After all the hype, Live Earth came and went, but not with the bang organizers hoped. In the US, it came in last place on NBC:
NBC’s three-hour primetime “Live Earth” special, which included highlights from Saturday’s global concerts, failed to generate much enthusiasm in the ratings.
The estimated 2.7 million viewers was slightly under the 3 million viewers NBC has averaged on Saturday nights in the summer with repeats and the Stanley Cup hockey playoffs on what is already the least-popular night of television.
It also performed below the Live 8 concert two years ago, according to preliminary estimates released Monday by Nielsen Media Research.
The three-hour concert special from Giants Stadium in East Rutherford, N.J., drew a 0.9 rating/3 share in adults 18-49 — the same as a typical summer Saturday after Memorial Day.
It wasn’t received that well in the UK, where Madonna performed:
Live Earth has been branded a foul-mouthed flop.
Organisers of the global music concert – punctuated by swearing from presenters and performers – had predicted massive viewing figures.
But BBC’s live afternoon television coverage attracted an average British audience of just 900,000.
In the evening, when coverage switched from BBC2 to BBC1, the figure rose to just 2.7 million.
And the peak audience, which came when Madonna sang at Wembley, was a dismal 4.5 million. Three times as many viewers saw the Princess Diana tribute on the same channel six days before.
But the Boston Globe is trying to spin away the hypocrisy and the poor ratings by arguing that Live Earth brought the climate change message to “billions.” This is typical liberal pap: forget the facts, it’s the intentions that are important:
That’s what’s so annoying about the criticism being leveled at Live Earth, ranging from the energy consumed and waste generated by the event itself to the vagueness of its goals. It seems that the potential to influence nearly a third of the world’s population to engage the issue and change their behavior outweighs the negative impact, and given what’s at stake that’s a leap of faith worth taking.
Bob Geldof wasn’t impressed:
And shame on the naysayers griping about the politics of hypocrisy or the value of staging an event of this scope without a measurable outcome. Bob Geldof, organizer of Live Aid and Live 8, told a Dutch newspaper that “I would only organize [Live Earth] if I could go onstage and announce concrete environmental measures from the American presidential candidates, Congress or major corporations. They haven’t got those guarantees, so it’s just an enormous pop concert.”
The author responds with this:
I saw a drunk middle-aged man toss his beer bottle in a recycling bin for the first time. Multiply that by 2 billion. That’s a measurable outcome.
Amazing. This author is arguing that one drunk throwing his beer bottle into a recycling bin is proof that two billion people watching the concert will do so as well. And how is she going to support that statistic? Well, she can’t, but that didn’t stop her from asserting it anyway. That’s liberalism for you: wishful thinking presented as fact.
Update: Investors Business Daily has a few actual facts about the Live Earth concerts:
John Buckley of Carbonfootprint.com has calculated the footprints of the various stars, and we can only conclude that if Bigfoot exists, he (or she) is a musician. The top five performing acts have an annual output of 2,000 tons of carbon. Madonna alone has a footprint of 1,018 tons, according to Buckley.
All this does not factor in the trucks required to transport equipment, the fans transporting themselves or the power needed to stage each show. Then there is the waste.
Dr. Andrea Collins of Cardiff University estimated that the concert at Wembley Stadium produced 59 tons of garbage. It has 2,618 toilets. The aforementioned Ms. Crow, whose hit “Everyday Is A Winding Road” is used to sell Subaru AWDs, must have been very busy.
And take a look at how organizers are justifying all this excessive energy consumption:
John Rego, environmental director of Live Earth, insists the multi-continent charade, like the mansions of Gore, Madonna et al., was “carbon-neutral.”
“We have chosen a reforestation and agricultural project in Mozambique,” he explained. “It is a credible certifiable carbon-diffused project. We are in the process of purchasing a carbon-offset.”
Certifiable, yes. Credible, no. Rego did not elaborate on just how many trees have to be planted to offset the emissions of the Lear and Gulfstream jets that flew performers an estimated 222,623 miles, as the Crow flies, to their respective events, not to mention back again.
That’s about nine times around the Earth. One hour flying in a Gulfstream jet burns as much fuel as driving your family car for a year.
Carbon-offsets are nothing but a complete scam. If these folks really cared about the earth, why didn’t Al Gore and his ilk just do the “reforestation and agricultural project” without the Live Earth concert? Why be carbon “neutral” when you can get ahead? After all, if you’re Al Gore, and you’re testifying in front of Congress that the earth has a fever, you’re pushing a documentary that insists the earth is in dire need of help, you’re traveling the globe reiterating this message, and you really believe this message, then it’s simply not good enough to be carbon-neutral.