Punk Rock Wisdom – Earth Day 2012 special edition

NOW is definitely the time to act in favour of the environment. Really, ‘now’ has been the keyword for years now.

With Earth Day 2012 upon us, it is once again time to draw attention to the environment. Although this should be a given in today’s day and age. This blog post is my second Punk Rock Wisdom post here, and will identify three punk rock songs that have brought attention to climate change (and one bonus video at the end)

I truly wonder what the Earth will be like 50 years from now. Even 25 years is a concern, seeing as that is the approximate time frame until we run out of oil, and potentially clean water. Using resources wisely will be unbelievably important from here on in for the survival of the human race. As the population rises, the demand for resources will be very high (clean water especially) potentially causing conflict we cannot imagine. I remain optimistic. Many governments, and especially corporations are slow to adapt environmental policies not being able to see the positives of environmentally friendly ways. If the people demand change, it will have to come. Just like the Occupy movement, we are the 99%. However, I digress.

I will start off with the oldest song, that being No Use for a Name’s “Until It’s Gone.” No Use for a Name formed back in 1987 in San Jose, California. “Until It’s Gone” is the first track from their third release, from 1993! The first verse sums up the pollution well:

Buildings will replace the trees
Pollution will replace the air we breathe
I’m close to the mountain, just miles away
But I can’t see the hills from here today

It continues, perhaps a bit more grim, and a little off, at least as far as the next few decades go, but it definitely brings attention to the issue:

We can’t just let it pass us by
And as I look into the sky
Something in the atmosphere is telling me it won’t be here for long

Take a picture of this place cos extinction is not so far away
Our skin will fry like a steak well done
When there’s nothing between us and the sun

A later line, “we’ll have to learn from all our big mistakes” rings true today for sure.

Next is a local punk rock band that would later become a worldwide pop-punk phenomenon, Reset (eventually a couple of members would form Simple Plan).

Reset’s debut, No Worries (1996), was a local punk rock hit, and province wide for that matter! The first track, “Everyday” is the one of note now.

The first line speaks volumes:

Everyday unconsciously we throw away what could be saved

I believe we still unfortunately live in a throwaway society. So much still gets tossed into the garbage, and much unintentionally ends up in our waterways (for instance the mercury we ingest from eating fish — mercury we tossed in the first place). From Swiffer cleaning cloths to disposable razors to disposable coffee cups with plastic lids to shampoo loaded with chemicals (including the body products with those cleaning beads, which are in fact plastic!), and the list could go on, unfortunately!

The old saying, “reduce, reuse, recycle,” very much still applies. With the emphasis in that order. Cut down on bringing new stuff into our lives. Then what we can, reuse it as much as possible, and when tossing stuff, recycle. And in the latter case, recycle responsibly, bring electronics and hazardous materials to recycling stations where they will be handled responsibly.

A big guilty party is the oil industry and all the associated products and by-products. Do I think plastic has made our lives easier? Yes! Could I live without plastic nowadays, well, yes, but not living with all of our modern comforts. Am I against excessive use of plastics that eventually ends up being ingested by animals, and clogging our waterways, and whatever more detrimental effects? Yes.

Most people would be against big oil, yet we continue to very much help them out financially. If we thought about it that way, and tried to use less plastic just so they would get less of our money, that alone would be speaking volumes!

The next line in the song nails it as well:

Our natural resources are getting wasted everyday

There is so many precious metals that go into our everyday electronics, including cell phones, one can wonder how long this can go on for! I am very much pro-technology (that is how you are reading this!), and I would like future generations to be able to enjoy the ever improving technology in a nice clean world.

Lastly, Bad Religion’s “Kyoto Now!”. This was from their 2002 album The Process of Belief. Of course, named after the Kyoto Protocol

The entire song is quite good, with numerous great lines.

we can’t do nothing and think someone else will make it right

We are all in this, we all have to act. It won’t magically get better on its own!

But the way it is cannot persist for long

As I referred to above, the number of years till everything takes a drastic turn for the worse could be quite soon!

And in relation to all our clutter stuff:

It’s never really what you own but what you threw away
And how much did you pay?

Imagine how much better the world would be presently without our addiction to stuff? And I am guilty too, especially in the days of ‘yore, but I try to simplify now, less truly is more!

And lastly, very much true:

The arid torpor of inaction will be our demise

The Earth will still exist, it will recover, but who knows about the human race.

Every action has a reaction. We’ve got one planet one chance.

Click for full lyrics to all songs, including Rise Against’s “Ready to Fall.”

