Metallica – Blackened

Protecting the environment is a common political problem addressed by songs. Often, the tack taken is to warn us that if we don’t start doing something, that the end of the world will come. The environment is linked to doomsdays, the apocalypse and even, in this song, some sort of nuclear holocaust. Well, the song imagines us all freezing to death, not boiling, though before global warming was fear of global cooling (the song is from 1988).

Pointing out the worst case scenario is a common argumentative tactic in political discourse,  though can also be logically fallacious. It’s possible the effects of human-made climate change could bring a range of deleterious effects, from minor to major. It should be incumbent on the rhetorician then, to suggest some solutions, which the song fails to do. However, the genre of heavy metal, strongly influenced by dark ideas, is often more interested in imagining the end of life as we know it, than in pushing for steps to prevent such a calamity. Of course, this is also the easy way out, too!


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