Billie EIlish is Worried about the Environment

We all know, or have at least heard about, the pop star that’s been taking the industry by storm! She went from being a budding SoundCloud artist to performing at her own sold-out concerts globally in the span of a year. The 17-year-old Billie Eilish does not fail to inspire and impress millions around the world! 

I didn’t think I could be more impressed with Billie Eilish then I already was with her current extensive list of accolades and accomplishments, as a tribute of her hard work and dedication. That is, until her most recent music video graced my youtube recommendations.     

Her newest song, published on Sept. 4th, All the Good Girls go to Hell (ATGGGTH), comes at a perfect time with the Canadian Federal elections nearing. The song pays tribute to global warming, climate change, and the destructive behavior of humans in regards to earth in the past, present, and future! Sitting alongside masterpieces, her song is a subtle call to action to protect the Earth. Where Michael Jackson’s Earth Song urges us to change our ways with a heart wrenching, gut crushing and beautiful message layered with forgiveness and hope, Billie Eilish’s ATGGGTH comes with a less forgiving and blunter nature.     

She uses religious themes to create a song that explicates the nature of our earth, humanistic behaviors, and the state of our world today. 

In many religions, it is believed that God has gifted the earth to its inhabitants. On the other hand, the Devil is seen as the enemy of both God and humans breaking down the innocence of Earth’s inhabitants. Billie Eilish uses these notions to imply in her song that humans have acted so foolishly despite being warned. She mentions the burning hills in California, how water levels are rising around the world, and the fact that pollution has, in some areas of the world, blocked out the sky with it's thick, cloud of smog - hiding heaven from view. Her song allows us to visualizes the reality that humans have crossed the line so far that they now sit in a position where they are worse than the devil.

It’s alarming to reflect upon this reality because religiously the devil is the at the far end of evil on the spectrum of good and evil. When humans are claimed to be worse than the devil, it makes us sit back and think about exactly what we have done to our earth!  

Snapshot of: raging forest fires across the world, rivers overflowing and grey with garbage, poisoned aquatic life decaying upended on beaches, animals displaced and dying due to lack of a home and starvation and extinction, poverty-stricken nations, factories with their grey clouds of smoke, oceans and ponds vibrant yellows and reds from chemical dumping. 

It is very disheartening to sit and reflect upon all the damage we have done. Furthermore, environmental health is a very difficult subject for many to broach. Everyone that has ever lived has contributed in one way or another to the world’s health - the balance between the good contributions and bad contributions are teeter-tottering. In 2019, and the past several years, humanity’s collective contributions have skewed the balance between good and bad. At this point, the bad is alarmingly high where many animals, plants, and various other life-forms are at risk. 

It’s hard to take the blame for something one has not personally done. I may not have personally taken a dip into the Atlantic Ocean and murdered the aquatic life with my bare hands, but when I used the plastic straw, it found its way to a landfill where it slithered down a hill and washed away into the ocean where it unfortunately harmed aquatic life. This is where Billie Eilish’s title comes from - spelling out the fact that even though one doesn’t personally, purposefully harm the earth, one’s lack of action leads them straight “to hell”, metaphorically.

Together, we all have something to be guilty and ashamed of. Actions ranging from dumping harmful chemicals into the ocean to not recycling recyclable products all play a part in polluting the environment. If you don’t think you’ve done any of the above the big question is: what have you done to make it better? 

Have you used your voice to bring awareness to the issue at hand? Have you liked and shared articles that do a good job highlighting the state of our earth and the battle at hand? Have you spoken out against companies that ignore the reality of animals going extinct? Have you made efforts to reduce your carbon footprint? To educate others?

Any effort counts. Offering someone a paper straw makes a world of a difference to the animal that might have choked on that straw in the future! The same goes for picking up trash from the floor. 

Billie Eilish’s timing for the song is purposeful and effective with elections approaching. She highlights the importance of bringing to light these issues because “right now there are millions of people all over the world begging our leaders to pay attention. Our earth is warming up at an unprecedented rate, icecaps are melting, our oceans are rising, our wildlife is being poisoned and our forests are burning!” (Eilish, 2019)

    Her song ends with the confident, resolute proclamation that “there’s nothing left to save now.” 

    

    Is she right? 

 

A note from Billie Eilish: 

 

On September 23rd, the UN will host the 2019 Climate Action Summit to discuss how to tackle [Global Warming/ Environmental Issues]. The clock is ticking. On Friday, September 20th and Friday, September 27th, you can make your voice be heard. Take it to the streets!” (Eilish, 2019)

 

 

Citation:

Eilish, B. (2019). All the good girls go to hell. Youtube. Retrieved from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-PZsSWwc9xA