Neil Young sings of the Ponzi scheme: “There’s a bailout coming, but it’s not for you” and “Keep on blogging ’til the power goes out” and

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"Neil Young sings of the Ponzi scheme: “There’s a bailout coming, but it’s not for you” and “Keep on blogging ’til the power goes out” and"

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I am forced to admit that the Neil Young fan in the family is my wife. But who can’t love a guy who going release in April an entire concept album on electric cars. The picture is of Young with his ’59 Lincoln, which has been converted to an electric hybrid, the Linc-Volt (video here, info here).

You can watch a video of his new single, “Fork in the Road” (here), with the great chorus, “There’s a bailout coming, but it’s not for you.” And it has a lyric that will be CP’s unofficial new tagline: “Keep on blogging ’til the power goes out.”

So perhaps it’s not a surprise that on Thursday, Neil Young News wrote a post, “The secret is now out: We’ve got a job to do” about Shakey the eco-visionary, the Friedman piece, and CP:

Greendale crystallized Young’s career into a single spell-binding album. But, the inconvenient truth of Greendale is that it was “the most important album of 2003 — the musical equivalent of Rachel Carson’s Silent Spring”….

And just in case anyone wonders where this is all going, one only needs to take a look at yesterday’s New York Times Op-Ed by Thomas Friedman “The Inflection Is Near?” to understand why if one hasn’t already figured this all out.

There it is. In black and white. In the New York Times. On a Sunday. On the Op-Ed page.

“The global economy is a Ponzi scheme”.

There you have it. The secret is out now. You can read the full details on this startling obvious conclusion on the blog Climate Progress by Joseph Romm, another of our favorite bloggers.

“We created a way of raising standards of living that we can’t possibly pass on to our children. We have been getting rich by depleting all our natural stocks — water, hydrocarbons, forests, rivers, fish and arable land — and not by generating renewable flows.

You can get this burst of wealth that we have created from this rapacious behavior. But it has to collapse, unless adults stand up and say, ‘This is a Ponzi scheme. We have not generated real wealth, and we are destroying a livable climate …’ Real wealth is something you can pass on in a way that others can enjoy.”

Neil Young caused some controversy last February at the Berlin film festival when he said:

I think that the time when music could change the world is past. I think it would be very naive to think that in this day and age.

I think the world today is a different place, and that it’s time for science and physics and spirituality to make a difference in this world and to try to save the planet.

I can’t really argue with that, although I personally believe that everybody needs to — indeed must — contribute to averting the impending energy and climate catastrophe in whatever way they can. Young himself responded to the attacks saying:

Somewhere on Earth a scientist is alone working. No one knows what he or she is thinking. The secret is just within reach. If I knew that answer I would be singing the song.

This is the age of innovation. Hope matters. But not hope alone. In the age of innovation, the people’s fuel must be found. That is the biggest challenge. Who is up to the challenge? Who is searching today? All day. All night. Every hour that goes by. I know I am.

Well there may not be one silver bullet solution, and merely transitioning to renewable energy won’t make our overconsumption sustainable, but who can argue with the basic premise: The people’s fuel must be found.

Keep on blogging ’til the power goes out.

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8 Responses to Neil Young sings of the Ponzi scheme: “There’s a bailout coming, but it’s not for you” and “Keep on blogging ’til the power goes out” and

  1. ken levenson says:

    Nice to see Neil here! :)

    Off-topic – Joe did you see this report mentioned in today’s WSJ about droughts/heat islands causing more urban tornadoes?
    (Extreme weather coming in every direction….)

    “Study Links Tornado to Drought and Urban Heat”
    Linky here: http://online.wsj.com/article/SB123699110401126689.html

  2. Thrasher says:

    Thanks Joe for linking over to Neil Young News.

    Really like your blog.

    Your wife has good taste in music.

    Light a candle & keep on blogging ’til the power goes out in the free world!

