It’s the first time that extensive coverage on Polish TV has been given over to one of these global media events. But many Poles will be right to ask: what is the point of all this?
The most extensive coverage of “Live Earth” will be on TVP Kultura. From 8.00 a.m. till late at night the channel will transmit “Live Earth” concerts from, among others, New York, London, Sydney, Rio de Janeiro, Johannesburg, Tokyo, Hamburg and Istanbul.
“Live Earth” will also be broadcast in special live coverage on MTV Polska. In addition, the station will also show a special, ecological episode of “Pimp my Ride” with Arnold Schwarzenegger as a guest star, and clips in which young people will tell about efficient ways to protect the environment.
The audience of RMF FM radio will also be at the centre of things - the station will cover the concerts in the form of commentaries and live coverage. In the evening the broadcaster will replay the most interesting parts of the event – the “Live Earth” music will be played all night.
Extensive coverage then. But apart from getting to see lots of live bands play a few songs, what else will Poles get from the experience?
A man with a mission
Life for Al Gore has changed over the last few years far quicker than the rate of climate change. Not ten years ago he was ‘Al Bore’ – the man who was not only more wooden than a forest, but who also somehow lost an election he appeared to win. Or something.
Now, all of a sudden, he is ‘Mr Interesting’, a man with a mission, who can turn a power point presentation into a hit movie documentary with dire warnings about global warming, and bag himself an Oscar in the process.
Gore, the man of the moment, the inspiration behind Live Earth, has said that climate warming is not ‘about politics’, it’s about morals…’ Meaning, it’s not up for debate, ‘it’ is a done deal, beyond the questioning of us mere mortals.
So what’s the point of Live Earth then? ‘To raise awareness’, says the Live Earth web site.
But you would have to be living on planet Mars to have ‘low awareness’ of the constant, moralistic, media deluge on ‘carbon footprints’ and ‘carbon credits’. So what is the point of ‘raising awareness’ of something that everybody ‘knows’ and is ‘aware’ of already?
But maybe you wouldn’t have to be living on Mars to have missed that kind of media coverage. Maybe you might have been living in Poland?
It’s true – Poles have not been lectured about our ‘debt to the planet’ like those of you have in the UK or US. In a country that has been starved of economic development like Poland and the rest of the old ‘Eastern bloc’, has, being lectured by rich westerners - like Al Gore – about how we must cut our energy consumption (and cut the rate of economic growth) is frankly, a pain in the neck.
The constant self – flagellation that many middle class liberals go through in the west about global warming – “Ooo, I really must connect the manual knitting machine to the roof-top, small holdings wind farm, this weekend…” – is not so common among the aspiring middle class in Poland.
That’s because the Polish middle class ARE aspiring: much of the liberal, middle class in the UK, for instance, thinks advanced economic development is the reason why they are not happy…. “Perhaps if we went back to living in straw huts and drove around in ox - drawn carts we might improve our self esteem’, they ponder over organic nuts and berries.
So maybe the real target of Al Gore and assorted celebrities this weekend is not just to improve their self esteem and make them feel important: perhaps the target audience is people in emerging economies – like China, India, Poland, who want the benefit of economic development, so as to be in a better position to adapt to any change mother nature has in store.
But that rational attitude, for Al Gore, is immoral.
I think I liked him more when he was boring.