Friend, former workmate and ginger person Tom Riley is amongst a few of my friends who disagree with my thoughts on Live Earth. He writes:
"Yeah, I read on the news that the carbon footprint of the event is akin to moving an entire army across the globe...See with Live 8 and Aid it could work cos people could donate, but this had no point apart from being a big knees up. Pointless, could have spent millions of pounds on clean carbon free technology, but no, lets listen to Kanye West and the Pussycat Dolls....hmm!"
Oh Tom, you make me cry inside. Cry like a disabled goat, or something.
Right: putting on the Live Earth events caused some CO2 to be released. True fact. No arguments there.
Most people seem to be arguing that you can't put on a CO2 causing event with the intention of reducing CO2. Right? Well, it's a worthwhile argument to make.
Worthwhile, but also a bit rubbish. Compare it to an event like Comic Relief. I'm assuming it probably costs the BBC some money to put on Comic Relief. Presumably a fair bit of money, yes? But, hang on there BBC, how dare you spend this money when they could instead just give that money straight to charity?
But every couple of years the BBC puts Red Nose Day on. Why? Because the end justifies the means. Far more benefit will come from the money that the event raises than what it cost to hold the event. So, explain to me how Live Earth and CO2 emissions differentiate from this?
What was Live Earth trying to do? Get word out to as many people as possible that they need to a) do the little things that reduce their own carbon footprint, and b) lobby politicians to let them know that this is a matter we care deeply about.
In terms of getting that message out, it's been a spot on success. Everybody certainly knew the event was happening, and it's kept the climate change issue very much top of the news agenda recently, where it otherwise might not have been - what with all this terrorism and stuff going on a the moment. Indeed, the controversy around the whole event has probably helped. Whilst everybody is debating whether it's right or not, very few are arguing that a reduction in CO2 emissions isn't necessary. And all this debate just keeps reminding people of that need.
Above all, this is a situation that desperately requires some action. Somebody needed to do something. The Live Earth organisers have got off their backsides and done something. What thanks do they get? A bunch of Daily Telegraph readers telling them they're pretty much solely responsible for climate change themselves. Which is unfair, and a really quite awful considering the effort they are putting in. If you haven't done anything, then they are better than you. People who are cynical about such things are, in my mind, tossers.