Moby: free Europe concerts for climate change

Article published on Sept. 15, 2009
Article published on Sept. 15, 2009
'' raises awareness among Europe's youth before the December UN summit in Copenhagen. We chat to the American musician/ activist

It's a calm and relaxed Moby who is in Sweden today. The New York-based DJ and singer-songwriter has been transformed by his experiences on the recent US presidential campaign, his climate conversations with Al Gore and his latest musical offering, a very intimate and conversational record called Wait for Me.

The goal is ambitious: get more than 30 million young people aged between 15 to 34 to participate

The New York-based star is in Stockholm to talk environment for the 'Play4Climate' campaign, which is a joint MTV and European commission campaign. The goal is ambitious: get more than 30 million young people aged between 15 to 34 to participate. He wants us to keep our discussion to the issues surrounding it. ‘This is the most important issue,' Moby, aka Richard Melville Hall, exclaims. 'It excludes everything else!’

Turn off the anger and the standby button

(Image: © has been the butt of jokes because of his his often fervid propagating and intense interest in the environment, which began fifteen years ago, the severity of the climate shaking him up. Now Moby, who has been a vegan for twenty-two years, tries instead to send out his message in a more positive fashion. 'You cannot just be angry,' he explains, pointing out that anger bounds back on the message. Moby praises Europe for its climate work and condemns the United States for not doing enough to switch from its dependence on oil, because of oil companies' lobbying, in his opinion. ‘Turn off the standby button. It will save 200 euros a year in electricity bills per family every year,’ he says. He also warns of the power of oil-rich dictatorships: ‘Sending money to Venezuela brings no jobs in Gothenburg.’ 

Moby has his well-known political views, and policy is in the foreground far more than the music on Play4Climate. He often speaks of global resource flows and infrastructure building in developing countries at international summits. Today, he emphasises that music can play an important role in the link between politics and culture ‘It is difficult to get people interested in an issue that will affect them in ten to forty years,’ he admits. He then becomes reluctant when we discuss what over-consumption is. ‘There is nothing wrong with consumption per se. It is possible to address the environmental impact. Of course, what do you say to two billion people - you won’t be able to have cars and refrigerators in the way we can in the west! No one can consume as we do now. We need new technologies.’

(Image: © was launched by the current EU presidency at home in Sweden. Moby and his band appeared in a concert in Stockholm on 20 August, and Copenhagen. The next big event for the Play4Climate campaign is in Budapest on19 Septemberwhere the British indie group Editors will perform