Music

You Need To Hear The 1975’s New Song With Climate Crisis Activist Greta Thunberg

"It is now time for civil disobedience. It is time to rebel."

The 1975 and Greta Thunberg team up for rousing climate crisis song

The 1975 have released the opening track off their impending album. On it, climate crisis activist Greta Thunberg delivers a rousing 4 minute speech telling listeners we are currently failing “the greatest and most complex challenge that homo sapiens have ever faced”, and that “it is now time for civil disobedience”.

Titled ‘The 1975’ (as are all openers on the band’s other albums), the song is the first time the band’s featured another ‘artist’ in their music. All proceeds of the song will go to Extinction Rebellion, a global activist group who use nonviolent resistance and public blockades to protest government inaction.

In the song, the 16-year-old Thunerg speaks over a plodding orchestral score. She begins by stating that, “We have to acknowledge that the older generations have failed. All political movements in their present form have failed,” and that “unless we recognise the overall failures of our current systems, we most probably don’t stand a chance”.

She continues: “Either we prevent a 1.5 degree of warming, or we don’t. Either we avoid setting off that irreversible chain reaction beyond human control, or we don’t. Either we choose to go on as a civilisation or we don’t. That is as black or white as it gets. Because there are no grey areas when it comes to survival.”

Thunberg then tells the listener that grassroots action is the only way forward to change our futures.

“If you look through history, all the big changes in society have been started by people at the grassroots level. People like you and me,” she says. “So, I ask you to please wake up and make the changes required possible. To do your best is no longer good enough. We must all do the seemingly impossible.”

Talking the The Guardian, The 1975’s manager Jamie Oborne has said the band and its label, Dirty Hit, will no longer produce plastic products such as CD jewel cases. In addition, they are using paper packaging for products, and have sourced a biodegradable shrink wrap for the future. There are also plans to make The 1975’s next merch line environmentally friendly, with unsold items being repurposed for new products.

Listen to ‘The 1975’ below, and read the full speech below. Notes on a Conditional Form does not yet have a release date. On 20 September, Thunberg will lead a global climate strike.


Greta Thunberg’s speech on ‘The 1975’

We are right now in the beginning of a climate and ecological crisis. And we need to call it what it is. An emergency.

We must acknowledge that we do not have the situation under control and that we don’t have all the solutions yet. Unless those solutions mean that we simply stop doing certain things. We admit that we are losing this battle.

We have to acknowledge that the older generations have failed. All political movements in their present form have failed. But homo sapiens have not yet failed.

Yes, we are failing, but there is still time to turn everything around. We can still fix this. We still have everything in our own hands.

But unless we recognise the overall failures of our current systems, we most probably don’t stand a chance.

We are facing a disaster of unspoken sufferings for enormous amounts of people. And now is not the time for speaking politely or focusing on what we can or cannot say. Now is the time to speak clearly.

Solving the climate crisis is the greatest and most complex challenge that homo sapiens have ever faced. The main solution, however, is so simple that even a small child can understand it. We have to stop our emissions of greenhouse gases.

And either we do that, or we don’t. You say that nothing in life is black or white. But that is a lie. A very dangerous lie. Either we prevent a 1.5 degree of warming, or we don’t. Either we avoid setting off that irreversible chain reaction beyond human control, or we don’t. 

Either we choose to go on as a civilisation or we don’t. That is as black or white as it gets. Because there are no grey areas when it comes to survival.

Now we all have a choice. We can create transformational action that will safeguard the living conditions for future generations. Or we can continue with our business as usual and fail. That is up to you and me.

And yes, we need a system change rather than individual change. But you cannot have one without the other. If you look through history, all the big changes in society have been started by people at the grassroots level. People like you and me.

So, I ask you to please wake up and make the changes required possible. To do your best is no longer good enough. We must all do the seemingly impossible.

Today, we use about 100 million barrels of oil every single day. There are no politics to change that. There are no rules to keep that oil in the ground. So, we can no longer save the world by playing by the rules. Because the rules have to be changed. Everything needs to change. And it has to start today.

So, everyone out there, it is now time for civil disobedience. It is time to rebel.