Greta Thunberg Features In New Pearl Jam Music Video With Climate Message

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Iconic American rock band Pearl Jam has enlisted Greta Thunberg, the famous teenage climate activist, to warn viewers about the climate emergency in the band’s latest music video for their new track “Retrograde”. This is not the first time Pearl Jam has sent environmental messages through their music videos, and comes as more musicians decide to use their voice and fame for climate advocacy.

Pearl Jam, the band that outsold many of its contemporaries from the early 1990s and considered one of the most influential rock and roll bands of the decade, has featured the Swedish teenage climate activist Greta Thunberg in its latest animated music video for “Retrograde”, a track from their recent album Gigaton

In the music video, a man visits a fortune teller and looks into a crystal ball that reveals a series of climate disasters on earth, from the Australian wildfires to rising sea levels engulfing major cities such as New York. Later in the video, Thunberg appears as the fortune teller. 

The members of Pearl Jam appear in the video as well as tarot cards that lead an army against the incoming wave of climate disasters. 

The music video was directed by Emmy-winning Australian filmmaker Josh Wakely. Speaking to Variety, Wakeley said: “Something Pearl Jam has done so extraordinarily well for 30 years is to speak truth to power and fire warning shots.”

He added that Thunberg was the only person he envisioned for the role, and described her as “an absolute stone cold hero” for her climate activism. 

This isn’t the first time the band has conveyed environmental messages through their music and accompanying videos. In a song called “Quick Escape” in the album Gigaton, the band reminisces about the days before environmental destruction became so rampant. The climate crisis subject matter is again apparent in their trio of music videos for “Dance of the Clairvoyants”. 

Other musicians have too used their platform to promote climate awareness and action. Earlier in January, Norwegian DJ and record producer Tom Lagergren, professionally known as Matoma, decided to use carbon drawdown to reduce the emissions from his tour. 

Collaborating with the United Nations-backed climate action streaming service CHOOOSE, Matoma made his upcoming United States tour climate positive by supporting projects that capture and store carbon from the atmosphere. Twice as many emissions from his initial footprint from the tour will be reduced as part of his initiative. 

In August last year, conic guitarist and songwriter David Gilmour of Pink Floyd auctioned off 126 of his guitars for a whopping US$ 21 million and donated the entire sum to the environmental charity ClientEarth.

Lead image courtesy of Wikimedia Commons / Pearl Jam / designed by Green Queen Media.


  • Sally Ho

    Sally Ho is Green Queen's former resident writer and lead reporter. Passionate about the environment, social issues and health, she is always looking into the latest climate stories in Hong Kong and beyond. A long-time vegan, she also hopes to promote healthy and plant-based lifestyle choices in Asia. Sally has a background in Politics and International Relations from her studies at the London School of Economics and Political Science.

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