Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Live Earth

While most of us were out enjoying our summer vacations, there was probably one of the best concerts of the year playing on your television live all day on Saturday July 7. The concert was Al Gore's Live Earth, developed to raise global warming awareness. It took place all day in seven continents and included acts such as Madonna, John Legend and the Police. But the draw for this all day long concert on t.v. was not very big. While the people who actually were able to attend the concert was huge, nobody really wanted to sit home on the couch and watch people at a concert.

I happened to see a segment in which they showed the various environmentally safe home designs available. My personal pick was the old wool sweaters that were used as seat cushions. Perhaps I have a space in my heart for sitting on soft itchy substances.
I wasn't surprised to see that the numbers of viewers was below expected, but it did make me wonder if this is the best way to raise environmental awareness. The concert goers could organize themselves to do some community service in local parks. Rather than driving to the concert in SUV's and then going back to work in places that give off fossil fuels, they could sit down and read about how to help the environment.
Instead of just flying performers on big company airplanes, which pollute, and giving them merits for singing a song, they could also give large amounts of their own money to organizations supporting environmental safety. I always feel like none of these performers really care about the causes that they are performing for, I mean if most regular people don't care, then why would rich people care??
But hey, that's just some cynicism. Wear sunscreen, stop using Styrofoam, and plant a tree. That's just some general advice. Or watch Live Earth on re-runs and make some Eco-friendly toothbrushes out of twigs and mint leaves.

1 comment:

Andrea said...

I think you raise an interesting point about motivations for doing these concerts. Why are celebrities involved? I've always felt sure that many are truly dedicated to the cause, and have the lucky opportunity to contribute what most can't, but then how do we justify the publicity they gain, and the revenue their CDs get after concerts like LiveEarth?

I recently picked up the Africa issue of Vanity Fair, and the guest editor - Bono, someone I truly admire - made a great point in his editor's note in regards to corporate sponsors for his Red campaign. (Check it out if you haven't already.)

"A few weeks ago I was with the great Robert Rubin, former U.S. Treasury secretary under President Clinton. He said if we are serious about our stuff we will have to improve on two front: (1) communicating to America the scale of the problem, and (2) convincing America that the problem can be solved. He added the challenge that we would need the kinds of marketing budgets Nike and Gap have at their disposal.

He was right. Without our corporate partners-American Express, Apple, Emporio Armani, Converse, Gap, and Motorola-we could never afford such bright neon, or the acres of bold billboarding. These companies are heroic (and-shock, horror-we want them to make money for their shareholders because that will make (Red) sustainable)."

I think maybe celebrity attention and large scale concerts DO make movements like the crusade against global warming sustainable. Yeah, concert goers enjoyed lots of great music and might have gone just for that, but nonetheless, they WENT. Whether or not it's best to live in a world where it corporations and celebrities are necessary to draw attention to such important issues is another matter entirely.