In case you missed it, it was announced today that 2016 was the hottest year on record. This is the third year in a row which has marked record global heat – 2016 beat the record set in 2015, which beat the previous record set in 2014. How are you getting active on global warming this year?
It is our behaviour – human activity like burning coal, oil and gas for energy, chopping down forests and clearing bush, raising cattle, using unnecessary consumer products once or twice and then tossing them out – which is creating this crisis. And it is only through our collective action – changing our own behaviour, encouraging others to do the same, and, together, creating a powerful movement for change – that we can turn it around.
Are you ready to act but not sure where to start? Green Music Australia is here to help, with a wide range of activities and campaigns you can get involved in.
Looking around the world, at the climate data, at the extreme weather that is getting worse and more frequent, and at the global political situation, it’s easy to get disheartened. But it’s also amazingly easy to get inspired by what’s happening! The extraordinary leaps in renewable energy technology and usage, the remarkable shift away from coal in China, the powerful movements of committed people building around divestment and direct action – all these point to the fact that we can turn this around. If we pull out all stops, and all get involved.
Here are some ways you can get involved in Green Music Australia’s work to protect the climate:
As Bill McKibben says, “If it’s wrong to wreck the climate, it’s wrong to profit from that wreckage.”
Green Music Australia is partnering with 350.org and Market Forces to bring together musicians who have pledged to take their money out of banks and superannuation funds that are funding the expansion of the fossil fuel industry when the science tells us we have to stop. These musicians are joining a movement with huge momentum, a movement of universities, churches, investment funds and thousands of people saying “it is wrong to wreck the climate and we want no part of that.” And as musicians, they are amplifying that message, singing it for the world to hear.
Amplify Divestment is helping musicians with the practical process of divesting and with communicating it to their fans. So far, some of Australia’s best loved and respected musicians, such as Ash Grunwald, Missy Higgins, Rob Hirst, Nigel Westlake and Felix Riebl, are taking part. A year ago, APRA AMCOS joined the campaign, following the Australian Guild of Screen Composers – the world’s first music industry organisations to divest!
Learn more about divestment, our campaign, and how to join here.
Since the leading cause of climate change is burning coal for energy, getting venues and studios using electricity more efficiently and sourcing their power from clean, renewable energy is one of the most important things we can do to reduce our impact.
Green Music Australia wants to make it as easy as possible for every music venue and studio in Australia to take advantage of energy efficiency, through LED lighting, efficient heating and cooling, rooftop solar and more.
So we have partnered with experts from Energy For The People – responsible for some of Australia’s most innovative clean energy projects – to offer an end-to-end energy service, from energy auditing, planning and feasibility through to implementation and monitoring. We can even help you crowd-fund solar power – a great way of attracting support for your venue, while creating sustainable energy savings to invest back into your venue.
Learn more about our AMPED UP energy efficiency program, and how to get involved, here.
A lot of (polluting, coal-fired) energy goes into making and transporting things that we use once, or even a few times, and then throw out. By reducing our consumption of these throw-away goods, and by using our cultural leadership to show that throw-away culture is not cool, we can help protect the climate.
Our major focus at the moment is the #BYOBottle campaign, working to get the environmental scourge of throw-away plastic water bottles out of our music scene. Here’s how to get involved:
- If you’re an artist, join the campaign as an Artist Ambassador;
- If you’re a venue or festival, we can advise you and help you phase them out as Caloundra Music Festival and now a dozen others have done;
- No matter who you are, you can sign our open letter calling on 5 big Australian music festivals to go #BYOBottle.
Aside from plastic bottles, another major source of waste in the music industry is that way many touring musicians and crew replace all guitar strings and batteries before every show, just in case. While this is understandable risk management, it can be easily reduced (halved just by doing it every second show), and we can also make sure the almost new strings and batteries get used by people who need them.
Green Music Australia is partnering with Music NT and others to collect strings and batteries and send them to young Indigenous bands and musicians in the remote Northern Territory, as well as schools in disadvantaged areas. This helps reduce waste, protect the climate, and support young, disadvantaged musicians! If you want to get involved, get in touch with us here.
Perform at events
We often get approached my environment groups small and large looking for musicians interested in performing at events, from major rallies to smaller community affairs. If you’d like to go on our database of artists keen to show your commitment to climate action and play at events like this, please get in touch with us here.
Join a blockade, chain yourself to something, get super active!
In May last year, Ash Grunwald, Nattali Rize, Bunna Lawrie and Rob Hirst represented Green Music Australia – and legions of music fans – as part of the mass blockade of Newcastle’s coal port. They performed on the water, joining hundreds of others peacefully protesting the export of coal, driving global warming.
This year, climate activism will ramp up hugely, particularly with protests planned against planned Adani coal mine. They will take place across the country, and will be completely non-violent.
Green Music Australia is working closely with 350.org and many other activist groups to bring musicians into participation with these actions.