Climate change concert star Madonna accused of hypocrisy

RICHARD SIMPSON
UK Daily Mail
Wednesday April 11, 2007

The stars of a major Live 8-style concert to raise awareness of climate change have been condemned as hypocrites for failing to lead environmentally friendly lives themselves.

The likes of Madonna and Red Hot Chili Peppers will perform at Live Earth at Wembley Stadium on July 7, yet campaigners say they are among the least "green" individuals on the planet.

Built on the model Bob Geldof used for the anti-poverty Live 8 concerts in 2005, Live Earth will also be held simultaneously in Johannesburg, Rio de Janeiro, Shanghai, Sydney and Tokyo.

More than 100 rock and pop stars will perform during the 24-hour live concert.

But green campaigners called the stars' involvement hypocritical last night saying their lifestyles which demand they jet themselves and their huge entourages on world tours give them enormously large carbon footprints.

Last year, for example, they report how Madonna flew as many as 100 technicians, dancers, backing singers, managers and family members on a 56-date world tour in private jets and commercial airliners.

Madonna herself also has a collection of fuel-guzzling cars, including a Mercedes Maybach, two Range Rovers, Audi A8s and a Mini Cooper S. Yet she will headline the London concert to "combat the climate crisis".

"Madonna's Confessions tour produced 440 tonnes of CO2 in four months of last year. And that was just the flights between the countries, not taking into account the truckloads of equipment needed, the power to stage such a show and the transport of all the thousands of fans getting to the gigs.

"The Red Hot Chili Peppers produced 220 tonnes of CO2 with their private jet alone over six months on their last world tour which was 42 dates.

"The average a British person produces is 10 tonnes a year," said John Buckley, managing director-of CarbonFootprint.com.

He added: "It's great for the celebrities to come out and support the cause, but they then have to follow it up in their own lifestyles.

"We should now keep a close eye on whether Madonna and the others makes any changes to their own lifestyle.

"Perhaps her next world tour will be performed in one venue, but broadcast to billions over the internet."

Organisers of Live Earth aim to set a "green example" for other music events by using methods such as sustainable lighting, carbon-neutral travel and Eco-friendly electricity.

Razorlight, Keane, Snow Patrol, Corinne Bailey Rae, Damien Rice, David Gray,James Blunt, the Black Eyed Peas and Genesis are also among other groups joining the London line-up of the global series of Live Earth concerts.

Announcing the details of the concert, Live Earth founder Kevin Wall said: "This monster line-up will ensure Live Earth meets our goal of bringing together people from around the world to combat the climate crisis.

"Live Earth will not only span all seven continents, but the musicians who have answered our call span multiple genres and generations."

The concerts are forming part of a global publicity drive on climate change, tagged SOS (Save Our Selves), headed by former US vice president Al Gore.

Organisers hope that more than two billion people will be able to tune in to coverage of the 24-hour event on television, radio and online.

Mr Gore said: "By attracting an audience of billions we hope Live Earth will launch a global campaign giving a critical mass of people around the world the tools they need to help solve the climate crisis.

"But ultimately, corporations and governments must become global leaders taking decisive action to stop global warming."

Proceeds from the concerts will create a foundation to combat climate change led by The Alliance for Climate Protection, currently chaired by Mr Gore.

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