Wednesday, April 11, 2007

What a Collossal Waste of Time... and Energy for that Matter :-)

I don't know about you, but I tend to view these sorts of extravaganzas as just one more self-promotion tool in the arsenal of so-called celeb acts....

Even the left wing granola crunchers are questioning the whole idea, as read in the New Zealand Herald...
It has been billed as the greenest gig of the summer, a star-studded, continent-crossing musical extravaganza aiming to galvanise support around the world for the fight against global warming and climate crisis.

But after the headline acts for Live Earth were announced to much fanfare on Tuesday, among them Madonna, Red Hot Chili Peppers, Smashing Pumpkins and James Blunt, critics were yesterday raising eyebrows at the US$2 million to US$3 million ($2.75 million to $4.13 million) that the monumental event is expected to cost in carbon offsetting.

About a hundred artists will require transporting by air to their concerts, to be staged across seven continents in Sydney, Brazil, South Africa, Japan, Shanghai and New Jersey. And complaints about Live Earth have begun to surface on the internet, with bloggers questioning whether pop stars and their taste for conspicuous consumption are the best advocates for cutting fossil fuel emissions.

John Picard, the environmental and sustainability director for the event, said he was "upset" by the offsetting cost of Live Earth, but that there was no other option.

"There are areas where we are going to be really successful and areas where we are terribly challenged. The air travel involved in all this is a nightmare and there is nothing you can do other than buy the offset. But in terms of power in the venues, I think we will have a carbon neutral event," he said.

Every artist taking part in the concerts will receive a "green briefing" from environmental experts on how they can change lifestyles to minimise their own often above-average carbon footprints.

The green consultation to which artists have agreed - to ensure they practise what they preach on July 7 when synchronised messages on the dangers of global warming and climate crisis will be beamed to 2 billion people at the 24-hour live concert - comes amid concerns that those delivering the green message to the public are the worst offenders.

Organisers have defended the concerts, the brainchild of Al Gore, the former American Vice President-turned environmental campaigner, which aim to set a "green example" for other music events by using measures such as eco-friendly electricity, sustainable lighting and carbon neutral travel.

Gore has himself come under attack for high energy consumption at his home, but robustly defends his environmental record.

In May, Picard will begin a "briefings" programme with every artist taking part in Live Earth, by visiting their homes or offices for a "sustainability consultation".

"You have to walk the walk. You can't get up there and tell the public to save the planet but leave in a big car to go to your big home," he said.

He has already begun this process, which involves advising artists to trade in their vehicles for hybrid cars.

Ashok Sinha, director of Stop Climate Chaos, a campaigning environmental group involved in the event, said that "inevitably there will be carbon produced as a result of the concert, but our view is that it enables us to reach out to large numbers of people who will be encouraged to learn about how they can take action to reduce their carbon footprint, so it will be worth the carbon."

Announcing the details of the concert, Live Earth founder Kevin Wall said the point of the event was to create a global publicity drive on climate change and send a green message across the generations.

Proceeds from the concerts, which evolved from the model Bob Geldof used for the anti-poverty Live 8 event in 2005, will create a foundation to combat climate change led by The Alliance for Climate Protection, currently chaired by Gore.

Funny how Al Gore is at the heart of all this global doom mongering... they referred to him as the "brainchild" of this event... like I said, another avenue of self-promotion, especially for "Big" Al.

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1 comment:

Beat Blackjack said...

It is simply matchless :)