11 April, 2007
Let me make a few things clear before writing this post. First, I love pop music and I normally love free music concerts. Secondly, as most of you know, I am not a climate sceptic and therefore the following views are not inspired, as some of the other critics on the web on this issue, by a perverted sense of ideological positioning.
Nevertheless, I agree with those bloggers which have serious questions about the Live Earth Concerts taking place on 7 July 2007 under the patronage of Al Gore to raise awareness about the dangers of climate change.
First of all, the carbon footprint of these concerts (on seven continents) will be huge. And I am not convinced about the usefulness of carbon offsetting yet. On this, I agree with George Monbiot who has compared carbon offsets with the practice of purchasing indulgences during the Middle Ages, whereby rich people could purchase forgiveness for their sins.
Secondly, the life-style of a lot of the stars of these concerts is not particularly green or carbon-neutral. But then again, I am convinced that we all have our little weaknesses and “sins” and that even makes us human. So let’s overlook that.
More important though is that I have serious questions whether these concerts will have any real effect. Have the awareness-raising “Live Aid” concerts changed anything as regards the rich-poor gap of our world? Clearly, awareness alone is not enough for doing the right thing. As long as we are not ready or our political leaders do not force us to change our behaviour, these concerts will be fine entertainment and a spectacular media event, but nothing more.
So, in the end, I am struggling with these concerts and I will probably watch them on TV (surely if Pink Floyd and Led Zep would re-unite for them). Anyone has any good ideas on how I can soothe my climate conscience on that day?Author : Willy De Backer