Live Earth Roundup: Media Blitz on Climate Change
Update: Here's an editorial plucked from the Huffington Post regarding the doo-gooder/hypocrite debate surrounding Live Earth.
Live Earth is underway today (or yesterday, depending on your time zone): high-profile concerts in New York(technically New Jersey), London, Johannesburg, Rio de Janeiro, Shanghai, Tokyo, Sydney, and Hamburg; plus additional broadcast events in Washington, DC; Antarctica (no dancing penguins, alas); and Kyoto. It must be really hard to rock the guitar with heavy gloves.
Aside from NYC and London's mega-lineups, the venues feature a wealth of local talent: I'd have liked to have attended Sydney's show to check out a nearly-reunited Crowded House, then teleported to South Africa (more carbon-neutral than flying), checking out Jo'bug's concert to see Zola and Baaba Maal. I'd then hit London to catch the Red Hot Chili Peppers.
The event is meant to "trigger a global movement to solve the climate crisis", according to event organizers. Liveearth.org has a live stream, as well as a blog going for those of us who don't live in a host city.
Folks have been weighing in bit by bit, some in favor of the event and some questioning its usefulness. Indeed, Brit rockers The Arctic Monkeys, falling into the latter camp, have declined to perform at the event. I've kept a bit of an eye on the coverage and I find myself wondering the same thing: the issue being put forward here is a very important one, but would the overall goal have been better served with a broadcast/webcast-only event? Concerts are big, dirty affairs, generating tons of trash and massive traffic queues.
the model of Live Aid in 1985 and Live 8 in 2005, Live Earth hopes to
reach up to two billion people through radio, television and the
internet. Songs were interspersed with short videos about climate
change and how to slow it.
"This is something that is going to live beyond us, go past us," said US rapper Xzibit, speaking in Japan.
"When my son and the rest of the world's children inherit the Earth,
I want them to have something they can hold on to, not something that's
falling apart, on the brink."
[Al] Gore addressed a small event in Washington, where he outlined the
seven-point pledge he wants people to take, binding them to cut carbon
emissions and lobby governments and employers to do more to save the
"We are excited to share this historic day with some fantastic
musicians who are also deeply committed to using their voices and their
talents to raise awareness about the climate crisis and how to solve
it," he said.
Gore hopes the concerts will be the start of a three- to five-year campaign to promote awareness of climate change.
He wants Live Earth viewers to pressure leaders to sign a new treaty
by 2009 that would cut global warming pollution by 90% in rich nations
and more than half worldwide by 2050.
There is widespread cynicism among music fans, campaigners and
fellow rockers about the role of pop music, renowned for Learjets and
limousines, to promote green living.
"The last thing the planet needs is a rock concert," The Who's Roger
Daltrey said earlier this year. Bob Geldof, the man behind Live Aid and
Live 8, argues the world is already aware of global warming and the
event lacked a "final goal".
But concert goers defended the gigs.
"Anything that gives it greater awareness is a positive thing," said
Gareth Bush, a 39-year-old hotelier in London. "If 50% of the people
here go home and change a lightbulb, then that's got to be good. We
need to keep the momentum going."[/q]
What do you think? Did you attend? Does this event change how you see yourself vis-a-vis climate change? Should they have organzied dancing penguins in Antarctica? Let us know in the Comments field!