If Jimmy Fallon was an Environmentalist, here is what he’d sing

By Visiting Professor Jeff Thaler

Visiting Professor Jeff Thaler While many in Philadelphia were in the streets after the end of Super Bowl LII, and New Englanders promptly went to bed after the last pass hit the Minnesota turf, the Doppelgänger of a native-born Minnesotan made a national appearance in the middle of that long, cold night.

By now, many have seen the 2018 version of “The Times They Are A-Changin’,” performed by someone born 10 years after the original version was created – one Jimmy Fallon. According to my consultation with Dr. Google, the only time Mr. Fallon has talked about environmental issues was back in May 2016 when he did a segment on Sarah Palin, climate change, and climate scientists.

Therefore, I think it is time that we commission Mr. Fallon to perform an updated version of that and another Dylan song, one many people (but maybe not many students) could probably sing by heart (with a refresher class) even though written in the early ‘60s – that pre-NRDC/CAA/CWA/ESA/et. seq. classic, “Blowin in the Wind.”

The original lyrics for both songs need updating, so here are versions he and others can sing today:

Verse 1

Come gather ’round people

Wherever you roam

And admit that the waters

Around you have grown

And accept it that soon

Under water will be our coast and flood zones

If our kids’ future to you is worth savin’

Then you better start swimmin’

or you’ll sink like a stone

For climate times they are a-changin’.

Verse 2

Come federal and state legislators

Please heed the call

Don’t stand in the doorway

Don’t block up the hall

For those who should be ashamed

Will be those who have stalled

Weather extremes are outside and they’re raging

Floods, fires, and storms will break down your walls

For climate times they are a-changin’.

Verse 3

Come bloggers, reporters, and skeptics

Throughout the land

Please don’t criticize

What you refuse to understand

Rising CO2 levels and temperatures

Are getting beyond our command

Your old fossil-fueled road is

Rapidly agin’.

Please embrace a clean energy new one and

Vote out of office resisting government hands

For climate times they are a-changin’.

Verse 1

How many droughts and fires must the world endure

Before we know they are a warning?

Yes and how many seas must flood our shores

Before we seek a solution?

Yes and how many times must the fake news fly

That climatic disruption is not real?

The answer my friend is blowin’ in the wind

The answer is blowin’ in the wind.

Verse 2

How many years will our beaches and airports exist

Before they are washed into the sea?

Yes and how many years can the glaciers survive

Before they are just memories?

How many heads be buried in the sand

So that people can deny what should be seen?

The answer my friend is blowin’ in the wind

The answer is blowin’ in the wind.

Verse 3

How many more years must we create greenhouse gases

Such that too many species can’t survive?

Yes and how many times will clean energy projects be held up

Before too many people have died?

How can we power our cars, lights and heat pumps

Without harming the world for our kids?

The answer my friend is blowin’ in onshore winds

The answer is blowin’ in offshore wind.


We need to raise our voices in unison in these challenging times – that never changes.