Solving climate change sounds like an overwhelming task. What difference can one person make when so much damage to the environment has already been done and huge nations and corporations continue to pollute? The answer for one artistically motivated group is to put your soul on ice–preferably a glacier.

The folks behind Cape Farewell believe that, in order to solve our climate dilemma, artists will have to be front and center as change agents and educators to bring about cultural shifts. Can a pop song solve global warming? No, but it can trigger ideas, actions, trends, and massive cultural shifts in how the human race relates to the world and its resources.

On September 25, electronic producer Ryuichi Sakamoto, of Yellow Magic Orchestra fame, along with Canada’s Feist and 40 other artists, scientists, architects, comedians, musicians, playwrights, composers, engineers, filmmakers, and journalists, will sail to the arctic near Greenland. The boat will then voyage near Jakobshavn Glacier, one of Greenland’s largest glaciers, which is losing 20 million tons of ice every day. The artists will compose music, plays, visual art, and other representations of what they experience and bring this work to the world.

Sakamoto, who helped popularize techno-pop in the 1980s and more recently explored contemplative, organic landscapes on collaborations with ambient guitarists Fennez and Christopher Willits, will bring his 30-year production legacy to bear on the global warming issue. Sakamoto is a passionate activist for international cooperation to solve the climate crisis.

How bad is it? In 2007, there was record loss of the sea ice at the North Pole. Recent satellite images show that this year’s figure could exceed the 2007 demise of the Northern Ice Cap.

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Cape Farewell Participating Artists
Ryuichi Sakamoto
Laurie Anderson
Vanessa Carlton
Jarvis Cocker
Robyn Hitchcock
KT Tunstall
Martha Wainwright
Luke Bullen
Beatboxer Shlomo

Pictured: Ryuichi Sakamoto. Photo by Joi Ito.