So the Live Earth Gig is going on, on TV, on radio, everywhere. And the only time it’s registered on my radar was talking to Oroh last night who’s playing at it with Corinne Bailey Rae, arranging to meet up afterwards…
Why hasn’t it? I’m HUGELY concerned about climate change, a qualified but largely enthusiastic supporter of what Al Gore’s taken up as his cause (An Inconvenient Truthx is definitely required viewing), but the notion of a bunch of largely ill-informed rock stars flying in in private jets to ‘lend their support’ (and prop up their often-ailing careers) is just plain hideous. Claiming to ‘carbon offset’ your private jet useage, and putting low energy lightbulbs in on your yacht does not make you a shining example of planet-saving eco-warrior-ness. It means you’re trying to party as the ship goes down, pretending that planting a few trees excuses your King Kong-sized carbon footprint. And that, my dear bloglings it’s what’s known in scientific terms as complete bollocks.
The organisers are claiming that they are trying to make the whole event carbon neutral and have booked bands in the cities they live in. But they don’t seem to have asked the bands to sign up to any kind of rock star eco-charter that curtails their use of private jets, and commits them to running their tour buses on bio-fuels and selling fair-trade bleach-free merchandise etc. Surely the concert would have smacked less of being a giant photo op for some of the worst abusers of aviation in the world if there’d been some kind of commitment to change, to reducing their own load on the planet – if you will, ‘putting their own house in order’, rather than looking like the bunch of fucking hypocrites they are. And I say this as someone who so far this year has made two return flights over the atlantic, and one return flight to Edinburgh, but who has also done two month-long tours round Europe in the last year on trains, and is committed to continuing that trend, and to not flying domestically (someone else booked and paid for the Edinburgh trip, and I was too slow to change it to a train ticket..)
So there you go, Live Earth – great cause, dreadful way of making the point. Please don’t be fooled by the myth of carbon offsetting – we all need to radically REDUCE our carbon footprint, rather than thinking we can carry on as normal but just plant some trees to make it all go away. It’s not going to work.by