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Debate: what will you do for Live Earth?

Sam Geall

Readinch

They might be one of the most ambitious media events of all time, but what will the Live Earth concerts really mean for the planet? The answer is down to you, says Sam Geall, launching a brand new debate on Cooler Living.

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They are calling it one of the most ambitious global media events of all time: on July 7, the Live Earth concert organisers hope to attract 2 billion viewers on more than 120 television networks. If it works, nearly one-third of the world’s population will be watching a total of ten concerts on all seven continents. They will see acts that range from the iconic US rockstar Madonna, to Hong Kong’s favourite, Eason Chan and, from near the South Pole, Nunatak, an “indie rock-folk band” named after an arctic geological featureand made up of scientists from the British Antarctic Survey’s Rothera Research Station.

The mega-concert is planned as a rallying call for the planet to take global action on climate change. Yusef Robb, the concerts’ official spokesman, told chinadialogue: “You get a little bit of a taste, you take the first step – and the next thing you know you’re barrelling down the highway.”

Live Earth has been barrelling since the concerts were announced almost six months ago, with a growing line-up, more venues than initially planned and environmental groups from Alaska to Ankara planning parties to watch the concerts on TV.  

So who could object to a global event to save the planet? Quite a few people do, and they ask some serious questions: are global celebrities who are notorious for their lavish personal lifestyles in any position to tell us to switch off the lights? They fly around on private jets, drive around in limousines and live in well heated mansions, so why should we believe them when they say they care about the environment?

Live Earth has thought about this: they say the concerts will live up to the “green event standard” and that sustainability engineers will reduce the carbon footprint of the events. But the questions go deeper: can you really raise awareness with a lavish global event that is itself a massive act of consumption, and when all the people who are leading it have a personal carbon footprint many times that of the average citizen, let alone the poorest?

According to an estimate commissioned by the BBC, Madonna emits more carbon each year than 100 average Britons – or more than 300 average Chinese.  Add to that what the rock-stars’ fans emit travelling around to follow their idols (a US blogger picked up on one dedicated follower of antipodean soft-rockers Crowded House, who announced, without irony, that he is “travelling all the way around the world from Scotland to Sydney to see Crowded House.”)

Critics of Live Earth say there is another way: one group has organised Alive Earth, an online counter-concert. The musicians in Alive Earth say their online event will be a virtual, almost carbon-free alternative to the global spectacle. 

Do we need Live Earth to raise awareness? There is certainly still confusion about climate change. A UK poll released on Tuesday shows that most adults in Britain still think that scientists are still in doubt about whether human activity is causing climate change. In fact, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), written and reviewed by over 1,000 scientists from more than 100 countries, has said with 90% certainty that human activity is to blame. So people do need to catch up, and quickly. But will going to a concert – or watching it on TV – be all that one-third of humanity does? Or will it be the beginning of a real change in the way people live? 

Whether we get excited or infuriated by the concerts, they are only worth the time (and the carbon) if they make us more serious about personal commitments to combat climate change. Whether we make it to a concert on the day, watch it on TV or stay at home with the lights off, the important question is what we are prepared to change in our lives on Sunday morning:

Live Earth has a list: it’s a pledge that former US vice president Al Gore wants everybody to sign up to. Are you prepared to sign up, or are you just going to the party?   Here it is – it’s up to you:

I PLEDGE:

1. To demand that my country join an international treaty within the next 2 years that cuts global warming pollution by 90% in developed countries and by more than half worldwide in time for the next generation to inherit a healthy earth;

2. To take personal action to help solve the climate crisis by reducing my own CO2 pollution as much as I can and offsetting the rest to become "carbon neutral;"

3. To fight for a moratorium on the construction of any new generating facility that burns coal without the capacity to safely trap and store the CO2;

4. To work for a dramatic increase in the energy efficiency of my home, workplace, school, place of worship, and means of transportation;

5. To fight for laws and policies that expand the use of renewable energy sources and reduce dependence on oil and coal;

6. To plant new trees and to join with others in preserving and protecting forests; and,

7. To buy from businesses and support leaders who share my commitment to solving the climate crisis and building a sustainable, just, and prosperous world for the 21st century.

