Live Earth: “Flop”

by Sean Hackbarth

Bob Geldof can safely retain his claim as king of concerts for a cause. AlGore’s Life Earth didn’t garner the mindshare of either Live 8 or the legendary Live Aid. Polling firm Rasussen [via memeorandum] informs us:

The Live Earth concert promoted by former Vice President Al Gore received plenty of media coverage and hype, but most Americans tuned out. Just 22% said they followed news stories about the concert Somewhat or Very Closely. Seventy-five percent (75%) did not follow coverage of the event.

By way of comparison, eight-in-ten voters routinely said they were following news coverage of the recent Senate debate over immigration. Fifty-four percent (54%) said they followed news coverage of the President’s decision to commute Scooter Libby’s sentence.

Part of the tune out is the performers themselves. A majority of those polled think the rock stars only “take part in such events because it is good for their image.” Barely a third think Live Earth would do any good. Also, few Americans polled have global warming as a high priority issue:

Given a choice of four major issues before the United States today, 36% named the war in Iraq as most important. Twenty-five percent (25%) named immigration, 20% selected the economy and only 12% thought Global Warming was the top issue.

Among political conservatives, Iraq (36%) and immigration (33%) were far and away the top issues. Only 6% named Global Warming.

Among liberals, 44% named Iraq as the top issue followed by the economy (27%), Global Warming (16%) and immigration (12%).

Across the pond Live Earth has been declared a “flop“:

Organisers of the global music concert – punctuated by swearing from presenters and performers – had predicted massive viewing figures.

But BBC’s live afternoon television coverage attracted an average British audience of just 900,000.

In the evening, when coverage switched from BBC2 to BBC1, the figure rose to just 2.7 million.

And the peak audience, which came when Madonna sang at Wembley, was a dismal 4.5 million. Three times as many viewers saw the Princess Diana tribute on the same channel six days before.

Two years ago, Live 8 drew a peak television audience of 9.6 million while Live Aid notched 10 million in 1985.

The BBC blamed the poor figures on Saturday’s good weather and said its Wimbledon tennis coverage had drawn away afternoon viewers.

In short, the Live Earth hype was more about the hot air leaking from AlGore’s mouth rather than a movement set to change the world.

When my sister, who’s more up on pop culture than me, didn’t even know about Live Earth until I told her I was watching it on Saturday I know AlGore’s attempt at “enlightening” us failed.

My sister heard a little of A.F.I. preaching about how good they were for being vegans. They urged all the fans to take up their own eating habits. All to save the earth. She immediately got turned off by them shoving their lifestyle down other people’s throats. My sister is apolitical. If she were near one of the concerts and one of her favorite acts was performing she would have gone. I think like most attendees she would have enjoyed the music while tuning out the political overplay.

I really feel sorry for those who went to the Washington, D.C. show. In between performances by Garth Brooks and Trisha Yearwood concert goers had to endure lectures by climate scientists. Talk about a let down.

One of my objections was the SOS morse code incorporated into the Live Earth logo. To environmental alarmists the Good Ship Earth is sinking into a sea of carbon dioxide. We’re doomed if we don’t obey our messiah AlGore. Live Earth had to balance fear-mongering with a personal call for action. It turned into a joke.

Along with the guilt-inducing logo there were the short films in place of commercials. They were some of the best, most strident propaganda since Leni Riefenstahl’s work for the Third Reich. (Yes, I broke Godwin’s Law. Deal with it.) Only use recycled paper towels, recycle every aluminum can in sight, hold up a crucifix anytime you encounter a plastic bag. Do this all to reduce “harmful” carbon dioxide emissions. (Can someone ask the plants how harmful carbon dioxide is? And what’s the difference between good CO2 and “harmful” CO2? did I miss something in my chemistry class?)

And don’t get me started with a suggestion in one of the shorts to “buy local.” That’s economic protectionism wrapped with a hemp bow.


I’m sticking with BT and Mike Doughty: “We are here to save the erf. E-R-F.”

“Cheers, Jeers for Gore’s Live Earth Concerts”

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2 Responses to “Live Earth: “Flop””


(Can someone ask the plants how harmful carbon dioxide is?

Even plants can be affected by global warming. Particularly the droughts. They do need water, you know.

And what’s the difference between good CO2 and “harmful” CO2? did I miss something in my chemistry class?

Harmful CO2 emissions are the emissions that exceed the biosystem’s “carbon sink” capacity. The planet (well, the things that live on it) has a certain capacity to “scrub” CO2 from the air. But the vast majority of human emissions exceed that natural ability – like a bucket with some holes in it; it still fills if you keep pouring into it fast enough.

Did you ever take a chemistry class, though? Your staggering ignorance on scientific matters makes that hard for me to believe.


I’ve never heard such negativity! It’s not about ratings or politics. How could you feel sorry for concert goers who received education on how we (the world) can do better for future generations? This is 1 area where everyone in the world can come together for the better of our children and the entire planet. Do you not want to have cleaner water, air, health, etc..

For example, I bet you didn’t realize how much “off gasing” is created in your current home with the use of current materials versus products that are less evasive.

Wouldn’t you choose icynene over fiberglass insulation in your home if you were well informed?

Food for thought!


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