Thursday, July 12, 2007

in defence of live earth

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.

1 comment:

Rachieberry said...

A) Comic relief/red nose day is, to some extent, about getting people to call in and donate money and to help organise fund raising events, as well as raising awareness. This is how it is different from Live Earth. The outcome of comic relief is being able to actually help underprivileged people. Whereas Live Earth was just about raising awareness and "lobbying politicians" - correct me if I'm wrong, but aren't the politicians the ones that are telling us about global warming/climate change issues? The outcome of Live Earth has been a lot of people talking about things that we already know about (recycling, carbon footprint etc etc etc) and a lot more people slagging off the whole concept.

B) I really don't need the likes of Madonna and Al Gore telling me all about the little things I can do to help save the environment. Thank you very much, I already recycle, use public transport and turn the lights off when I leave the room. Maybe if they didn't fly everywhere in private jets that seat about 20 people, I wouldn't find it so hypocritical.

I may be cynical, but my point is valid, even you can see the hypocrisy of such an event?