Saturday, July 7, 2007

Live Earth, what's the point?
I'm sitting here watching some of the Live Earth concert wondering, what is the point of all this?
I thought I read somewhere a couple of months ago that they were going to try and figure out a way to make all the coinciding concerts carbon-neutral. That would seem like quite a task when you consider all the electricity the musicians are using all day, all the trash produced by the hundreds of thousands of people attending concerts, and the thousands and thousands of airline miles musicians, celebs, and fans burned through to attend the concerts.
This Brit newspaper kinda nails some interesting points on the head: ["Live Earth is promoting green to save the planet - what planet are they on?"]. You have to love this line:
Matt Bellamy, front man of the rock band Muse, has dubbed it 'private jets for climate change'.
And this one:
Indeed, Madonna's carbon footprint is dwarfed only by her ego - she has vowed that she will 'speak to the planet' at Wembley. In fact, an apology might be in order - for the superstar's energy consumption is only the tip of the iceberg in this epic vanity-fest.
Ouch. The newspaper later reveals that Madonna consumes about 10,000 tons of carbon annually. Or, how about a little more reality:

The total carbon footprint of the event, taking into account the artists' and spectators' travel to the concert, and the energy consumption on the day, is likely to be at least 31,500 tonnes of carbon emissions, according to John Buckley of, who specialises in such calculations. Throw in the television audience and it comes to a staggering 74,500 tonnes. In comparison, the average Briton produces ten tonnes in a year. The concert will also generate some 1,025 tonnes of waste at the concert stadiums - much of which will go directly into landfill sites.
Or this expert:
Collins says: "It is patently absurd to claim that travel of this nature doesn't have an impact. Each person attending the event will have to make a return journey to the venue, be it by air, rail, bus or car. This burns fossil fuel - precisely what we are trying to reduce."
Is the Daily Mail a Murdoch rag? I wonder. But either way, there are some pretty good points in that story. And the standard "one rule for them, another rule for us" shines brightly in this entire situation.

And, why won't Al Gore, or anyone else from the global warming crowd, debate these guys?: ["Global Warming Heartland"]. This group has been running small ads in the WSJ for months now, trying to get Gore to debate them on some of the issues. Maybe they are cranks. Maybe they aren't.
What we do know is that there are data out there to suggest that humans have nothing to do with this phenom. In fact, scientists state emphatically that these temperature increases have occurred on earth randomly six or seven times over the last 400,000 years. The problem is that they can't tell us what caused the rising temperatures previously, because, none of us were alive then. In addition, there were no machines then either, so it had nothing to do with industry or humans.
Personally, I believe in global climate change. We can see it happening. We can see that we get sunburns after 45 minutes in the sun when 25 years ago we could be out in the sun all day and nothing would happen to us. But, as a reporter, I have to question everything, look at data, and make my own judgment. And, after looking at a lot of this, I don't know what is actually causing global climate change. I also know that those who support the theory that humans are causing all these problems - and especially Americans, since we are 4 percent of the world's population while consuming 35 percent of the resources - refuse to even discuss any other theories or debate any of this with anyone. They just designate anyone who questions it, or any part of it, as a loon, even though scientists don't actually know. They use words like "this might happen" or "this could happen" or "this may be the cause" ... those are not absolutes.
In the end, it might not be human beings. There are others who challenge that humans are the ones causing this problem. Again, I personally do suspect that humans have a lot to do with the problem or, more accurately, are probably making the problem worse. But I don't actually know it to be fact. We can, as Americans and citizens of the world, all use a lot less. As I was reminded recently, the conservation theme isn't just "recycle," it's "reduce, reuse, recycle." Of course, that goes against American marketing principles so ...

