One of the great unappreciated musical heroes in my life is Tracy Chapman. Most of us know her for the song or two that made it onto the radio. Perhaps it was Fast Car, ">Talking 'Bout a Revolution, ">Give Me One Reason or Across the Lines (the latter hits hard on race and social justice, which are closely linked with environmental justice. The video is a live performance for Amnesty International).
These soulful songs pale in my mind next to Rape of the World, which I first heard three years ago from her album New Beginning. I just stumbled upon the YouTube video below from an everyday guy named Paul. He narrates intimate stirrings from the depths of his heart to the tune of this powerful tribute of compassion for the natural world.
Paul's mother died of cancer back in 2001. He understands that the principle cause of cancer - untold by the news media - is environmental pollution. Rachel Carson knew this back in 1962. Her eye-opening book Silent Spring is widely credited as the start of the modern environmental movement with the theme of synthetic chemicals that cause cancer.
Two weeks ago, I learned that my mother has breast cancer. We will never know the direct cause. But I am clear about the unnecessary threats that come with recklessly polluting the air we breathe, the water we drink, and the food we eat. It is madness to think these activities don't play a part.
Please take a moment to watch Paul's video. It deserves a much larger audience: