15 September 2017

Africa: Turn Off Your Faucet to Fight Climate Change, Rock Icon Patti Smith Says

United Nations — "It's important not to be drawn into a state of pessimism or a state of paralysis" - rock star Patti Smith

Fighting global warming in a hostile political environment starts with small acts like "turning off the faucet when you're brushing your teeth," musician Patti Smith said on Friday while promoting a concert against climate change.

The concert at New York's Carnegie Hall in November will feature Smith, folk singer Joan Baez and other artists and activists supporting an international pact against global warming reached two years ago.

Under the climate deal reached in Paris, nearly 200 nations agreed to cut greenhouse gas emissions, mainly from burning fossil fuels, to help protect from droughts, extreme weather and rising seas associated with global warming.

President Donald Trump has decided to pull the United States out of the accord, saying it would cost the nation trillions of dollars, kill jobs and hinder industry.

"It's important not to be drawn into a state of pessimism or a state of paralysis. One has to take a breath and rise above it," Smith said at a news conference at the United Nations headquarters.

"One has to do it every single day, from picking up a little bit of litter to turning off the faucet when you're brushing your teeth."

Considered an icon of rock'n'roll and punk music, Smith, 70, is known for her album "Horses" and songs "Gloria" and "Because the Night." She has written several books including a memoir "Just Kids" and "Devotion," released this week.

The "Pathway to Paris" concert on Nov. 5 comes on the eve of a U.N. Convention on Climate Change being held in Bonn, Germany, where world leaders are meeting to advance the aims of the Paris agreement.

"To have these celebrations, a concert like this, where you're able to reach a few thousand people that can speak to a few thousand other people, it's a way to keep things moving from hand to hand and from voice to voice," Smith said.

Others slated to appear are musicians Flea, Cat Power and Michael Stipe. The concert is being organized by Pathway to Paris, a group of artists and activists co-founded by Smith's daughter, Jesse Paris Smith.

"It's everyone's fight," the younger Smith said at the news conference.

"When musicians or artists say 'I don't know the facts. I don't know what to do,' I want to say, 'Excuse me, you've got a microphone, a stage, an audience and a following. You have a responsibility to communicate these important messages to people,'" she said.

 - Reporting by Ellen Wulfhorst, Editing by Belinda Goldsmith

Africa

Policies Hurting Africa's Entrepreneurship - Experts

It is true that some African countries have tried to create enabling environments for businesses to thrive, but it is… Read more »

Copyright © 2017 Thomson Reuters Foundation. All rights reserved. Distributed by AllAfrica Global Media (allAfrica.com). To contact the copyright holder directly for corrections — or for permission to republish or make other authorized use of this material, click here.

AllAfrica publishes around 900 reports a day from more than 140 news organizations and over 500 other institutions and individuals, representing a diversity of positions on every topic. We publish news and views ranging from vigorous opponents of governments to government publications and spokespersons. Publishers named above each report are responsible for their own content, which AllAfrica does not have the legal right to edit or correct.

Articles and commentaries that identify allAfrica.com as the publisher are produced or commissioned by AllAfrica. To address comments or complaints, please Contact us.