Sham Saints ‘Pledge Allegiance to the Earth’ in benefit song

Local advocates have taken their passion for politics and combined it with their love for creating music to raise money and awareness for the climate.

Sham Saints, comprised of Darius Degher and Michael Packard, on June 23 released "Pledge of Allegiance (to the Earth)," a song advocating for climate control for future generations.

“There’s no president of trees/ No congress of the seven seas/ No justice for the wild and free/ For what it’s worth/ I pledge allegiance to the earth/ And to these stars in the sky,” read the lyrics of the song, which is available on iTunes for 99 cents.

The Sham Saints’ goal is to raise $10,000 to donate toward the Sierra Club's mission to fight for smart climate policy. All download proceeds from the tune will be given to the environmental organization through September, the band said in a statement.

Degher, who sits on Encinitas' Traffic and Public Safety Commission, said he began writing the song in late 2016, just around the time President Donald Trump was elected.

"It was something that came out of a frustration with the current political situation and me trying to make myself feel better about things," said the man who is known for advocating for bicycle improvements in the city. "I saw that [Trump] being elected was going to have a negative effect on climate policy, which is my primary area of concern, before he withdrew us from the Paris Agreement. That just made it all the more timely. It started with me getting into discussions with people on Facebook and then I decided I was going to put my energy into something more positive."

In the song, which Degher describes as an "environmental call to arms," the band recounts the serious consequences today's climate could have on future generations.

For this reason, the video — which was filmed in March at South Ponto Beach in Carlsbad — stars local children who lip-sync the words.

"It's really about kids in the end," Degher said. "All of these problems with bad climate policy aren't going to affect me so much. Our children and their children are going to be the ones who will experience problems due to today's bad climate policy."

Encinitas Mayor Catherine Blakespear's 9-year-old daughter, Ava, is one of the main actresses. Degher said Ava was a perfect fit because she cares about politics and encourages changes she wishes to see in the world.

“This was a fun experience for Ava, involving an important environmental message created by a well-respected local musician,” the mayor said. “We were honored to be asked to participate.”

"Pledge of Allegiance (to the Earth)" will be featured on the Universal Records World Peace album, which will include a diverse mix of artists like Ziggy Marley and Megadeth.

The song will also be part of the Sham Saints' upcoming album, "Out of Tune," which is due July 21.

An album release party will be held July 22 at Seaweed and Gravel, 1144 North Coast Highway 101, from 5 to 7 p.m. Sham Saints will perform live, and there will also be a food truck, drinks and exclusive “Pledge of Allegiance” T-shirts for sale, Degher said.

For more information, visit www.facebook.com/shamsaints. To see the video for "Pledge of Allegiance (to the Earth)," visit http://bit.ly/2syev3u

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