Live Earth too fuzzy

The Telegraph (UK) says Live Earth was underwhelming.

Live Aid and Live 8 worked because they were urgent, emotive, single-issue events aimed at achieving immediate, tangible results. They had an uncomplicated spirit of universal charity that coincides with the entire ethos of popular music, and were run with a haphazard, devil-may-care approach that tapped into rock’s favoured anti-establishment pose. There was a sense of manning the barricades, not preaching from a podium.

When the ANSWER Coalition organizes a major antiwar protest, the groups involved decide on a few unity points and slogans, and these are displayed prominently  in leaflets, email, and other such organizing materials, plus displayed on the stage banner at the event. Thus, everyone knows what the political message is, and this gives it focus.

There was no such focus at Live Earth. The message was diffuse and blurry. “End global warming’? Well sure, but how specifically should this be done was not addressed. They missed a huge opportunity to get a serious political message across.


  1. I think that’s unfair. If you take into account the ads that were run, the literature supposedly given to attendees, and some of the speeches, there was certainly a focus – actions of the individual, e.g., stop buying water in plastic bottles and just refill a refillable bottle. There was even some “larger-scale, non-personal” solutions suggested (in the “pledge”), e.g., vote only for politicians that pledge to do such and such.

  2. Well, we need “oppose all coal plants worldwide” and “mandatory emissions limits” as slogans and goals too. An opportunity was missed, in my opinion, to get a real message out to the planet.

  3. I agree with Bob. Not buying bottled water and avoiding plastic bags are important, but their total impact on the problem as a whole is negligible. Sure we should do these things– but if we send the message that doing them is enough, so don’t buy bottled water and you can feel good about your contribution, well, we here in the West are going to fry.

  4. Like, what if Live Earth had made coal plants a major issue, with a video backdrop of belching coal plants while bands across the planet did music about how coal sucks. Done right, that could have made worldwide headlines.

  5. Just a thought here, but I have read some troubling stuff about how Al Gore is acting as a shill for the coal and nuclear lobbies. If this is even remotely true, it might explain why Live Earth did not say anything about coal fired power plants, much less nuclear power (and the massive amounts of toxic waste the it creates).

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