Thom Yorke Urges President Obama To Oppose Tar Sands Pipeline

Radiohead singer Thom Yorke took to the band's site Thursday (Aug. 11) to voice his opposition to the ongoing Alberta Tar Sands project.

Thom Yorke Urges President Obama To Oppose Tar Sands Pipeline
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Radiohead singer Thom Yorke took to the band's site Thursday (Aug. 11) to voice his opposition to the ongoing Alberta Tar Sands project, especially the construction of Keystone XL, a proposed 1700-mile pipeline stretching from the Alberta Tar Sands to oil refineries located in the Gulf of Mexico. "President Obama is soon to make a decision on whether to press one of THE big red climate self destruct buttons", Yorke wrote in a post called "Real vs. Astroturf?" The singer added Obama is "under considerable pressure" from certain interested parties who've created a "fake grassroots campaign" (aka astroturfing) who are pushing for "the Tar Sands nightmare to go ahead." The note also pointed to "Stop the Pipeline!" - a two-week peaceful sit-in protest set for Washington, D.C. from Aug. 20 to Sept. 3 - to lend support to Tar Sands Action opposition groups. "As seems to be the way of politics this won't happen unless a strong show of resistance can be seen to help Obama say no", Yorke said. Yorke is no stranger to the topic. In March 2010, he took to Radiohead's site with a "Sticky Tar Chart Rant" after the Canadian Government's demand to increase carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions at the 2010 Copenhagen Summit. "I find it hard to correlate this all with the Canadians I know who are very forward-thinking", Yorke wrote at the time. A post later in the same month asked people to see how their banks may be investing their pensions, adding "if you have one, in the Tar Sands of Canada ... that is messed up. Your pension won't be worth sh-t if you don't have a planet to live on." A handful of Canadian artists have also lent their voice to the cause, perhaps led most notably by singer-songwriter and enviro-crusader Sarah Harmer. Harmer contributed music to "White Water, Black Gold". a full-length documentary earlier this year which discussed the Tar Sands project and the connection between fossil fuels, climate change and water supplies. The film also featured music by Josh Ritter and Rachelle Van Zanten. Harmer also did a public service announcement in 2009 in support of the Kyoto Plus Petition, a petition designed to pressure the Canadian government to take quick action regarding climate change. The Alberta Tar Sands are responsible for a vast proportion of the crude oil sent to the U.S. According to Alberta government reports, in 2009 the province exported approximately 1.4 million barrels of crude oil to the U.S. each day. Watch Sarah Harmer's Kyoto Plus Petition PSA:
Thanks for the report to Spinner.com.

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comments policy
    RiffYourFaceOff
    rozzdiesel wrote: All of you f***** environmentalists need to get a life! Do you all want to continue paying $3.50-$4.00 per gallon on gas? I don't. So whoopee, too bad. Maybe you all are made of money or like driving bicycles from place to place. Welcome to 2011. We as a country are broke and jobs are scarce.
    That is incredibly short sighted, to the point of being almost comical.
    mitchmitchhh
    I bet mostly all the people saying Thom shouldn't be interfering with another countries domestic policy are from the US, hypocrites.
    randyaintdead82
    Yeah but its got something to do with absolutely killing our atmosphere and polluting our planet dangerously. That's something we all share
    x_hud
    To all you people saying Yorke shouldn't be touching this issue, I totally believe he should. Why shouldn't we be able to stand up and be against something that is going to harm our planet? As a Canadian I sure as hell do NOT want this pipe line to be laid down, and hell. Who better than Thom Yorke to be the face of the opposition? I am sure he would be able to gather other like minded people en mass a lot easier than I would be able to.
