The Four Fathers Release New Eco-Anthem, ‘This Time We Win’, Recorded with Charlie Hart

24.4.20

The cover for ‘This Time We Win‘, the new single by The Four Fathers. Designed by Brendan Horstead.

On Earth Day (April 22), The Four Fathers released ‘This Time We Win’, a new online single on Bandcamp, produced by Charlie Hart, who also plays Wurlitzer piano on it.

This Time We Win’ is an eco-anthem that I wrote last year in response to the unfolding, man-made, global environmental catastrophe that we all face, and the powerful efforts to highlight it that have been made by the Swedish teenager Greta Thunberg and her Fridays For Future movement of striking schoolchildren, and the campaigning group Extinction Rebellion, who occupied central London a year ago.

We were planning to release it this spring, to coincide with what we anticipated would be renewed environmental activism, but what we couldn’t have foreseen was the arrival of the highly infectious novel coronavirus, COVID-19, and the complete shutdown of all significant gatherings of people, including political protests, to try and stop its spread.

Nevertheless, we felt that its message was still acutely relevant, and when I realized that this year’s Earth Day was the 50th anniversary of the very first Earth Day, which I mention in the lyrics, we decided to release it. You can check it out below, for free – and, of course, if you like it you can buy it as download for just £1 — or more if you’d like to help support us in there difficult times.

On that first Earth Day (April 22, 1970), 20 million Americans took to the streets to call for urgent environmental reform. Since then, Earth Day has been marked every year, around the world, and environmental activism — to prevent unprecedented man-made environmental destruction — has mobilised millions of people worldwide. However, those in power have either failed to take the message on board, or have failed to implement the sweeping changes that are necessary to prevent a global disaster of our own making.

On Earth Day in 1996, over 120 countries, including the US and China, signed the ground-breaking Paris Agreement, in which they pledged to try to keep the increase in global average temperature to 1.5°C above pre-industrial levels, recognizing that, otherwise, we face catastrophic climate change.

However, despite the Paris Agreement, greenhouse gas emissions have continued to rise at an alarming rate, as the prevailing capitalist system worldwide has, environmentally, engaged in increasingly disastrous behaviour. In October 2018, as the UN’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) issued a report warning that we had just 12 years left to keep to a 1.5°C temperature change, to prevent an unprecedented environmental catastrophe, the two movements mentioned above arose to reinforce this message on the streets — Greta Thunberg’s Fridays for Future, and Extinction Rebellion.

The momentum of both forced political change, to the extent that governments and local governments worldwide rushed to declare “climate emergencies”, but as Greta Thunberg has maintained all along, politicians are not to be trusted, because they utter fine words, but do nothing, and that is basically still the case — as I also note in the lyrics.

Now, of course, some of the key demands of scientists and environmental campaigners — for an end to our culture of runaway global consumerism and pollution — have, at least temporarily, come to pass, although not for reasons connected to environmental concerns. Instead, the emergence of the coronavirus has led to massive economic shutdowns, as people are urged to stay at home to prevent its spread, which, in turn, has lead to a huge reduction in horribly polluting traffic, on the seas, in the air, and on our roads, a similarly huge decline in polluting industries, and a correspondingly significant decrease in greenhouse gas emissions.

However, despite these wonderful developments, it’s obvious that those in charge are already planning how to resurrect their environmentally suicidal “business as usual” as soon as they think they can get away with it.

We hope that, as they make their desperate plans, ‘This Time We Win’ will have resonance as a reminder that we can no longer afford to continue with “business is usual”, not just because of its inability to prevent the spread of a pandemic, but also because it remains environmentally ruinous to a truly alarming extent, and its revival, in all its hectic, polluting, money-making folly, must be resisted with as much energy as we can muster.

We hope you’re with us!

* * * * *

Andy Worthington is a freelance investigative journalist, activist, author, photographer, film-maker and singer-songwriter (the lead singer and main songwriter for the London-based band The Four Fathers, whose music is available via Bandcamp). He is the co-founder of the Close Guantánamo campaign (and see the latest photo campaign here) and the successful We Stand With Shaker campaign of 2014-15, and the author of The Guantánamo Files: The Stories of the 774 Detainees in America’s Illegal Prison (click on the following for Amazon in the US and the UK) and of two other books: Stonehenge: Celebration and Subversion and The Battle of the Beanfield. He is also the co-director (with Polly Nash) of the documentary film, “Outside the Law: Stories from Guantánamo” (available on DVD here, or here for the US, or you can watch it online here, via the production company Spectacle, for £2.55), and for his photo project ‘The State of London’ he publishes a photo a day from seven years of bike rides around the 120 postcodes of the capital.

