Posted by: bklunk | February 19, 2007

Red Hot Chili Peppers, I Get It

Now we know why J.K. Rowling will not be publishing the seventh book in the Harry Potter series, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows on July 7, 2007.  Nice gimmick, staging 7 concerts on seven continents on 7-7-07.  But given the cause, shouldn’t they book Arctic Monkeys?

We’ve Got Our Woodstock « Global Climate Change Blog

Live Earth, a concert series whose goal is “to mobilize action to stop global warming”, is slated to begin July 7th, 2007 (7-7-07) and include events on every continent. Report from Reuters.

My initial reaction was something skeptical like: “There’s no way to battle a global crisis like organizing a hippie jamfest.” I assume that it will accomplish little more than providing an opportunity for young people to groove out to some tunes while using recreational drugs. The accuracy of this assumption will be seen.

I found a reason for optimism in the list of confirmed musical acts in the events’ Wikipedia (a bastion of truthiness) article. The list includes U2, Red Hot Chili Peppers, Bon Jovi, Lenny Kravitz, and Snoop Dogg. While I still think the most effective action would be something like Rio (UNCED- 1992), I think a highly publicized event such as this can do a great deal to attract the attention of the 18-35 crowd, a group which will be central to any successful effort to control global warming.

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Responses

  1. Especially during the sixties, it was a popular misconception that there is a direct relationship between those with a pro environment ideology and an external source of relaxation. Politicians made public statements with this connection. That’s a misguided judgement. No I’m not high. If this was satirical, sorry, but it was hard to tell. This concert series is not going to solve global warming, and niether was An Inconvienient Truth. These are both examples of general tools used to inform the public. It is a battle for environmentalists and scientists backing global warming to be heard and those listenning to be persuaded. The problem requires an economic solution because pollution is an econmic problem due to market failure from its 3rd party effects (negative externalities). EX: tradable permits to pollute. Right now there are too many resources going into production which cause pollution. If you look at it another way, the population will solve the problem due to consumer sovereignty in this laissez faire, capititalist, classical liberal, global economic system. So turn up that amplifyer. The result is individuals putting a price on the quality of air they breathe and making economic decisions based on that.

  2. Although there are some good implications from a global warming benefit concert, I see it as a publicity stunt. Yes, a concert will mobilize the people and inform those who come about the wrongs of pollution and continued warming, but I doubt that the “Live Earth” concert will bring about truly informed people. First, one must assume that most people on the different continents will understand English, and technical English at that. Second, we must assume that either the performers are knowledgeable about preventing global warming, or there will be some source at the concert doing the teaching. Thirdly, the age group attracted (18-35) is important for the future of global warming, but this same age group has grown up in an age where people have heard of global warming and have at some point learned about it. Fourthly, a concert uses a lot of electricity, generated by coal-powered plants, which pollutes and causes global warming. Unless the concert accounts for its own pollution, and does in fact educate the viewers about problems, consequences, and ways to change global warming, I do not believe that it will affect attitudes about global warming.

  3. This is in response to colecom’s comments.

    I understand that the connection between recreational drug use and “those with a pro environment ideology” is misguided. I am, myself, an environmental studies major. However, this is not the connection I was referring to. I was referring to the connection between recreational drug use and those who are likely to attend a ‘mega-concert’ (featuring Snoop Dogg). I was merely suggesting that there are better ways to inform and mobilize young people than a ‘gimmicky’ concert series.

    I now refer to the point about the global-warming problem requiring an economic solution. Obviously, any successful steps we take in fighting global warming will have economic consequences. The points that you make are valid (in an academic setting). Incentives to reduce pollution would be created by more accurate accounting (internalizing externalities), but try to explain that to a 12 year old. If you can’t, then the message will be lost on the general public. This is where the real utility in Gore’s concert idea comes from. Live Earth (if it is successful) will help to bridge the gap between the science of global warming and the people who will need to alter their ways of life in order to fix the problem.

  4. The “Live Earth” concert production, planned for 7-7-07 will inevitably be incredibly entertaining- but will probably lack any true impact. While I agree that spreading awareness is essential to solving global issues, this will do little else. One can point to the Live 8 Concerts to understand how this type of promotion will affect people. Millions of people felt passionate about the cause on that day, but it was quickly forgotten a couple days later. The numbers seem incredible for how many people watch or attended the concerts – but how many people were motivated to go beyond attending a concert?
    I think that many people see this type of concert as a “gimmick” (as said in previous responses), but one cannot discredit whatever change does come from this. Even if it inspires only 10 or 20 people – those people may make a monumental difference. The younger audience target is actually an intelligent publicity move, because that age group will be the one to make the greatest difference in global warming. Overall, I’m sure the Live Earth concert will be very interesting to watch, and even more interesting to see if anything truly remarkable comes from this grand scale publicity stunt.


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