Paul McCartney's New Song Blasts Climate-Denying World Leaders
‘Despite Repeated Warnings’ is a scathing climate change anthem.
On Paul McCartney’s latest album Egypt Station, there’s an allegorical song called “Despite Repeated Warnings” that the former Beatles frontman broke down in recent interviews.
The song, according to McCartney, describes a crazed captain who refuses to heed warnings about an imminent iceberg. Eventually, concerned passengers surround the captain and tie him up to avoid disaster.
That captain represents world leaders, the iceberg represents climate change, and — you guessed it — we’re the passengers.
“So I just wanted to make a song that would talk about that and basically say, 'Occasionally, we've got a mad captain sailing this boat we're all on and he is just going to take us to the iceberg [despite] being warned it's not a cool idea,’” McCartney told the BBC.
The singer also said that the song specifically applies to US President Donald Trump.
“Well, I mean obviously it’s Trump but there’s plenty of them about,” he told the BBC. “He’s not the only one.”
“Despite Repeated Warnings” ultimately involves a day-saving intervention on the part of the people on the boat, and McCartney suggested that such a scenario is not yet off the table for humanity.
Currently, the world is barreling toward a climate catastrophe, and countries are failing to achieve the objectives set under the Paris Agreement. Extreme storms, droughts, fires, and more are increasing in frequency and these events will only become more common in the years ahead.
McCartney said in an interview with Radio 1 Newsbeat that everyday people can take action to reduce their ecological footprints, while also putting pressure on world leaders to take climate change seriously.
In particular, McCartney said that people can reduce their meat consumption, which is a major source of greenhouse gas emissions.
"It's not the total solution, but it's part of the solution. A lot of people have been saying this for a long time but there's resistance,” he told Radio 1 Newsbeat. "Particularly when you've got someone like Trump who says that it (climate change) is just a hoax.”
“A lot of people like myself think that's just madness so it's maybe a good time now to try and focus people's attention and say 'Look, forget about him; we can do something,’” he added.
McCartney is one of many celebrities who have used their art to call for greater climate action. Leonardo DiCaprio, for example, has become a global champion of climate action, investing millions of dollars in conservation efforts around the world and making a documentary that explores the problem. Recently, more than 200 actors, musicians, and more signed a letter calling for bold climate action.
The singer’s latest turn at campaigning has to do with being fed up with climate change denialism.
"People who deny climate change ... I just think it's the most stupid thing ever," he told the BBC.