Paul Simon may be 75 years old, but that’s not stopping him from sending out an important message about climate change and biodiversity to his fans. And at 75, he’s coming out of what looked to be retirement to play another rocking tour.
The septuagenarian and winner of 16 Grammy awards will travel to 17 cities across the United States this June, with the proceeds of his tour going to a global biodiversity initiative called the Half-Earth Project.
In an interview with Mongabay, the singer and songwriter made his mission of preserving biodiversity clear.
“Earth’s a jewel, but it’s endangered,” he said. “And as the ecosystem is compromised, it will compromise the adjacent ecosystems and so on in a domino effect that will produce this horrific conclusion to this phase of life on Earth.”
The Half-Earth project is an initiative spearheaded by the E.O. Wilson Biodiversity Foundation. Wilson, a longtime friend of Simon’s, is the author of several books on biodiversity and is considered to be the “father of biodiversity.”
His foundation focuses on educating the next generation in the importance of preserving biodiversity. His recent book “Half-Earth” promotes the message that in order to save the earth, humans would be best served by setting aside half of the world’s lands and seas in order to allow biodiversity to recover from the effects of global climate change and increasing CO2 emissions.
Simon is a big proponent of Wilson’s message and spent a large portion of his Mongabay interview speaking about Wilson’s proposals for increasing biodiversity. He said that he’d like for the money raised by the tour to go toward protecting a large swath of the southern United States’ Gulf Coast region, which is the most biodiverse area in the country, according to Wilson.
“It would be tremendous if we could protect a large swath of area through Alabama down through the Gulf Coast, including Florida,” Simon said. “That would be a great achievement.”
Though Simon’s dedication to preserving earth’s biodiversity is relatively new, he has supported various humanitarian causes over the past thirty years. One of his biggest initiatives is with the Children’s Health Fund, which provides mobile health care services to poor and at-risk communities.
He has also supported the American Foundation for AIDS Research, the Every Mother Counts initiative, and the Ubuntu Education Fund, according to the charity watchdog Look to the Stars.
Though he had considered retirement, it looks like Simon isn’t showing signs of slowing down anytime soon. And at Global Citizen, we’re pretty happy about that!
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