Climate crisis Solutions from: The live earth global warming survival handbook

No. 3: Replace a lightbulb.

Use compact Flourescent Bulbs to save energy. brighten up your life, and fatten your wallet. If one million households changed four lightbulbs each, 900,000 tons of greenhouse gases would be eliminated (plus you’ll save money over the life of the bulbs).

Since 1985, when political activist Bob Geldof organized Live Aid, a series of simultaneous concerts have been played with the hope to raise awareness and money for Third World famine relief. Multiple world organizations have employed the same tactic to raise awareness for their own causes.

This idea, paired with the unfortunate realities presented by Al Gore’s 2006 documentary, An Inconvenient Truth, has inspired activist organization SOS (Save Our Selves), in coordination with Al Gore, to attempt to create the largest worldwide concert event in an effort to raise global warming awareness. While Gore’s documentary was indeed eye-opening, Live Earth attempts to up the ante with its 24-hour, worldwide mega-concert. Featuring simultaneous concerts on all seven continents – even Antarctica, where a group of British scientists (and musicians, of course) will rock under the name Nunatak – Live Earth promises to not only increase global warming awareness, but to showcase some of the newest, most efficient forms of on-site power generation. Along with the music will be the release of the concert’s official companion, “The Live Earth Global Warming Survival Handbook,” which features over 70 tips on how to cover your carbon footprints.

With coverage from multiple forms of media: radio, TV, and a live webcast, Live Earth seems like a sure fire way to increase worldwide awareness of global warming, but what effect does the event truly offer? Having jet airliners deliver artists all over the world, artists who will be driven to and from the concerts by attendees, seems to create a lot of unnecessary carbon emissions, the opposite of the goal of this event. Although some countries, such as Germany and Australia, have included public transportation fees in the ticket price to promote their use, Live Earth producers have acknowledged the potential damage the event is causing to the planet. While the threat is evident, it is hoped that the messages broadcast through Live Earth will greatly offset its negative effects.

The event has also received criticism for not offering a final goal or pushing for drastic changes by government officials and major corporations. This accusation has also been acknowledged with the claims that large announcements do exist and will be heavily stressed but have yet to been revealed.

Although it doesn’t promise legendary reunions like Live 8, which featured all four original members of Pink Floyd on the same stage, Live Earth does offer a decent line up, but even that is not without its rumors. Although the London line up is said to be confirmed, it is rumored that Radiohead, U2, and even Led Zeppelin, yes Led Zeppelin, are slated to join the Beastie Boys, Red Hot Chili Peppers, Genesis, Foo Fighters, Spinal Tap, Metallica, Bloc Party and many others in the U.K. Those confirmed to play in the States include The Police, The Smashing Pumpkins, Roger Waters, Dave Matthews Band, Fall Out Boy, and Kanye West. Scattered around the rest of the world are Jack Johnson, Snoop Dogg, Linkin Park, Lenny Kravtiz, and Pharrell Williams. With the vast array of media coverage, it should be easy for fans who couldn’t actually attend the concerts to get to see their favorite acts perform live on July 7.

Even though Live Earth may seem like a glorified rock concert, it is rooted in a good cause and paired with a good message, a message that hopefully is heard and understood by all who are listening. While it may seem counterproductive to create a large scale event to promote more efficient energy consumption and use, Live Earth could potentially become the kick-start to the world, especially the United States, of what is needed to start a conservation revolution. Suspected to reach over two billion viewers, Live Earth could be the perfect large-scale forum to not only put the issues in front of our faces but also the solutions. Global warming is a battle that can only be won by the joint effort of the governments and citizens of the world, a point that Live Earth has and will stress. Hopeful as I am, that Live Earth will push the world to start taking widespread initiative in the battle for our planet, I wouldn’t disregard the chance that the message could be lost to viewers amidst the sexy pandering of the Pussycat Dolls or the stay-dry offerings of Rihanna.

Tune into Radio 1XX throughout the Eastern Bay Of Plenty on 90.5FM, 1242AM and 93.0FM at Ohope Beach or through the station’s Web site www.1xx.co.nz. 1XX’s broadcast of the Live Earth concerts will also be simulcast through 92.9 Kiwi FM in Te Puke. The Live Earth broadcast on Radio 1XX begins at 10:30 a.m. on Sunday, July 8.

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