The BBC reported yesterday that a series of global concerts [predictably being called “Live Earth”] are being planned worldwide to highlight the problems of global warming. Eight concerts, all this summer, in places like London, Johannesburg, Sydney… and Antartica.

Okay, leaving out the silliness of a concert in Antartica (okay, who’s gonna listen – the penguins? i can really see them bopping away to The Red Hot Chilli Peppers) and the logistics (isn’t flying lots of artists, and a big crowd to watch them, all the way down there, using up lots of fuel, and probably causing a lot of problems down there with rubbish etc., rather contradictory, hmm?)…

Why?

Am i the only one asking.. what is the point of these concerts? it seems like, after Live Aid, the only solution to a problem world-wide: have a concert! millions of people are dying. Have a concert! Lets highlight the problems that Princess Di highlighted and raise money for them as well. Have a concert!

[and that’s not even mentioning the sheer number of concerts that will be held this summer. There’s the Princess Diana ones, Live Earth, and then the usual festivals that are held every year. I feel sorry for Londoners, battling through all this. i lived in Birmingham when the G8 lot descended that time. it made getting home rather difficult. and that was just one week.]

*grumbles*. At least Comic Relief is doing it differently, although they started at around the same time as Live Aid (I remember doing the first couple of them, at school).

The aims seem to be: to create “an unprecedented and sustained global movement” (Al Gore) to push the agenda of dealing with global warming forward (and making our politicians do the same), and the proceeds of the concerts will go towards the creation of a foundation to combat climate change.

I’m sure the intentions of the concert organisers are very laudable… i’m just looking beyond the concerts to the rubbish that will accumulate there, the use of electrics, air fuel to get artists to and fro, petrol fuel to transport the stage, the crowd, the artists… maybe i’m an eco-scrooge but.. couldn’t the whole thing be *far* better done through the web or the TV, deliberately keeping the numbers low-key in order to avoid precisely this kind of carbon footprint?

The report does mention that the organisers are going to try to make the concerts carbon neutral, so perhaps they have already considered everything i’ve said and are offsetting everything already.  I just cannot help but feel there may be other ways to create that “unprecedented and sustained global movement” Mr Gore was speaking of, perhaps better ways. Live Aid (the orginal) was unprecedented at the time, no one had ever suggested such a thing till Mr Geldof came along (or indeed, Band Aid). And i think the team Mr Gore has surrounded himself with needs to be similarly inventive, thinking outside the box, rather than reinventing something that’s already been done before. a lot.

However, as my father in law pointed out when we last stayed with them: it is far easier to criticise, to sit there, picking holes in plans, instead of actually engaging with people and suggesting alternatives. So…. why not, instead of a series of concerts, celebrate the earth? deliberately get rid of the crowds, create a series of music videos with the artists coming from many corners of the earth, showcasing the beauty and variety of the earth? Why not divide the earth into “squares”, they wouldn’t need to be big, ask everyone to donate £1 or something for each square? you could have t-shirts made: “I saved a patch of earth in…. ” and the name of the country/place.  or, taking the idea forward, do a rough count of all the animal and plant species on the earth and ask everyone to donate £10 for each species, with t-shirts: “I saved….” and the species, the t-shirt coming as part of the price.

just a thought. although i doubt Mr Gore and his team will ever read this..

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