill.

Mr. Young has previously aligned with environmental activists, and he was notably instrumental in creating Farm Air, a benefit concert for U.S. farmers. Launched in 1985 and hold almost annually, Farm Aid has since raised more than $50 million toward various programs supporting farmers, according to the group.

He has also taken aim at the president in the past, including as recently as last week over Mr. Trump’s unauthorized use of one of his songs, “Rockin’ in the Free World.” Mr. Young issued a cease-and-desist letter to the president, he said last week.

“However, he chose not to listen to my request, just as he chooses not to listen to the many American voices who ask him to stop his constant lies, to stop his petty, nasty name calling and bullying, to stop pushing his dangerous, vilifying and hateful rhetoric,” Mr. Young wrote on his website.

Mr. Young has won two Grammy Awards during his decadeslong musical career and has been inducted into the Canadian Music Hall of Fame, and twice into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, in addition to receiving other accolades.

AP RADIO
Update hourly