No Use for a Name – Until it’s Gone

Buildings will replace the trees
Pollution will replace the air we breathe
I’m close to the mountain, just miles away
But I can’t see the hills from here today

We can’t just let it pass us by
And as I look into the sky
Something in the atmosphere is telling me it won’t be here for long

Take a picture of this place cos extinction is not so far away
Our skin will fry like a steak well done
When there’s nothing between us and the sun

We can’t just let it pass us by
And as I look into the sky
Something in the atmosphere is telling me it won’t be here for long

Until it’s gone – Until it’s gone
Until it’s gone – We’ll never miss it until it’s gone, gone, gone

All the efforts seem to fall
With cars and cans of aerosol
I feel so guilty, then my pride will die
See the grey, self-created sky

Until we find a better way
We’ll have to learn from all our big mistakes
Something in the atmosphere is telling me it won’t be here for long

Until it’s gone – Until it’s gone
Until it’s gone – Until it’s gone
You’ll never miss it until it’s gone

Seems like a letter that we cannot send
Fells like aluminum we cannot bend
Tastes like a mixture that we cannot blend
But we must change the course of the recipe to the end, to the end

Reset – Everyday

Everyday unconsciously we throw away what could be saved
Our natural resources getting wasted everyday (why)
The incompatibility of the world we live in
And the way we live
Can’t you see there’s no place to go
We’re surrounded by people
But fighting all alone

Everyday they cut our trees pollute our seas
Everytime there’s another stupid reason why
Everyday they cut our trees pollute our seas
Everytime there’s another stupid reason why for you

One hundred thoudsand dollar fees for the oil patches in our seas
That’s nothing to the billonaires who own the companies (why)
Time is running out we have to save the species
Stop the death of these
Can’t you see there’s no place to go

Everyday they cut our trees pollute our seas
Everytime there’s another stupid reason why
Everyday they cut our trees pollute our seas
Everytime there’s another stupid reason why for you

Bad Religion – Kyoto Now!

It’s a matter of prescience no, not the science fiction kind
It’s all about ignorance and greed and miracles for the blind
The media parading, disjointed politics
Founded on petrochemical plunder and we’re its hostages

If you stand to reason you’re in the game
The rules may be elusive but our pieces are the same
And you know, if one goes down we all go down as well
The balance is precarious as anyone can tell
This world’s going to hell

Don’t allow this mythologic hopeful monster to exact its price
Kyoto now, we can’t do nothing
I think someone else will make it right

You might not think it matters now but what if you are wrong
You might not think there’s any wisdom in a fucked up punk rock song
But the way it is cannot persist for long
A brutal sun is rising on our sick horizon

It’s in the way we live our lives
Exactly like the double edge of a cold familiar knife
And supremacy weighs heavy on the day
It’s never really what you own but what you threw away
And how much did you pay?

Don’t allow this mythologic hopeful monster to exact its price
Kyoto now, we can’t do nothing
I think someone else will make it right

In your dreams you saw a steady state, a bounty for eternity
Silent screams but now the wisdom that sustains us is in full retreat
Watch on

Don’t allow, this mythologic hopeful monster isn’t worth the risk
Kyoto now we can’t have vision for the future if it can’t be fixed
Alien we need a fresh and new religion to run our lives
Hand in hand the arid torpor of inaction will be our demise

Oh, Kyoto now

Rise Against – Ready to Fall

Hold on, slow down, again from the top now
And tell me everything
I know I’ve been gone for, what seems like forever
But I’m here now waiting

To convince you that I’m not a ghost or a stranger
But closer than you think
She said, “Just go on to what you
Pretend is your life but, please don’t die on me”

Wings won’t take me
Heights don’t faze me
So take a step
But don’t look down, take a step

Now I’m standing on the rooftop, ready to fall
I think I’m at the edge now but I could be wrong
I’m standing on the rooftop, ready to fall

Perpetual motion, the image won’t focus
A blur is all that’s seen
But here in this moment, like the eye of a storm
It all came clear to me

I found a shoulder to lean on
An infallible reason to live all by itself
I took one last look
From the heights that I once loved
And then I ran like hell

Wings won’t take me
Heights don’t faze me
So take a step
But don’t look down, take a step

Now I’m standing on the rooftop, ready to fall
I think I’m at the edge now but I could be wrong
I’m standing on the rooftop, ready to fall

I count the times that I’ve been sorry
(I know, I know)
Now my compassion slowly drowns
(I know, I know)

If there’s a time these walls could guard you
(I know, I know)
Then let that time be right now

Now I’m standing on the rooftop
Now I’m standing on the rooftop, ready to fall
I’m standing on the rooftop, ready to fall
I think I’m at the edge now but I could be wrong
I’m standing on the rooftop, ready to fall

Now I’m standing on the rooftop, ready to fall
Now I’m standing on the rooftop, ready to fall
Now I’m standing on the rooftop, ready to fall
Now I’m standing on the rooftop, ready to fall

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