Musicians rally for environmental awareness during Pope Francis’ visit to D.C.
Behind a conference table is not the first place you expect to see singers Sean Paul, Natasha Bedingfield and Victoria Justice. But today, along with fellow performers Q’orianka Kilcher and Christina Grimmie, the artists gathered to speak at the National Press Club following a performance of “Love Song to the Earth” at Pope Francis’ Moral Action on Climate Justice rally on the National Mall.
Together with environmental non-profit, Friends of the Earth, and the United Nations Foundation, the song was created to send a message about global warming and other issues plaguing the planet. The release of the track comes ahead of the international U.N. Climate Change Conference in Paris scheduled for December of this year.
Pope Francis, who wraps up his visit to the District today, has made climate change a priority on his agenda and addressed the United States Congress earlier this morning with an urgent call to action. Piggybacking off of his powerful sentiment, president of Friends of the Earth Erich Pica said:
“We need strong global action now…no more excuses.”
The song is meant to raise awareness and challenge the global audience to be better citizens of the world. At a time when social media and celebrities dictate trends, the artists felt that it was important to capitalize on their ability to reach large audiences and spread the message in the best way they know how- through song.
Songwriter Toby Gad wanted to make sure that the lyrics had a positive undertone and not a “doomsday” feel. With that in mind, Bedingfield came up with the idea to “personalize the Earth” through a universal love song. Though she acknowledges that climate change may not be a priority for everyone like those battling disease or hunger, she says that the issue can only be solved by people coming together and doing their part.
The host of celebrities involved in the musical production are doing their part by not pocketing any of the song’s proceeds- all the money will benefit environmental efforts by Friends of the Earth and the U.N. Foundation.
Victoria Justice summed up the urgency for change with a look to her personal future:
“I hope to have kids one day and I’d want to be able to take them back to my hometown of Hollywood, Florida and for it to still be above water,” she said.