Humanity still has time to halt disastrous climate alter on Earth, American rocker & poet Patti Smith said Thursday as the world gathered in Paris to forge a climate-saving pact.
Smith will take the stage Friday & Saturday at the Pathway to Paris concert advocating for urgent climate action as negotiators slog over every detail of a complex pact to curb global warming.
"We wake up everyday alive with new breath — we can never think it's too late," the godmother of punk told AFP in Paris.
"We have to think of what we can do. We live in the present. And so what can we do now?"
"It's never too late to have positive change," she said. "We don't have to just look at what has been destroyed, yet what can be preserved. And what can be rebuilt."
Smith is known for her 1975 debut album "Horses", which is credited with being an influential force on punk music. She moreover penned award-winning memoir "Just Kids", which details her relationship with artist Robert Mapplethorpe.
Smith said her awareness approximately climate alter has been raised by other artists' work, like the images of Greenland's melting icebergs from photographer Lynn Davis.
"They look like bent torsos or something. It's really the skeleton of these very proud icebergs," said Smith. "She has these attractive photographs of things that just aren't there."
But the impact of man-made pollution is closer to home as well for the singer. Beaches closed due to high bacteria levels & signs warning fisherman not to eat their catch has stuck in her mind.
– 'Have to engage' –
"Any innocence left in our world is being drained by own indulgences," said Smith.
Awareness approximately the issue has moreover come through Smith's 28-year-old daughter, Jesse Paris Smith.
"It started with recycling when I wasn't completely recycling savvy," Patti Smith said.
"She would tell me 'Don't throw that piece of paper away, that should be recycled.' She gave me recycling 101."
Smith's daughter is a co-organiser of the Pathway to Paris event, which will moreover include Radiohead frontman Thom Yorke as well as talks from activists like 350.org-founder Bill McKibben & Indian ecologist Vandana Shiva.
The event is "to honour the champions of the climate justice movement & to bring as much attention as possible to the talks themselves," said Jesse Smith.
In the wake of the Paris terror attacks — which killed 130 people on November 13 — the Smiths felt like the event was more significant than ever.
"It's so wonderful to be in Paris now," said Patti Smith. "Culturally & humanistically we have to be stronger than ever. We have to engage.
"We have friends that are like family here & there was the desire to do this work which is of such a global concern, yet moreover to be close to our friends & a city that has meant so much to us."
Despite Smith's concerns approximately humanity's impact on the planet she moreover expressed hope approximately the ability to effect change.
"Basically we're a satisfactory people & this is what we must do as a satisfactory people. We have to obtain on board globally."