So now we can all relax – the pop-star superheroes have yet again saved the day. The Earth is saved. After the Live Earth concerts today global warming will cease to exist. Hurrah for them! Yah boo sucks to the nasty politicians who just sit there polluting the earth, melting the polar ice caps and smothering cute cuddly orang-utans to death with their puppy skin coats.
Oh if it were only true! Live Earth is just one more buck-passing attempt to save the world by a tiny, over-privileged minority who are just so desperate to prove that they are not utterly pointless.
Even the lamentable Madonna has written a whole new song, extolling the World Leaders to “open their hearts” and save the world. The is the same sort of drivelling nonsense that we had to suffer during the Live Eight concert which ended world poverty in 2005: Celebrities hurrah, politicians boo! It’s all their fault – if we all go to a concert we can make the world a better place!
Why do these so-called celebrities persist in peddling the myth that it is politicians that are responsible for global warming and third world poverty? We in the privileged first world are totally responsible. Until we change our lives then nothing will change. We have to give up some of what we have in order that others can have more. We need to use less so that the world can recover. Oh yes, and we have to convince China and India to do the same!
If we want the politicians to help to end Global Warming, we should call on them to double the tax on petrol overnight. Probably quadruple it in the States. We should levy a 100% tax on air travel, AND make sure that the airlines have to pay tax on empty seats as well. Electricity and gas prices should be doubled, packaging banned and food miles taxed. In order for us to save the planet we have to make massive sacrifices not just tune in to some rock concert of global has-beens! In short our lives have to change and our rampant consuming of the worlds resources has to end. Maybe I’ll just go to a concert instead.
At Live Eight, Bono and Bob Geldoff lobbied for Fair Trade and we all clamoured for our measly politicians to give it to us, like it was some mantelpiece ornament that would magically transform the world. Did we really believe that the World’s Leaders are just Bond villains with the secret to the world’s problems locked in a vault in their secret hideaway?
True fair trade means that we have to stop exploiting developing nations, pay a fair price for their goods and services and raw materials and give them fair access to our markets. In the developing world, prices and unemployment will probably double overnight. A much larger slice of our pie will be given to them.
It will need great sacrifice from us in order to make the world a better place, yet we are too dumb, to naive and too selfish to really care enough to do anything about it.
All Live Eight did was give us a perfect example of what happens when fair trade goes wrong, and the third world is not given fair access to World Markets. All the Africans were sent down to a concert in Cornwall, whereas Bob Geldof’s crusty old mates got the big televised gig in London. The upshot is that Pink Floyd got a major boost in their flagging careers, Thomas Mapfumo and the other African performers did not. Nice work Bob!
Probably more galling is Bono, who is an Irish citizen lobbying the British government to spend more on Aid to the Africa, when U2 moved their business affairs out of Ireland to save tax. I am sure that an extra 5% of $110 Million can buy a lot of silly hats, but it could also do a lot of good in Africa Bono! This might be tax avoidance not tax evasion, but it is also damn hypocrisy.
I am sure that there will be just as much hypocrisy and stupidity at the Live Earth event. Pampered pop-stars will fluff and puff and pontificate about things they are either too stupid to understand or too duplicitous to explain. Then they will hoot down vast quantities of cocaine at the after-concert party whilst patting themselves on the back for a job well done before driving their brand new Toyota Prius to the airport where they will be whisked away on a private jet to a luxury holiday in the British Virgin Islands. Okay, maybe they won’t go straight away, but you just wait and watch! And the planet? The planet is still fucked!