Celeb activism watch: Thom Yorke joins The Big Ask


Radiohead front-man has joined The Big Ask campaign to push for a 3% yearly curb on carbon emissions. In this interview he details his reasons and thoughts on environmentalism and The Big Ask campaign, centered on challenging UK politicians and, primarily, the status quo.

iPod RED Similar to the (PRODUCT) Red™ campaign in that’s being undertaken by celeb Bono and polit-child Bobby Shriver (y’know, the campaign with the shiny red iPod and a Blogger-powered blog?), but different in that The Big Ask seems to shun blatant consumerism for its effect, preferring instead to lobby government directly to change the law to get its way.

Funny how such campaigns reveal what forces really speak to a national collective.

On the one hand, it’s money and objects (as Bono says “Product Red — is a way of making it easy for people in the shopping malls and main streets … to get AIDS drugs to Africans who can’t afford them” and “This is using the force of consumerism”; on the other side of the pond, Thom Yorke uses a rational argument for getting involved and advocates direct democratic participation.

I’ll withhold any commentary on which seems more culturally valid — because both are enviable causes in different contexts. One initiative reflects the realities of “raw commerce” and “new philanthropy”. The other seems to be implicitly working to counter the power of “raw commerce”, using established protocol and the legal system.

Indeed, a fascinating state of the union.

Oh, and don’t forget to vote November 7 (register here!), party MFA-style and then follow up at a local RootsCamp. Gotta keep it local and do our part too.

Author: Chris Messina

Head of West Coast Business Development at Republic. Ever-curious product designer and technologist. Hashtag inventor. Previously: Molly.com (YC W18), Uber, Google.

One thought on “Celeb activism watch: Thom Yorke joins The Big Ask”

  1. Chris,

    You continue being The Man with your posts!

    Thanks, as Carbon Emissions is one of the Worst Evils ‘pon this PLANET, and especially America.

    Personally, I think AIDS is a “buncha bull” to sell drugs!
    Amazing at how “so called Lefty Kooks” get appaled at the IDEA of AIDS Heresy.

    Keep up the great Environmental posts.


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