Seriously though, I suspect that much of this global warming "hysteria," for lack of a better word, is an attempt by powerful people in the world to control how we live as Americans. The powerful global elite have been talking about these things for more than three decades. They ideally would like Americans riding bicycles to work like the Chinese do [well, those globalists who aren't in the car business]. Imagine riding your bike to work in say, New England's February. Yeah, some maniacs do it. But the rest of us? Not.
And why do you think they are shipping all the manufacturing overseas?
It isn't just about low wages leading to higher profits. It is about lowering our wage standards - which are plummeting for most Americans - and raising global wage standards. The rise globally is happening at a meager pace, BTW. But, how do you think all those Chinese are going to afford E! Hollywood News on their cable systems if they are earning 10 cents an hour, as the theory goes?
This is the myth of free trade, a theory which has had more negative effects on climate change than anyone not recycling a plastic bottle.
In the eyes of many of the world's powerful people, Americans have it too good. And, everyone should be close to equal or, more accurately, close to serfdom. Then, the Davos crowd and the people they pull up along the way will be way up here, running things as they see fit, while we are all down here, fighting over crumbs. This isn't a conspiracy theory; many of these people have publicly stated these theories for years and years and their comments have been well-documented in the alternative press.
If you talk to your typical Democrat [one who thinks Hillary Clinton is a Godsend] about stuff like this, you'll lose them ... quickly. But, at the same time, they point to PNAC's 1998 report that a Pearl Harbor-like terrorist event was needed against the United States as reason that George W. Bush is evil and had a role in 9-11 in order to jack up defense spending, control natural resources in the third world, overthrow Saddam Hussein, etc. They don't doubt that one for a minute. It really depends on which side of the bed you sleep on and nothing more. Most folks can't go beyond their personal, political space on anything. It would question their perspective and, we can't have that now, can we?
Personally, I think both theories have some merit because they are essentially the same thing, just different agendas: Powerful people trying to control weaker people. It has always been this way and it probably always will be. But, you can find small ways to carve out personal freedom for yourself. If that means changing all the lightbulbs in your house to save money and carbons, go for it. But if it means that I want to run my ACs at 65 degrees in the summer, then leave me alone [I don't run them that low but I'm just trying to make a point].

Shockingly, or, I guess not so, Sting [or Stink, as I call him, to irk my wife] admitted to the woman from "Today" that, as a rock star, his global footprint is huge. So true. Nice that you could admit it. But, at least Sting has done some things, as both he and his lovely second wife Trudie noted, via their Rainforest Foundation. You had to have loved her comments about the oil companies mucking everything up in Peru or wherever. Hey, Trudie, what does your Rolls Royce run on, BTUs from rice? How do your maids get to work? I'm not happy with the oil companies either but come on.
Later, Al Gore came on after thanking Melissa Ethridge for this great song which we didn't even get to hear [Who's editing this damn show?]. Gore urged us to sign a bunch of pledges. Paraphrasing, pledge that all the developed nations cut emissions by 90 percent while the rest of the world cuts them by 50 percent. Hmm. OK. So, you can kiss goodbye more U.S. jobs, probably millions more, which will leave the country for countries where the emissions are less stringent. That will put more of our people out of work. Why can't we all sign the same pledge and be equals in the world? Next. Paraphrasing, that no new coal-burning plants get built. Oh yeah, go off on the coal-burning plants without any alternatives except nuclear, which is not an alternative at all. You can just hear the WSJ editorial board and the lunatics who don't give a crap about the world wringing their hands in glee at the thought of building more and more terrorist targets and 100,000 year cancer camps, i.e., nuclear power plants. Watch the global warming folks get suckered into building more and more Seabrooks in the name of saving the earth [BTW, they already are:]. Sorry, no thanks.
Maybe we should be thinking a little more creatively about combating global warming. How about building hundreds and hundreds of desalination plants which would convert salt water into fresh water. This water could then be piped to areas of the world without water. If we started now, this process might be able to curb 50 years worth of melting ice caps and glaciers which are predicted to flood Manhattan and Florida in water by 2060. And, the money spent, probably hundreds of billions of dollars, is surely a better way to spend the money than to turn the sands of Iraq into DU-glass. I don't know if this would actually work but combined with all the other efforts, it might work. It is also probably more doable than getting folks to stop buying SUVs.
So, again, I ask the question: What's the point? If it is for all the little 5 second PSAs about everything people can do to stop global warming, OK, that seems like a worthy effort. Some of us though have already replaced virtually every lightbulb in our house just to lower the astronomical electric bills we pay [we've replaced 10 of them in our house, sans the bathroom, where we need more light]. If it is to get us to recycle paper, most of us are already doing that even if some municipalities, like mine, don't offer corporate recycling. But really, after that, what is the point?
Sure, none of us want to fry. None of us want to drown after the ice caps melt. We all want a healthy world for our children and their children. But some of Gore's pledges aren't realistic answers to the problems and that's what we really need.

Update: What? Wolf Mother? Who the heck are they? Nice Zepp ripoff. They also should have let Crowded House play the entire version of "Don't Dream It's Over."

Update 2: OK, I'm less cranky. The Beasties just played "Sabotage."

Update 3: Oh yeah, "Girls on Film," by Duran Duran. Nice.

Update 4: Stink singing off-key fronting The Police. Yikes. I won't be paying $110 per ticket to see the reformed Police anytime soon.

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