In 2017, Andy became very involved in housing issues. He is the narrator of the documentary film, ‘Concrete Soldiers UK’, about the destruction of council estates, and the inspiring resistance of residents, he wrote a song ‘Grenfell’, in the aftermath of the entirely preventable fire in June 2017 that killed over 70 people, and he also set up ‘No Social Cleansing in Lewisham’ as a focal point for resistance to estate destruction and the loss of community space in his home borough in south east London. For two months, from August to October 2018, he was part of the occupation of the Old Tidemill Wildlife Garden in Deptford, to prevent its destruction — and that of 16 structurally sound council flats next door — by Lewisham Council and Peabody. Although the garden was violently evicted by bailiffs on October 29, 2018, and the trees were cut down on February 27, 2019, the resistance continues.

To receive new articles in your inbox, please subscribe to Andy’s RSS feed — and he can also be found on Facebook (and here), Twitter, Flickr and YouTube. Also see the six-part definitive Guantánamo prisoner list, The Complete Guantánamo Files, the definitive Guantánamo habeas list, the full military commissions list, and the chronological list of all Andy’s articles.

Please also consider joining the Close Guantánamo campaign, and, if you appreciate Andy’s work, feel free to make a donation.

5 Responses

  1. Andy Worthington says...

    When I posted this on Facebook, I wrote:

    Here’s my latest article, promoting the release of ‘This Time We Win’, the new single on Bandcamp by The Four Fathers, which I wrote last year, inspired by Greta Thunberg and Extinction Rebellion, and which we recorded in December with Charlie Hart, who also plays Wurlitzer piano on it.

    Ironically, the arrival of the coronavirus has led suddenly to seriously reduced greenhouse gas emissions, as planes are grounded, and the roads are empty, and as numerous polluting industries have also halted their activities. Our leaders, meanwhile, are desperate to restore “business as usual” as soon as they can, but this is a delusional position that we hope as many people as possible will resist.

    There can be – there must be – no return to the suicidal “business as usual” that has left us with just ten years at most to avoid catastrophic climate change.

  2. Andy Worthington says...

    Jan Strain wrote:

    Andy, my friend, glad to see the music is still holding …

  3. Andy Worthington says...

    Thanks, Jan. We managed to record three songs in December before our new bassist left to take up a new job in San Francisco – and before the world turned upside down. One more song to come!

  4. Andy Worthington says...

    Jan Strain wrote:

    As for the current state of the planet –
    Wednesday was “Earth Day – The Planet Fights Back”

    We are confronted with a virulent strain of life that is sweeping the planet. A response to our arrogance as much as anything (as proven by the government response in the US, UK and China as well as other places where the virus has eaten away at life).
    I can go into the poetic justice but with so many suffering the effects of our arrogance and hubris, I won’t spend much time on that.

    I will, however, note that the silver lining is the proof that we can and must continue the pattern of cleansing the planet. Slow down, be efficient in our movements, stop the waste and excess for which we have become so well known.

    We can live without huge concerts and events destroying the landscape, without unnecessary travel just for the sake of travel, without the the overuse and abuse of resources and the demand for dirty energy, and without the “need” to go into pristine areas just because we can and bringing back viruses that are heretofore unknown.

    Humans can be like cockroaches – except we don’t hide in the shadows as we destroy. Time for us to pull in from our global trekking and waste and find out what we truly need instead of filling holes in our souls with junk.

  5. Andy Worthington says...

    Well said, Jan. And it seems to me right now that it’s only the ongoing threat of infection and a high death toll that’s going to prevent our so-called leaders from reviving the whole hectic greedy consumer insanity as soon as they think they can get away with it. Those of us who recognize the need for us all to get some perspective are going to have to work hard to persuade a significant number of our fellow compatriots to stand up and be counted, and to call for no return to where we were five weeks ago.

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Andy Worthington

Investigative journalist, author, campaigner, commentator and public speaker. Recognized as an authority on Guantánamo and the “war on terror.” Co-founder, Close Guantánamo and We Stand With Shaker. Also, photo-journalist (The State of London), and singer and songwriter (The Four Fathers).
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