Speaking to Euphoria‘s Hunter Schafer on the A24 podcast, Lorde revealed that she’d been “totally obsessed” with Antartica throughout her childhood and that obsession grew as she “started to engage more with our planet”.
“I felt like I needed to go there. I had this reaction, people call it ‘last chance tourism’ which is going somewhere before it’s too late and that was my first thought.”
Despite calling the trip “the best five days of my life” and saying she’d “never do anything like it again, it was so crazy from start to finish,” Lorde revealed that “going there and actually having that experience made me realise, ‘oh no, you can’t go around doing this’. This is the opposite of what you’re supposed to do. I probably shouldn’t have gone to Antartica, it was naughty to use my pop star resources and burn that jet fuel to go there.”
She then added: “I wrote this (100-page) book and the proceeds went to a couple of scholarships for people doing their doctorates in climate science, so that felt like a good way to give back.”
“I will never do anything like it again. I can’t tell anyone to go there, because you shouldn’t be a tourist down there.”
Speaking about her trip to New Zealand’s Newshub, Lorde said: “It’s such an alien environment and it’s so dazzling, straight away. I had this very distinct moment of thinking, ‘This is the coolest your life will ever get. Like, this is it.’ I actually decided on the album name right around that trip. Just coming back from that trip I thought: ‘This is what it is.’”
Lorde called for immediate action on climate change from global leaders following her visit. “I envisioned Antarctica slowly turning to slush, flooding the Southern ocean. The urgency I had once felt about making the trip south returned,” she wrote in an essay for New Zealand’s Metro magazine. “I made phone call after phone call, got several dozen booster shots, and then it was happening – this dreamy musician was hitching a ride to the end of the world.
“Being in Antarctica has clarified how deeply vulnerable, how in need of protection, it is. But it took coming here for that knowledge to galvanise – and in coming here, I have also been a small part of its deterioration.”