This Ode to the Climate Is So Beautiful, It Takes the Breath Away

Charles Dance, Miranda Richardson, Jason Isaacs and David Gyasi star in a magnificent climate change spot

The Climate Coalition, comprised of over 100 U.K. charities and climate-related organizations, has released “A Love Song,” a breathtaking tribute to the planet.

Created by RSA Films, it opens with a sense of foreboding: “I’ve heard talk of a quiet violence waiting at the water’s edge,” intones Charles Dance at its start, channeling his calmest, darkest Tywin Lannister voice from Game of Thrones.

But while the ad is over three minutes long, it doesn’t linger in the darkness—a welcome relief for those who crave something uplifting.

Fellow actors Miranda Richardson, Jason Isaacs and David Gyasi join Dance in reciting a melodic script, written by British poet Anthony Anaxagorou. As they speak, the ambient sound is crisp and resonant—the low rumbling of a cello mixed with the tinkle of ice, the mournful whistle of the wind, leaves cracking as rain falls.

Combined with these are beautiful images of the planet—a tree lit brilliantly by lightning, rippling water, the sky moving fast from light to dark, the moon rising with startling speed. You can almost smell the sharp note of ozone before a storm, and the kind of decay that paves the way for the sugary odor of fresh green life.

All this is met toward the end with a choir interpreting Elbow’s “Magnificent (She Says).” “It’s all gonna be magnificent,” they sing once the narration speeds up, then momentarily abandons us, leaving only imagery so beautiful that when Gyasi gazes upward, a trail of tears lining one cheek, we know how he feels.

It’s the kind of moment where religion is found.

“We are entering difficult times in terms of how the world views and reacts to climate change,” says the film’s director, Stuart Rideout. “Engagement with the subject is more important now than ever.”

We don’t feel so much engaged as struck. The message, and our times, are best encapsulated by just a handful of Anaxagorou’s own words, so painstakingly read here:

Lakes still embrace shoals of fish
While icebergs melt like snow on lips.

Seasons start to run from each other
While love’s left to shiver on the edge of a leaf.

There’s still time to rescue the tranquility.