Sunday, July 08, 2007

Live Earth, or how to waste as many precious resources as possible on a Saturday afternoon...

Once a week I go to lunch with the ladies in my department at work. Each week we cross a bridge in Kent, Oh, that crosses over a set of railroad tracks, among other things. There is a wall which is covered with all kinds of graffiti running alongside the railroad tracks, but conspicuous by both the height of the letters in comparison to the other graffiti as well as the stark plainness of the white spray paint the author used is a statement which reads:

"I worry that religion starts wars - Paul McCartney"

Now, don't get me wrong, as a musician and a lover of music, I revere Mr. McCartney and the other three lads from Liverpool for their musical contributions. I even liked McCartney and Wings. I got a little bored with him while he was going through the mid life years and getting busted for weed once a month, but I did like Ebony and Ivory at the time it was out.

However, every week as I cross that bridge I am so tempted to get a can of spray paint of my own and go down a put my own comment right next to the aforementioned one. It would read something like this:

"I worry that Paul McCartney does your critical thinking on serious issues."

As I said, I understand the impact the Beatles had in changing the very face of popular music around the world. However,I'm not ready to let Ringo Star teach me about the better points of a free market economy because of it.

With that being said, I'm also not willing to let a bunch of preening, self important, out-of-touch with reality, overpaid musicians define my position on global warming or any other subject. As it pertains to global warming in particular, let me just offer that if I tried to discuss carbon dating with many of the musicians I have known throughout my life, their first thought would be who would name their daughter Carbon? And then they would want to write a song about her.

Okay, that might be a bit of a stretch. Perhaps. Either way, my real point is that becoming a musician, especially reaching the stature of anyone invited to play at one of the Live Earth venues yesterday, takes as much dedication and effort as reaching the pinnacle of any other profession.

However, were you to chart the history of most of those musical acts, it's unlikely that the time spent in high school classrooms would rank amongst their most important influences. I propose that the same thing is true for many of the elite thespians in Hollywood. So, I cannot understand for the life of me why I am supposed to care one whit what these people think about anything that doesn't have anything to do with music or acting.

In support of how little these people seem to understand the implications of THEIR own actions (supposing that what they extol is true, that humans are having a catastrophic effect on the earth and it's climate) I offer you the words of one of the leaders FOR the idea of global warming:

John Buckley of Carbon Footprint, an organization that helps companies reduce their carbon dioxide emissions, said Saturday that Live Earth will produce about 74,500 tons of the gas.

"We would have to plant 100,000 trees to offset the effect of Live Earth," he said, speaking by telephone. But, he added, "if you can reach 2 billion people and raise awareness, that's pretty fantastic."

Speaking from my own idealogical and theocratic belief system that is tantamount to me saying to a missionary:

"You had to kill three people in the village before the rest accepted Christ? Well, praise the Lord brother!"

Okay, perhaps it isn't quite that extreme, but I think you get my point. And that's the problem with so many of the radical conservationists specifically and liberal minded people in general. Simply put, the lack of a moral code because the majority reject the Bible makes them susceptible to hypocrisy and worse at every turn. That isn't to say that conservatives and Christians don't face the same vulnerabilities, because we do. However, I believe that "pound for pound", people of faith will act consistently with the Bible.

That really isn't what got me about the statement Buckley made though. Although 100,000 is quite a significant amount of trees, and it does bother me that he could dismiss the "harm" being done solely based on the fact that he agrees with why the "harm" is taking place, that isn't the biggest problem I have with his statement.

What bothers most about what he had to say is that the rationalization he uses to legitimize the "harm" is that people were "reached" and awareness was "raised".

Are you kidding me?!

Who exactly is it that Buckley thinks:

1. Wasn't aware of the global warming argument?
2. Would not be in a position to hear about global warming, but would be in a position to watch one of the concerts?

I would propose that the number he proposed being made more aware of his message was far less than 2 billion. As a matter of fact, I think the number is a lot closer to, and this is just a guess... I think the number of people is a lot closer to...three. Yes, that is my final answer.

I won't even get into the fact that I think that Al Gore leads a movement which is misguided, that scientists and world leaders come out every day (and are ignored by the media just as often) to say that he Gore used faulty logic and that there is a serious problem with much of the "evidence" being used by Gore, that many of the people who have aligned themselves with Gore know as much about science as they do about The First Council of Nicea (which is to say they know all of the information out there which presupposes a vast political and religious conspiracy and none at all of the the true historical facts)...

No, I won't even get into any of that, but I will mention it.

The bottom line though is this, there was a concert held yesterday, and:

1. Quite a bit of pollution was created in the name of not creating pollution
2. A lot (2 billion is a number I find rather "optimistic") of people went to the concert and, for the 2 minutes and 37 seconds which I viewed over the course of the day,looked very attractive and as if they were enjoying themselves very much.
3. The musicians involved (and from the acts I saw, there were quite a few who last enjoyed their best days a decade or more ago) did what musicians do. They showed up to play their songs because they like to play their songs and they liked to be looked at.

The primary reason the musicians came wasn't because they so fervently believed in the cause. It wasn't because they wanted to help or had some altruistic goal in mind. The primary reason the musicians came was because they are musicians and they like to play their music and they like to be looked at and applauded when they are doing it.

I'm certain there might have been a few that defy this description, but I do believe that overwhelmingly this was the case. Otherwise, they would have rode their bikes there.

No comments: