Ever since I was very young, I have had an interest in the environment and a concern for the effects of climate change. I grew up in Beijing, China after my parents moved our family out there, so I saw first-hand, almost every day, the effects of pollution in one of the most affected cities in the world. The Air Quality Index there regularly topped 300 and sometimes much higher and we often had to wear masks. We all wonder what the long-term impact might be on our health.
To be fair, China is very aware of climate change issues, and it invests hugely in renewable energy - more than most countries. That’s really positive, but they face a massive challenge with their ever-expanding economy. They tried very hard to clean up the air for the Beijing Olympics in 2008, but the results were comical. I lived outside the city, and I could often hear the sound of the ‘shelling’ in the mountains as they fired silver iodide up into the clouds to try to make it rain and clean up the air. They did it so much that for the first week of the games we had torrential rain almost every day!
Like all kids, I watched too much TV when I was small but there weren’t many programmes in English, but I was able to watch National Geographic and Discovery Channel which gave me a real chance to learn about environmental issues and really spark my passion. At that time, my Dad worked in Biomass Fuels and the Carbon Markets, and we always had school projects to do about pollution, so awareness about climate change issues became a big part of our family life.
It was also while I was in China that I first started to sing and perform – initially in school talent shows, but later we had a band. When I came back to the UK in 2014, my career began to take off after I came second in a National Talent competition. I then started to write my own songs and by 2017 had released my first EP. The songwriting also gave me the chance to communicate my feelings about subjects I care deeply about, none more so than climate change which inspired me to write ‘Extinction’ which became part of my second EP released in 2018. Extinction tells the story of how previous generations have plundered the Earth’s resources and left us with environmental problems that my generation may never be able to solve.
I would love for Extinction to become an anthem for climate change and for more people to get to hear it and share it because I believe its messages are really important. If the young people of today have a greater understanding of these issues then maybe together we can make the world a better place.
About the Author: Tazmin Barnes is a 16-year-old singer-songwriter from Worcestershire, UK. Extinction features on her 2nd EP called ‘Powerful’ which reached No11 in the iTunes Pop Charts in February 2018 and has been featured by BBC Introducing. Two tracks from Powerful reached the National Final of the UK Songwriting Contest (run by the BRIT Awards). Tazmin is a regular performer at Music Festivals in the UK.
Extinction Video Clip:
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