Live Earth aka Greenwashing! Live

By PSU EcoMerge Capstone - 5:59 PM

I apologize for being cynical, but I always chuckle when I think about the big Live Earth event that was thrown last year. The event itself was a take on the famous "Live Aid" and "Live 8" concerts meant to raise awareness of poverty and human suffering. On the outside, something like Live Earth sounds like a noble idea - a huge event designed to raise awareness about global warming and man-made pollution? What's not to like? Well... a lot, it turns out. As I watched clips of Live Earth on TV and on the internet - it was also broadcast on the radio - I couldn't help but think about how hypocritical and ironic the whole thing was. The event - headlined by who else? Al Gore - brought together more than 150 musical acts in eleven locations throughout the world, with celebrities and more "green" messages than you can count. However, it was just hard for me to believe in the "sincerity" of what these celebrities had to say, especially when so many of them have multiple homes, private jets, swimming pools and live lives of luxury. Does anybody really believe that these celebrities are "green"? Give me a break.

Another irony of Live Earth was how much energy it probably took to actually put ON the concerts. Wikipedia sums it up pretty well: "Although the intention of Live Earth was to raise awareness about human destruction of the environment, the event shuttled its participants largely through gas-based travel which has been viewed by many as a primary influence of the ozone destruction and the deterioration of earth. Additionally, it seems that the event's intention was to curb the destruction of the planet, but it is questionable if the event has had any considerable influence."

Chris Rock was interviewed by a MTV reporter before the event, and I think his comments sum up the whole thing pretty well: "I hope Live Earth does for global warming what Live Aid did for starvation and poverty in Africa." Ricky Gervais, standing beside him while being interviewed, burst out laughing at the comment... and so did I!

- Cassie H.

http://sites.google.com/site/ecomerge2008/

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