Live Earth's Massive Carbon Footprint

From the Daily Mail:

"A Daily Mail investigation has revealed that far from saving the planet, the extravaganza will generate a huge fuel bill, acres of garbage, thousands of tonnes of carbon emissions, and a mileage total equal to the movement of an army.

The most conservative assessment of the flights being taken by its superstars is that they are flying an extraordinary 222,623.63 miles between them to get to the various concerts - nearly nine times the circumference of the world. The true environmental cost, as they transport their technicians, dancers and support staff, is likely to be far higher.

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 Carbonfootprint.com, 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.

Moreover, the pop stars headlining the concerts are the absolute antithesis of the message they promote - with Madonna leading the pack of the worst individual rock star polluters in the world.

Supermodel Kate Moss, another profligate polluter through her use of private jets, is producing a T-shirt for the event. Yet, Gore is touting the concerts as 'carbon neutral'. So how can that be?

Let us start with some facts. Worldwide, an audience of around 1,268,500 is expected to attend the concerts - making it one of the largest global events in history.

Dr Andrea Collins, an expert in sustainability from Cardiff University, has researched the impact of such mass gatherings on the environment.

"An event of this size at Wembley - which holds 65,000 at a rock concert, will generate around 59 tonnes of waste," she says. "That is largely composed of the rubbish from food and drink consumption."

She found that a Wembley-sized football match generated an 'ecological footprint' of 3,000 global hectares - an area the size of 4,166 football pitches. This is the amount of bioproductive land required to absorb the C02 emissions produced by such an event.

Dr Collins estimates that the global audience for Live Earth will generate some 1,025 tonnes of waste. An extraordinary one million people are expected at the free concert at Rio de Janeiro's Copacabana beach, featuring Lenny Kravitz, Macy Gray and Pharrell Williams.

Other venues including the Coca-Cola Dome in Johannesburg - where Joss Stone is performing - will cater for audiences of tens of thousands.

Live Earth say that they will recycle much of the waste generated. Fine talk, but in fact some of the concert venues are struggling to keep up with their commitments.

A spokesman for Wembley says they only have the capacity to recycle around a third of waste produced - the rest will go into landfill sites.

Travel forms the vast majority of the 'carbon footprint' talked of by ecological campaigners - contributing up to 90 per cent of the environmental 'cost'.

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.

"There is also the environmental cost of these artists flying around the world - that is absolutely huge."

Indeed, an audit of the lifestyles of the A-list performers appearing at Live Earth, reveals that they are among the worst individual polluters in the world, as their world tours and private jets billow thousands of tons of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere every year. One hour in a Gulfstream jet burns as much fuel as driving a family car for a year.

The Daily Mail has found that five of the top performing acts together have an annual output of almost 2,000 carbon tonnes. Madonna alone has an annual carbon footprint of 1,018 tonnes, according to John Buckley.

Remember, the average Briton produces just ten tonnes.

The veteran pop singer's Confessions tour last year produced 440 tonnes of carbon pollution in just four months, simply in flights between venues. This does not include the trucks required to transport equipment, the power needed to stage each show, or the transport for fans travelling to each concert.

Rock group Genesis re-formed last year and are in the middle of their European tour. The three-man band will fit their Live Earth performance into a tour of at least 47 locations across the world. Their carbon footprint last year totalled 195 tonnes.

James Blunt, another Wembley performer, completed his world tour of the U.S. last year, racking up a carbon footprint of 195 tonnes.

American band Red Hot Chili Peppers have, like Madonna, flown in to Wembley from the U.S.. They have produced 220 tonnes of carbon dioxide with their private jet alone over the last six months.

Meanwhile, the Daily Mail has learnt that Bon Jovi left the UK this week to travel back by private jet to the U.S. to perform at the New York stadium for the American leg of Live Earth.

Music impresario Andrew Lloyd Webber's ex-wife Sarah Brightman is being flown out to sing at the Shanghai concert in China. This is a distance of 5,679.95 miles, producing one tonne of carbon dioxide pollution.

Two other acts have already been criticised for being paid to promote fuel-guzzling cars. John Legend is featured in a Lexus advert, while Sheryl Crow's hit Everyday Is A Winding Road is used to sell Subaru 4WDs.

Razorlight frontman Johnny Borrell has been criticised for urging people to drive electric eco-scooters - but buying a 1,000cc Moto Guzzi bike - described as 'a monster-revving beast'.

Such is the level of disquiet felt about Live Earth in New Zealand, that a pressure group called the Climaction Coalition, is urging people to protest against it on July 7. Radiohead, who are pioneers in eco-friendly performing, have refused to appear. Of course, Live Earth is doing its utmost to ensure the event is 'green' in appearance at least - stars will be ferried between the stage and dressing room by energy-efficient Smart Cars and biodiesel fuelled Mercedes.

A proposal for Gore to appear at concerts in Britain and America on the same day - something that Phil Collins, the Genesis drummer and singer, was able to do at the original Live Aid in 1985, courtesy of Concorde - has been dropped because of the anger that the 'gas-guzzling' flight would provoke.

Andrea Robinson, Live Earth's green manager, says her message to celebrities is: "Leave the Learjet at home - fly commercial."

Wembley Stadium will be lit using low energy fluorescent lightbulbs, while the backdrop is composed of recycled tyres and oil drums. The organisers tried to introduce re-usable cups for interval refreshments, but found that - like many green strategies - this was not practical on such a huge scale.

Some bio-produced plastic, made from corn, will be used, and artists' changing rooms will be fitted with energy-saving lightbulbs - all rather a drop in the ocean compared to the pollution generated by fans traveling across the UK to the concert or using the stadium's 2,618 toilets. Plans to ask the British public to turn off their electrical appliances during the Live Earth broadcast were scuppered when the National Grid pointed out that as everyone switched on again, a giant power surge could cripple the country.

Read the entire article here.

Bottom line: Al Gore's junk science-based initiative is producing a whole heck of a lot of hot air... a lot more than the average person's "carbon footprint."

Pair this with this weeks study from Greenland's ice core samples that told scientist that the earth was much warmer 120,000 years ago than it is today (read that article here), and it sure makes Al's agenda look pretty lame.

But what do you expect from a guy who wants us "developed" countries to cut our carbon usage by 90 percent, but "developing countries" like China, the world’s leading producer of carbon, and India, another nation that has a low Environmental Performance Index rating (47.7) ranking it 118 out of 133 nations by the World Economic Forum) would not be required to cut their usage. And what do you expect from a man who wants us to cut our carbon usage, but who refuses to give up his private jet-setting and his gargantuan Belle Meade house that sucks up 20 times more electricity and fossil fuel than the average American.

Hypocrisy abounds in Gore's world.

So spare me all the preaching from the stage of the Live Earth concerts. These artists who traveled by private jet to their respective locations to perform these shows did so because it was a good career move, and that's that. At least Radiohead had the moral decency to stand up for what they believe and refused to appear because they saw the hypocrisy behind it all. I can handle environmentalists if they walk the talk. I can't handle self-righteous, preachy politicians who don't... but hey, it's Al Gore. It just reaffirms why I didn't vote for him.


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