If you don’t like this pledge, what would yours be?

Can you help build a Cooler Living pledge for young people around the world, whether they are rich or poor? Tell the world what your pledge is in the Cooler Living forum!     


Sam Geall is the deputy editor of chinadialogue

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正是如此

那些问题也让我烦恼了很久。谢谢这篇富有想法并且语气平和的帖子。我写了篇相关的博客,在另一个绿色世界:http://blogs.laweekly.com/judith_lewis/?p=303 Judith

Exactly

Those questions were nagging at me, too. Thanks for the thoughtful, balanced piece. I blogged about it here, at Another Green World:

http://blogs.laweekly.com/judith_lewis/?p=303

Judith


新的宣誓建议

我觉得“七点宣誓”不太合适。植树对大部分人来说是一个现实的建议么?我应该在哪里植啊?我从哪里弄种子呢? 我的宣誓建议则会是把家里每一件不是正在用的电器的电源线都扒掉--那样会省很多电:你甚至应该在不用的时候把洗衣机的电源线都扒掉!
Reg在S.A.

New pledge ideas..

I'm not sure about the 7-point-pledge, is planting trees really a viable option for most people? Where am I supposed to plant them? Where do I get the seeds?

My pledge would be to unplug every electric appliance in the house when it's not being used - this saves a lot of energy: you should even unplug the washing machine when you're not using it!

-Reg in S.A.


亲爱的Reg

绝好的主意!我也把我住房子里的洗衣机的电源线给拔掉了。 不过我的室友们都闻起来有些糟糕,因为他们还没搞清楚怎么把电源重新接上呢。

Dear Reg

Excellent idea. I have done the same in my house with my washing machine. My flatmates all smell terrible however, as they haven't worked out how to turn it back on.


Bob怎么样?

有没有人读到Bob Geldof愚蠢的评论?他说人人都知道气候变化了,说我们不需要这场音乐会。这里面看上去充满了对大型音乐会的嫉妒之心啊。同时也实在很可笑,Bob也不出来支持一下Live Earth。有多少人即将因为气候变化而挨饿?又有多少人已经挨饿了?

汤姆,爱尔兰

What about Bob?

Did anyone read Bob Geldof's rather silly comments. He said that everyone already knows about climate change and we don't need this concert. It seems to me that there's some big concert jealousy going on here. It also seems really ridiculous that Bob hasn't come out in support of live earth. How many people will starve because of climate change. How many people have already?

Tom, Ireland


大Al

Al Gore表演么?如果算个指南的话,比尔·克林顿曾是个出色到家的萨克斯演奏者

Big Al

Is Al Gore playing? Bill Clinton was a bloody awful sax-player if that's any guide.


要音乐光盘,不要二氧化碳

“气候危机演唱会”是平民阶层的选择,我不大了解他们在做什么,但是他们有一个“youtube”的视讯群体。他们宣称鲍勃.格尔多夫并没有被邀请出演!
我个人对(保证的)第二点有疑问:因为只是抵消(二氧化碳使用)并不起作用。一个坏例子:当“红辣椒”乐团和麦当娜搭乘飞机在全球巡演的时候,我们却忽视了自己当地的表演天才。我觉得甚至不应该乘火车去伦敦欣赏那些乐队的精彩表演,克拉彭评论到。(转载自www.switchonswithoff.org)。
我想给在诺丁汉机场等候办理登记手续的旅客搞点表演娱乐他们,但是上一次我们去时,安检人员并不友善,他们要求我们离开除非我们也准备搭飞机外出度假。
我不可能真实的消减我的碳排放量,因为那有将近1-2吨/每年。我步行5分钟去上班,和别人一起开车到格拉斯顿伯利(英格兰一小镇,http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Glastonbury)度假。创作一首歌去反对(全球变暖)。那才应该是每个人(反对全球变暖)的誓言!

