Songs of summer: Linkin Park and Music for Relief team with American Forests to plant trees and educate concertgoers about global warming
This summer, Linkin Park and other popular rock groups are going on tour and that has a lot of environmentalists cheering. That’s because Linkin Park’s disaster relief organization, Music for Relief, and this summer’s Projekt Revolution tour are donating $1 from every concert ticket to AMERICAN FORESTS’ Global ReLeaf program.
The tour, also featuring such well-known groups as My Chemical Romance and Taking Back Sunday, will feature Linkin Park’s highly anticipated new album Minutes to Midnight.
The partnership is a perfect way to increase awareness of the environment and further AMERICAN FORESTS’ efforts to fight global warming by restoring forests damaged by human actions and natural disasters. Since AMERICAN FORESTS plants one tree for every dollar donated, the summer concert tour could be a nice start to a greener earth.
“AMERICAN FORESTS is proud to partner with Music for Relief and Linkin Park to plant trees to fight global warming,” AMERICAN FORESTS executive director Deborah Gangloff says. “Global warming is a huge issue, and everyone can be a part of the solution. Conserving energy, using alternative sources, and planting trees with Music for Relief and Linkin Park will make a difference.”
Linkin Park released its first album, Hybrid Theory, in 2000 and sales took off instantly, cementing the group’s status as the new “it” band. Linkin Park offered unique music to which audiences could relate. Young listeners heard a reflection of themselves in the raw new sound and in lyrics that dealt with their pain and inner demons. Parents were less inclined to object to the loud rock music because Linkin Park lacked the high volume of swearing that many other bands used.
Why would a rock group take such an interest in trees? For Linkin Park fans, the answer is obvious: The group’s six members are no strangers to environmental causes. Their concern for the environment turned to action in 2005 when a tsunami caused by an underwater earthquake hit Southeast Asia. A total of 186,983 people were killed and 42,883 were reported lost, according to the United Nations office of the Special Envoy for Tsunami Relief. The destruction toll also included approximately 430,000 homes, 2,174 miles of roadway, and 100,000 fishing boats.
Shortly after this horrific disaster, Linkin Park founded Music for Relief with two basic goals in mind. One was to continue to aid the rebuilding process in the Gulf Coast following hurricanes Katrina and Rita. The second was to work to weaken and decelerate future natural disasters by raising awareness about the environmental consequences of climate change and our responsibility to reduce greenhouse gases and to develop alternate, renewable forms of energy.
By reaching out to the music community, Linkin Park’s members hoped to have a larger impact than if they attempted to tackle these problems on their own. So far, Music for Relief (www.musicforrelief.org) has raised more than $2 million for victims of the tsunami and hurricanes Katrina and Rita. Efforts to raise money and awareness continue.
And Linkin Park is not the only band trying to have an impact–75 other groups/singers have joined Music for Relief’s efforts to protect our planet and help those in need.
Groups like Linkin Park and Yellow Card (another Music for Relief member) inspire new activists to join the campaign. This, it is hoped, will include a number of music listeners who will hear–and act on–the climate change message when delivered by someone other than a scientist. For some young people, a complex topic discussed by scientists is an invitation to tune out. But the message may get through when the speaker is someone they recognize and look up to, someone who explains the message in terms they understand.
The tour aims to help the environment in more ways than just through tree planting. Projekt Revolution will be a “green” tour, illustrating how it is possible to work with the environment and take care of nature and our natural resources without jeopardizing business. The logistics for the tour were still being worked out at press time, but according to Music for Relief spokesman Whitney Showler, the band plans to reuse materials instead of simply discarding them. Recycling will be available to reduce the amount of garbage sent to landfills, and bio-diesel fuel is being considered to run trucks and buses. The band hopes to offset the carbon emissions generated by the tour.
Drummer Rob Bourdon was the first to consider a partnership with AMERICAN FORESTS. (Other members are Brad Delson, guitar; Mike Shinoda, vocals; Chester Bennington, vocals; Joe Hahn, DJ; and Dave “Phoenix” Farrell, bass.) The band made a contribution to Global ReLeaf in 2006 but decided it wanted to do more. Bourdon saw an opportunity in the upcoming tour.
Music for Relief’s Showler agrees that the alliance between her organization and AMERICAN FORESTS can open up new opportunities. Working together, she says, people can leap boundaries and solve long-standing problems.
One of those problems is deforestation, which is occurring in some of the most sensitive regions of the world. Forests are threatened and their loss is a blow not only to biodiversity but humans and animals, which rely on trees for cleaner air and water and for habitat.
One tree for every dollar, for every concert ticket, is a great start to lessening the effects of forest loss, AMERICAN FORESTS and Linkin Park believe. By planting trees, music fans will be able to create a healthy environment and hope for a somewhat shadier future.
Global warming is a problem made worse by deforestation. Rising C[O.sub.2] levels in the atmosphere increase the greenhouse effect and, in turn, global temperatures, which leads to a higher risk of intense hurricanes. Hurricanes form over warm ocean waters as the water evaporates and rises. This rising water vapor forms storm systems that can wreak billions of dollars in damages. The warmer the ocean water, the more that can evaporate into the atmosphere and therefore develop into stronger storms. Trees take in C[O.sub.2] and give off pure, clean oxygen; they also provide natural barriers to hurricane’s effects.
The environment has systems in place to protect itself from natural disasters such as hurricanes; removing these natural barriers opens us up to more harm. Wetlands are a perfect example. These marshy areas are natural barriers to storm surge–a rise in sea level along the coast due to hurricane winds. Destroying them to make room for development endangers anyone who will live in that region.
Rehabilitating these coastal areas and restoring damaged forests, Linkin Park and Music for Relief believe, are practical, proactive ways to help the environment. The more people and organizations that realize how critical trees are to the environment, the more help new and existing trees will receive. From supplying stability to the soil to soaking up rainwater and lessening the intensity of flooding, the benefits from trees are endless.
Thanks to Linkin Park and Music for Relief, that message will be a little more widespread.
This year’s fourth installment of the Projekt Revolution tour runs from July 25 through September 3, hitting 29 cities in 17 states and Ontario. Linkin Park has received two Grammy Awards and sold over 40 million records worldwide, 18 million from its Hybrid Theory CD alone. Other bands in the tour include Him, Placebo, Julien-K, Mindless Self Indulgence, Saosin, The Bled, Madina Lake, and Styles of Beyond. If they happen to be stopping by your city you may just want to check them out, if not for the music, then for the trees.
Marissa McCauley, a student at Penn State, is an intern in the Publications Department.
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