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Live Earth. Hypocricy Run Amock

>> Sunday, July 08, 2007

The Daily Mail has a great article about the Live Earth concert being held today. In case you missed it, Live Earth is a worldwide concert to "save the planet and bring awareness to the 'climate crisis'".

Too bad most of the performers will be arriving by private jets, flying over 222,600 miles. And that doesn't include transporting their technicians, dancers and support staff.

It's also too bad that the waste generated will be so huge that the recycling will be just a fraction of what was initially planned.

-A spokesman for Wembley says they only have the capacity to recycle around a third of waste produced - the rest will go into landfill sites.

-. Plans to ask the British public to turn off their electrical appliances during the Live Earth broadcast were scuppered when the National Grid pointed out that as everyone switched on again, a giant power surge could cripple the country.

-In York's Giants Stadium, trade unions have blocked Live Earth's attempts to recycle, and the 52,000-seater arena is not situated near public transport.

Now, some stadiums are much more eco-friendly, like this one:

The Aussie Stadium in Sydney will run the event on 100 per cent green energy supply. Each Australian Live Earth ticket comes with a free public transport voucher, while all the bathrooms will be waterless with waste being composted into fertiliser. (Does that mean port-a-potties? Can you imagine hundreds of thousands of people using port-a-potties?)

But, glory be, the stars can use "carbon offsetting". It seems that you can buy your way out of polluting the earth. Or, as Jon Bon Jovi so eloquently stated: "We wrote a cheque, we took care of our footprint and raised awareness, blah blah blah." (Honestly, keep your mouth shut and just sing, man.)

John Rego, the environmental director of Live Earth, says he expects to purchase at least 3,000 tonnes of carbon credits to off-set the event. It is believed the organisers will spend in excess of £1million on carbon offsetting to counter criticism.

Maybe it's just me, but wouldn't it be better to spend that money to actually plant trees or install solar generators or build wind generators in the first place instead of using it to off-set the "footprint" you've caused?

Don't get me wrong,I'm all for being responsible with our planet. I strongly believe in wind and solar power and clean nuclear energy. I wish our federal and state governments would make public transportation (light rail and a good train system) a priority instead of building more roads for more cars (because you are blocked at every turn if you want to do this as a private citizen).

But I will leave the final word to someone much smarter than me:

Dr John Barrett, from the Stockholm Environment Institute at the University of York, says: "There is a huge irony in flying halfway across the globe in a private jet, eating up fossil fuel.

"The idea that you can offset the pollution you cause is just ridiculous. What these people at Live Earth have done is defined their boundaries to suit themselves, but there is no sense in which this concert is carbon neutral.

"Planting trees or investing in renewable energy does not reverse the damage of releasing huge quantities of carbon dioxide into the environment.

"It is far better not to pollute in the first place. Carbon offsetting can be a removal of guilt, but it is not an effective one."

"It would be far better for these celebrities to stay at home. Holding large concerts to highlight environmental concerns and cut carbon emissions just seems ridiculous. What planet do these people live on?"

What planet, indeed.


Jill@Who Could Ask for Anything More 2:03 PM  

Oh gosh, I really hate this whole Save the Planet crap and Al Gore (yes, that was me gagging). I just can't believe the anyone misses the blatant overuse of jets, SUVs, big houses, etc. by these pitiful "stars" who tout GOING GREEN. Sheryl Crow should take her big, huge, tour bus and flush it with her two squares of TP. Oh, I'm on a roll.. I may just have to post about this.

Fantastagirl 10:45 PM  

Well said - It's absurd to think that buying their credits is going to erase their footprints... celebs very rarely believe anything applies to them. Fly on a commercial jet, use public transport, and practice what you preach - Al Gore should start in his own backyard before he comes to my front door.

I believe that Al Gore lives in one of the most least efficient homes ever made - but if I'm wrong let me know.

Jody 10:50 PM  

Fantastagirl- you are right about Al Gore... And his house. I did a post about it once upon a time...

Now this is an inconvenient truth

sujit 2:51 AM  

I've posted this comment on another blog on the same subject.
This is not an either or situation. It's not as if this was the only concert burning up jet fuel and huge amount of energy for lighting and loudspeakers. So why pick on THIS event for these sins? I too would have felt much better had the promoters conducted the Live Earth show in a more environment friendly manner (less energy burning, access by public transit, better venue for the show, no plastic cups etc etc) but having said that surely one should be less critical in view of the fact that they are trying to publicize the right message and many from the audience may change as a result of having been affected by the concert. Surely other concerts - by the Rolling Stones or Madonna are equally damaging to the environment but how many times do we speak out against that? Other than exceptions like The Adbusters magazine, most pay lip service to the Needs of our Planet and continue to docilely accept a system that is at the root of our environmental problems.

Sujit Patwardhan, Pune, India


Jody 7:17 AM  

Sujit- The reason this is being criticized is precisely because they are only paying lip service to the problem. Not only are they causing huge amounts of waste but the tons of fossil fuels being burned all in the name of "helping the planet" is absurd. Yes,they are bearing a message, but as they do so they are living a "do as I say, not as I do" life. I don't need to be preached to by people who don't follow their own word.

KL Snow 10:45 AM  

FYI - hypocrisy is spelled with an S.

Jody 1:54 PM  

kl- sorry for the slip. I guess I should always use spellcheck. But if that was the only thing you could find to point out to me I will consider myself lucky. :)

cchuff 7:16 PM  

Look for Al to announce his candidacy soon; I believe this is more to get media coverage than about fossil fuels and saving the earth. I really wish more people would do their own research instead of being sheep. There is a wide contingent of scientists who do not believe warming is caused be burning fossil fuels; however, that is not to say that we should not use our resources wisely.

Doug Halsted 8:52 PM  

I watched the TiVo version. The music was half-hearted, but the commercials were hilarious. In order to treat this as serious you have to totally suspend belief in scientific fact and history. I wonder what they'll do in a few years when global cooling is all the rage....

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