Patti Smith Speaks Up For Planet Earth -
Patti Smith performs her last Australian show at Festival Hall in Melbourne on Thursday 20 April 2017. Photo by Ros O'Gorman

Patti Smith performs her last Australian show at Festival Hall in Melbourne on Thursday 20 April 2017. Photo by Ros O'Gorman

Patti Smith Speaks Up For Planet Earth

by on November 4, 2017

in News

Patti Smith is heartbroken by the environmental damage humans have wreaked on Earth’s beauty.

Patti Smith has been a lifelong climate change activist after witnessing early signs of environmental decay when she was a child growing up in Chicago, Illinois.

“I’d go to play by a stream near my house when I was young and it would be all filled with weird oil and dead minnows,” she recalled to the New York Daily News. “I would ask my father what happened, and he’d say, ‘I don’t know, something is seeping through the ground. Somebody is dumping something.'”

The singer’s family later moved to Philadelphia, Pennsylvania and then around New Jersey while she was still young, and the disregard for nature she witnessed during those years would go on to have a deep impact on her consciousness as she matured.

“I saw my first really horrendous dump site when I was about 10,” she said. “I lived in rural South Jersey and there was a lot of illegal dumping. I saw how beautiful areas were being destroyed by all this dumping.”

Now 70, Smith is saddened that more hasn’t been done to combat the bad habits of the human race to save the world for future generations.

“In my lifetime, I’ve seen how our world is changing,” she mused. “The beautiful glaciers that I saw, and friends of mine took photographs of 25 years ago in Greenland, are now 60 per cent melted away. They look just like tortured skeletons instead of these beautiful, magnificent floating sculptures.”

“We’re given the Earth and it’s beautiful, and we’ve just raped and pillaged it,” Patti sighed.

The rocker will be among the artists joining forces on Sunday for the Pathway to Paris: Concert to Fight Climate Change at New York’s Carnegie Hall, and she insists the time for people to act is now, especially while America remains under the leadership of President Donald Trump, who announced plans to withdraw the U.S. from the Paris Agreement, which is aimed at combating global warming, over the summer .

“It goes right up to the top in America…,” Patti said. “We have an administration that seems to have a completely deaf ear to any environmental concerns.”

Patti shares her passion for saving the Earth with her daughter, Jesse Paris Smith, who co-founded the Pathway to Paris group. Organisation officials will launch their new 1000 Cities campaign, encouraging the leaders of 1000 cities across the globe to pledge to move from fossil fuels to using 100 per cent renewable energy by 2040, at this weekend’s concert.

Other stars set to make appearances during the event include R.E.M’s Michael Stipe, Joan Baez, and Red Hot Chili Peppers’ Flea.

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