Five Years

Don't it always seem to go, that you don't know what you've got 'til it's gone...

The World Meteorological Organisation has announced in its latest annual assessment that we have only five years to address a global temperature surface rise of 1.5C above pre-industrial levels.

In 1972 David Bowie released his iconic album, Ziggy Stardust, on which the first track was Five Years. This contained the immortal words “We have five years left to cry in. The news guy wept and told us, earth was really dying, cried so much his face was wet then I knew he wasn’t lying”.

Two years earlier, Joni Mitchell recorded Big Yellow Taxi, in which she sang “they got all the trees and put them in a tree museum”. A message, perhaps, about the depletion of the rainforest.

Have we learned nothing in the last sixty years? David Bowie and Joni Mitchell were warning what the World Meteorological Organisation, a reputable body, is now telling us what will happen if drastic action isn’t taken.

In a world where some of our leaders prefer to engage in conflict than build a sustainable future for all, we need a coalition of artists who will lead the world in greater awareness of the dangers posed by climate change. The prescience of Bowie and Mitchell should not be wasted but should be emulated by those who generate great audiences through their songs and messaging.

“Don’t it always seem to go, that you don’t know what you’ve got till it’s gone”.

Posted by Bob Edwards 7 June 2024

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