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Thom Yorke of Radiohead Releases Song With Greenpeace to Help Antarctica

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Thom Yorke performs at Madison Square Garden in July. Jeff Kravitz / FilmMagic

Greenpeace is on a mission to create the largest protected area on earth in Antarctica, and it just gained a very talented ally to help promote that goal.

Radiohead frontman Thom Yorke released a single Tuesday in support of the campaign called "Hands Off Antarctica," The Guardian reported.


"There are some places on this planet that are meant to stay raw and wild and not destroyed by humanity's footprint," Yorke said in a statement reported by The Guardian. "This track is about stopping the relentless march of those heavy footsteps. The Antarctic is a true wilderness and what happens there affects us all. That's why we should protect it."

The track is being released alongside a video featuring Antarctic footage shot by Greenpeace research ship Arctic Sunrise.

The video and electronic song were premiered Tuesday night at the Marble Arch in London. For anyone who couldn't be there, Radiohead shared Greanpeace's live feed of the event with its 11 million Facebook followers.

Rolling Stone described the track as a "shimmery, four-minute electronic instrumental" that "blends blips with chilly, glacial washes of sound."

"This is an exciting display of the creativity and global reach movement of over two million people who are calling on governments to protect the Antarctic by creating an Antarctic Ocean Sanctuary this month," Louisa Casson wrote for Greenpeace.

The launch comes the week before the Commission for the Conservation of Antarctic Marine Living Resources (CCAMLR) is scheduled to meet to decide on creating an Antarctic Ocean Sanctuary that would be 1.8 million square kilometers (approximately 700,000 square miles)―200 times the size of Yellowstone National Park.

The sanctuary in the Weddell Sea would protect marine life like penguins and whales from the pressures of climate change, pollution and industrial fishing.

All 25 governments (24 nations plus the EU) in the CCAMLR must approve the sanctuary at their upcoming 37th meeting that runs from Oct. 22 to Nov. 2. The EU and the UK have already said they will back the measure, but it is unclear how some countries with fishing interests in the region, like Russia, Norway and China, will vote, The Guardian reported Wednesday.

The proposal would ban all fishing in the protected area. In addition to safeguarding wildlife, a protected, healthy ocean would also help fight climate change by absorbing carbon dioxide from the atmosphere.

Yorke has long supported environmental causes and attempted to cut the carbon footprint of Radiohead's tours. Rolling Stone listed him as one of "The 15 Most Eco-Friendly Rockers" in 2010.

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