I’ve read many reports blasting Live Earth over its excessive nature, its waste, the amount of resources it will consume, etc. People are beating their chests over why there’s a need to have such a spectacularly massive event to highlight the issue of climate change. The long and short of it is this: Yes, Live Earth will have an impact on the environment. In the short term, that impact will be negative. The long term, however, may spawn a ripple effect that does more to help make the world a better place than any large event before it.
Keep following me here. Additional arguments have compared this to event to “Live Aid” and asked “What good did that do?”. Here’s the thing: I’ve got no hard numbers about the affect of that particular event on the plight of Ethiopians, but we’re dealing with two entirely different concepts. The people that attended “Live Aid” did so to help out; but in no way could relate to what Ethiopians were going though. In other words, there was no connection, no “what can I learn today to help me in my life”, no personal impact.
Live Earth is completely different. Each of us can probably point to some specific aspect of life that could be “greener”. Some of us may be impacted by smog, some by poor water quality, others by a shitty skiing season. The environment is a world-wide issue and personal impact is not limited to a single region or group of people. This concert is an educational event where people will party as well as become inspired. Beyond the short films and celebrity pitches, you’re going to have some incredible organizations working booths and pushing important issues. In terms of a concert venue, we’ll seen some new, innovative “green” technologies to help alleviate energy consumption. This event is candy with the medicine. This event is the all-access pass to mainstream thought and interest.
As we wrote about earlier, Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger delivered a speech calling on the environmental movement to get rid of the guilt and become more “sexy”. His thinking is in alignment with the idea behind Live Earth. Getting the world interested in “helping the planet” is not going to happen by recruiting politicians or handing out pamphlets. Sure, we can wait for more “physical events” (aka, droughts, hurricanes) to happen to encourage people to take notice; but the fastest way to educate these days is through entertainment. This is that chance.
“Live Earth” isn’t just happening because the world needed another awesome concert event. It’s being approached cautiously and with every effort made to ensure the impact (however large) is lessened. People are going to come from all around to rock — but I personally hope the message, along with the music, will follow them home and encourage change locally. It’s that, or we continue to hope people will listen. I’d rather give them a reason to.