    Restlesscow
    coheed_kyle08 wrote: It's a pipeline... it's not a single pipe. There's probably a couple thousand steel tubes in this project to make the pipeline work. Those kinds of steel tubes are welded together in steel mills across America. Saying no to drilling, and no to pipelines puts Americans out of jobs, as well as puts steel mills out of work orders. OCTG is vital to the economy of the USA. This is a country that thrives on petroleum and oil production. If you don't like it, get over it, or come up with a substitute for gas and oil. Until then, shut the **** up. Yes, our selfishness is consuming the world, and we, as a race, are like a cancer, but this is where we're at, and this is what we have. So until the next big thing is discovered, or invented, this is what you'll be dealing with until then. Stop whining. Your cries are not helping anything. Instead of crying about the obvious, support a different cause, like finding the next big thing. You ****ing tree huggers drive me insane with your whining. Go ahead, shut down all gas, oil, and steel production in this country, and see how quickly it turns into a 3rd world country. The OCTG market is one of the only things this country has left holding it together. It's not just the USA, that drills for oil, you dip shits. I would love to see the reaction from all of you hippies when this country stops production. I'm sure you would be standing around with your thumbs up your asses thinking "Okay, now what? We put a large portion of the country out of jobs, that China already hasn't, and now our vehicles won't work. WHAT DO WE DO!?" I hope I'm dead before you nutless monkeys have your way.
    America is the worlds most powerful country, in every aspect, from economics to technology. They have the responsibility in leading the rest of us forward. SO far, they have not done that in terms of environmental issues, this needs to change. All of you saying that it will cost jobs if we don't use oil etc, that is incredibly short-sighted, investment should be made on the future, not a fuel that won't last much longer, because if nothing changes up until oil runs out, then you really will be well and truly screwed. And climate change is well and truly taking hold. I was in East Africa last month, the only thing that was surviving out there was the Coffee plantations, everything else was either dead or dying, from crops to livestock. All the farmers/nomads blamed it on increasingly poor wet seasons. Think we all know the reason behind that. I believe Yorke is doing a good job so far
    wolfhavoc
    Dont be so close minded, these pipes (which have be known to break often) and the way we have to mine these tar sands is extremely destructive to our planet, it will severely hurt the worlds efforts at trying to make a greener and cleaner planet. People listen to a man that is well known. If we are so involved with the world, then why can't one guy try to help us see whats going on instead of blindly going where the wind takes us.
    AVIDFANOFSOUNDS
    First off, he has a voice therefore he should be able to express opinions on matters that are important to him. Regarding the oil, I have no idea about the present local situation but you do have to balance up the pros and cons of pumping new oil and the environmental situation and I would say at the moment the government has little choice but to pump for new oil.
    rozzdiesel wrote: All of you f***** environmentalists need to get a life! Do you all want to continue paying $3.50-$4.00 per gallon on gas? I don't. So whoopee, too bad. Maybe you all are made of money or like driving bicycles from place to place. Welcome to 2011. We as a country are broke and jobs are scarce.
    There will be a time soon where oil will be to expensive to burn for transport regardless of environmentalists. Due to economics oil has so much better applications then fuel however there are very little choice regarding alternative transport which the US, UK and Canadian government's are at fault but the bicycle isn't all bad.
    hairypineapple
    Man, why is everyone obsessing over his nationality? Nationality means less than ones race does, He's just looking out for whats good for the world Thom Yorke, good lad
    ZiggyFire
    coheed_kyle08 wrote: It's a pipeline... it's not a single pipe. There's probably a couple thousand steel tubes in this project to make the pipeline work. Those kinds of steel tubes are welded together in steel mills across America. Saying no to drilling, and no to pipelines puts Americans out of jobs, as well as puts steel mills out of work orders. OCTG is vital to the economy of the USA. This is a country that thrives on petroleum and oil production. If you don't like it, get over it, or come up with a substitute for gas and oil. Until then, shut the **** up. Yes, our selfishness is consuming the world, and we, as a race, are like a cancer, but this is where we're at, and this is what we have. So until the next big thing is discovered, or invented, this is what you'll be dealing with until then. Stop whining. Your cries are not helping anything. Instead of crying about the obvious, support a different cause, like finding the next big thing. You ****ing tree huggers drive me insane with your whining. Go ahead, shut down all gas, oil, and steel production in this country, and see how quickly it turns into a 3rd world country. The OCTG market is one of the only things this country has left holding it together. It's not just the USA, that drills for oil, you dip shits. I would love to see the reaction from all of you hippies when this country stops production. I'm sure you would be standing around with your thumbs up your asses thinking "Okay, now what? We put a large portion of the country out of jobs, that China already hasn't, and now our vehicles won't work. WHAT DO WE DO!?" I hope I'm dead before you nutless monkeys have your way.
