A reader wondered why I only pointed out the energy costs of the global Live Earth and not the “carbon neutral” campaign intended to offset those costs.
Here are those plans according to a link sent along with the message:
* First off, John Picard, the award-winning sustainability expert and former member of President Clinton’s Green White House task force, is leading the SOS team of sustainability experts. SOS (Save Our Selves) is the green group behind the entertainment at Live Earth. Anyways, their job is to follow the waste streams of this concert, and as I mentioned previously, cover their tracks with green sustainable offsets. We’re may even likely see the first concert powered entirely from the garbage of the people attending. You can read more about this type of technology here.
* Second, all electricity powering the event will be from renewable sources. From bio-diesel to solar to wind.
* All concession stands will be directed to use biodegradable plastics (corn-based) and waste will efficiently reduced through organized on-site recycling.
* CFL and LED lighting will reign supreme from on-stage to the performers’ trailers. In fact, any hotel wishing to accommodate Live Earth staff, must switch out any inefficient lights with either CFL or LED alternatives. Additionally, non-toxic cleaners will be used for cleaning, and recycle bins provided for each room.
* All air travel for Live Earth will be offset with carbon credits.
So, assuming all of this worked as planned (which I am absolutely sure it did, of course) it was carbon neutral. If you buy the whole “carbon offset” scheme. And if all the attendees were also carbon neutral. And if media coverage, security, hotels, and other services were also carbon neutral. If all of that really worked and if no one is cheating, it was neutral.
Let’s assume for a moment that it was. No additional damage to the environment in any way resulted from this concert. How much good was done? How many attendees didn’t know about threats to the environment, or how many will do something measurable as a result of attending? Was money raised to save rain forests or plant more additional trees or clean some water or expand renewable energy?
What will the practical and measurable result of this concert be? I could be missing things, as I really didn’t follow the story at all. Maybe a lot of tangible good has been done or will be done. But unless the real practical result is noticeably positive, it was a waste of time, right?
I expect all the stories about how so much real good is being done as a result of all this will be rolling in shortly.
Or will there maybe be stories about how the whole thing was a total crock?
In another MSNBC.com story, Al Gore said “This is going to be the greenest event of its kind, ever.”
“Greenest event of its kind?” So it was really really really really polluting instead of really really really really really polluting? Great.
Don’t get me wrong. Murdoc is pro-environment. A lot more pro-environment than most folks on his side of the aisle, he thinks. But Murdoc doesn’t have a whole lot of time for all of these self-appointed spokespeople for the movement. In most cases they appear to be nothing more than hyperventilating hypocrites.
If this event was truly “carbon neutral”, even when playing stupid offset games, I’ll at least admit that it was only mostly worthless instead of very destructive. But so little from this crowd has appeared to hold any sort of rational validity that I’m not really giving anyone any benefit of the doubt.
Maybe I’m wrong. Maybe this was a worthwhile event that will bring far greater good than harm. I’ll believe it when I see it.