Climate champion, DJ Darwin, plus DJs for Climate Action. A music industry climate pact, and Stanford announces new School of Sustainability.
Climate Champ–DJ Darwin, DJs for Climate Action, Music Industry Climate Pact, Stanford Announces New School of Sustainability
CLIMATE CHAMPION, DJ DARWIN
Berlin and Mexico-based DJ—Darwin—decided to take a hard look at her environmental impact after a 2019 spent traveling the world. The COVID pandemic’s forced downtime gave her the unique opportunity to gather some hard data on her privileged industry. Her research led her to co-author a report entitled “Last Night A DJ Took A Flight: Exploring the Carbon Footprint of Touring DJs and Looking Towards Alternative Futures Within the Dance Music Industry.”
The report was published in 2021 under the climate action collective called Clean Scene, a group she also founded. Clean Scene is a climate action collective exploring alternative futures for dance music.
According to her report, “the top 1000 DJs collectively took 51,000 flights in 2019, emitting 35,000,000 kg of CO2 into the air.” 35 million kg of CO2 translates to about 39,000 tons. That’s the equivalent to 20,000 households’ electricity for one year, powering 8000 festivals for three days, or pressing 25 million records!
Why does DJ Darwin’s climate action matter to us? DJ Darwin’s report puts things into crystal clear view. She says, “The demand for a small number of DJs to tour constantly is the result of an environmentally unsustainable industry — and an industry that we have an opportunity to collectively reimagine.”
(BTW, DJ Darwin is AKA “DJ Darwin Reef” because she hosts a party series called REEF, helping to raise funds for coral reef preservation projects.)
DEEJAYS FOR CLIMATE ACTION
Speaking of DJs and Climate action, Future Vision, Earth Night and Climate Soundtrack are three projects from a group called “DJs For Climate Action.” The group originally formed in 2011 by a handful of DJs who felt compelled to address the negative environmental impacts of their profession.
Like DJ Darwin, the djs from DJs For Climate Action started out trying to develop models for addressing and offsetting carbon emissions from their travel. About ten years ago Music producer Fools Gold created a carbon offsetting program. DJ Sam Posner, AKA Sammy Bananas explained “This program began as a year-end drive to encourage artists to offset their emissions from airplane travel. We ended up moving through a few different means of offset, starting with renewable energy credits and farm-based methane sequestration, and eventually clean cookstove projects aimed at reducing emissions.”
Connecting with the global dance music and DJ community, the group produces events, releases original music and runs projects or campaigns to raise awareness and funds for projects and communities.
One of the projects on their platform that raises environmental awareness is The Climate Soundtrack. It “explores the vital role music and culture play in the climate movement.” Every track on the album connects the listener to stories of the place where the music or sound was taken from.
Why does DJs For Climate Action matter to us? DJs For Climate Action can influence a large audience to think more about their environmental footprint. In 2018, 1 in 6 people attended an EDM event in Europe alone. That’s up from 1 in 7 people the previous year.
A MUSIC INDUSTRY CLIMATE PACT
Last year, in response to COP26, a collaboration formed between UK’s Association of Independent Music (AIM) and the UK British Phonographic Industry (BPI). They called the collaboration, the Music Industry Climate Pact. It’s calling on the music industry, artists and audiences to collective action to combat the climate crisis. Some of the actions signatories of the Pact pledge commit to include:
- Working together as an industry to establish carbon measurement methodologies, tools and frameworks backed by climate science
- Working in partnership with shared suppliers and DSPs to obtain data and drive emission reduction projects in a collaborative fashion
- Supporting artists in speaking up on climate issues
- Communicating openly with fans about the impacts of the music industry
The Music Industry Climate Pledge is more than that. It’s also a series of projects, including Near-Mint Vinyl, an initiative to reduce vinyl waste. There’s also the IMPALA Carbon Calculator, launching Spring 2022, along with Reverb, a 501c3 that works with musicians, venues and festivals to make their concerts as green as possible.
Why does the Music Industry Climate Pact matter to us? Among the artists who’ve already signed include Billie Eilish, Bon Iver, Arcade Fire, Major Lazer, The Pretenders, The 1975 and Tegan and Sara. Along with them, Sony Music Group, BMG, Universal Music Group and Warner Music Group are founding signatories, too.
STANFORD ANNOUNCES NEW SCHOOL OF SUSTAINABILITY
The Stanford Doerr School of Sustainability, Stanford’s first new school in 70 years, will launch this fall. It’s named after billionaires John and Ann Doerr. The couple’s $1.1 billion gift is the largest in the university’s history. The commitment, together with gifts from other generous donors, will extend Stanford’s research and its impact in tackling the urgent climate and sustainability challenges facing all people. Arun Majumdar will be the school’s inaugural dean.
The school claims to be focused on cultivating deep knowledge and high-impact solutions to pressing planetary challenges as well as having academic departments that advance subject understanding, interdisciplinary institutes that innovate across fields, and an accelerator focused on developing near-term policy and technology solutions. New faculty, new facilities, and a new institute will round out the school, bringing exceptional breadth and scale to the university’s work in addressing the future of the planet.
Stanford President Marc Tessier-Lavigne, said, “These gifts will help Stanford bring its full effort to bear on solving the most complex problems in climate and sustainability, and on training the next generation of students who are eager and driven to address these challenges.”
The Doerr School of Sustainability is a merger of Stanford’s
- School of Earth, Energy & Environmental Studies
- Stanford Woods Institute for the Environment
- Precourt Institute for Energy
- Hopkins Marine Station, and the
- Department of Civil & Environmental Engineering
Stanford President Marc Tessier-Lavigne actually announced the school back in May, 2021. Given the normal pace of academia, SOS was assembled in lightning speed.