    In order to come with a substitute for oil first we need USA to sign and ratify the Kyoto Protocol, they are the only country that haven't done so because of your greedy corporations. So before going rampage mode on environmentalists you should do something yourself and tell your government to be less money hungry.
    D1r3ction
    Galvatron wrote: As someone who lives rather close to the dreaded Tar Sands I can tell you that its reputation is far wose than its reality. This is an industry making and creating a lot of jobs, well paying jobs at that. Not everyone has royalties for Creep coming in every month to pay the bills. Degenerates are tearing his country apart in riots and he wants to take a stand against another countries practices.
    Are you serious? First off he is a human being not a drone he has the right to speak his mind just like you and me after all isn't freedom of speech what USA stands for? and second funny how you point out his country problems when ours is the one killing people in the middle east, the flaws are in both sides, environment is as important as economies both affects the way we live.
    Drakal
    potatoejunkie wrote: samhell wrote: x_hud wrote: To all you people saying Yorke shouldn't be touching this issue, I totally believe he should. Why shouldn't we be able to stand up and be against something that is going to harm our planet? As a Canadian I sure as hell do NOT want this pipe line to be laid down, and hell. Who better than Thom Yorke to be the face of the opposition? I am sure he would be able to gather other like minded people en mass a lot easier than I would be able to. No, they should only be speaking up if they know what the hell they are talking about. Otherwise all you are doing is spreading FUD. This guy is not a scientist. Grouping together a mass of ignorant people does not make them any smarter. Intelligence does not increase with numbers. The Nazis were like minded..... x_hud is pretty right man... it doesn't matter what he is or what not. it's about respect to this planet and what happens when we spit into it's face, dear friends, and therefore i don't see prohibitions to talk this issue just because of having an other nationality. i am really frightened by people who tell thom to shut up just because he cares, i mean if the sky darkenes with desasters happening all the time you'd be the first who complains. where to put all the water, the byproducts and last but not least the waste? dump it in a river? dig it? what the hell... i'd like to see these tar sands left where they are right now. and to all those who tell him to make music instead of caring: when you make a post nobody cares, when yorke does even you care, as you've proven here, that obviously seems to be your problem. there is a huge amount of blogs out there, having a similar view, go and bash them too.
    Completely agree. Some of the comments here are truly depressing. Thom Yorke is an educated and intelligent man, and if he wishes to use his fame as a platform for protest then I have all the more respect for him. If you don't like it, then go back to sticking your fingers in your ears and pretending that everything will be ok and the environment will sort itself out. It's not only childish, it's ignorant and makes you look pretty foolish. The economy is more important than the environment? Sure, the economy is important, but go take a look at the long-term effects of global warming and then come back and say that again. Enjoy your cheap oil while it lasts, because your grandchildren will be living in a very different world.
    coheed_kyle08
    It's a pipeline... it's not a single pipe. There's probably a couple thousand steel tubes in this project to make the pipeline work. Those kinds of steel tubes are welded together in steel mills across America. Saying no to drilling, and no to pipelines puts Americans out of jobs, as well as puts steel mills out of work orders. OCTG is vital to the economy of the USA. This is a country that thrives on petroleum and oil production. If you don't like it, get over it, or come up with a substitute for gas and oil. Until then, shut the **** up. Yes, our selfishness is consuming the world, and we, as a race, are like a cancer, but this is where we're at, and this is what we have. So until the next big thing is discovered, or invented, this is what you'll be dealing with until then. Stop whining. Your cries are not helping anything. Instead of crying about the obvious, support a different cause, like finding the next big thing. You ****ing tree huggers drive me insane with your whining. Go ahead, shut down all gas, oil, and steel production in this country, and see how quickly it turns into a 3rd world country. The OCTG market is one of the only things this country has left holding it together. It's not just the USA, that drills for oil, you dip shits. I would love to see the reaction from all of you hippies when this country stops production. I'm sure you would be standing around with your thumbs up your asses thinking "Okay, now what? We put a large portion of the country out of jobs, that China already hasn't, and now our vehicles won't work. WHAT DO WE DO!?" I hope I'm dead before you nutless monkeys have your way.
