Al Gore talks during a press conference to promote the July 7 Live Earth concerts, in Istanbul, Turkey, June 12, 2007. Gore will attend the Live Earth concert at Giants Stadium. Concerts are also scheduled for Tokyo; Shanghai, China; Johannesburg, South Africa; Sydney, Australia; Rio de Janeiro, Brazil; and Hamburg, Germany. The concert slated for Istanbul had to be scrubbed because of a lack of sponsors and interest. (AP Photo/Murad Sezer)
My very favorite excuse for low attendance at the much-ballyhooed worldwide Live Earth global warming concerts yesterday came from Johannesburg, where concert organizer John Langford "believes extremely cold weather... kept people away from the concert." Well I suppose that if you are trying to whip up fears about global warming, cold weather does tend to dampen enthusiasm somewhat.
Of course, the global warming enthusiasts have already tried repackaging their rhetoric of doom, so Langford found himself musing, "...we've had a strange winter... is it climate change?" The brilliant stroke claiming that any weather at all is evidence that something is very wrong works on idiots, ideologues, and children too young to remember every year it gets hot in the summer and cold in the winter. But evidence is accumulating that most normal people are fed up with being lectured about the need to conserve energy by people who fly in private jets and own multiple mansions. Fifty-six percent of the British public, for instance, believes that global warming fears are "exaggerated."
Repackaging is quite the order of the day when products flop in the marketplace. So we have the curious spectacle of morphing press coverage. For example, an early Reuters report bluntly described the extremely poor turnout for the free Live Earth concert in Rio de Janeiro's Copacabana beach (on a "perfect" winter night - when tropical Rio is merely comfortably warm) as les than 100,000. Since the hype had it that over a million would come, and since Mick Jagger and the Rolling Stones managed at least twice as many concert goers a year ago in the same location, it does look like an embarrassment.
But in the hands of the Associated Press, the same concert was a huge success - the biggest crowds in the whole world for the triumphant effort. Suddenly less than one hundred thousand became "400,000" and they were "packed" onto the famous beach, which just recently was thought able to handle a million-plus concert-goers.
I have yet to see any crowd estimates for the Washington, DC concert, but the photos in the Washington Post show what looks like an awfully puny turnout there. Apparently the concert in Wembly Stadium in London sold 65,000 tickets, though. For their money, the fans got to see Madonna simulating sex with a guitar and other big names of yesteryear doing their thing. The critics were not impressed, while at least some of the fans weren't buying the ideology:
Certainly, on the way into the show, some of the 65,000 people who'd spent $110 on a ticket appeared unaware of the seven-point pledge that Al Gore, the event's chief impresario, had asked all spectators to make. Asked about it, they offered blank looks and said they were there for Madonna (whose annual carbon footprint, according to Buckley, is 1,018 tons -- about 92 times the 11 tons an average person uses per year).
"I'm not even sure who Gore is," said Georgie Simpson, 35, from Ipswich, in eastern England. "I saw Gore on TV," added Sue Bourner, 38, a health service manager from Hampshire. "But frankly, I think it's cheeky of Americans to come over here and lecture us. They are the worst polluters."
Sue, if you want cheeky, check out Gore's energy-gobbling house in Nashville.
The biggest disaster of a concert appears to have been in Hamburg, Germany. Even though the stadium venue had covered seating, rain is being blamed for a poor turnout. Since I am reasonably certain that there are days when it doesn't rain in Hamburg, I guess we can just chalk this flow up to "climate change" too. Even Earth Times admitted, "...there was no overlooking that turnout was poor, with many of the more distant seats in the stands empty."
Or maybe the Hamburgers shared the outrage of Greenpeace over the sponsorship of the German concert by Daimler Chrysler.
Meanwhile, pillars of the scientific establishment are showing early signs of buyer's remorse for having climbed aboard the bandwagon before the evidence was really in. It wouldn't be the first time that the common sense of ordinary people is way ahead of the experts.
The collapse of the global warming hot air balloon promises to be one of the most interesting spectacles of the next few years. Despite the overwhelming support of powerful corporations, formerly trendy cultural figures, and many governments, the truth will out. In the meantime, there will be no worldwide shortage of irony and hypocrisy as the privileged try to sell sacrifice and conservation to those who lead more modest lives in the name of a poorly-substantiated alarmist theory.
Thomas Lifson is the editor and publisher of American Thinker.