Thom Yorke, Brian Eno, David Byrne, More Address Climate “Hypocrisy”

Dozens of musicians have signed an open letter addressing claims of hypocrisy levelled at artists who speak out about the climate crisis. Among the musicians, label heads, festival directors, actors, and other public figures to sign the letter are Thom Yorke, Brian Eno, David Byrne, Massive Attack’s Robert Del Naja, Jarvis Cocker, Lily Allen, Bad Seed Warren Ellis, Spice Girl Mel B, Riz Ahmed, Jon Hopkins, and Spiritualized’s Jason Pierce. The signatories express support for Extinction Rebellion, which published the letter, along with its acts of non-violent civil disobedience.

“Dear journalists who have called us hypocrites,” the letter begins. “You’re right.” The arts industries leave high carbon footprints, the letter concedes, but “without systemic change, our lifestyles will keep on causing climate and ecological harm.”

It goes on to cite the International Monetary Fund and Sir David Attenborough, who have warned of catastrophe and the threat of the collapse of civilization.

“The stories that you write calling us climate hypocrites will not silence us,” the letter continues. “We invite all people with platforms and profiles to join us and move beyond fear, to use your voices fearlessly to amplify the real story.”

Extinction Rebellion protests have taken place throughout the world, often using disruption to raise awareness of the crisis. (Not all associated protests were green-lit by the movement, which has a decentralized power structure and votes on preferred targets.) “Thousands of ordinary people are risking their freedom by taking part in non-violent civil disobedience,” the letter ends. “We’ve been inspired by their courage to speak out and join them. We beg you to do the same.”

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