The Live Earth world-circling concert last weekend, nominally dedicated to raising consciousness about purported global warming, was an embarrassing flop.
Its television ratings, according to early feedback in the United States and United Kingdom, generally fell short of the small audience that routinely tunes to these same stations for season re-runs on hot July Saturday nights.
Audience turnout for the event was so poor that this concert's organizer in Johannesburg, South Africa, blamed global climate change — for producing attendance-chilling extreme cold weather. Buenos Aires saw snow this week for the first time in 89 years. Must be global warming!
No wonder a Rasmussen Poll released last Sunday found that, although 46 percent of those interviewed believe human activity is causing global warming, 43 percent do not.
Only 12 percent of those Rasmussen polled perceive global warming as an issue of highest importance.
A majority — 52 percent — agreed that those mostly second-raters on stage at Live Earth were not there because they believed in global warming but because this media-hyped, world-televised event could boost their image and music or movie sales.
Actors Ben Affleck and Holly Hunter urged Live Earth's audience to stop buying plastic CDs, which are made from oil, and to download tunes instead from the Internet.
As National Review's Mark Hemingway observed, "isn't Al Gore on the board of Apple, which just happens to be the largest digital-music retailer?"
Hemingway should have added two other things. Apple is also the maker of the iPod devices most widely used for such downloads. And not only CDs but also DVDs — the prime selling medium for the failed flicks of Ben Affleck and Holly Hunter — are also petroleum-based plastic.
How odd that these two fading, dimwitted movie stars urged viewers to stop buying music CDs — but not movie DVDs.
Actor heads are so empty that they can fill it with fictional characters and lines scripted by somebody else. Looking to an ignorant actor or singer such as Leonardo DiCaprio or Madonna, two other Live Earth participants, is about as rational as paying a veteran journalist like me to act or sing.
Al Gore doubtless hoped that Live Earth would be one more stepping stone on his path to being elected president in 2008. But what it showed the world is how old, egotistical and out of touch he has become.
The 7-Point Pledge Gore urged on Live Earth's audience has thus far angered and alienated the United Mine Workers of America by attacking the use of the coal its union members dig.
Gore refused to sign a pledge by Sen. James Inhofe, R-Okla., that he would use no more energy than the average American. Gore, like Hollywood and rock stars, lives large on corporate jets.
Gore's seventh point asks viewers to "support leaders who share my commitment to solving the climate crises and building a sustainable, just and prosperous world for the 21st century."
The key word missing from the socialist future Gore here describes and desires is "free."
With massive carbon taxes and regulation of every aspect of your life in the name of environmental concerns, society may be as "sustainable" and "just" as totalitarian ant colonies. And Big Brother government will define justice as it wishes and suck enough life energy out of its serfs — you and me — to make the government prosperous. But in Al Gore's collectivist utopia, all individual freedom will be outlawed.
This is why Gore carefully left any mention of freedom out of his pledge. But Gore's was not the craziest, most self-serving, or most hypocritical statement made to the TV cameras during Live Earth.
That statement came from Robert F. Kennedy Jr., who assailed as "nothing more than corporate toadies" the politicians who have not embraced global warming alarmism and the rest of Gore's radical environmentalist agenda.
"This is treason," snarled the third child of assassinated Sen. Robert F. Kennedy, "And we need to start treating them as traitors."
He did not say whether among these traitors was his late father's brother Sen. Ted Kennedy, D-Mass., who used every political manipulation he knew to prevent the building of an environmentally clean wind farm miles offshore from a Kennedy mansion on Cape Cod.
Heroin is how Robert F. Kennedy Jr., got into environmental activism. As I document in my long profile of him at discoverthenetwork.com, RFK Jr., agreed to do 800 hours of community service as part of a plea deal after he was arrested in 1984 and charged with heroin possession.
He thus began volunteer work at the Hudson River Foundation, later absorbed by the Hudson Riverkeepers.
In 1999 young Kennedy created an umbrella organization with himself as president called the Waterkeeper Alliance.
Within a year RFK Jr., was organizing trial lawyers, and asking each to kick in an initial "ante" of $50,000 to work with him on exotic lawsuits against those companies he targeted and smeared as water polluters.
Legal damages from such pollution by the pork industry alone, he estimated in January 2001, could add up to $9 billion-$13 billion.
Kennedy and his fellow trial lawyers could expect to rake off 40 percent or more of that swag, billions to be paid in much higher pork prices by poor Americans for whom this "other white meat" has been an affordable food.
Kennedy's method of attack — first employed unsuccessfully against Bayer pharmaceutical's livestock antibiotic Baytril — has been to invoke the anti-racketeering RICO statutes to sue companies he accuses of putting into rivers, lakes, and bays tiny amounts of chemicals that, he claims, might theoretically cause serious health effects.
Like the more than 2,000 environmental group activists who earn more than $100,000 a year by fundraising through eco-alarmism, Robert F. Kennedy Jr., has "done well" for himself by "doing good."
This tawdry profiteer, this eco-opportunist, now smears others as "traitors" while he (like Al Gore) is using environmental uncertainty and fomenting fear for his own self-aggrandizement.
Such are the power-and-money-addicted politicians from both Tinseltown and Washington, D.C., who have turned environmentalism into a racket.
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