The weekend saw another of the mass-scale events designed to reinforce climate change as a form of holy scripture which only the heretical or foolish would dare to question, writes The Press in an editorial.
Live Earth was inspired by the high priest of this new theology, former United States presidential candidate Al Gore. A series of rock concerts held around the world to reinforce his gospel, it proved strangely empty, with little of the immediate impact of the previous global music-based campaigns that it was trying to emulate.
The criticism that it lacked a clear goal seems to be a fair one. The fact that it was preceded by various rock stars frantically and unconvincingly attempting to gain a footing on the climate-change bandwagon underlined the slipperiness of the whole business. Events such as Live Earth invite scepticism, and not just from those who are dubious about the true extent and causes of climate change. For one thing, it hinted at how prone the cause is to capture by group-think and political agenda. Similarly, it reflected how easy it is to let the debate slide into one-upmanship and obsessing around the edges of the problem – the futile fashion of calculating and comparing one’s “carbon footprint” is the obvious case in point.
Nevertheless, it also leaves little doubt about a building public mood for action. A few people may be placated by a song lyric or a bit of posturing, but most will demand more from the leaders of governments and industry, for whom spouting on is no longer an option.