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Live Earth Concerts

On a day that comes every 1000 years (07/07/07), the Save Our Selves charity group held one of the biggest concert events in history. The live earth concert was a rousing success drawing an estimated audience of 2 billion people. The live earth concert organized thirteen concerts that took place all over the world. These live earth concerts took place at the Coca Cola Dome near Johannesburg, South Africa; Giants Stadium in New Jersey; the National Mall in Washington DC; Copacabana Beach in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil; Makuhari Messe in Chiba, Japan; To-ji in Kyoto, Japan; Oriental Pearl Tower in Shanghai, China; Sydney Football Stadium in Sydney, Australia; Wembley Stadium in London, England; HSH Nordback Arena in Hamburg, Germany; Pavilhao Atlantico in Lisbon, Portugal; Viminacijum near Kostola, Serbia; and even Rothera Research Stadium in Antarctica. The concert assembled 150 of the world’s biggest music stars including Madonna, Metallica, The Police, Kanye West, Linkin Park, Garth Brooks, Rihanna, Snoop Dogg, and Red Hot Chili Peppers. The live earth charity is predominantly represented by former American vice-president, Al Gore, who has dedicated much of his post-political life to the cause of fighting global warming. While the live earth concert was a rousing commercial success, it doesn’t mean that it was completely free of controversy. Many critics have argued that the concerts were actually really bad for the environment. Despite trying to offset the environmental impact of throwing thirteen concerts simultaneously by purchasing carbon credits to cover the environmental cost of the shows, Live Earth has been attacked for a number of reasons. Many media outlets have pointed out that many acts like the Red Hot Chili Peppers and the Beastie Boys were forced to fly in on private jets for their live earth sets due to other touring commitments. Additional attacks have been made about the fact that major automobile company, Daimler Chrysler was one of the biggest sponsors of the show. While using live concerts to promote a cause have been used increasingly for things like the September 11 terrorist attacks, African starvation, and the Hurricane Katrina relief efforts, many have questioned the responsibility of promoting a cause against global warming with live concerts. The mother of Live Earth is arguably Bob Geldof’s historic 1985 Live Aid concerts that were used to bring awareness to Africa’s plight. However, Geldof has criticized the live earth concert and the live earth charity for putting on an event for a cause that most people are aware of. Although the politics of global warming took a backseat to rousing sets by today’s top artists, Al Gore and the live earth charity managed to offset some of the biggest criticisms by using the live earth concert to kick off a three year campaign designed to make the world more environmentally friendly. The live earth concert was the launching pad for the Live Earth Call to Action, in which participants agreed to a 7 point plan to pressure politicians and change their lifestyles to become more environmentally friendly. While it will take some time to see if the long term effect of the live earth concert was really worth all of the environmental waste, any excuse to have Bon Jovi perform Living on a Prayer in New Jersey is a winner.