Wednesday 26 January 2022

It's Time For Ocean Aid

“Ocean Aid” has been an idea, an aim, a developing international project, and now a song. I have talked about “Ocean Aid'' in books, in magazines, a newspaper, on websites, on podcasts and on the radio. “Ocean Aid” has been featured in articles or interviews with me, in Italy, Portugal, Wales, England, Ireland, Spain, Australia, and the USA. Like, I said it is an international project. Italian radio host and author, Filippo Solibello, gave me a 4-page chapter in his book SPAM Stop Plastic A Mare

He was touring Italy promoting his book and also telling people about my song and ideas. I was looking forward to going over to Italy to join him at some point but then the pandemic struck. Despite lockdowns and restrictions I have kept working doing what I can online and in any media that will give me a platform to spark out on. I am reaching out to people all around the world to take action to help save the oceans and the marine life in them. The idea for “Ocean Aid” originally came to me when I wrote my song “Where Does All The Plastic Go?,” which I recorded and released in 2019.

Everyone will remember “Live Aid” and the massive concert that went under that banner, with many internationally famous acts performing for the event. I thought that ideally a concert of that sort of magnitude could some day take place at a stadium sized venue somewhere. The aim would be to raise awareness of the threats to the ocean, as well as raising funds for a charitable organisation like Sea Shepherd, an organisation that is already working hard at reversing the terrible damage to the seas and marine life in them. I chose Sea Shepherd because I believe it is the organisation most committed to saving the seas, and that it is treating the matter as a top priority. Captain Paul Watson, who founded Sea Shepherd has said: “If the ocean dies, we die.” I started my new book Saving Mother Ocean with this quotation from Captain Paul. It shows how urgently we should all be thinking about what we can do to save the ocean. It is a call to action, as is my book, and songs. I use the plural “songs” because I wrote another, with the title “Time For Ocean Aid.” I have been playing it live and online, and opened an Ocean Aid concert that was performed in Feb, 2021 with the help of the regular singers and musicians from Rew Starr’s ReW & WhO? Show from New York. We raised some funds for Sea Shepherd, and I had seen my idea become an actual reality, even if on a small scale. Since then I have been telling musicians and promoters to organise their own “Ocean Aid” concerts. I want to see this type of event taking place all around the world, because saving the seas really should be a priority around the planet.  I recently recorded my song “Time For Ocean Aid” at the Verdelho Studio, in Quinta do Conde, in Portugal, where I am based.

My good friend Crum, formerly of Shockhead, Hawkwind, and the Moonloonies, and now with a new band called STARRATS, very kindly added his keyboard wizard skills to overdub some piano and synthesiser. This has really added to my song and given it a space-rock feel which works well with the basic acoustic protest song. Daz, also from STARRATS, has created a music video to go with it. I will be releasing “Time For Ocean Aid” on 2 February, which is World Wetlands Day, and which seemed an apt time to do this. It really is TIME FOR OCEAN AID!

Tuesday 25 January 2022

Saving Mother Ocean is a new book about saving the seas

With my neighbour Ana 

My new book Saving Mother Ocean is part of the Earth Spirit series from Moon Books and was published on 26 November 2012. It opens with a quote from Captain Paul Watson, founder of Sea Shepherd, and he says: “If the ocean dies, we die.” I chose this quotation when writing my book because it sums up what a serious situation this is. Most people are aware of the plastic pollution problem but there are many more threats to the oceans. Overfishing, seabed mining, acidification, sonar and military testing, nuclear waste dumping, pollution from other sources besides plastic, and climate change, are all taking a heavy toll. Coral reefs are in danger from coral bleaching. I cover all these subjects in my book, taking a look at the problems. I look at solutions too and explain my personal journey, and what taking action has meant for me. Really this is an important part of my message to readers, because I am hoping to inspire as many people as possible to take action that is suited to their lives. We can all do something to help save the seas, and save the environment and life as we know it on this planet. I mention Greta Thunberg several times as an example of a person who decided she had to do all she could and to encourage others to do likewise. In fact, I have devoted a whole chapter, entitled “Let The Children Lead Us” to young activists who have spoken out and made changes in their lives because they felt a calling to do this. Speaking of young people, who are activists, I included 13-year-old Lilly Platt, who is a Global Youth Ambassador and is most famous for her lillysplasticpickup project.

Lilly collects plastic and other litter and displays what she has done on social media. Many people around the world are cleaning up beaches and their local environment, and this is spreading. I talk about how reduction is so important, reduction of the amount of plastic we buy, reduction of the amounts going into the environment, and reduction in all the ways that the consumerist world we live in is destroying nature. I have included the story behind my songs, “Where Does All The Plastic Go?”

and “Time For Ocean Aid” and how I came up with the idea for “Ocean Aid” concerts. I have been getting publicity around the world, for my songs, book and idea. So far Italy, Portugal, Spain, Wales, England, Ireland, Australia, and the US, are the countries that have given me a platform to discuss plastic pollution and other threats to the oceans. Taking action can open all sorts of unexpected doorways. An example of one of these, has resulted in me becoming a Rotarian. The Rotary Club of Wyndham Harbour in Australia discovered me on Instagram and featured me in their The Wave magazine pages 80 and 81. I began attending Rotary meetings online and discovered not only were there many Rotarians keen on listening to what I had to say, but also very many who were environmentalists and activists worldwide. I went on to join ESRAG (Environmental Sustainability Rotary Action). The fact that it was an Australian club that featured me fitted well with how I look at the problem of the threats to Mother Ocean. The oceans do not belong to anyone, we all share them, and depend on them, so the more countries that want to help me raise awareness the better. I am really pleased to be able to announce that Saving Mother Ocean is available from good book suppliers in most parts of the world. Just try Googling it where you are. I am also delighted with the endorsements my book has had, and the reviews that are starting to be shared.

I was honoured to have Captain Paul Watson’s endorsement, which is included on the back cover, and I will leave the last word to him: “Steve Andrews understands that the key to defending and protecting life and diversity in the Ocean is to use what you are good at to find solutions to seemingly impossible problems. The strength of an eco-system depends upon diversity and interdependence within it. By harnessing our passions to the virtues of courage and imagination we can find impossible solutions to seemingly impossible problems. Saving Mother Ocean is inspiring, informative and a call to action by all of us to save the Mother to all of us - the Ocean.”