Can Venice Save LiveEarth From A Watery Grave?
A little consciousness raising is a dangerous thing. Now that Live Earth bids fair to become an event as annual as EarthDay, the fear of rising seas inspired by An Inconvenient Truth has overflowed onto the Live Earth concert stage. Will rave bands demanding megawatts of lighting undermine Al's midlife climate crisis? "Biodiesel" was the mantra the concert moguls offered globally in response to this year's furtive coal-fired electrical demand , but all Green politics is local. Unless future Live Earth crowds offset their affluent effluence, CO2 from sweaty dancing may one day raise the fever swamps of the Potomac and inundate the National Mall like the Lagoon of Venice at high tide.
The party animals of the Serene Republic long ago devised a sartorial solution to CO2 exhalation.To survive Carnival celebrations during Venice's 18th century brush with the Black Death, cool Venetians packed the schnozolli of their party masks with spices, to soak up the deathly Miasma, and bravely boogied on.
The germ theory of disease has since cooled the Venetian party scene, so ratty plague masks can now be picked up for a song in better Adriatic flea markets by Green ateliers seeking to recycle them as Carbon Dioxide capture systems. It'd simply a matter of repacking their beaks with SodaSorb, an ecofriendly product used to soak up the satanic gas on nuclear submarines. But EcoRock raves entail nonstop heavy breathing. How can masks keep soaking up CO2 as the bands play on ? And on-- Genesis, Snoop Dogg, Red Hot Chili Peppers, Black Eyed Peas,The Foo Fighters...
Judging by this year's performance,the electric guitar amperage alone risks turning the Supreme Court porte cochere into a Gondola stand.To avoid a climatic tipping point, carbon offsets and renewable energy will be called for. But what ?
Gasohol risks tortilla riots at Live Earth Mexico, and while distributing hair shirt to Deep Green penitents in the Washington crowd might generate enough static electricity for a tweeter or two, Snoop Dogg's woofers need some serious DC.
That's where Venice comes in. No respectable palazzo dweller appears masked in public without a hat, so solar fan baseball caps make great DC fashion sense. Normally, they consume battery power after sunset, but thanks to the minigrid Al has invented to replace the information superhighway, they can generate juice for the stage as the blast of hot air from the stoked concert crowd drives their propellers backward. Fashionistas may sniff at wearing hemp-free headgear, but wearing polyester to his last masked ball didn't keep Former Next Doge Gore from ending up on the cover of Vanity Fair.
Ecdysiasts at future concerts should be encouraged to donate
sweatband squeezings to feed
molten salt fuel cells,furnishing lye to make more Sodasorb. Between
acts, the blast from departing rockers private jets can provide
power if the Mall is made to double as a VIP landing field. The
organizers can offset the cost of hiring it by repeating this year's
sale of prime time SUV ads. To honor the Red Hot Chili's call to "Get
rid of big bad ass cars ".it could complimentary sedan chair service
to the stage.
Concert survivors who lay out $348 for tickets--enough to buy a megawatt hour of Danish windmill power, or pay Al's home utility bill for a week --will have a vested interest in seeing how much of the world they've saved. They can check The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's CarbonTracker website. If all goes well, DC won't appear as a Red State on its Global Greenhouse Gas map.
That's the color in which the Amazon rain forest appears as belches out CO2 this time of year. Blue is better. It shows the thawing Arctic sucking up most of the concert's carbon. Someone should tell Al about this. There's another Oscar to be won by running An Inconvenient Truth backwards and warning of falling sea levels.
One band, Nunatak, is blase' about the next Ice Age. Being based in Antarctica, it already has one to deal with. But it's stretching the limits of truthiness to call the Rothera research station's Live Earth gig live. Though shown performing in broad daylight, the sun went below the horizon that far down under weeks ago. The penguin chorus was canned too.
Still, July 7 was a great day for wind energy and the Vegan cause.
No one mentioned that the soybeans that went up in smoke as biodiesel
could have doubled the protein ration of every refugee in the Sudan, or
that 100 of the coal-fired power stations Al wants to ban had to burn
about 100,000 tons of the black stuff to provide "two Billion viewers"
gigawatts of un-offset electricity to power their TV's.
Full Disclosure : Russell Seitz fights global warming by patronizing amplifier-free chamber music and private opera performances ; he once coauthored David Jones' Daedalus column in Nature.