The new rock 'n' roll!

THERE was a time when pen used to be mightier than the sword. But in today's world of popular culture, you need rockstars to sway people into supporting some noble causes.

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Published: Sun 8 Jul 2007, 8:38 AM

Last updated: Sun 5 Apr 2015, 12:53 AM

From fighting poverty in Africa to raising awareness about global warming, rock legends are rising to the occasion to save the world from impending doom. They organise gala concerts spanning several continents to goad an army of rock fans into action.

The mother of all such rock concerts, Live Earth, kicked off yesterday in Sydney and Tokyo as part of a worldwide sequence of pop extravaganza covering several other cities in the world, including Washington, London, Rio de Janeiro and Shanghai. Environment crusader Al Gore organised the mammoth 24-hour event that featured 150 artistes, the who's who of the global music industry. Apart from entertainment, the stars would be urging people to use energy-efficient light bulbs in their homes and take the public transport to their workplaces.

They are, of course, on a noble mission along with Gore. We have to give credit where it's due. These stars have millions of fans across the world and they definitely want to emulate their heroes in every possible way. So rock concerts of this scale can arguably be an effective way of raising awareness about global warming.

But rock fans should also know the facts — by taking part in the concert, both the artistes and their followers flying across the continents to attend the event are adding a huge amount of greenhouse gases to the environment. For instance, as a British newspaper has pointed out, spectators crossing the Atlantic on board flights for the event would generate 5,600 tonnes of greenhouse gases!

Such events also should not eclipse the efforts made by unsung eco-warriors over the past few years to bring to the fore the menace of global warming.

We all know now that the threat is real (even President Bush has accepted it!). Scientists have amassed huge data on carbon emissions and proved what havoc it can wreak upon the environment.

The issue is debated over and over again in the media and in various summits. It's ultimately up to the world leaders to take concrete steps in this regard.

And it's also up to the people to force lawmakers to take action. Gore should know better!

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