â€œIâ€™m a 12-year-old boy who likes music and doesnâ€™t like global warming.â€ This is how Aitan Grossman opens his website, KidEarth, where he is using his love of music to help solve the climate crisisâ€”although he doesnâ€™t put it that way. â€œIâ€™m not old enough to solve the problem,â€ he says. Heâ€™s old enough to try, however, and try he does.
While still a 6th grader and in preparation for the community service requirement for his bar mitzvah, Aitan composed and wrote a song he called â€œ100 Generations,â€ which he sent out to schools around the world, asking students everywhere to join the chorus.
Hawk, you fly into the wild.
I am like a little child.
You and I, we share the same elation.
River run down from Heavenâ€™s hill.
Ever flow, I know you will,
lasting for a hundred generations.
Enlisting the aid of friends, their schoolâ€™s music teacher, and his own father, Aidan recorded his song, posted it on YouTube, and formed the nonprofit organization KidEarth to funnel money from sales and donations into the environmental movement. The main thing that Aitan did, however, was to invite and encourage other children to sing and record the song themselvesâ€”or their own versions of the song.
That was in 2008. From all over the world, children responded. Aitanâ€™s song has been sung and recorded in Botswana, Ethiopia, France, Guatamala, Taiwan, and, of course, many places across the United States, where Aitan and his family live.
His instructions are simple: â€œSing our song with us, share it with your friends, and, if you can, buy a copy so we can give money to environmental groups that are working hard to stop climate change right now.â€ He has three goals: to raise awareness of this problem that is gripping the earth and endangering the lives of all the species on it, to get his song recorded by lots of children, and, as he says, â€œto inspire kids that if they want to do something, they can get it done.
Aitan himself was first inspired by reading the former US vice president Al Goreâ€™s book An Inconvenient Truth, which included a call to action for young environmental activists.
He chose the theme of a hundred generations because he wanted to get across that while nature is eternal, humankind can cause its destruction. â€œWe have to keep it good,â€ Aitan said. â€œWe have to do that for our children, and for their children.â€
See kids all over the world singing Aitan\'s song at www.kidearth.us.