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Grant Stover

Nurturing OUr Nature: Neil Young lives what he preaches

Activism knows no age. Just ask 68- year-old rocker/activist Neil Young. He has been a well-known activist ever since his 1970 song “Ohio” was released following the Kent State shooting in which four innocent students were killed.

Young has since taken on different forms of activism. While consistently releasing music over a 40-year span and touring with his band, Crazy Horse, he still has time to speak his mind.

His opinion is rather simple. He believes the earth needs to be saved, and that humans have all the tools to make that happen. 

In his new song “Who’s Gonna Stand Up?”  he sings, “Protect the wild, tomorrow's child. Protect the land from the greed of man. Take down the dams, stand up to oil. Protect the plants, and renew the soil.” While the lyrics are powerful, the message provokes change.

I believe in what Neil Young believes. It can be easy to write him off as a burnout hippie, but listen to him speak and you’ll hear an educated man talk about his concern for our earth. Whether it’s his car that runs on electricity of giving benefit concerts to promote his message, Young lives what he preaches.

His message stems from a systemic oppression of the environment. It isn’t right that corporations have such an influence on what we do to our earth because of the size of their pocketbooks. This is why democracy must be restored in America, and the citizens that give this country a heartbeat deserve more of a voice.

It’s easy to sit back and say there is too much to be done and not enough time. That’s why we have to stand up. We have to say we won’t take being oppressed by the power of money, and with enough people, we can make a change.

The earth is a sinking ship right now, and we can’t sit by while the captain lets us drown. A change can happen, and I believe enough of us will take on the challenge and save our planet. Young has shown that even an old man who has already accomplished so much is capable of making more change.

I encourage everyone to check out his new song. There are three different versions on his website. My favorite is the acoustic solo version, but there is also an orchestral version and a live version with Crazy Horse.

Take what Young says into consideration. He is a role model for all activists and anyone that wants to start making a change. As his song says, “Who's gonna stand up and save the Earth? This all starts with you and me.”

Grant Stover is a sophomore studying English and a concerned environmentalist. Email him at

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