Whoever said you can lead a horse to water but can’t make him drink never met the America media. Since Al Gore’s announcement of worldwide concerts to combat climate change, journalists have been swallowing Gore’s claims that it’s purely a “message of urgency and hope.”
Gore’s turn as “concert promoter,” as the February 15 Washington Post called him, went unchallenged in print and TV reports. While the February 16 Los Angeles Times referred to it as “24 hours of music to help the planet,” none of the media questioned the environmental damage a seven-continent event might cause.
Organizers claim the July 7 “Live Earth” concert could reach at least 1 million people in person and another 2 billion around the globe through TV. The last time a similar effort was undertaken was “Live 8” July 2, 2005, which tried to “raise awareness” about the crisis in Africa.
That concert was performed in nine cities, two more than Live Earth targets, but concertgoers left mountains of trash for the host cities. The Philadelphia Inquirer reported that 135 tons of trash were picked up just for one concert. The paper also said that one area had been “twice cleared of acres of trash.”
That doesn’t begin to address the pollution that the left would claim would be caused by the plane travel across the globe, cars driven to each site and the energy used to broadcast a concert for 2 billion people.
Ordinarily, liberals and journalists complain about such pollution. According to the eco Web site Planet Ark, “Experts say flying is more damaging than driving, because carbon dioxide, water vapour, and nitrogen oxide spewed high in the air enter the ozone layer straightaway.”
A 2005 Wired Magazine article showed Gore actually apologetic for his own air travel. “Gore and Tipper atoned for their estimated 1 million miles in global air travel by giving money to an Indian solar electric company and a Bulgarian hydroelectric project,” said the article.
But with Live Earth, the media embraced what rapper Pharrell Williams promised would be “the biggest party on Earth,” according to the Associated Press.
Gore received positive press in a wide variety of newspapers – the Post, LA Times, Newsday and the Financial Times. CNN discussed the concert, but never raised the difficult questions. In fact, CNN’s February 15 “Situation Room” had former Clinton appointee Paul Begala claiming President Bush would try to block the concert from the National Mall in Washington, D.C.
According to Begala, “I suspect they want one in Washington, and they probably want one on the Mall. Well, who controls the Mall? George W. Bush and the Bush administration. Will the Bush administration open up our National Mall to this international concert? It's going to be really interesting to see.”
Begala went on to ask “will they try to shut Al Gore and global warming out of the National Mall?” He answered his own question: “I think they are going to try to do it, but I don't think they will get away with it,” he argued.
The February 15 Post claimed otherwise. Citing the National Park Service, which actually has responsibility for the Mall, reporter J. Freedom du Lac said “if Gore is hoping to make musical noise about global warming here, the former Democratic presidential nominee might have to consider staging his concert in a stadium.”
According to National Park Service spokesman Bill Line quoted in the story, the Mall is booked for two events. The combination, which includes the Smithsonian Folklife Festival, would draw an estimated “200,000 people between them,” Line said.