The words of Matt Bellamy, front man of the rock band Muse describing Al Gore's "Live Earth" concerts meant to "raise awareness" about global warming. You see, Al wanted Britain to turn all the lights off as a gesture to global warming. But there's a wee problem with that idea: Britain's national power grid operator says that the resulting surge when everyone turned their lights back on could very well kill patients in hospitals that rely on life support. (Speaking from my background in the utility field, it sounds like Britain is running at close to max capacity and has little headroom in its electrical system.)
So, to raise awareness about all those carbon emissions, many thousands of vehicles will be driven to the concert sites, huge amounts of electricity will be consumed in the concert itself and then the happy concert-goers will pile back into their SUVs to drive home. All the while patting themselves on the back over the good they just did for the planet. And the power surges after he gets everyone to symbolically turn off the lights will potentially kill people.
And the true believers do not see the rank hypocrisy in Gore's little project. Some musicians are smart enough to see it, though (not everyone is Sheryl Crow):
IT WAS intended to be the symbolic gesture at a global series of rock concerts next month to alert people to climate change. Al Gore, the former US presidential candidate turned climate doomsayer, had wanted a massive switch-off of lights by television audiences, but the National Grid has vetoed the idea.
The inconvenient truth, it says, is that the power surge when people switched their lights back on could cause disruptions in supply and even endanger hospital patients on life support machines.
Live Earth will be a series of concerts, modelled on Live Aid and and Live 8, aimed at raising awareness about the threat from global warming.
As many as 12 concerts across seven continents featuring the likes of Madonna and Genesis and 100 other acts are planned over 24 hours, including one at a research station in Antarctica.
The organisers have so far struggled to find a clear-cut way of conveying their main message. Even rock performers have criticised the concept.
Roger Daltrey, of the Who, said another concert would simply waste fuel; Bob Geldof, who helped to organise Live Aid and Live 8, said people were already aware of the greenhouse effect; while Matt Bellamy, front man of the rock band Muse, labelled it “private jets for climate change”. (Emphasis added)
But there is actually a kicker to this story, believe it or not. Al Gore has admitted that the concerts will waste vast amounts of energy. So he's going to do something about that:
Gore has admitted that the concerts will consume a vast amount of electricity. To combat criticism of their own damaging effect on the environment, the organisers will pay at least £1m in carbon credits and supply acts with hybrid cars, partly run on electricity, to ferry stars to venues as well as fuel-efficient Smart cars to run around backstage.
And who, pray tell, is in the business of selling indulgences – er – carbon offsets? Why none other than Al Gore. How much money is flowing to Gore's company as a result of this little clambake? Inquiring minds want to know. Seriously.
By the way, Matt Bellamy gets best phrase of the month award. That one is simply a thing of beauty. "Private jets for climate change". Well, thank heaven we have cheating offsets.