Pharrell, Al Gore Bringing Back Live Earth in 2015

22 Jan 2015 | Author: | No comments yet »

Davos 2015: World Bank chief makes climate action plea.

Eight years after the inaugural Live Earth spread environmental awareness and voiced climate change concerns around the globe, co-founders Al Gore and Kevin Wall will revive their eco-friendly worldwide festival in 2015 in the lead-up to this year’s UN climate change conference in Paris. Global warming, with its slow pace of destruction, arcane scientific explanations, and complex policymaking, isn’t the sexiest subject for pop culture to take on.

The president of the World Bank hasurged the international community to help developing nations cope with a warming planet as the first day of the World Economic Forum (WEF) in Davos was dominated by calls to make 2015 a year of action on climate change.More than 100 artists will take part in a global “Live Earth” concert on June 18 to galvanise demands for climate action, former US vice president Al Gore said Wednesday.

Concerts will be staged in six cities – Paris, New York, Rio de Janeiro, Beijing, Sydney and Cape Town – in what will be the largest event of its type ever staged. Jim Kim called for rich and poor countries to put aside their differences over tackling climate change as he warned that the hottest year on record in 2014 was evidence of accelerating global warming. “We are seeing the accelerated impact of climate change. A band will play from Antarctica to account for the seventh continent, added Gore, who became a campaigner on climate issues after leaving office, and was a co-recipient of the 2007 Nobel Peace Prize with the UN’s top climate science panel. While no artists have been announced yet, the organizers shared that the concerts, each lasting four to six hours, would take place in New York, South Africa, Australia, China, Brazil and Paris, the latter being the location where the climate conference will take place in December, the BBC writes.

The 2015 concert will add star power to a years-old UN effort to curb Earth-warming carbon emissions, which must climax in December with a new, global pact. Nations have agreed on the goal of stabilizing greenhouse gases at a level that keeps global warming below 2 degrees C (3.6 F), compared with pre-industrial times, but a legally binding agreement that puts that into action has remained elusive. Williams, who performed at Live Earth Rio in 2007 but wouldn’t comment on whether he’d take the stage this time around, stressed that the festival’s lineup isn’t as important as its purpose. “Instead of just having people perform, we literally are going to have humanity harmonize all at once,” Pharrell said. Bringing together 195 nations, the agreement will aim to limit global warming to two degrees Celsius (3.6 degrees Fahrenheit) over pre-industrial levels. As for the criticism that the original Live Earth garnered about its own ecological footprint, Williams said, “You would have pundits and comedians who didn’t understand global warming and we were often ridiculed.

A 4 degrees Celsius scenario would spell catastrophic droughts, floods, rising seas and storms, as well as potential conflict as countries war over scarce resources, they warn. Another is how much historical responsibility nations must bear for polluting to industrialize versus developing countries that are polluting more now to grow their markets. He was speaking to the Guardian after Al Gore launched an initiative to get the world’s population behind climate change ahead of crucial United Nation talks scheduled to begin in November by teaming up with pop star Pharrell Williams. The world’s two largest emitters of heat-trapping gases, China and the U.S., negotiated secretly for months in 2014 to reach a non-binding climate change agreement.

Genesis, Metallica, Kanye West, Roger Waters, the Police, Beastie Boys, Foo Fighters and Madonna were among the artists who participated in the event. Governments agreed in Lima on the building blocks of a new-style deal to combat climate change amid warnings that far tougher action will be needed to limit increases in global temperatures. However, momentum from that deal dissipated in Lima, Peru, where a round of climate talks salvaged a compromise in December to try to set up a Paris deal. Launching the Live Earth: Road to Paris concert in front of business leaders, politicians and policymakers assembled in the Swiss mountain tops, Gore said: “The purpose is to have a billion voices with one message to demand climate change now.” “It is absolutely crucial that we build public will for an agreement,” said Gore, who has won the Nobel peace price for his work on climate change.

Gore said the urgent case for action was highlighted by studies last week from two U.S. government agencies showing 2014 was Earth’s hottest on record, fuelling a devastating series of extreme storms. Much hinges on the UN-based talks in Paris, attendees at the Davos meeting were told. “There is a huge challenge ahead for the rest of this year,” Kim told the Guardian. One theory points at the dying hype around “An Inconvenient Truth.” It might also be due to the effects of the 2008 economic recession that occupied everyone’s attention for years. Brian Merchant, a writer at Vice’s Motherboard blog laments that in our “disaster hungry” pop culture there are very few artifacts devoted to climate change, and once they are produced, they have very little to do with plausible global warming scenarios. That was the case with the disaster flick The Day After Tomorrow (produced in 2004, notice the spike in the graph). “The lack of cultural support for the climate is further evidence that the public simply hasn’t adequately absorbed the climate crisis yet: We’re not afraid,” he writes.

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