    Thrasher
    http://www.thrasherswheat.org/wheatfield.html

  3. caerbannog says:

    My wife and I went to see Neil in concert a few months ago.

    He may be getting up in years (63?), but he’s still on fire onstage! If he comes to a venue near you, don’t miss him — he puts on a great show.

    Just one thing, though — we saw Neil at the brand new Cox Arena at San Diego State U. Being all new and everything, it had high-tech high-definition monitors all around.

    Unfortunately, high definition monitors and aging rock-stars is not a good combination! ;)

    (And I’d hate to see what Keith Richards looks like in high-def these days.)

  4. Jim Bullis says:

    Isn’t anyone willing to point out gently that an electrified Lincoln is a very bad thing to do for the environment? The Lincoln is an energy guzzler regardless of the carrier of energy that is involved.

    The Ponzi schemes that take on a life of their own by feeding on false rumor seem very similar to the uninformed enthusiasm for the electric car, based on the belief that electricity is a free lunch.

    It takes fuel to make electricity, mostly that fuel is coal, and much of the heat needed from that fuel is thrown away. Only when future hopes for better electricity sources come to pass such that electricity no longer requires heat from fossil fuels should the Lincvolt be allowed to roam.

  5. Anthony, rabid doomsayer says:

    We need all the ways of communicating we can get, the message is not getting through. So many do not realize the perilous situation we are in.

    They think that when a scientist says that sea level rises will be one and a half meters that this is a worst remotely possible case not a likely one. Yet when you look at the modelling there is virtually no possibility that it will be less than a meter, and there is considerable scope for it to be much higher.

    People just do not get that scientists are incredibly conservative by nature, that they only publish what is practically certain. The deniers have successfully equated scientific certainty with a punters “dead cert”.

    Yes there are many unknowns and assumptions in climate modelling, but as the blanks are filled in the situation looks worse.

    So if a song can get the message through, let there be song.

  6. red says:

    Neil Young has a lot of songs featuring cars. His Linc-Volt is one of the contenders for the Automotive X PRIZE, although I’m not sure if they’ll get on the list of officially registered teams; that deadline just passed and the X PRIZE people are going through a big stack of registrations.

    autoblog.xprize.org/axp/2009/03/progressive-insurance-automotive-x-prize-registration-update.html

    xprizecars.com/2008/08/goodwinyoung-lincvolt.php

    Cheering on and supporting the teams like Neil Young’s seems to me to be the kind of thing that everyone can participate in, science degree on not.

    There’s also an X PRIZE Foundation conference with a track on energy and the environment planned at the United Nations (New York) that covers prizes and “open collaboration”. Between Neil Young’s Auto X PRIZE angle, and the open collaboration aspect of “Keep on bloggin’ til the lights go out”, it seems a good match.

    autoblog.xprize.org/axp/2009/03/how-do-you-innovate-in-todays-economy-the-incentive2innovate-conference-2009.html

    Thomas Kalil representing the White House is on the program.

    i2i.xprize.org/index.php

  7. Emil Möller says:

    high profile people making an effort to raise awareness re presssing issues by doing what they’re good at and extending it to pressing issues imo is an effective way in creating a base for decision makers to make decisions more geared towards the common good

    the LincVolt is ofcourse an electron guzzler, but it’s appeal has the potential to win over many people, communicating the msg that a more sustainable course can be choosen from where one’s at

    about 0,0001 % is at the stage of hard core environmentalist; the rest of us has to come from further away. For us, LincVolts work.

    concidentally today it’s Ponzi scheme day.. (http://www.thezeitgeistmovement.com/wiki/index.php/Zeitgeist_Day,_March_15th_2009)

  8. söve says:

    They think that when a scientist says that sea level rises will be one and a half meters that this is a worst remotely possible case not a likely one. Yet when you look at the modelling there is virtually no possibility that it will be less than a meter, and there is considerable scope for it to be much higher.