This weekend's Live Earth concerts were supposed to be a truly global effort, a moment when everyone on the planet could come together as one and collectively say "Gosh, it really is rather warm at the moment don't you think?"
But ever so slowly Live Earth appears to be unravelling. Although the big Live Earth claim was that there'd be a concert held in each continent so that everyone could be made aware of the very real dangers of climate change – or at least so all the carbon that the Live Earth concerts pump out would destroy the environment in a more balanced way – that's not likely to be the case any more. The South American leg of Live Earth in Rio de Janeiro has been suspended because there aren't enough police officers to guarantee everyone's safety. Probably a wise move, since the Rio Live Earth headline act was going to be Lenny Kravitz, and we can't be the only ones who want to lash out with knives the instant that we hear his music.
When Al Gore announced Live Earth earlier this year, he only had two aims. One was to educate the world about the destructive nature of climate change via a global series of concerts, and the other was to undermine the Princess Diana concert as much as possible. Unless Ricky Gervais decides to nervously sweat all over the Live Earth stage for ten minutes too, we can safely assume that the latter has been accomplished. But the former is looking more and more unlikely.
Live Earth's intention was to be the highlight of the summer, with everyone from Madonna to Spinal Tap urging everyone to sign Al Gore's pledge card and reduce their carbon footprint in any way they can that doesn't involve turning off their TV sets when Live Earth is on or staying at home instead of taking the car out to by Madonna's latest album. But then Live Earth started to go sour.
It was slow to begin with – at first Muse said Live Earth was silly and Madonna's Life Earth song turned out a bit crap – but then things started to get a bit more serious. The British government banned Live Earth from asking everyone to symbolically switch off their lights for a minute. Then the Live Earth concert planned for Turkey was cancelled because of a crushing lack of public interest. Yesterday Live Earth organiser Al Gore's credibility was compromised when his son was arrested for driving his car 100mph on drugs and today, just to top things off, it looks as if the Live Earth Concert planned for Rio de Janeiro will be cancelled as well. BBC News reports:
The Latin American leg of Live Earth could be called off after a judge cancelled Saturday's concert in Rio de Janeiro over safety concerns. Police claim they do not have enough officers to guarantee crowd safety at the open-air gig on Copacabana beach. A giant beach stage in front of Rio's Copacabana Palace hotel has already been erected, with organisers hoping to attract up to one million visitors… However, Brazilian prosecutor Denise Tarin has requested a suspension of the concert saying security efforts by police would be concentrated on preparations for the Pan American Games, starting 13 July.
The promoters of the Rio Live Earth concert, set to feature Macy Gray and Pharrell as well as Lenny Kravitz, are hoping to overturn the concert's suspension by claiming that observation towers and video cameras will make up for the lack of police. Police would be particularly useful in Rio de Janeiro because it's the only free Live Earth Concert, plus the city has one of the highest murder rates in the world.
It's another embarrassing development for Live Earth, not least because if the shows keep imploding at this rate, by Saturday the whole thing will just consist of Al Gore and Johnny Borrell mumbling We Are The Cheeky Girls (Touch My Bum) outside Wembley Park tube at 3am. Although if it's a choice between that and the scheduled Keane and Snow Patrol sets, we can't see anyone minding particularly.