Thom Yorke on Climate Change: 'It Kept Me Awake at Night'

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Thom Yorke performs on day 3 of Latitude Festival at Henham Park Estate on July 18, 2015 in Southwold, England.  

Thom Yorke is currently working on Radiohead’s next studio album, but he took time out with the French magazine Télérama for a topic close to his heart -- climate change.

On Nov. 21, Télérama published a dialogue between Yorke and columnist George Monbiot about the issue at large, and how it had affected them personally. Yorke in particular has taken it very seriously.

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"Initially, it kept me awake at night,” the musician admitted, during a discussion about Radiohead’s green-friendly touring and reducing his carbon footprint. “[It] sounds really stupid -- especially when my second child arrived, in 2004, I got unhealthily obsessed with it. But when I started to get involved in doing something about it, that helped me a lot. But I always have the impression that I am not doing enough at all.”

But Yorke isn’t under the impression a Radiohead song can change the postmodern world in which we live. “If I was going to write a protest song about climate change in 2015, it would be shit,” he said. Yorke references John Lennon and Yoko Ono’s week-long “Bed-Ins,” which they sued to protest the Vietnam War in 1969.

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"In the '60s, you could write songs that were like calls to arms, and it would work. Well, kind… ish. It’s much harder to do that now.”

So rest assured Yorke and his bandmates won’t be videotaping themselves in bed for a week to fight global warming. Yorke’s worldly sense of personal activist duty has bogged him down in the past, but it seems he’s much more well-adjusted now. On Dec. 5, he’ll rep the cause by performing at a UN Climate Change Conference event called Pathway to Paris.