Live Earth: A briefing
The latest in a long list of concerts for causes, Live Earth will stage a multimedia assault on the world's attention span July 7, urging action against human-induced climate change.
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Al Gore received nearly 51 million votes in the 2000 presidential election. If all goes as planned July 7, his campaign to curtail global warming will receive 2 billion votes – if watching Live Earth can be considered casting a vote.
Live Earth, the latest in a long list of concerts for causes, will be a multimedia assault on the world's attention span for 24 hours to urge action against human-induced climate change. The event will bring together more than 150 musical acts for nine concerts on all seven continents in what is projected to be the largest global media event ever.
"We want to make it very difficult to avoid our message," says Yusef Robb, Live Earth's global coordinator.
Concerts will take place Saturday in Sydney, Australia; Tokyo; Shanghai, China; Hamburg, Germany; London; Johannesburg, South Africa; Rio de Janeiro; New York; and at the British Antarctic Survey Station in Antarctica.
The musical acts, which include Madonna, The Police, Shakira, Smashing Pumpkins, the Beastie Boys, and Kanye West, will be broadcast on television and radio in more than 100 countries, and via the Internet on MSN.com.
The event's organizers say that they are taking extraordinary steps to ensure the concerts are "carbon neutral." They are cutting carbon emissions through steps such as using alternative fuels where possible and encouraging concertgoers to carpool or use public transportation. The rest of the CO2 emissions will be offset through projects such as planting trees to absorb carbon.
Critics argue that hosting an event that releases CO2 is hypocritical. Organizers respond that every venue will keep its environmental impact to a minimum, certain to be the key to the event's credibility.
The projected audience of 2 billion will be encouraged to take the "Live Earth Pledge," which asks everyone to reduce their own CO2 emissions and to demand that their governments sign a rigorous international treaty to cut emissions. Viewers will see public service announcements featuring celebrities such as Cameron Diaz and Penelope Cruz, as well as more than 60 short films.
In addition to the concerts, more than 6,000 other events will take place, from gatherings in homes to festivals with thousands of people.
While most people are aware of global warming, many aren't doing anything about it, Mr. Robb says. "The entire population has to get engaged at some point...."
The seven-point pledge
The Live Earth audience will be asked to sign this pledge, also available at LiveEarth.org:
1. To demand that my country join an international treaty within the next two years that cuts global-warming pollution by 90 percent 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 crises 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 crises and building a sustainable, just, and prosperous world for the 21st century.
Sites & performers
Sydney – The Australia show kicks off the seven-continent, 24-hour event headlined by entertainers Wolfmother and Jack Johnson.