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Home News Latest News Radiohead's Thom Yorke Helps Turn the Tide With King Canute
Radiohead's Thom Yorke Helps Turn the Tide With King Canute PDF Print E-mail
Written by DJ Space   
Sunday, 28 November 2010 11:20

Radiohead's Thom Yorke Helps Turn the Tide With King CanuteMore than 2,000 people braved the wind and rain on the seafront at Brighton, England, on Saturday to form an image of King Canute designed by Radiohead lead-singer Thom Yorke. The public art display was designed to send a climate warning to political leaders in the run-up to the UN Climate Talks in Cancun.

Yorke explained, “The plan is to make images visible from the skies to remind those in Cancun that we can't keep putting this off.”

The image formed on the beaches of Brighton-Hove was designed by Yorke and his long-time collaborator Stanley Donwood. The picture also appeared on the cover of Yorke’s album Eraser. Yorke helped promote the event on Radiohead’s website and four million person strong Facebook page.

According to legend, King Canute set his throne by the sea shore and commanded the tide to halt, only to be soaked by the ocean’s waves. Just as Canute realized his own hubris, world leaders today must realize the dangers of ignoring climate change and rise to solving the challenge.

“We need politicians today to have a ‘Canute’ moment,” 350.org founder, American author, and environmentalist Bill McKibben said. “Scientists are clearly warning there is too much carbon in the atmosphere. World leaders can't avoid that reality any longer."

McKibben added, "The first pictures of Earth from space helped launch the modern environmental movement. We hope these art pieces can help spark a new movement to solve the climate crisis. Art is not a substitute for political action, but it can help build a public movement that can begin to apply real pressure on our politicians.”

350.org is named after 350 parts per million, what scientists say is the safe upper limit of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere. NASA calculates the current level of CO2 at more than 390 ppm.

The event was one of over a dozen similar displays taking place as part of 350 EARTH, the first planetary art show for the climate. The image of King Canute was joined by a giant sun in South Africa, a polar bear on an Icelandic glacier, a scarab in the Egyptian desert, an eagle in Los Angeles, and many more. Hi-res photos and videos of the events are available on the earth.350.org website.

The Brighton-Hove event had the backing of Brighton & Hove Council, which spearhead a city-wide coalition of organisations and businesses that form 10:10 Brighton & Hove. All have pledged to reduce CO2 emissions by 10% in a year by simple, achievable measures, in a bid to minimise the effects of climate change.

350.org uses the internet and creative campaigns to build a grassroots climate movement across the planet. Over the last two years, the campaign has organized more than 15,000 events in 188 countries. 350.org is named after the goal of reducing the concentration of carbon dioxide in our atmosphere from its current level of 390 parts per million to below 350 ppm, what scientists say is the safe upper limit for the planet. 350.org was founded by American writer and environmentalist and a team of college friends in 2008.

Contact: Jamie Henn, [email protected]

Last Updated on Sunday, 28 November 2010 12:33
 

Newsflash Archive

"I don't consider our songs to be growers that take ten listens to get into," Frontman Justin Young said. "People will either like us or they won't, it's that simple." The band is called The Vaccines. It's Jay Jay Pistolet and Freddie Cowan, younger brother of Tom from The Horrors. The Vaccines' tracks are short - similar to American Hardcore punk - but played in the style of good, old-fashioned Rock'n'Roll. In fact, the music's so retro, it's Pop. It's like listening to the Ramones, The Beach Boys, and The Shadows, all playing with the distorted guitars of The Jesus and Mary Chain.

This London band only played its first-ever show two months ago and just released its debut single, but will make its American debut headling Bowery Ballroom, New York on January 20 and then play Glasslands two days later. In October, the Vaccines played their first London concert. An audience of nearly three hundred included Alex Kapranos of Franz Ferdinand, Marcus Mumford, members of White Lies and The Maccabees, and a few journalists. More than two hundred were locked outside, including some of the band's friends and Nick Hodgson of the Kaiser Chiefs.

"On the strength of just a demo and a soon-to-be-released debut single, nearly 300 people have turned up for the Vaccines' first hometown gig [Flowerpot, London]; another 200 have had to be turned away," Betty Clarke reported in the Guardian.

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