Live Earth is DOA

Displaying a lust for futility often characteristic of bleeding heart types, Saturday’s global Live Earth concert was a glaring example of the well intentioned but utterly pointless approach to problem solving. Spearheaded by Al Gore, that denizen of empty gestures, the event accomplished little more than to serve as a gathering place for pop relics well beyond their sell-by date. Acts such as Madonna, Bon Jovi, Genesis, Smashing Pumpkins, and Metallica may have caused some of the less sentient viewers to question whether they’d inadvertently fallen into a wormhole destined for the mid-90s.

Unlike benefit concerts of yore, which aimed to raise money with their sprawling festivities, Live Earth’s focus was on raising awareness of global warming. The notion that global warming needs further advertisement is laughable, considering the issue already garners more attention than every member of the Hilton family. Certainly a few well placed TV spots could have accomplished the same amount of awareness raising. Of course, there is nothing that powerhouse celebrities and politicians love more than congratulating themselves in spectacular fashion. In essence, Live Earth was merely a global circle-jerk for the rich and famous.

The leading complaint is that an event so massive, taking place in several locations around the globe and showcasing numerous celebrities and bands, is bound to do more damage than it’s worth. When you factor in the fuel needed to transport the acts and equipment, power for the show itself, and the mounds of trash generated by concert goers, it really does seem a bit disingenuous when attempting to raise awareness of environmental preservation.

Another factor is the somewhat contentious nature of the issue. Leave it to Al Gore to futz a particularly clear cut environmental concern and turn it into something you’re either for or against. What person in their right mind would argue that human beings and all their amenities are not largely responsible for global warming (save for a few crackpot nihilists parading as conservatives intent on raping mother earth for fun and profit)? The problem is that there are no real solutions, and additionally there are thousands of other issues on the table that would benefit greatly from awareness and/or fund raising. Live Earth’s big solutions? Change your light bulbs. Save gas by putting air in your tires. Not only are these suggestions excruciatingly pedestrian, but also widely known at this point in time. It appears that Live Earth may have been nothing more than a grand political ploy by a possible presidential candidate. Not to downplay genuine environmental concerns such as global warming, but this came across as Al Gore’s pet project gone mad.

From an entertainment standpoint, Live Earth fared miserably, ranking abysmal ratings in most nations running broadcasts. Having caught a few moments of this travesty myself, I must say it was a cache of unintentional comedy. Watching awkward celebrities wax quixotic about environmental issues and make idiotic, knee-jerk assertions spoon fed by Al Gore himself was a tad delightful. And as most were on the defensive, every backstage interview became a moratorium on how “green” any given performer was, Madonna faring the worst in that respect. It came across as a game of environmental one-upmanship between empty headed celebrities. I live for the day when I see Cameron Diaz and Leonardo DiCaprio dumpster diving for meals and squatting in abandoned buildings.

Stacie Adams is an unassuming and introverted young woman with plans to take over the world and make it tolerable. Her heroes are few, but precious: Bill Hicks, Nat Turner, Orson Welles, and Hunter S. Thompson. She detests useless celebrity, bureaucracy, and unfettered stupidity. "I am disgustingly provincial and I’ve never stepped foot outside the US, but it is my dream to travel the world. My favorite beer is Red Stripe, my favorite movie Irreversible. I’ve seen Evil Dead 2 over 100 times. I am an encyclopedia of trivial facts and figures." She can be reached at: Read other articles by Stacie, or visit Stacie's website.

11 comments on this article so far ...

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  1. Tim Palmer said on July 10th, 2007 at 6:04am #

    Well Stacie, i agree with some of your article in as much as their were questionable choices that appeared this weekend, but your cynicism is typical of all media that has commented prior to, during and after Live Earth. Your assumptions are without foundation, you honestly asked this question:

    “What person in their right mind would argue that human beings and all their amenities are not largely responsible for global warming”

    Have you even been following the medias dismissive attitude towards the IPCC report on human effect on global warming, the pathetic attempt to cloud the issue by claiming it’s a theory and debateable. When exactly did it become the accepted norm that we are causing global warming. I don’t believe it is, and until it is, then attention whores or whatever you want to call Gore and these celebs who attempt to shine light on these really quite serious and fast becoming irreversible problems, are essential… and lets face it preferable to our ‘elected’ officials and business leaders who have to this point done fuck all.

