It is hard to know what to make of the Live Earth concerts on Saturday. It seemed like an odd mixture of environmental activism, hedonism, and consumerism. Can this type of strange brew really lead to radical change? How ironic was it that the webcast of the concerts was sponsored by General Motors, the same company that has been leading the fight against higher fuel efficiency standards for cars over more than a decade. Before you could watch the concerts online you had to see a Chevy commercial. At least the webcast wasn’t sponsored by ExxonMobil, the leading financial backers of misinformation about global warming. But is GM really that far behind in being one of the global warming bad boys? Then there is the issue of pop and rock stars who unfairly or not could be considered as icons for consumerism. Private jets, yachts, numerous homes, etc. When it comes to making carbon footprints many of them are Godzillas. Add to that their international tours and they are responsible for pumping out a heck of a lot of carbon.
There didn’t seem to any songs that compared to the 60s classics such as Blowin’ in the Wind, The Times They Are a-Changin’, I Ain’t Marching Anymore, etc. I agree with Al Gore that music can reach people in ways that are unique but the music at the concerts came up short with regard to delivering any message.
It was hard to understand why there was no concert in India. The big three who are not going along in trying cut greenhouse gas emissions are the US, China, and India. All three will have undertake all out efforts to cut emissions if there is any hope of limiting global warming before climate change reaches catastrophic proportions based on what the leading climatologists are saying.
Of course Live Earth is only one small part of the overall efforts to address climate change. Most of what is happening does not make headlines. Perhaps the real hope for change lies in the less glitzy stuff that is going on.