From public demonstrations to protest songs, social movements against the climate emergency

Slowing down global warming is not just the preserve of scientists and intellectuals. All kinds of people are calling for a paradigm change.
Wind energy on Global Wind Day

The advance of climate change, and the slowness of governments to develop firm policies for halting it, is fostering a rapid growth in social movements backing the environmental struggle. The argument no longer rests solely with scientists and intellectuals. It is people on the street who are appealing for a paradigm economic change. Protests vary from public demonstrations coordinated the world over to artistic expression full of talent and wit.

A musical parody with deep meaning

Artistic expression is a magnificent catalyst for the social concerns of each generation and, indeed, it is increasingly creatives and their art forms who are becoming the loudest voices urging for something to be done about climate change. Most interestingly, perhaps, revolutions also occur from art as a base and creativity at the service of awareness-raising can be an effective weapon, whether it is painting, cinema or music, etc.

Take, for instance, the song “Carbon Needs A Price Tag”, with its grave, sardonic style and lyrics which, without being rude, tackle some of the most thorny questions facing companies and governments in the fight against climate change. Find out for yourselves:



The band is called The Seastar, formed by six motivated and gregarious women who, while parodying famous songs, incorporate crucial and pertinent messages in them. The one in the video draws attention to the urgency of costing carbon emissions, which will be one of the principal issues debated at COP25, to be held in Madrid in December.

Generation Greta, students for the climate

But the mobilizations that have received most media interest have been organized by youth, who have had a virtual monopoly on the peaceful demonstrations held planet-wide in recent months.

Likewise, the week of 20 to 27 September became the biggest ever demonstration on the climate issue, the so-called Global Climate Strike, in which over 7 million people took part worldwide to call for urgent measures from governments. On 29 November, just a few days before COP25, originally scheduled for Chile but moved to Madrid, the student movement has convoked another series of demonstrations to keep up the pressure on the leaders who are meeting at COP25, in order to press them to take conclusive decisions at the summit.

Although the role of young people is certainly greater, in recent months other groups have also emerged using more uncomfortable tactics for the institutions. Extinction Rebellion has come to represent peaceful civil disobedience as an agent of change. This group was founded in 2018 in the United Kingdom and believes that traditional forms of mobilization are failing to change the decisions of governmental organizations. Its aim is to convince the 3.5% of the population it considers is needed to join its initiatives in order to achieve real policy change.


Source: Ethic, El independiente