SOS - Live Earth Concerts

Friday, July 06, 2007
I think S.O.S. is actually a pretty appropriate way to market the Live Earth concerts being put on this weekend. And for two reasons.

1. The planet is in a bit of a crisis (although if you ask Michael Crichton or read his book State of Fear, he'd say you're on crack). Mother Earth is in need of some serious saving and we all need to do our part.
2. This is SoooooooStupid. Ok, that's pushing it just a smidge. However, I think this series of concert is the wrong way to go about trying to save the planet.

According to their website, "Live Earth is a 24-hour, 7-continent concert series taking place on 7/7/07 that will bring together more than 100 music artists and 2 billion people to trigger a global movement to solve the climate crisis." The also claim "All Live Earth venues will be designed and constructed by a team of sustainability engineers who will address the environmental and energy management challenges of each concert site, as well as the operations of sponsors, partners and other Live Earth affiliates. Each venue will not only be designed to maintain a minimum environmental impact, but will showcase the latest state-of-the-art energy efficiency, on-site power generation, and sustainable facilities management practices. "

I'm all for them "maintaining a minimum environmental impact" at their venues including the on-site power generation. However, what about all the oil, gas, and other pollutants being used/dumped into our environment to get all of the acts and equipment to these various locations? Perhaps Al Gore and the other organizers have made arrangements for a fleet of hybrid vehicles or have purchased a number of carbon credits in order to offset the cost to the planet.

But then you have to factor in all of the people attending these concerts. How are they getting to the concerts? Guaranteed not all of them are going to recycle their food wrappers, concert tickets, and plastic, non-biodegradable bottles. Additionally, the mere act of recylcing uses enourmous amounts of fossil fuels in order to turn the materials back into something reusable...

On top of all that, what about the networks airing the concerts, the energy used by all of those at home watching the concerts on their televisions or the internet. I think it's a safe bet it won't all come from solar or wind generated power sources.

And then there's the whole issue of the concert in Antarctica. What the hell are they thinking? One of the last "untouched" spots on earth and they're holding a concert there? I don't know the details but I'm thinking this is a bad, bad idea.

You would think that the major sponsors of such an event would be the world's leaders in recycling and environmental protection. Hmmm. Some of the major official sponsors are Pepsi, Absolut Vodka, and Phillips. A local sponsor in South Africa is Coca Cola. I don't know much about their environmental practices but I'm guessing that they probably don't have the best records. And it's the containers for their products (most notable Pepsi and Coke) that we find littered around our streets, green spaces, and in our land fills.

I think we have to ask ourselves, is it all really worth it? Over the past few years, I've become quite a fan of Al Gore and his push to try and get the world to wake up to the environmental problems we're currently facing and will face in the future. If you haven't seen An Inconvenient Truth or read his book, I'd highly recommend you check it out. And yes, by trying to reach the world with such an important message, music is (and has been in the past) an effective tool, especially for youth. However, while the message might be received, I wonder if it will end up doing more harm than good. I guess we'll just have to wait and see.

3 comments:

Gardenia said...

Great post! Great points. Yes, we'll have to wait and see - but at least it will get some kind of word out!

My friend went to one of Al Gore's training sessions and now that is her mission. I wish I could have went with her. It too have been a fan of his. Brilliant man.

Heather said...

I tried watching the concert for a bit, but just couldn't get into it. I sat outside and read - my contribution to the Earth, I suppose!

Candy Minx said...

I think just discussing whether a concert is an effective way to open dialogue is a start in spreading awareness.

Hopefully, people won't stop at just thinking about what is green as a one step transformation, like just recycling. Public transit, how we grow food and where we grow food, the way corporations and ofices run their air and heating...there are so many levels of action to discuss.

Cheers!

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