    When the sheeple reach your level of consciousness as far as understanding of global warming and how they are exaserbating the problem, then we will probably have to keep putting on shows like this to ensure pressure is brought to bear on the real problem as you put, “a few crackpot nihilists parading as conservatives intent on raping mother earth for fun and profit”.

    BTW loved Bill Hicks too… Feb 26 1994 was just a terrible day.

  2. Bizzy said on July 10th, 2007 at 6:38am #

    Hahaha… as her blurb states, Stacy is CLEARLY anti-celebrity and I feel her. I didn’t catch any of the travesty, but I hear it stunk like garbage truck water.

    Not only are the purported solutions (change lightbulbs, more air in tires) known, but they’re stupid and will create little if any gains. Mr. Gore has no desire to address the massive corporate waste and pollution, the kind that’s at the root of the issue. That sounds too close to something like government regulation, and that would surely have an effect on his campaign donations, so leave them alone. Better to tell voters and people to “get their acts together” than to address the real problem.

    I wanna see Cynthia Mckinney team up with Nas, Wu-Tang, Talib Kweli, The Roots, Dead Prez, Jill Scott, Immortal Technique and others on an anti-war/power of civil disobedience concert!! … I’m there for that one.

    No Justice … No Sleep

  3. Michelle said on July 10th, 2007 at 11:42am #

    I think everyone who, like me, really detests the cult of celebrity can sympathize with some of the barbs here.

    BUT, as to the rest of the post, I really have to disagree with it. Not only is there a great deal of ignorance on the fact about climate change, but the noise machine that is spreading a great deal of misinformation is not going to back down. I think Live Earth was simply an attempt to drown out the noise machine. I cannot say whether it has worked or will work, but I surely do appreciate the fact that there is someone out there who wants to drown out the noise machine and get this problem solved.

    Please do not merely excerpt one or two of the most facile solutions that Live Earth offers in its 7 point pledge, and hold them up to ridicule so that you can dismiss the entire effort. First, the pledge itself calls for commitment to take action on a grassroots political level to change policies, including “massive corporate waste and pollution” that are at the root of the issue. If there is anyone who has been vocal in pushing the envelope on these solutions, it is Al Gore. For instance, he calls for a Carbon Tax to replace the Payroll Tax. Now one of the candidates for 2008 has included a Carbon Tax in their platform. Gore is working on many, many, many levels at once. Please do not pettily, lazily dismiss his impressive policy proposals and extraordinary knowledge base on environmental issues based on the frivolity on one concert series. Live Earth is an effort to continue the work in a different sphere and to begin to engage a different group of people in whatever way they can become engaged on this issue. And no one suggests that the concerts are the end of the effort. To the contrary; the concert series is conceived as the kick-off to a years-long, sustained political, personal and grassroots effort.

    For God’s sake, cynicism is just too easy, isn’t it? Takes not thought or time to just lash out in ignorance, bash someone, and click to the next page. Take a good, hard look at yourselves.

  4. Deadbeat said on July 11th, 2007 at 1:01am #

    Why should anyone accept a regressive Carbon Tax. The Payroll Tax is clearly regressive and the burden have been increased on the Payroll Tax for nearly 30 years and income taxes and capital gains has been reduced for the rich and corporations. Why non advocate a stock transaction tax instead and used the money to help reduce pollution. Clearly Gore will not side against his class interest. In fact Gore help to set up a lot of environment degradation throughout his political career. As Senator he was a major advocate of military spending on exotic wasteful military programs such as the MX missile system. As Veep he supported NAFTA and debated Ross Perot who was against NAFTA on Larry King back in 1994. NAFTA protected the corporate interest allowing corporations to pollute the environment.

    Al Gore also supported the repeal of welfare that the increase of the prison industrial complex. The wasted human lives in prison is a very much an ENVIRONMENTAL problem.

    Before anything can be done about the “environment” you have to deal with human injustices first. Unfortunately you sound like an empty headed well-to-do liberal living in a bourgeois bubble.

