Notes on Live Earth (and some ranting)

live-earth.jpgThe Live Earth concerts – is it a self-conflicting contradiction to hold a series of carbon-emitting concerts around the globe asking the world to take action against human-induced climate change?  Or will the concerts be positively effective, not only in raising awareness but in bringing about real change?

#The concerts?  They were certainly not carbon-neutral but it has made concert organisers look at alternative, enviro-friendlier ways of staging gigs/events.  That has to be a good thing.  We all love live music.  But would it have been more appropriate to hold smaller, local events in pubs and clubs, with proper live music and less electricity usage?  Yes, but it wouldn’t have generated the same publicity, hence the awareness.  And fair enough – the concert organisers tried to reduce travel emissions by strategically getting peformers to play at the concerts of the country that they were already on tour or living in.  But that won’t be relevant for the performer’s future tours because a world tour is just that – a world tour, which will involve many flights and energy-use. 

#The performers – if they want to credibly preach to the masses about this, surely we should expect them to enviro-retrofit their own behaviour?  Maybe some already did.  Maybe some will – for a few years, weeks, days.  I suppose it has made the performers look into their own tour-habits but I seriously doubt that the majority of them can or would-be-willing-to scale down their tours . . . their huge entourage . . . their truck-loads of equipment . . . their flights across the globe etc. enough to make a substantial impact.  And in their private lives?  Their careers allow them to live indulgent lifestyles and I highly doubt that many would trade in their fleet of gas-guzzling Posh-Cars for a Smart Car and a bicycle – or the bus!  Oh, I’m sure they’ll stick a solar-panel or two onto the roofs of their many houses.  And maybe they’ll pay a housekeeper to recycle their waste for them.  And for sure they’ll get round to having their swimming-pools solar-heated.  They can afford those gestures.  And that’s not to knock them for it.  It’s commendable.  But is it enough to offset the rest of their personal and work footprint which is, let’s face it, much bigger than the one left by your average plumber or nurse?

#The people?  Will it make them change their attitude?  Maybe for some.  Maybe for some for a day or two.  But many of those people who bought tickets and attended the concerts will have been environmentally aware anyway and were there to support the cause.  And I reckon (perhaps cynically) that the majority of the rest of the people that attended the concerts were there simply because, let’s be honest, it’s a great opportunity to see so many famous and high-profile starts performing under one roof for the price of a ticket that, anywhere else, they would have paid to see just one band. 

#The governements? I’m sure they’ll take about as much notice as they did for the G8 concerts or any other  ‘Concert-with-a-Cause’  but it has brought awareness to some countries and people that would otherwise have remained largely uninformed or unmotivated.

Yet, after all that, although my mind’s not entirely made up about my opening question I would say that the ‘againsts’ outweigh the ‘fors’.  So, in conclusion, t’was probably a waste of time and energy (lot’s of energy).

But it does seem to have re-sparked the debate as to whether humans are actually contributing to climate change or not.   Well although this debate should have been more-or-less concluded by the IPCC report, I’ve lot’s to say on that . . . . .                    

Thing is, even if we weren’t such big players in global warming – indeed, even if we didn’t contribute anything at all, the humongous fact is, we are still gratuitously and immorally abusing this wonderful planet that generously houses and feeds us.  We are still taking more than we need . . . .

We are cutting down rainforests hence destroying carbon sinks.

We are destroying and changing eco-systems, altering nature, wseahorse.jpghich in turn is affecting the main global eco-system – the Whole.

We are causing the unnecessary extinction of many species of animals.

We are still degrading, exploiting and enslaving our animals for the sake of entertainment.

We are polluting our oceans causing much detriment to marine eco-systems and the creatures of the sea.

We are constantly emitting health-compromising fumes into our towns and cities, causing increases in respiratory diseases, in particular childhood asthma.

We are playing god with our food (GM trials) causing irreversible and somewhat unknown consequences.

misery.jpgWe are spending obscene amounts of time and public money on the development of more and more nuclear weapons, antagonising other countries into proliferation and heightening global tensions.

We are spending obscene amounts of time and public money on ludicrous and senseless wars. Money that could be more ethically spent on the betterment of humanity.

We are exploiting our less fortunate and poorer co-humans, perpetuating the cycle of povery and misery, just so we can hang on to our own consumerist and indulgent lifestyles.

So, whether it’s a human-induced global warming or some kind of natural cyclical process of Earth, we still need to revert back to a more natural, equal and peaceful way of life – one in which we can all share the benefits, where all species of life can share the bounty that this good and beautiful Earth has to offer.

Dream on EP.


22 responses to this post.

  1. Too right earthPal.
    Too right.

    I had switched off the TV in disgust.
    One would have expected unplugged music,
    just acoustics strings and percussion
    and no electrics or electronics.
    And the lights lazers and other gizmos on stage!
    I am sure lots of carbon was scattered to the wind.

    You beat me to this rant. 🙂
    I even had that very picture lined up! Like minds, eh?
    So many thanks, earthie,
    I will take this opportunity to snuggle back under the duvet.


  2. Thanks Little Indian.

    The original intentions behind the Live Earth message might have been right and good, so to try and be fair and open-minded, I asked myself, was it worth making such a huge carbon footprint . . . was it worth being preached at by a bunch of self-absorbed ego’s if the message really through and people really decided to change and make the effort.

