The explicitly ecological piece on Marvin Gaye’s What’s Going On was Mercy Mercy Me (The Ecology), which, like a lot of his music at the time, fuses a clear-eyed realism with an optimistic, gospel-tinged sense of possibility. I’m not sure where this video comes from (or why David Bowie appears in it), but the shots of people (heads, notably) in thought underlines the sober message of “think, man” — something that was possible in cooler, more reflective times. Michael Franti’s “Everyday Life Has Become a Health Risk” (no video available) tries to do this as well, though less coolly than some of the Disposable Heroes of Hiphoprisy’s other songs, like “Music and Politics.”

Gaye and Jackson shared Motown, at the time at least, and with Motor City’s demise and potential eco-revival, there’s a story to be told about Detroit, black music, and ecology somewhere in there (cf. George Clinton and Parliament-Funkadelic, technoists Derrick May, Juan Atkins, Kevin Saunderson, et al.).

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