Follow Us on Twitter

Live Earth concerts begin

Live Earth Tokyo

Story by Jack Foley

THOUSANDS of fans have turned out in support of Al Gore’s Live Earth concerts, which kicked off in Sydney and Tokyo on Saturday (July 7, 2007).

Sydney’s concert was the first in a wave of gigs to be staged in nine major cities around the world, aimed at increasing awareness of the potentially devastating consequences of continued greenhouse gas pollution.

Organised by former US presidential candidate Gore in the wake of the success of his documentary, An Inconvenient Truth, the gigs will unite some of the biggest names in the music world at venues in Sydney, Tokyo, Shanghai, Hamburg, London, Johannesburg, New York, Washington and Rio de Janeiro.

Two billion people are expected to attend the concerts in total – while more will tune in world-wide as they are broadcast on TV, radio and on the internet.

Launching the first concert, Gore told fans in Sydney: “Thank you for coming today and thank you for being the very first to launch this movement to help solve the climate crisis. Enjoy the show.”

The Sydney show was then opened with a troupe of Aboriginal performers dancing and playing didgeridoos before reformed rockers Crowded House headlined the event.

In Tokyo, meanwhile, US rock giants Linkin Park were among the big acts performing.

It remains to be seen whether the concerts will affect people’s lives in the way the organisers intend – especially since there has been criticism of them in the run-up to the events.

Sir Bob Geldof, the man behind Live Aid and Live 8, was among those who spoke out by saying that the world was already aware of the dangers of global warming and the event lacked a “final goal”.

But Gore insists that “now is the time to begin to heal the planet” and urged everyone who has turned out in support of the gigs to do their bit.

Some of the performers themselves have also been criticised and accused of contributing to global warming thanks to jet-set lifestyles – but they too have answered such claims by insisting that they were lending their support to help spread awareness.

While Neil Finn, of Crowded House, acknowledged the debate by saying: “It’s a motivation for us as well to improve our personal record.”