lorde cares about climate change…and you should too

There’s no denying it: our climate is changing. For the worse.

Climate change is the shift in temperature and weather patterns of an area, contributing to alarming changes like rising sea levels and natural disasters.

With such an emerging, time-sensitive climate crisis we have today, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) has declared a 2021 ‘Code Red’ for global warming that is soon reaching 1.5°C above pre-industrial levels.

According to the IPCC, “based on current national climate plans, global warming will reach 2.7°C by the end of the century.” Today, we must prevent this from happening and “keep 1.5 alive.” To keep the planet from overheating, we need systemic change through government action, limiting mass carbon emissions by regulating corporations, and finding alternative energy sources. Individual humans can also contribute to the cause through, when possible, limiting plastic waste, purchasing sustainable clothing (not buying from Shein if you can afford to do so), and things like carpooling, recycling, and composting.

The good news is that “in 20 to 30 years global temperatures could stabilize” according to the IPCC. Awareness on climate change is necessary, especially now, so that we can globally accomplish reducing global warming through sustainable reductions in greenhouse gases.

On August 20, 2021, Lorde (Ella Yelich-O’Connor of New Zealand) released her 3rd album Solar Power, her newest music release since Melodrama in 2017. Solar Power was inspired by Lorde’s trip to Antarctica, and it encompasses both a devotion to the earth’s beauty and the devastating truth of the path that the world is taking with ever-increasing pollution and carbon emission rates.

Although Lorde does not claim Solar Power to be her “big climate change record,” the necessity of climate action and her appreciation for nature is translated to art through the album.

Her first music video released was for the song “Solar Power,” which was released even before the album, featuring Lorde celebrating the outdoors on a New Zealand shore. The positive and delicate nature of the album’s preview then takes a more serious tone with the entirety of the album upon its release with songs like “Fallen Fruit.”

“Fallen Fruit” presents a darker yet more realistic view of the same beach from the “Solar Power” music video. As Lorde walks along the shore, contrasts between the surface level, beautiful environment and inner destruction of that environment are present through constant changes of shots between night and day on the same beach. She wants to remind our generation that we must not leave our environment to ruin for the next generations: although the “fruit” (a biblical allusion to Adam and Eve, where Eve is tempted to take forbidden fruit from a tree) may be enticing now to pollute and waste today, the consequences of a damaged climate are much too dangerous.

Through her album, Lorde calls to action the necessity of being aware of the climate crisis and how the on-the-surface-beautiful earth is being polluted and damaged, as if the world is a beach with plastic thrown all over it.

However, although climate change presents serious issues to the world, it is important to recognize that you are not alone in this, and there is still so much hope. Everyday, humans are working on sustainable solutions that will reach us closer to a clean and safe earth. We will get through this, and one day the world will look back on today and see how far we have come with our climate.