    lagofala
    He should not interfere with another country's domestic policy. Its not his place
    potatoejunkie
    coheed_kyle08 wrote: It's a pipeline... it's not a single pipe. There's probably a couple thousand steel tubes in this project to make the pipeline work. Those kinds of steel tubes are welded together in steel mills across America. Saying no to drilling, and no to pipelines puts Americans out of jobs, as well as puts steel mills out of work orders. OCTG is vital to the economy of the USA. This is a country that thrives on petroleum and oil production. If you don't like it, get over it, or come up with a substitute for gas and oil. Until then, shut the **** up. Yes, our selfishness is consuming the world, and we, as a race, are like a cancer, but this is where we're at, and this is what we have. So until the next big thing is discovered, or invented, this is what you'll be dealing with until then. Stop whining. Your cries are not helping anything. Instead of crying about the obvious, support a different cause, like finding the next big thing. You ****ing tree huggers drive me insane with your whining. Go ahead, shut down all gas, oil, and steel production in this country, and see how quickly it turns into a 3rd world country. The OCTG market is one of the only things this country has left holding it together. It's not just the USA, that drills for oil, you dip shits. I would love to see the reaction from all of you hippies when this country stops production. I'm sure you would be standing around with your thumbs up your asses thinking "Okay, now what? We put a large portion of the country out of jobs, that China already hasn't, and now our vehicles won't work. WHAT DO WE DO!?" I hope I'm dead before you nutless monkeys have your way.
    we already have an example for what happens when we put economy infront of environment: the Aral Sea. why do you still refuse to learn from our past mistakes?
    nnb
    I think there are people here who are trying to be dicks or are truly ignorant. Anyone who thinks this is a bad idea or will lower the gas prices is sorely wrong simply because 1) this will take years to build 2) This has to be paid for, and guess whos paying for it?
    flyneye
    Yeah, yeah, ignorant. We should all wear leaves and eat nuts and berries and not have any industry, economy or life. We need someone more intelligent than attention ***** rock stars speaking up in front of microphones. Before Thom, others with more mouth than mind have been whoring for media and the sympathetic ignorant prospective fans. Bono, Phil Collins and any number of hippie burnouts from the 60s have discovered that you can spew any thoughtless political garbage in a microphone and you can harvest a consistent percetage of the suckers out there who are willing to let a burnt out drop out think for them. Rage Against the Machines whole career was based on this concept. Bottom line, we need oil to continue, "we" meaning the world, without exception. Oil comes out of the ground, it's messy, we plan on burning it and making a bigger mess. If you want to help you can do two things. 1.Don't use things that use oil(good luck with that) At least you can take responsibility for yourself before making up someone elses mind or spending someone elses money like a moron activist. 2. STFU! we've been listening to the retarded cries of environmentalist to the point we really would rather have them drowned out by U.F.O. nuts, Anti Government nuts, Religious nuts or that guy downtown with the sandwich board who can prove the Kennedys evolved from dogs. Rock stars are the least equipped to stand in judgement of anything civilized,socialized or anything that comes without fries or a shake. Forget intellect, frankly carnies have them beat. "Don't put your life in the hand of a rock and roll band. You'll throw it all away"
    lagofala
    Just saying that that environment should not be of priority now sadly. Its bio fuels that led to food price increases due to the use of corn for ethanol production rather than food. You can't just look at the future, sadly theere are lots of economic problems in the now
    lagofala
    To the environmentalists, im sorry but the economy is more important than the environment now. soon you wont even have time to go to the park and smell the roses cause you'll be too busy paying the bills.
    Redsectoreh
    Galvatron wrote: As someone who lives rather close to the dreaded Tar Sands I can tell you that its reputation is far wose than its reality. This is an industry making and creating a lot of jobs, well paying jobs at that. Not everyone has royalties for Creep coming in every month to pay the bills. Degenerates are tearing his country apart in riots and he wants to take a stand against another countries practices.
    That creep line made me lol
    clickonce
    bdof wrote: God i hate musicians, actors, comedians, that have use their personal fame to try to get out their retarded POVs. Entertain us. Don't try to educate us.
