Tuesday, April 20, 2010
Music and Environmental Awareness
Are you a big music fan? How often do you listen to music? What kind of music do you listen to? These questions are often asked by friends and family, but one question you might not hear nearly as often is: How many times have you heard a song about the environment? No one has ever asked me this question before. However, there are several songs that come to mind when I think about it. The first one that I think of is Michael Jackson's Earth Song, as well as Big Yellow Taxi by Joni Mitchell. There are several more, but even as I'm typing this, I can't recall their names! I'm pretty sure that Bob Dylan, Neil Young, and The Beatles probably have songs about this subject, but, again, I can't think of any at the moment. And that's the thing! Music is a huge part of culture all around the world, even if it isn't a big part of life for everyone. Music is a huge influence in my life, and if I could I would listen to music 24/7. But the point of this mini-article thing isn't to share my opinion on music (even though I'm going to take the chance right now to say that Michael Jackson is one of the greatest musicians to ever walk this Earth!), the point of this article/mini-article/blog is that there are many, many, many songs out there in the world that talk about the environment and the effect that we are having on it every day, and I think that there is definitely a reason why we don't really know these songs. I think that because listening to these songs would force us to actually think about the current state of the world, and what we are doing to contribute to it, that we don't want to listen to these songs. We don't want to accept the fact that even if we ignore the consequences of mass consumerism across the globe, that if we just pretend that there isn't a problem there, we can go on living our lives, and there really won't be a problem. Humans are actually quite good at this. We take what we want, and we pay for the consequences later on. Pretty simple concept, right? The question is, when are we going to pay for these consequences? When are we going to fix the problems we're causing? I say, we can't start soon enough! Even if we were to start right now, we couldn't take all the plastic out of the oceans, we couldn't clean all the excess carbon dioxide out of the air, we couldn't patch the holes in the ozone layer... and the list goes on and on. But that doesn't mean we shouldn't start. Just because it could take our lifetimes, it doesn't mean we shouldn't do it now so that later on, people just like us don't have to spend their lives cleaning up our mess. And that is what music tells us! That is the exact reason we should listen more, broaden our horizons, and give our time and effort to what really matters.