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Pacific Historian
Jun 4, 2005
Orange County, CA
Arctic Monkeys shiver at Live Earth 'hypocrisy'

"It's a bit patronising for us 21 year olds to try to start to change the world," said Arctic Monkeys drummer Matt Helders, explaining why the group is not on the bill at any of Al Gore's charity concerts.

"Especially when we're using enough power for 10 houses just for (stage) lighting. It'd be a bit hypocritical,"

Arctic Monkeys shiver at Live Earth 'hypocrisy'

Jul 4 10:57 PM US/Eastern

Rock group Arctic Monkeys have become the latest music industry stars to question whether the performers taking part in Live Earth on Saturday are suitable climate change activists.
"It's a bit patronising for us 21 year olds to try to start to change the world," said Arctic Monkeys drummer Matt Helders, explaining why the group is not on the bill at any of Al Gore's charity concerts.

"Especially when we're using enough power for 10 houses just for (stage) lighting. It'd be a bit hypocritical," he told AFP in an interview before a concert in Paris.

Bass player Nick O'Malley chimes in: "And we're always jetting off on aeroplanes!"

Large parts of the band's hometown of Sheffield were flooded at the end of last month after a deluge of mid-summer rain that some blamed on global warming. Two people were killed.

But the band wonder why anyone would be interested in the opinion of rock stars on a complex scientific issue like climate change.

"Someone asked us to give a quote about what was happening in Sheffield and it's like 'who cares what we think about what's happening'?" added Helders.

"There's more important people who can have an opinion. Why does it make us have an opinion because we're in a band?"

The group, whose first record was the fastest-selling debut album in British history, will clock up thousands of air miles -- in normal airliners not private jets, they say -- during their tour to Asia and Australia in the next few months.

They are not the only stars to take a cynical view of Live Earth, which aims to raise awareness about global warming but which will require many longhaul flights and thousands of car journeys to and from the music venues.

Many of the biggest acts have questionable environmental credentials -- the car-loving rapper Snoop Dogg appeared in a Chrysler commercial last year -- and there are doubts about the ability of pop stars to galvanise the world into action.

Bob Geldof, the architect of Live Aid and Live 8, the two biggest awareness-raising concerts in history, had a public spat with Al Gore about the need for the event.

"Why is he (Gore) actually organising them?" Geldof said in an interview with a Dutch newspaper in May, adding that everyone was already aware of global warming and the event needed firm commitments from politicians and polluters.

Roger Daltrey, singer from 1970s British rock band The Who, told British newspaper The Sun in May that "the last thing the planet needs is a rock concert."

And the singer from 80s pop sensations The Pet Shop Boys, Neil Tennant, attacked the arrogance of pop stars who put themselves forward as role-models.

"I've always been against the idea of rock stars lecturing people as if they know something the rest of us don't," he was reported as saying by British music magazine NME.

Live Earth takes place Saturday in seven cities -- Sydney, Tokyo, Shanghai, Hamburg, London, Johannesburg and New York -- and organisers hope for a television audience of two billion.

An eighth show in Rio de Janeiro was cancelled by police due to security concerns.

"Live Earth is going to bring together a massive audience around the world to take action against the climate crisis," says Live Earth organiser Yusef Robb.

"Some may say that rock stars tend to be conspicuous consumers, but if we can get those people to turn the corner then we're happy to do so."

Planners have put an enormous effort into minimising the environmental impact of the event in an effort to pre-empt sniping from critics about hypocrisy and the pollution caused by the concerts.

Fans are being encouraged to share cars or use public transport to attend, all lightbulbs will be energy-efficient and the food will be sourced locally where possible.

All the signs from the New York show and the stage in Tokyo will be recycled or composted.

"Where we can't use biodegradable materials, there'll be comprehensive recycling programmes," said Robb, who says the Live Earth gigs will set new green standards for the events industry.

After the shows, the organisers, with the help of accountancy group PricewaterhouseCoopers and an army of consultants, will calculate the volume of carbon emissions created and will then "offset" the difference.

Carbon offsetting means investing in carbon-reducing initiatives such as planting trees or making donations to renewable energy projects.

Robb highlights the good work being done by many artists.

British ska-rock group The Police and US funk-punk band Red Hot Chili Peppers are examples of "people who practice what they preach."

Meanwhile, nu-metal headliners Linkin Park have their own climate change charity and Hawaiian artist Jack Johnson tours in a biodiesel-fuelled bus.
I am not saying I dont agree with them or not. I can care less who plays the Live Aid. I will be watching part of it live though since Metallica is playing at it.
what utter B.S. geezo we have enough recylce programs in the states and in Europe and nobody has cared enough then nor will now nor in the future to make it mandatory. What are we going to do cut off the hand that drops the french fries wrapper on mckie-D's burger bag ? ............who knows

how about skipping the bogus live aid copy-cat and just play for playing sake and rock the world instead

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