  5. Adam said on July 11th, 2007 at 2:06am #

    Thanks for this piece, Stacie.
    Long-time performing acts like Metalica and most others on the Live Earth bill have traveled so much that they rightly have their own personal ozone holes.

    To Michelle —
    This whole petroleum-fueled system which every U.S. citizen alive today was born into, which provides us with just about everything we know — from our entertainment to the very food we live on, is totally unsustainable and getting worse and worse faster and faster. 99% of us, including the Al Gore fan-club, are in relatively near complete denial of the severity of our situation.

  6. Hue Longer said on July 11th, 2007 at 3:46am #

    How the fuck did Al Gore become a sacred cow?! I can’t any more even get people to listen when I tell them FDR was a fraud. Gore makes him look like Mother Muhatma Chirista Mary.

  7. Hue Longer said on July 11th, 2007 at 4:00am #

    and to those few who wonder…this is definite proof that Selloutica are the same stupid *unts who lost all credibility after “…And Justice for All”. It’s like their child like rebellious instincts were a fuck of lot smarter than their “realistic” adult passage that came with establishment handlers telling them what to do for maturity and money. Stay young hippies–no matter how much more experience establishment has at sounding smarter…or you to could end up like the vapant millionares Crapallica became. God, I hope that wasn’t a sales pitch!

  8. Max Fields said on July 11th, 2007 at 6:34am #

    Yes! We are awash with petro. Nothing is not in some way shape or form driven by that black gold. And we have treated this natural non-renewable as if it was a slave to our avarice. But that is about to end. Peak oil began in 1970, and while the oil men scour the planet for a few more drops, like a twightlight zone episode, they’re travels will take them to a cul-de-sac.

    The awakening, for those who needed it, was an inconvenient truth.
    Beyond that Gore has begun to wear thin, due, in large part, to his mistaken “next step” following that film. The venue and its likeness to all the other meaningless celeb driven “feel good” is a magical reality, but nothing more.

    The convergence of the problems and the collision that is upon us makes Gore’s show a last dance on the Titanic, at best. In other words, the cynicism is not Stacie’s, but Gore’s. Not, perhaps with intent, but by its sheer lack of congruence with the reality, which demands far more than some minor adjustments (“all together now”.

    As you’ve alluded, Adam, we live on borrowed time, borrowed from our continued unwillingness to face the profound limitations of our environment. The truth, the planet is heating up, and the oil is running out, and our economy forces us into wars to “protect” the oil. While with the other hand the economic forces of an overextended empire are collapsing the very system which puts us all in harms way.

    Yes, totally unsustainable.

  9. Baroness Blossom Von Gutenkatzen said on July 12th, 2007 at 7:47pm #

    The deservedly dismal ratings of Live Earth can be attributed in part to You Tube. After all, why endure endless hours of Sting, backstage interviews with clueless, pampered celebrities and interminable speeches by righteous hypocrites between pre-barfed up mouthfuls of caviar and champagne, when you can condense the whole ordeal down to a couple of minutes of downloaded video? Thanks to You Tube, I didn’t have to sit through this miserable spectacle just to see what Madonna was wearing.

  10. Deadbeat said on July 12th, 2007 at 11:58pm #

    I read an excellent article by Mike Whitney today on CounterPunch about how Putin (Russia) has outflanked the U.S on issue related to energy. Similarily Hugo Chavez as well as Iran. We know that China and India is also expanding their economies. I wonder if all this Al Gore environmentalism is just the Liberal’s attempt to cover up their imperialistic aims by using the bourgeois and the naive to inhibit the growth of these emerging economic rivals.

  11. Deadbeat said on July 12th, 2007 at 11:59pm #

    I read an excellent article by Mike Whitney today on CounterPunch about how Putin (Russia) has outflanked the U.S on issue related to energy. Similarly Hugo Chavez as well as Iran. We know that China and India is also expanding their economies. I wonder if all this Al Gore environmentalism is just the Liberals attempt to cover up their imperialistic aims by using the bourgeois and the naive to inhibit the growth of these emerging economic rivals.