Friday, July 22, 2011

Cold Chisel's Don Walker says his tour will be "carbon positive"

Here's a heartening development: Don Walker of Cold Chisel has tapped into the public mood with his provocative claim that the band's upcoming reunion tour of Australia and New Zealand would be "carbon positive".

Walker is interesting. He's scientifically knowledgeable, having completed a degree in physics. He's also known for being attuned to the Aussie zeitgeist: 

Richard Clapton describes Walker as, "the most Australian writer there has ever been. Don just digs being a sort of Beat poet, who goes around observing, especially around the streets of Kings Cross. He soaks it up like a sponge and articulates it so well. Quite frankly, I think he's better than the rest of us."

"Carbon positive" is just a one-liner, but it says so much. Andrew Bolt says that it is a cultural marker and I don't think that's an overstatement. Think how many bands have been touting their green credentials lately, and claiming to be carbon neutral in everything they do. Forgive me for sounding like a po-mo quackademic but that's surely been the, er, dominant discourse in that whole rock music paradigm for a long time.

I suspect that this attitude will gain momentum in popular culture now, and we'll be hearing the proudly expressed phrase "carbon positive" more often. While it won't become dominant itself, it will certainly become acceptable, even a little fashionable.

It will remain verboten in some sections of Artsville, however. That's mainly because they depend so heavily on government funding. Rock music is often actually profitable in its own right, and therefore doesn't rely on handouts. Consequently its proponents are more free to speak their minds.


  1. How do you make a touring band carbon positive? Plant a thousand trees at every town you play? Rig a sail on top of the bus?
    Maybe all the punters stay at home to avoid burning petrol. Yeah, that must be it.

  2. How the hell did I so completely misread that?

  3. It's very easy to do, particularly with the tone of the language that's being used around the issue.

    Warmism is so often associated with positivity. You know, all this touchy-feely huggy-wuggy heal the planet stuff. So when you hear the word "positive", you tend to think of something pro-green as opposed to anti.

  4. Thank you Mr H. I don't feel like such a dick anymore. PS: Am about to add you to my blog roll. I will probably add Derek too, although I might put him in a category all of his own.

  5. Thanks for adding me to blogroll. Have returned the favour. (Also, managed to break into Derek's blog and add your link there. He's so slack. Never changes his password.)