Monday, July 9, 2007
Al Gore's "Live Earth": Political Purpose, Redundnant Message
Am I the only person in the entire beleaguered world who only heard of "Live Earth" the very weekend it's happening? Al Gore (left, in action this weekend) and a raft of stars are giving concerts around the world to publicize concern for Global Warming, a phenomenon that is controversial at best. Lots of people doubt that the elevation of a couple degrees is any more than a normal cyclical earth variation, and still other academics doubt that the kinds of "activism" Al Gore and crew advocate can make even the tiniest dent on environmental change.
Still, I recycle. Here in the Northwest, for years and years, we plebeian citizens have put newspapers and dry paper waste in one bin, glass in another, plastic in a third, and wet, gooey trash in a fourth container. Like the rest of the country, we've got low-flush toilets and have memorized the mantra, "if it's yellow, let it mellow; if it's brown, flush it down." The toilets are so stingy with water that "when it's brown" takes two flushes, of course. Taking a shower with a low-flow showerhead, distributed free in Puget Sound by the way, requires twice as long to get the shampoo out of one's hair.
But as much as I support personal "do-it-yourself" solutions to any problem, including worldwide issues, this Live Earth business strikes me in the same way it did Alessandra Stanley, reviewer for the New York Times, as "an especially precarious balance between eco-consciousness and ego-consciousness."
She notes, "...efforts to curb the greenhouse effect backlash into the glass-house effect: People who own Escalades, private jets and McMansions shouldn't recycle bromides at people who fail to carpool to work." Nice writing.
But it's even worse than that. This sudden panic over florescent spiral or incandescent lightbulbs comes at the peak frenzy about which candidates Americans will nominate for President. I have no fear that Al Gore will again run for the land's highest office--he's much more honored and ego-stroked as the figurehead--enlarged in both figure and head of late--of this celebrity-studded Chicken-Little movement. Instead, the effort behind the scenes is to make Global Warming into a political issue, one that will ultimately tilt voters toward Democratic, and particularly, liberal candidates. Even though conservatives and Republicans love the environment and separate their garbage and choose the eye-straining PC lightbulbs, they can't win on this issue, because it's too late to point out, "No, the environment can be preserved with human ingenuity, and you can see the impressive ways we've replanted forests, cleaned up waterways and conserved huge swaths of land." This is an old issue, but it remains evergreen. And now, with Live Earth, owned by liberals.
I have a friend who is very clever. Instead of pursuing law school or medical school, he decided to go into Carbon Offsetting. He goes around looking for farmers' open refuse pits, and pays them loads of money to cover them, reducing the farmer's carbon output. Then he sells that at a huge profit as "credits" to the folk who, like Live Earth performers, like owning their own second or third homes. His business is considered legitimate and honest. I think the whole idea is ridiculous.
My point? I'm nauseated by the chutzpa of these way-liberal stars trying to bring themselves more "credit" with the public, and massage their own guilty consciences for not truly being altruistic. I don't have a TV in my home. But if I did, I'd sure get some kind of silly glee by turning off Live Earth.
And by the way....my family spent yesterday surrounded by the real Live Earth, delighting in a glorious trip to the North Cascades, and thanking God every moment for the spectacular world he privileges us to enjoy. As Julie Andrews once famously intoned, "The hills are alive with the sound of music," and it's not Madonna or Ludacris, but the babbling of creeks and the twittering of birds, and the laughter of children tricycling through the family campground. Better to appreciate those songs than the electrified, politically-charged dissonance of narcissistic, over-paid pop performers who have no clue about the One who made the world they so smugly protect.