Missy Higgins, Ash Grunwald among artists involved
Australian musicians are standing up for the environment by signing on to support Amplify Divestment, a green-focused movement designed to raise awareness about fossil fuel divestment through uniting musicians under the promise to withdraw their money from banks and superannuation funds currently financially supporting growth in the fossil-fuel industry.
Artists such as Missy Higgins, Ash Grunwald and Midnight Oil's Rob Hirst, among others, have all committed to aid Green Music Australia, the organising body behind the Amplify Divestment movement, run by muso Tim Hollo. The campaign uses visually striking images of its participants threatening to cut up their credit cards unless financial institutions begin taking action to reduce the impact and use of fossil fuel in Australia.
Each artist has publicised their cause in their own way — for example, Hirst wrote a letter to his bank, ANZ, explaining that while he was thankful for its support in giving Midnight Oil a loan back in 1978 and its stance against the once-proposed pulp mill at Bell Bay in Tasmania, he wants the bank to "discontinue the funding of all fossil-fuel mining companies, by allowing existing contracts to lapse, and by denying assistance to future parties who seek your help".
"In the face of a reckless disregard for the earth's future by the current Australian government, it is up to the rest of us to take a stand," Hirst wrote.
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Meanwhile, Grunwald offered up a frank, practical take on the movement, saying in a statement that "there's no point protesting against something that your money is supporting".
"I've been against the needless use of fossil fuels ever since I found out that renewable energy is just as efficient and is up and running in so many places. Why would we keep polluting our planet when we've got the alternatives here and now?" Grunwald wrote.
For her part, Higgins went the social media route, posting a picture of herself ready to cut some card on Facebook as far back as in October to start spreading the message.
"Hey guys, I just found out that my bank has loaned over $6.5 billion to dirty fossil fuels since 2008," Higgins wrote in the post. "I don't know about you, but I don't like my money being used to accelerate climate change; it seems insane in this day and age."
"I'd much prefer my money to be funding renewable energy projects and development, things that might actually save our planet rather than destroy it."
Further down the post, Higgins explains that she, too, wrote a letter to her bank and encouraged followers who bank with any of the 'big four' (ANZ, Commonwealth, NAB and Westpac) to do the same, with the simple message: "If you choose fossil fuels, we'll choose another bank."