Environmental activist Greta Thunberg has written and recorded an essay on climate change for The 1975’s new album, Notes on a Conditional Form
The first song of the new album, titled The 1975, opens with Greta reading the essay over a minimal, but powerful, backing track.
“We have to acknowledge that the older generations have failed. All political movements in their present form have failed. But homo sapiens have not yet failed. Yes, we are failing, but there is still time to turn everything around.
“But unless we recognise the overall failures of our current systems, we most probably don’t stand a chance,” she says. “We are facing a disaster of unspoken sufferings for enormous amounts of people. And now is not the time for speaking politely or focusing on what we can or cannot say. Now is the time to speak clearly.”
The essay concludes with, “Everything needs to change. And it has to start today. So, everyone out there, it is now time for civil disobedience. It is time to rebel.”
Upon Greta’s request, all proceeds from the track will go to Extinction Rebellion.
This isn’t the first step into environmentalism for the band either. The 1975 and their label, Dirty Hit, are making efforts to minimise their environmental impact, including phasing out all single-use plastic in their offices. The label have also stopped producing plastic products such as CD jewel cases and are working to minimise the impact of vinyl production.
“Rather than ignoring that it’s a pollutant, we’re minimising it by only doing lightweight vinyl from now on,” said Jamie Oborne, band manager and founder of Dirty Label. “That isn’t very trendy, but one heavyweight LP is the equivalent of making two or three [standard thickness LPs].”
The single release follows Greta Thunberg’s address to French politicians on 23 July, where she urged them to “unite behind the science” of climate change.
“Just for quoting or acting on these numbers, these scientific facts, we receive unimaginable amounts of hate and threats,” she said. “We are being mocked and lied about by members of parliament and journalists.”
On 20 September, Greta and a group of young environmental activists will lead a climate strike around the world.
“We have learned that if we don’t start acting for our future, nobody else will make the first move. We are the ones we’ve been waiting for,” they wrote on the Guardian.
“Sorry if this is inconvenient for you. But this is not a single-generation job. It’s humanity’s job. We young people can contribute to a larger fight and that can make a huge difference.”
“So this is our invitation. Starting on Friday 20 September we will kickstart a week of climate action with a worldwide strike for the climate. We’re asking adults to step up alongside us.
“We must act. This won’t be the last day we need to take to the streets, but it will be a new beginning. We’re counting on you.”