CDs NOT CO2

Alive Earth is the grassroots alternative, which I don't know what they're doing but they have a YouTube group. They announced that Bob G was not invited!
I have my doubts about point 2. because offsets do not work. The Chillis and Madonna are setting a bad example jetting round the world when we are neglecting our local talent. I shall not be even taking the train to London to see the free battle of the bands, Clapham Common (www.switchonswitchoff.org). I wanted to do something in Nottingham Airport to entertain the check-in queues but security were hostile last time we visited, and told us to go away unless we wanted to go on holiday.
I cannot reduce my carbon emissions realisticly, because they are 1-2 tonnes per year. I walk 5 minutes to work and went on holiday to Glastonbury, sharing a car to get there. Write a song in protest. That should be everyone's pledge!


"七点宣誓"对中国不太可行!

你如何期望中国人来遵循"七点宣誓"?第三,第五和第七点预示着在一个公民能参与政治事物的国家才能实现。

The 7-point pledge is not very feasible for China!

How are the Chinese expected to follow the pledge? Points 3, 5 and 7
presuppose a political system that favours public participation.


高于誓言

在Global Eco我们可以告诉世界如何降低大气中的碳,以及如何将其变成世界资源:简单,易行,快捷,有利可图,并却遍及全球。哈里·哈特,自1946年起在全球范围内担任纪录片放映技师,自1957年起在英国星级协会出任研究院研究生命支持体系。Global Eco及其拥有30多年历史的前身致力于全球荒地还原以为未来的自然能源、大气碳含量及有机培育等提供资源。

[email protected]

Better than a pledge

At Global Eco we can tell the world how to take the carbon out of the air and make it into world resources: Simply, easily, immediately, profitably and world wide.

Harry Hart. World-wide documentary cinematographer since 1946.
Fellow of The British Interplanetary Society studying life-support systems since 1957.

Global Eco, and predecessors over thirty years, are committed to world wasteland recovery to provide the resources for the future using natural energy, atmospheric carbon and organic cultivation.

[email protected]


清理你们的行为

尽管机票很便宜,我们还是要选择步行。
不要用耗油的Commanchee之类的吉普车,因为我们有很好的1.5迪克利欧,每100公里只耗油4.5公升(是60里一加仑?)。
想当年超级耐用的绝缘楼房(呃,比如地板,墙壁,屋顶和窗户)用的是充满艺术造型的燃炉,燃料是年前进口的木材。现在全球奔走的你们用的都是中央取暖,有空调的吉普。。。
这些又怎样?其实从AL的表演,我们不能获得多少指点来改善行为。也许想想上面说的会更有用点儿。
ROB

Clean up your act!

Despite cheapo airline tickets we keep our feet on the ground and instead of using a guzzling Commanchee Jeep (or similar!) we have a brilliant 1.5 dci Clio that guzzles just 4.5 litres to 100Kms (would that be 60miles/gallon?)and come back to a super-duper insulated house(er, floor,walls,roof & windows) heated with state-of-the-art wood-burning stove using wood bought in a year ago. Now, all you globe-trottin' centrally-heated, air-conditioned Jeep-driving freaks....how-about-that? .....actually ,no tips from Al to us all about HOW to clean up our acts so just thought the above might be useful...ROB


这些誓言对中国适用吗?

我赞成评论7的观点。

在目前中国的现状,个人只要能对生活方式有所改变,就能取得环保的效果,比如节约电和水等。

这7条誓言对大部分中国来说不实用、不实际、目标过长远和过大。

Does the pledge apply to China?

I support comment 7. Given the circumstances in China, if individuals can change their lifestyle a little bit, say, saving electricity and water, etc., there will be contributions made to environmental protection. To most of Chinese people, the 7-point pledge is neither feasible nor realistic, and the target is set too faraway and too big.


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