I don’t particularly know what I think about the 7/7/07 concerts, but I know that I agree with what Michael O’hare says here:
The specific fossil fuel consumption of the concerts themselves seem to me the most petty and ignorant line of attack. What’s the argument: we shouldn’t have concerts? We should only have daytime performances by local talent, for audiences that can walk or bike in, using only acoustic instruments? Seems to me the organizers did a pretty good job of delivering a lot of art engagement, and political speech, for not much carbon, but anyway, the point of life on earth isn’t to never use any fossil fuel, it’s to use the right amount for the right things, and having a good time together is one of those things. Music is another. Sorry, the hypocrisy rap on these events is just jive, a cheap debater’s trick to divert attention from the substance on the ridiculous premise that if A ever did B, even a little, anything he ever says against B is wrong. Playing gotcha is a kid’s playground routine grownups can leave there, especially when the stakes are high.
When you work in the environmental field, I think you inevitably start to develop a tricky relationship with some of the big splashy environmental events that command the most public attention. Witness WorldChanging’s heartfelt call to end Earth Day.
Nevertheless, most of the criticisms of such events come not from WorldChanging’s position of deep concern and constructive engagement with environmentalism. Rather, they’re generally glib exercises in contrarianism, written by people who don’t really give a damn about the underlying issues. Which is a shame.
Photo from Flickr user Michale under Creative Commons license.