First Person

Good Old War set killer climate facts to music

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Maybe tomorrow, the storm will blow over
The river won’t overflow
Nobody knows what tomorrow will bring,
That’s why we rely on hope
Oh, we’ll pray for some better weather.

A few months ago, Philadelphia’s excellent indie-folk band Good Old War contacted me with an idea. They wanted to create a video using their song “Better Weather” to showcase visuals of Oxfam’s global efforts to address the effects of climate change on communities worldwide. As you can read in the song’s lyrics above, “Better Weather” is based on one of humanity’s universal concerns these days—how do we prepare for the unpredictability of our changing climate?

“We’ve seen weather changes firsthand and how they can affect the lives of our friends and family,” says Good Old War’s Keith Goodwin. “We thought that by lending our music to the efforts of Oxfam, who are working to help people cope and adapt to the effects of climate change, more music fans might be alerted to the fact that they can be helpful too.”

With the assistance of Los Angeles-based label Sargent House, who edited the video using footage from Oxfam programs in Louisiana, Vietnam, Ethiopia, and El Salvador, the clip features “killer facts” about the current state of our climate. Messages like “If you’re 27 or younger, you’ve never lived in a year that is cooler than average,” and “75% of all disasters in the past 2 decades have been climate-related” appear throughout the video, belying the tune’s poppy optimistic tone.

But it is optimism that is the true message of the video, which ends with the statement: “We can hope for more than better weather. We can find solutions. With Oxfam’s help, people are making their communities stronger in the face of changing climate.”

Take a moment, watch the video, and see some more of these facts.  And I’m betting you’ll be humming “Better Weather” to yourself for the rest of the day. Facebook Twitter Instagram YouTube Google+