Worshiping Gaia and the Goracle

The media are now official flacks for global warming hysteria.

Networks and major newspapers alike are showering credulous coverage on the upcoming worldwide Live Earth concerts.  Featuring Al Gore, Madonna and other celebrities, Live Earth's 6,000 events will kick off Saturday in Australia, with eight major concerts scheduled to take place on seven continents. 

Live Earth producer Kevin Wall said the goal of the event is to “trigger a global movement to solve the climate crisis.” The media are straining to help Wall reach his target audience of 2 billion people.

NBC is leading the crowd.  On Saturday, NBC Universal will air all 75 hours of Live Earth concerts on its various networks, according to NewsBusters. NBC has already treated Gore to fawning interviews on July 5 and 6.

ABC's Good Morning America and CBS's Early Show have also granted Gore platforms to publicize the event, while NPR has interviewed one of the bands performing.  Both The New York Times and The Washington Post have bemoaned “cynics” who dare to criticize Live Earth.    

On NBC's Today, Meredith Vieira threw Gore softballs and let his long-winded monologues drag on endlessly during a July 5 interview.  At one point Vieira said, “We say we care, but we really aren't committed to doing anything about it,” giving Gore the chance to hit one out of the park: “That's exactly right, and that's the purpose of the Live Earth concerts. It's an SOS, a wake-up call to the entire world.” 

After nearly twenty minutes, Vieira let Al Gore go with a simple “good luck this weekend” before jumping to NBC's momentous contribution to the global warming campaign: “And if you want to watch the Live Earth concerts all day Saturday, you can on the networks of NBC Universal. Plus, we'll have a wrap-up show and live performances from Giants Stadium in New Jersey starting at 8, 7 Central right here on NBC. And that show will be hosted by our own Ann Curry.”

NPR's Melissa Block introduced the Antarctic concert performers, the Nunatak band, with a hint of intrigue: “By day, they research evolutionary biology and climate change. By night, they are the house band at Rothera Research Station on Adelaide Island, about halfway up the Antarctic Peninsula that stretches toward Chile.”

The CBS Evening News on July 5 called Live Earth a “happy beginning to a global effort to support the earth.”

ABC's Diane Sawyer was so enthused by Gore's extreme environmental message, on Good Morning America she raised the subject of his running for President: “Mr. Vice President...What do you say to the Americans out there who say we need you?”

The New York Times decided to go one step further and refute Mr. Gore's critics: “To announce intentions to change the world is to invite criticism, and Live Earth has already been hit by a predictable series of analytical arrows…[However] Reebee Garofalo, a professor of media and technology at the University of Massachusetts, Boston, who has written about music's role in mass movements, noted that many big charity events, like the concerts for Nelson Mandela, had tangible success; Mr. Mandela himself acknowledged the importance of music to the worldwide anti-apartheid movement.”

On the July 6 Early Show, Elizabeth Palmer of CBS News endorsed Live Earth's extremist message: “Music alone can't save our ailing planet but it might draw the attention of millions to its plight.”

Palmer is not alone.  The media in general apparently have adopted the radical environmentalist agenda that elevates nature above people -- they are glossing over the vast human suffering that Live Earth's anti-global warming agenda might cause if enacted. 

Saving the planet might sound like a noble ambition, but Live Earth's stated objectives, the “7 Point Pledge” written by Mr. Gore, would devastate the world's economy and cause massive human suffering.  Among other things, the group wants “developed nations” to reduce carbons emissions by 90 percent and “developing nations,” many of whose people lack basic necessities even now, to cut their industry enough to bring down the worldwide levels by 50 percent. 

The pledge's second point rings a bit hypocritical: “To take personal action to help solve the climate crisis by reducing my own CO2 pollution as much as I can.”

Wealthy celebrities pitching Live Earth are indeed taking personal action, but keeping greenhouse gases out of the atmosphere is not high on their personal agendas. “Although fans traveling to shows are being encouraged to share cars or use public transport to attend,” said China Daily, stars will flit around the globe on gas guzzling “private jets.”  “Private jets for climate change,” joked British singer Matt Bellamy.

The Washington Post ran a July 6 Reuters piece defending the event, proclaiming in the headline: “Rock stars tackle cynics as well as climate change.”

Amnesty International and Live Aid have also promoted huge global concerts in the past, but both organizations have a clear humanitarian mission.  It's less clear whether the sacrifices global warming alarmists like Al Gore and Madonna are asking everyone else to make are worth the pain they might cause to the world's poor.

Most scientists believe the earth has warmed a token 0.74 degrees Celsius over the past century, but it's less clear what this means and to what extent humans have contributed to the change.  And according to geologists, what Al Gore calls “high” temperatures are actually quite low for the earth's history as a whole.

The earth may be slightly warmer than it was 100 years ago, but is it worth derailing the standard of living in developed countries and destroying the hope of millions of poor people in developing countries that their lives will someday get better?  

David Niedrauer is an intern at the Culture and Media Institute, a division of the Media Research Center.