Monday, July 09, 2007

(Barely) Live Earth

Personally, I thought the Live Earth concerts were a bit of a damp squib.
Not that I expected much in terms of the music. The line-ups were uninspired, and from what I saw only the Foo Fighters, Bloc Party and the Red Hot Chili Peppers put much energy into their shows, and Melissa Etheridge gets a mention for political commitment. Some of the big-selling CD stars were clearly not that used to live performances, and several were desperately missing their pitch correctors.
But as a P.R. exercise for the anti-global warming movement, I thought it something of a wasted opportunity, despite the massive worldwide hoo-hah about it.
The main environmental message I gleaned (from the Canadian coverage at any rate) was that we need to use compact fluorescent light bulbs and recycle our plastic bags. I'm not really sure where the constant mention of plastic bags came from - not really a global warming issue, commendable though it may be - but a distinct impression was given (presumably unintentionally) that CFLs are the answer to all our problems. Other issues were touched on in passing, but with nothing like the insistence or regularity as CFLs. "So what can we do about it?" "Well, we can all start by changing some of our light bulbs." Yes, and then? Oh, yes, we can recycle our plastic bags.
Much criticism has predictably also been levelled at the carbon footprint of the concerts. Despite the use of green energy, energy efficient lights (of course!) and carbon travel offsets, the Live Earth concerts apparently saved only around 20-25% in carbon emissions compared to the profligacies of regular concerts.
Ah well, I suppose I shouldn't grumble. Such an event would have been unthinkable just a few short years ago.

No comments: