Midnight Oil call out government inaction on climate change with new single ‘Rising Seas’

"We all have a right to let our leaders know that they need to do much more to address carbon pollution"

Midnight Oil have released a pointed new single that takes aim at government inaction on climate change, titled ‘Rising Seas’.

The track has arrived just days before the United Nations Climate Change Conference, COP26, is set to kick off in Glasgow. In it, frontman Peter Garrett criticises the lack of measures being taken in Australia to reduce emissions, singing: “Temperature rising / Climate denying / Fever is gripping / Nobody’s listening“.

The band have also shared an accompanying music video alongside the song, directed by Cameron March. It features clips of melting ice caps, Sydney’s harbour bridge shrouded in bushfire smoke and the aftermath of severe storms, interspersed with scenes from Australian parliament. Watch it below:


Speaking about the track in a press statement, guitarist and songwriter Jim Moginie said “‘Rising Seas’ has been burning a hole in our pockets ever since we started tracking it two years ago”.

“The climate crisis calls for a real sense of urgency so we decided not to wait any longer to share it.”

“We encourage everyone to make their voices heard in their own way on this existential issue,” added Garrett. “The Prime Minister is fiddling while Australia literally burns.”

“Scott Morrison may have reluctantly accepted net zero emissions by 2050 at last but that’s nowhere near enough. No more coal or gas and a clear plan to cut carbon pollution by at least 65% below 2010 levels by 2030 is urgently needed. The rest of the world knows that our future will be all about renewable energy – that’s where the jobs are and that’s the only way to avoid a climate catastrophe.

“We all have a right to let our leaders know that they need to do much more to address carbon pollution. And they need to start right now.”


The track is the first taste of a forthcoming album from the band, which they had intended on launching at Bluesfest earlier this month before the festival was rescheduled to next year. They’ll now be launching the album in 2022.

It follows on from their 2020 album ‘The Makarrata Project’, which featured a slew of collaborators including Jessica MauboyAlice SkyeDan SultanTasman KeithKev Carmody and more.

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