    Seriously. Most of these nitwits barely graduated high school. Big fan of the music... please stick to that.
    jd2289
    I agree; artists aren't real people who have opinions, they are animals in cages who dance for our amusement.
    bdof
    God i hate musicians, actors, comedians, that have use their personal fame to try to get out their retarded POVs. Entertain us. Don't try to educate us.
    gmoney2748
    Two points from two entirely different points of view. Creationist: God, an omnipotent being that we could never comprehend created this planet, universe, galaxy, infinite. You really think us little humans could screw something that perfect up? Non Creationist(broad category sorry): The world is billions of years old and has survived an ice age, cataclysmic meteors, whatever else you can come up with but the earth has pressed on.. as has life. Personally, considering that the majority of climate change research and statistics have been fudged and manipulated I'm not that worried about a gas pipeline.
    zdh
    So seeing as how Thom is singling out the Tar Sands pipeline and importing crude from Canada, he`s ok with continuing to pay huge sums to middle eastern dictators for oil. There`s always a risk in transporting crude oil, whether by supertanker or pipeline.
    gnfnrs
    Shayne777 wrote: as a resident of alberta it's good to know I get rich off yours and the planets misery
    Damn right working up in the oilsands pulling in 2000 bucks or more a week
    alistairk2003
    Its good to see him voice his opinion..if Bono can do it for every other country, why cant he not step up and be vocal about the tar sands since no other large artists have done so. Fort Mcmurray blows
    Galvatron
    As someone who lives rather close to the dreaded Tar Sands I can tell you that its reputation is far wose than its reality. This is an industry making and creating a lot of jobs, well paying jobs at that. Not everyone has royalties for Creep coming in every month to pay the bills. Degenerates are tearing his country apart in riots and he wants to take a stand against another countries practices.
    abattleofone
    What's with the sudden rush of "political" musician "news" articles on UG? I mean, I know they want to produce as many comments as possible, but it's incredibly shallow.
    potatoejunkie
    samhell wrote: x_hud wrote: To all you people saying Yorke shouldn't be touching this issue, I totally believe he should. Why shouldn't we be able to stand up and be against something that is going to harm our planet? As a Canadian I sure as hell do NOT want this pipe line to be laid down, and hell. Who better than Thom Yorke to be the face of the opposition? I am sure he would be able to gather other like minded people en mass a lot easier than I would be able to. No, they should only be speaking up if they know what the hell they are talking about. Otherwise all you are doing is spreading FUD. This guy is not a scientist. Grouping together a mass of ignorant people does not make them any smarter. Intelligence does not increase with numbers. The Nazis were like minded.....
    x_hud is pretty right man... it doesn't matter what he is or what not. it's about respect to this planet and what happens when we spit into it's face, dear friends, and therefore i don't see prohibitions to talk this issue just because of having an other nationality. i am really frightened by people who tell thom to shut up just because he cares, i mean if the sky darkenes with desasters happening all the time you'd be the first who complains. where to put all the water, the byproducts and last but not least the waste? dump it in a river? dig it? what the hell... i'd like to see these tar sands left where they are right now. and to all those who tell him to make music instead of caring: when you make a post nobody cares, when yorke does even you care, as you've proven here, that obviously seems to be your problem. there is a huge amount of blogs out there, having a similar view, go and bash them too.
    Shayne777
    as a resident of alberta it's good to know I get rich off yours and the planets misery
    rozzdiesel
    All of you f***** environmentalists need to get a life! Do you all want to continue paying $3.50-$4.00 per gallon on gas? I don't. So whoopee, too bad. Maybe you all are made of money or like driving bicycles from place to place. Welcome to 2011. We as a country are broke and jobs are scarce.
    samhell
    x_hud wrote: To all you people saying Yorke shouldn't be touching this issue, I totally believe he should. Why shouldn't we be able to stand up and be against something that is going to harm our planet? As a Canadian I sure as hell do NOT want this pipe line to be laid down, and hell. Who better than Thom Yorke to be the face of the opposition? I am sure he would be able to gather other like minded people en mass a lot easier than I would be able to.
    No, they should only be speaking up if they know what the hell they are talking about. Otherwise all you are doing is spreading FUD. This guy is not a scientist. Grouping together a mass of ignorant people does not make them any smarter. Intelligence does not increase with numbers. The Nazis were like minded.....
    samhell
    Now a rock star is an expert on global climate? I really wish these *****s would just shut up and play their music.
    ali.guitarkid7
    Of all the shit that's going on in the world right now, is this really the thing he should be fighting against? It's a pipe that's not really in his own country, leave it at that.
    jd2289
    I agree, artists aren't people with opinions; they are animals in cages who dance for our amusement.