What can dance music do about the climate crisis?

Illustration: Olivia M Healy

The environmental crisis is now so real that it has acquired a bizarre unreality. The latest scientific reports read as stark, desperate warnings: 12 years to prevent catastrophic over-heating. Sixth mass extinction underway. Yet we’re struggling to square these predictions of climate chaos and social breakdown with our everyday lives, which continue as normal, occasionally interrupted by headlines about freak storms, wildfires or floods. At some point, we will all be forced to adapt to climate change. In some countries, mostly in the global south, that will happen sooner. We can only hope that such adaptation will happen fast enough to be effective. But given that global emissions hit a record high in 2018, it seems more likely that we will be adapting on-the-fly as temperatures and sea levels rise.

When we start getting real on climate breakdown, we can start imagining how our everyday lives will be affected—everything from our jobs and our education to the way we spend our free time. Understandably, the fate of dance music might not be at the forefront of our minds. There is, perhaps, a feeling that raving will be deprioritised in a crisis, along with similar recreational activities. But that in itself seems instructional—the threat we are facing is so grave that we may have to give up some of the things we love…

Read the feature on Resident Advisor (July 2019)

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