Pearl Jam: Tree Huggers
By Kyle McCarthy from SLN More Blogs by This AuthorFrom the Chord Progression Blog Series
Music with a Message
Even in the darkest days of my extended awkward pubescent stage, I never had a Brittany Spears poster in my room, and I wasn’t desperately yearning for my birthday to receive Limp Bizkit’s appropriately titled, Chocolate Starfish and the Hotdog Flavored Water. (Coincidentally, after writing this sentence, I now remember the rumored sexual link between these two pop entities, which always seemed too good to be true). Instead, I gravitated toward artists like TOOL and Fiona Apple because it seemed like they actually had something to SAY!
I don’t know about you, but I prefer my rock gods to be socially conscious. A band’s politics can be just as engaging as a wicked guitar riff or the subtle lyricism of an enigmatic front man. Their integrity adds a degree of substance to the abstract work they produce and augments their image and direction.
In recent years, many rock ‘n roll giants have taken a definitive stance towards environmental preservation. Such behemoths of the industry dedicated to conserving our Earth include Radiohead, Cake, and Willie Nelson.
Pearl Jam, one of the most prolific touring bands ever, has also been a leading contributor to the Green Movement and the reduction of their own carbon footprint (the total amount of greenhouse gases that they emit). Aside from donating over 100,000 dollars toward environmental causes and working with the Gulf Restoration Network to aide in cleaning the coast ravaged by the BP oil crisis, the band is undertaking a new venture to reduce the carbon footprint left behind by several corporations and sports teams in the Northwest.
Teaming with environmental non-profit, Forterra, to create the brand C3 (Carbon Capturing Companies), Pearl Jam hopes to engage businesses to measure the carbon footprint they produce and offset that figure by planting Conifer trees, which absorb carbon. The city’s three major sports franchises (MLB’s Mariners, MLS’ Sounders, and NFL’s Seahawks) have already joined the coalition, along with other prominent Seattle businesses such as The Seattle Aquarium and Molly Moon’s Ice Cream.
A statement released by a Forterra spokesperson reports that the twelve businesses involved in the project: “Will put over 12,000 conifer trees in the ground, which will mitigate over 60,000 tons of carbon over their 100-year lifetime.”
Of the band’s involvement with Forterra, rhythm guitarist, Stone Gossard, said, “Twenty years ago recycling wasn’t something that we (as Americans) did - It just wasn’t… We’d throw everything in the landfill. And in Seattle and a lot of different regions now, that’s changed. There’s an obsessiveness with creating compost and filling up your recycle bin knowing your garbage cans were one-third of what they were years ago. That was an evolution of thought, and we’re trying to really inspire that same sort of revolution in regards to energy use and carbon.”
Negating the Nookie
Ahhhhhh… Breathe it in deep! That’s the smell of a fresh attitude! In this murky swamp of corporate greed and celebrity arrogance, it’s definitely encouraging to hear about people that we admire who actually “get it.”
From now on, whenever I insert “Ten” into my CD player (that’s right kids, CDs… buy ‘em) and scroll to the mesmerizing track, “Oceans,” my enjoyment of that simple, three minute song will be enhanced by the knowledge that the song’s authors actually care about their subject matter and not just the “Nookie.”