Saturday, July 07, 2007

Live Earth Rocks the World!

7.7.07, some say, is the luckiest day of the century. Will this be the case for planet Earth?

Today, in cities across all 7 continents (yes, even Antarctica), music rock stars and fans come together for a 24 hour benefit drive to spread awareness of global climate change. The artists, ranging from Madonna, to the Dave Matthews Band, to the Police, are performing pro bono, with proceeds of the concerts going to Al Gore's Alliance for Climate Protection, which is a member of Save Our Selves, the organizer of Live Earth (the logo of Live Earth, above, is "SOS" in Morse code).

Take the Plegde

During the concerts people will be asked to support the following 7-point 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.

The Start of a Global Movement
The reach of Live Earth extends far beyond the eight main concerts--
there are going to be more than 6,000 satellite Live Earth events have been spontaneously organized in 109 countries under the Friends of Live Earth event; Live Earth is being broadcast on television and radio in more than 100 countries; more than 10 million have accessed the concerts on; and a book (David de Rothschild's The Live Earth Global Warming Survival Handbook: 77 Essential Skills To Stop Climate Change) on climate change has been released in conjunction with the event. The organizers have indicated that this will not be a one-off event, but rather, a three to five year campaign to create a sustained awareness.

Green Practices
The campaign, has not been without controversy (an execellent summary can be found in this Wikipedia entry), one of the most commonly heard among them being that the logistics and transportation involved in organizing the event has consumed a lot of energy and created a lot of carbon emissions.

“This is going to be the greenest event of its kind, ever,” Gore has countered.
The concerts will follow "Green Event Guidelines" developed by the U.S. Green Building Council, creators of the LEED Green Building Rating System. The following green measures will be implemented:
  • all electricity that powers the shows will be from renewable sources;
  • concessionaires will be encouraged to use suppliers of biodegradable plastics;
  • waste will be minimized through recycling and reuse;
  • venue offices will use as little energy as possible;
  • production lighting will include the use of LED light bulbs;
  • staff and artist air travel will be offset through carbon credits; and
  • ground travel will be by hybrid or high-efficiency vehicles where possible
Said Gore, “the carbon offsets and the innovative practices that are being used to make this a green event, I think will set the standard for years to come.”

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