"This is the most exciting time in the world to be living," says Pete Seeger. "There's never been such an exciting time," as we bring on "wind power, solar power..."
Pete should know. The solar panels on his home in the Hudson Valley woodlands turn the meter backwards on sunny days. They also power his pickup, whose front end is filled with batteries.
Pete's unique new music video, Song for Solartopia gets at all that. It'll open on the Big Screen at the 7th annual AREDAY gathering in Aspen, Colorado, on Sunday, August 22. Also playing on a day devoted to collaboration, messaging, solutions and climate literacy will be a clip from Carbon Nation and a special environmental director's cut showing of James Cameron's Avatar.
Pete has been a bard and a guiding light to the movements for a truly green-powered Earth since long before the first Earth Day. He's sung at scores of eco-rallies and concerts, and continues to show up for shows throughout the Valley. He's also the patron saint of the Clearwater, the legendary sloop that sails the Hudson in its quest to make it clean. Indeed, when Pete turned 90 last year, he agreed to a massive star-studded "birthday party" in Madison Square Garden on condition that the proceeds go to restore the beloved boat.
For decades before it was fashionable or even on the radar screen, Pete has advocated an economic system that works in harmony with the Earth -- a vision whose talk he continues to walk ... and sing. The vision of Solartopia, a green-powered Earth, he says, "is the wonderful, positive way of approaching the problem" of a polluted planet. "Don't just say 'don't don't don't,' say 'DO! DO! DO!'"
Singer-songwriters Dar Williams and David Bernz accompany him on the new Solartopia!! video, which was directed, shot and edited by award-winning film maker Dan Keller.
The song appears on Pete's new CD Tomorrow's Children, from Appleseed Records, which features a chorus of school children from Beacon.
The video is now booming its way through YouTube. But its big screen debut will be in the Rockies, in front of a legendary gathering of green advocates. "Since 2004 American Renewable Energy Day has been bringing leaders and educators together to promote rapid deployment of renewable energy," says AREDAY founder Chip Comins. "We promote energy efficient strategies through demonstration, presentation, performance, film and dialogue.
"Each year AREDay has hosted national and international speakers and experts along with presenting renewable energy booths and displays from all over the country, attracting thousands of guests." This year's featured speakers include Cameron, financiers Ted Turner and T. Boone Pickens, Negawatts godfather Amory Lovins, native wind advocate Bob Gough, New York Times columnist Thomas Friedman and many more. The festivities in Aspen include a major renewable energy fair. "This is a new vision," says AREDAY founder Comins. "We are starting a new movement here built around positive solutions."
With its Big Screen debut upcoming in Aspen, Pete Seeger's Solartopia! may well become one of the theme songs.