Missed Opportunity at the Live Earth Concerts

July 8, 2007

As I am sure all of you are aware, the Live Earth concerts were yesterday. Al Gore boasted that 2 billion people would be watching. I am not sure if that is high, but the New York Times said hundreds of millions. However you look at it, a whole lot of people watched. Sounds like a great opportunity to inspire people to take action. What kind of action were people urged to take? They were urged to use CFL bulbs, take public transit, and other lifestyle changes. That is all well and good, but all I can think is: What a wasted opportunity!

Here we have the attention of hundreds of millions of people and these are the best suggestions we can make. What we need is a massive grassroots movement with thousands of local chapters taking group actions. In San Francisco we’ve seen Let’s Greenwash This City bring about real change by protesting PG&E press conferences. Now in San Francisco we have actual legislation that was signed by the mayor to implement Community Choice Aggregation which aims to have San Francisco use 51% renewable energy by 2017.

Actions like that are what Al Gore should have been promoting. It will hardly matter that everyone is using CFLs if they are on a coal or natural gas power plant. It won’t matter if everyone wants to take the bus or train more often if it simply isn’t practical (think high-speed rail).

What I would add to that pledge is “I will go home and join a local global warming group, and if one doesn’t exist, I will aggressively organize one.” This problem is too important for us to only make minor lifestyle adjustments.


One Response to “Missed Opportunity at the Live Earth Concerts”

  1. […] I wrote a short article on the Live Earth concerts yesterday. You can find it on the new blog for the group I am trying to organize, The San Francisco Global Warming Group. […]

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