Barren Ground – Bruce Hornsby and the Range

This song from the album A Night on the Town was released in 1990 and two things that year that were special for me were that I started my mature student’s Environmental Science degree course at Birkbeck College in London and the image that came to be named Pale Blue Dot was taken by Voyager 1.

The song is very emotive for anyone who is an environmentalist and talks about how we were back then creating all sorts of problems for people in the future for the sake of unsustainable wealth. Here we are thirty years later and nothing has changed. Humanity is living beyond the means of the planet to support it as a species. The current locust plague sweeping across parts of Africa will eat itself to death by consuming everything in its path or it will fall to numbers where the remaining vegetation can support its population numbers. Humans don’t like to think of themselves being similar to a plague of locusts but we are, in fact we are worse.

There are many songs, books, poems and other forms of words and media out there depicting what we human locusts have done and are doing to the world but few are acting on them. Worse still, our elected leaders are not acting on them or the scientific evidence of our effect as a species on the planet we live on.

Time to listen to the song and act upon it.

Barren Ground

Author: Paul Noël

Author of books for children. Eight published so far and working on several others.

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