Cool Earth: The Music Trust’s response to climate change


Written by: Richard Letts

“If this works out, it will be important to everyone, including your grandchildren.”

The Trust has worked continually to advance music in Australia, seeking to understand the situation of music, how it might be improved, and making the arguments to those with the power to make change. It also acts directly in support of musicians through its management of the Freedman Music Fellowships, the production of concerts, and through commissioning and publishing reviews.

But now we are going to try to put music in the service of addressing an unprecedented danger not just to our culture, but to our existence: climate change.

The working title of the new project is Cool Earth.

Music can capture our feelings about the death of a large part of the Barrier Reef, the loss of farmland and acquifers, the 50,000 abandoned and unrehabilitated mine sites across the country, massive bushfires bursting out of yet another heat wave, the greed of those who will put their own financial advantage head of a bright future for our children. It can express our joy when someone who has the power makes a decision that can save threatened species (including us!) or chooses carbon-free energy instead of more coal.

Cool Earth will invite our most popular musicians to write and promote songs that carry a message about the environment and climate action. Through these songs, we will try to persuade Australians to do their bit for the climate personally and to look very kindly on politicians who take effective action to reduce production of carbon dioxide.

Science can prove that humans are destroying our environment but that has not in itself persuaded a sufficient number of people to take action.

Music carries emotions. We all know that the words of a song combined with the music can be very persuasive. Most people listen to music. Most people will hear the Cool Earth songs. We think that Cool Earth can make a significant difference to Australia’s – even the world’s – response to climate change.


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