    As you can see, my conclusion was a great big NO!

    I’m not sure about those other two comments. Are they spam?


  3. It was an exercise for some to (re)launch their career at the expense of the environment.
    I should have switched off a lot sooner.

    I don’t know about the other two comments.
    I got a couple as well.

    They came as ‘pingbacks’, not comments, so I have let them stay.


  4. You can track a pingback normally and see if it’s a human actually referring to your post or, a RSS feed blog that’s set up to make money on ads. The latter are becoming quite common and are a nuisance.

    I think the Live Earth thingy was a load of bollocks. The Turkey concert was cancelled and the Shanghai concert only had about 3000 people turn up. The whole thing rang very hollow. I saw Joss Stone telling the camera (in between giggles) that ‘it only takes 5 minutes to save the planet’. ‘Oh’ said the BBC reporter,’how’s that?’ Joss replies excitedly,’Just plant a tree and by a energy saving light bulb!’.

    I nearly threw up. Live Earth has done more damage than good. Al Gore pisses me off completely now. But it’s all right. Google has given me ultimate revenge. Yesterday, if someone searched for photos of Live Earth under Google Images they got The Coffee House in the Top 20. The image?; Al Gore looking tortured, leaning forward and breathing fire like he’s a dragon with a fork just been stuck into his backside.



  5. Yes, the pingbacks are links to ad sites. Sigh.

    Matty, great picture. 😀

    You and Little Indian are right about Live Earth. And at Wembley, when it was all finished, the audience were so wrapped up in the message about caring for the planet that they dumped all their rubbish and plastic cups on the floor of the stadium in spite of all the recycling bins provided. Yes, the message really hit home didn’t it!


  6. It is us humans
    who should be recycled
    and hopefully will come out as a better product.

    Then again, being obnoxious is in our chromosomes.


  7. I blame the chimpanzees. Apparently we descend from them. They’re scheming, vicious little meat eaters. Humans are capable of such cruelty and stupidity, yet love & inventiveness as well.

    We’re such a confused species!!


  8. I’ve been thinking about this post and Live Earth.

    If anything, it’s raised awareness…


  9. I think Joss Stone is an easy target. She’s only 20 and a bit dim I think, but maybe she’ll grow up. I can dimly recall being naive and clueless at that age too.


  10. Yeah, she’s an easy target because she was put up in front of the world’s media as a successful, youthful musician to give out the silly Live Earth message that was given to her by the organisers. Granted, that is certainly not her fault.


  11. Well, she could have said no, I suppose. But what you say sounds pretty plausible. Will there be a behind the scenes “The Making of Live Earth” documentary I wonder? Was Ms Stone using an autocue?


  12. Someone told me of a jokey comment made by a London radio DJ last week as we led into Live Earth weekend;

    ‘Make Earth History’ was the comment.

    He was purposely mocking such ‘save the world for a day’ concerts by mixing up their headline messages.


  13. Hello you folks.

    “It is us humans
    who should be recycled”

    Little Indian, hmm that’s a thought. A bit like the lyrical “Great Big Melting Pot”. Put us all in … blend us together and see what comes out.

    MissyL, yes, awareness is good but it has to be followed by action. Hell, the people couldn’t even be bothered to put their cups into the recyling bins that were provided for that very thing. That’s not to mention the grossly hypocritical double standards displayed by the performers.

    It’s utterly absurd to preach an environmental message by using methods that actually make a huge impact on that environment. And it’s even more absurd to have that message brought to us by people whose own lifestyles leave a massive carbon footprint – people who really believe they can justify their footprint by offsetting – ie – planting a tree.

    I read somewhere that Jon Bon Jovi shrugged off his LE participation by saying (and I paraphrase) …. We wrote a cheque, took care of our carbon footprint and raised awareness, blah, blah… Sheesh! The arrogance! I give up! Truly I do.

    Matt and Pete: yes, what Joss Stone said was a naive throwaway comment but do you know what? My eleven-year-old daughter is more environmentally aware than that.


  14. “Great Big Melting Pot”
    That does sound right, except
    it should be a roasting on an eternal fire
    with all the trimmings of that place.

    Even then, we may not change.


  15. Joss Stone is eleven years old … arh well, that explains it.



  16. Little Indian ~ hmm, methinks there will be eternal roastings aplenty if we are to believe the lore.

    Matty ~ lol. Cheeky! That’s the thing – even my eleven year old knows that it will take more than a tree and a light bulb. But then, she does have an informed mum. 😉


  17. “My eleven-year-old daughter is more environmentally aware than that”

    I’m sure she is. The 7-8 year olds my wife teaches are very aware and caring about environmental issues. Sadly, something seems to happen to many of them when they hit Year 6. Green is suddenly no longer cool.


  18. Once they hit year 7 nothing’s cool. Oh, except themselves!


  19. Hi guys.

    Well, my littlie is just about to leave Year 6 and so far she is still very caring about the world around her and she’s showing no signs of changing.

    But . . . I know there comes a time when our sweet, angelic children – almost overnight – turn into dark and moody strangers. We just have to keep in mind that it’s not usually permanent.


  20. True. But how long is that tunnel before we see the light again!


  21. Till they leave home!…


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