Come On Britain,

We didn’t get where we are today by letting everyone else be better at being-a-country than us. We didn’t establish the greatest empire this planet has ever known by settling for average. We didn’t have music shape and define generations by not making a lot of noise for something different.

So when the hell did we become so apathetic? The Who would be ashamed. Look at them there, jumping around like maniacs (except for the bassist):

In the last week, I’ve been blown away by some news from our European neighbours: In one day, I heard that France (Yes, FRANCE) decreed that all new buildings must be built with either plants or solar panels on their roofs! THEN they decreed that all supermarkets may no longer throw-out edible food – each has to have a special association with charity for the ‘past-it’s best’ food to go to! Shortly after that Norway stormed in with the biggest divestment from Coal the world has yet seen – an enormous $900BILLION!!!

Meanwhile, here in the UK, we’ve got Hee-Haw.

This from the BBC:

BBC

This from the Independent:

Independent

 

This from the Guardian:

Guardian

This from The Telegraph:

tele

 

(Spot the Easter-Egg somewhat hidden in the first three?)

And I won’t even mention what the Mirror’s talking about.

Seriously, Britons? We live in a brilliant freaking place, how can we collectively give so little a shit? Last century (it’s less time ago than that makes it sound) we had the flower power revolution, we had the birth of Rock And Roll, we had people seizing empowerment and all-round sticking it to the man. Remember that people? Oh rockers of decades passed, you’ve just become the Man you used to stick it to. For shame.

“The Man ruined the ozone,

and he’s burning down the Amazon,

and he kidnapped Shamu and put her in a Chlorine tank. Okay?!

There used to be a way to Stick it to the Man,

it was called Rock’N’Roll.”

And that’s the trouble, we’ve lost our enthusiasm, there’s no fire any more. Now we’ve got a Tory government all obsessed with the quick buck and their environmental manifesto is abysmal! (Note: this is not a political post, that’s not my bag, and I’m proud of anyone who votes for something that means something to them, that’s a deeply  important thing to exercise, but I bet that no-one who voted Tory did so because they were moved by their environmental manifesto).

There’s a Man to stick it to. A damn good one if you ask me. Now, David Cameron’s no Tony Abbott, but he still barely gives a shit about this earth we live on. And we’re certainly not getting much to be proud of or excited by. In a world where, frankly, we need more unity to survive, we seem bent on further segregation and exclusion. Yes, Mods and Rockers fought (passionately) but at least you all had the Man to stick it to and you’ve given up.

A bunch of academics are even agreeing that conservation’s got to depressing and that’s why no-one cares. Scientists will probably say that to bias our reporting, to dwell on our successes will make us overlook how rapidly the environment’s falling apart, but sorry Scientists, most people don’t think like you, they may like listening to misery on the news, but they need happiness to stir them to action.

Before you think this is just one of those conservation-y moans that leaves you with nothing to do – let me give you something awesome to do: go and watch School Of Rock and remember what life’s about. Sticking it to the Man and being awesome.

Now hop on that moped or dust off those leathers and remember that there’s something in this world worth fighting for. You might not have wanted to grow up and the real world may seem boring, but I’m here to tell you that you can still rock with your very soul, your fight just looks different; it’s got a bit bigger and is even more important (a bit like you, probably).

Let’s Get Rockin’!

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The Song That Saves The World.

 

Neil Young is about to release a new album, titled Storytone, on which he features his proudest new song ‘Who’s Gonna Stand Up (And Save The Earth)‘. He’s a hugely respected musician, (borderline aging-hippy), but will this song save the world?

Personally, I don’t think so. It just lacks…. depth. Narratively speaking, it’s nothing we’ve not heard before; it’s a list of all the things that are destroying the Earth that make those of us who care feel bad which, when spelled out like that, make sustainable living seem like a big, many-versed difficulty…

Rather than continue to point out what I think Neil’s song lacks (like some generic climatologist), I’ll show you a song that’s actually moved people, a song that is worthy of huge praise (like a Rock’N’Roll Conservationist): Kimberley, by John Butler.

John’s actual song starts at 4:40, but if you’ve watched this video from the beginning (thank you), you’ll have the full story behind this song. The song itself has a great narrative story; personifying The Kimberley region of North-Western Australia, a truly incredible environment, as a girl from a classic hero-tale. Not in a way dissimilar to the brilliant folk behind Nature Is Speaking. Immediately – a story! Something we humans can instinctively follow. It’s got the role of villain perfectly filled by ‘Prince of the Cowboys‘, Colin Barnett, from the sounds of it Butler’s long-time nemesis and the perfect Baddy in this tale. And most poignantly, we have the tale of John’s friend Paddy, who’s side we’re on before the song even starts; the simple, honest, good man, who’s trying to be no more than that and thereby plays the hero. And finally, there’s you. John echoes the thoughts of thousands in lyrics ‘Where do I stand? There’s a hole in my heart & a line drawn in the sand… etc.’

The efforts of John and fellow campaigners went on to actually save the Kimberley in a massive victory a few years ago, for which they should all be immensely proud. I’ve heard though, that all their hard-work has been thrown out the window since the rise of Australia’s current PM, Tony Abbott, who’s just so… um, yeah, and he’s declaring an active war on the environment.

Overall, while Neil’s new song fills us with, if anything, a sense of obligation, John’s has the power to speak to us in our hearts & souls, and fill us with Pride. And I thank them both.

What moves you more?

Who’s going to stand up and save the Earth?” – Neil Young

Neil Young & John Butler; two powerful environmental visionaries. (Origional Neil Photo from neilyoungnews. Origional John photo screen-shot from youtube.)

I am what I am, and I am strong, cos I got my Land, and I got my song.” – John Butler