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Environmentally “Woke” Music

Songs From Celebrities About Climate Change

Music is power. A power that has the ability to connect millions of people around the world. In recent years of the climate crisis, music has been used by progressive artists to mobilize individuals into climate activism. Innovative musical art brings awareness to relevant environmental issues from America to Australia. Bump this environmental playlist to inspire the climate activist in you!

 “Feels Like Summer”

“Feels Like Summer,” by Childish Gambino tells the story of how climate change affects the weather, animals, and water. Released in 2018, this song epitomizes what is going on right now with warmer climates affecting ecosystems across the world. Coastal ecosystems bigger than the size of New York are demolished every year. Donald Glover, also known by his stage name Childish Gambino, is known for making songs that make a statement about current issues. 

“Every day gets hotter than the one before,

“Running out of water, it’s about to go down”

“Air that kill the bees we depend upon”

“Birds were made for singing, waking up to no sound”

Childish Gambino, “Feels Like Summer” 2018

“Time Will Crawl”


David Bowie, rocks the 80s tune “Time Will Crawl” that depicts a future without environmental change. David Bowie, one of the most influential musicians, rose to fame in the U.S. and Britain in the late 1960s. In recent years, David Bowie has made attempts to join the climate conversation further. In 2015, David Bowie was one of many people to sign an open letter addressed to the leadership of the 2015 Paris Climate Conference, outlining important changes to the United Nations’ climate change agenda.

“I saw a black black stream full of white eyed fish”                

 “A drowning man with no eyes at all”   

“I felt a warm warm breeze that melted metal and steel”

“Time will crawl til the 21st century loses”

– David Bowie, “Time Will Crawl” 1987

“Earth Song”


“Earth Song” released in 1995 by Michael Jackson, asks an important question: What effect do we have on Planet Earth? Michael Jackson’s “Earth Song” has been played at the 2018 U.N. climate conference. Around 30 students came together to sing his song in an effort to bring awareness to this ongoing crisis.

“Did you ever stop to notice this crying Earth, these weeping shores”

    “What have we done to the world”

    “What about the seas”

    “Where did we go wrong”   

Michael Jackson, “Earth Song” 1995

“In This Together”


“In This Together” by Ellie Goulding and Steven Price, shows how climate change affects the earth and spreads hope that society can change their behavior in time to avoid massive biodiversity declines. The warmest year on record occurred in 2016. In 2017, Ellie Goulding became a global goodwill ambassador with the UN. “My focus will be on amplifying the activism of young people committed to creating a bright future. I want as many people as possible to become advocates for the planet.” 

    “I can’t watch this burn to the ground”

    “You’d have thought we’d learned by now”

    “Cause it’s not too late if we change our ways” 

“The sun will rise, but this time it’s so bright”

– Ellie Goulding & Steven Price, “In This Together” 2019

 “1 Sun”

Miley Cyrus is no stranger to songs concerning the environment. She released “Wake Up America” in 2008 and “1 Sun” in 2015. Deforestation causes around 11% of the global greenhouse emissions. “We just take and take and expect it to keep producing. And it’s exhausted. It can’t produce,” Miley stated during an Elle magazine interview. Miley is known for her activism and support of different foundations to improve present circumstances. 

“We need to take time”

“To replace what’s stolen from mother nature”

“We only had one sun, one moon, one me”

– Miley Cyrus, “1 Sun” 2015

Time Is Up”


Poppy paired with Diplo to produce this upbeat song about climate change. In the song she is a robot, that unlike humans, could survive the destruction of the environment. The U.S. is accountable for 25% of the green house gases emitted. Poppy’s song announces that without change the earth will continue to experience more extinction. Extinction of habitats has increased since 1900 and the amount of native habitats has decreased by 20%. 

    “I don’t need air to breathe when you kill the bees”

“And every river bed is dry as a bone”

    “And the atmosphere is just a big hole”

        – Poppy feat. Diplo, “Time Is Up” 2018

            “The World Is Going Up In Flames”

Charles Bradley, known as the screaming eagle of soul, produced “The World Is Going Up In Flames,” in 2016. He croons about the negative environmental impact humans and big corporations create. The U.S. contributes the most greenhouse gas production in the world. Charles Bradley recognized the decimation of our home, Planet Earth, and called for change. 

“This world is going up in flames”

“And nobody wanna take the blame”

“I can’t turn my head away”

“Seeing all these things”

-Charles Bradley, “The World Is Going Up In Flames” 2011

Climate change is a real and relevant global challenge that continues to threaten the natural world. With the power of music, perhaps society can connect to environmental empathy, be inspired to get out and get active, and work to create a brighter future for our planet.

Join organizations such as IDEAS For Us to become an environmental hero in your community.

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Works Cited:
Amanda. “Donald Glover.” IMDb, IMDb.com, www.imdb.com/name/nm2255973/bio.
“Climate Change Facts.” Climate Action Reserve ICal, www.climateactionreserve.org/resources/climate-change-facts/.
“Climate Change: 11 Facts You Need to Know.” Climate Change – 11 Facts You Need To Know, www.conservation.org/stories/11-climate-change-facts-you-need-to-know.“Ellie Goulding Becomes UN Environment Global Goodwill Ambassador.” Cleanseas, www.cleanseas.org/impact/ellie-goulding-becomes-un-environment-global-goodwill-ambassador.
“Michael Jackson’s Songs Used to Protest during the U.N. Climate Conference.” MJVibe, 14 Dec. 2018, www.mjvibe.com/michael-jacksons-songs-used-to-protest-during-the-u-n-climate-conference.
Munro, Scott. “Plant, Bowie, Gilmour Call for Climate Change Action.” Loudersound, Louder, 28 Nov. 2015, www.loudersound.com/news/plant-bowie-gilmour-call-for-climate-change-action.
Ray, Sushmita. “Miley Cyrus Says We Need to Treat Women and the Planet Better.” Global Citizen, 2019, www.globalcitizen.org/en/content/miley-cyrus-women-and-planet-need-better-treatment/.
“UN Report: Nature’s Dangerous Decline ‘Unprecedented’; Species Extinction Rates ‘Accelerating’ – United Nations Sustainable Development.” United Nations, United Nations, www.un.org/sustainabledevelopment/blog/2019/05/nature-decline-unprecedented-report/