Sunday, July 08, 2007

Live or Die Earth?

The moment I heard that Earth would be saved by a 24hr non-stop rock gig across the world, I burst out laughing. It went something like that:

Friend:'Eh, you know the likes of Madonna, Rihanna, John Mayer and all performing concerts to save the earth?'
Me: 'Eh, Where? They will sing without mike, electric guitar and to nobody in particular ah?'
Friend: 'Rubbish mate, they will sing their usual with mikes, guitars, people and all. Only people in designated cities can watch though.'

Thank God. Probably the last line made any sense in this whole Live Earth campaign. Advocates will argue that Earth needs a saviour and the best move is probably to conduct a star-filled concert for 24 hours to raise awareness that Mother Earth is dying. Critics will say that the amount of energy wasted by these organizers just to raise awareness is simply absurd. How is destroying Earth, saving Earth in the process?

I really believe that this world does not need another rock concert to remind themselves that Earth is dying. The signs are everywhere. Mr Al Gore himself has released a movie, went around the world in fuel-guzzling planes and emitted about a ton of carbon monoxide into the atmosphere through his speeches, just explaining that Earth is dying and we have to care for our habitat.

Now, we are going to have rock stars doing their part to pollute Earth through high voltage guitars and mikes. Not to mention that millions of people that will congregate in stadiums just to watch these concerts. Which means that there will be one huge mass of concentrated carbon monoxide ready to punch a massive hole into our fragile ozone layer. How about the remaining millions tuning in from the comfort of their homes? With the TV switched on literally 24 hours just to watch these rock stars perform from around the world, wouldn't we be destroying the Earth as much? MSN cleverly decided to allow the event to be streamed live online. Great. Now we have geeks glued infront of their computers as well. All this in the name of saving Earth. How much more can Earth take?

If we are truly concerned about our planet, we should all be getting ourselves dirty ( Mr Gore and rock stars included) and conduct missions across the world for 24 hrs to plant trees and do stuff like cleaning up polluted beaches. A good place to start is Indonesia. The recent news reports are stating that the most populous Muslim country in this world is at it again. Slashing and burning forests just so to create a livelihood. Surely, a better project would be to educate these farmers on the alternatives to slash and burn farming? With the annual haze dawning upon the South East Asian countries again, the world decided that they should party away their lives and pledge their support to saving Earth via only words. Smells of hypocrisy doesn't it?

Indeed, a rock concert can be held to raise awareness. After all, singers should play to their forte right? But not a 24 hour concert. We could probably show a repeat telecast of the concert around the rest of the world via the television networks. This would keep millions of people away from the streets, away from their cars, away from the rubbish they leave behind and more importantly do their part after all in contributing to save Earth. Of course, by making these millions tune in to their televisions to watch this concert contradicts right? Wrong. There is an opportunity cost in everything. And restricting people's pollution to earth merely to their television sets is by far a better option than making them travel miles in their cars or leaving empty plastic bottles in stadiums after a concert.

On this note, I flip on to Channel News Asia, just in time to see thousands of plastic bottles, cups and thrash littered all over the floor after one of the Live Earth concerts. Despite efforts to get people to channel their thrash into respective bins for recycling, the majority of people chose the ground as a more favorable bin. Something is not right here. Whatever happened to the awareness that these concerts are suppose to create?

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