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Live Earth Aftermath: Of Hummers and Trash

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As the week rolls on, I’ll have more Live Earth impressions to relate and welcome any you might have as well. It will be very interesting to see the impact of the concerts — both in building awareness and in terms of footprint. We should learn more about those in the coming weeks.

I did, however, want to quickly tell you some things I saw on my way out. Tom and I left the press bubble at around 11:30 to catch the last biodiesel press bus back to the parking lot. Outside was a surreal scene reminiscent of something from the movie Children of Men. Thousands of people were waiting in line to catch buses back to the public transportation terminal in New Jersey. The line seemed to stretch for almost a mile. This was almost an hour and a half after the concerts had ended! We had no issues getting on our press bus which then proceeded to drive past these poor people with the four or five us on board. I’m not sure what the holdup was, but the crowd did not seem very happy and I can’t imagine any of them will consider using “public transportation” to get to Giants Stadium anytime soon again.

Additionally, as we were navigating the roads around the stadium’s sprawling parking areas, one couldn’t help but marvel at the amount of Hummers in the lots. Oh, the tragedy. To further add insult to injury, a stretch Hummer limo barreled past us on our way out. Talk about arriving to the event with your middle finger firmly focused on the organizers. The trash in the parking lots was also fairly discouraging. We couldn’t see any bins to help alleviate the situation — and tailgaters apparently didn’t seem to be too keen to take it with them — so bags and other crap were just left out to blow in the wind. I’m sure the stadium clean-up crews were on it, but one wonders why there was a lack of access for proper disposal in the lots.

I’m fairly certain that Live Earth was a massive success in building awareness — and for a first-time event, there’s bound to be things that can be done better. It’s incredible that so many areas were addressed and managed to begin with. However, pointing out little things like the above will go a long way towards contributing to an even smaller footprint the next time around. How else are we going to get another Spinal Tap reunion?

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