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Al Gore's worldwide Live Earth Concert -- Shanghai


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See this comment on NY Times' blog:


July 8th, 2007 4:42 am

I was at the Shanghai Live Earth concert last night and was pretty disappointed. From the people I spoke with in the days leading up to the event (and I speak Mandarin) no one in the city knew about the concert, let alone its message. Most of the few hundred folks that congregated on the street outside to watch the live broadcast on the big screen had originally come to the area to see the Oriental Pearl Tower or shop at the Superbrand Mall nearby. There were at least twice as many people in the mall (which sells ubiquitous luxury brand names popular here as conspicuous displays of wealth) than the concert and the vast majority didn’t bother to cross the street to see the show. And who would blame them? All the flags and banners I saw at the venue were in English – not Chinese — and there was virtually no advertising in the city in the lead up to the event.

I think the concert also lacked an effective means of communicating the message. None of the performers there mentioned global warming or – more significantly – China’s increasing carbon emissions. The Chinese intermission commercials were lackluster public service announcements encouraging people take the bus and turn off houselights. Meanwhile, as the concert was on, the police were spraying down a tree with enormous canisters of Raid to kill an ant hill.

Everyone in China knows about global warming but most often the issue is framed by the Party as the responsibility of the West. This leads me to believe that the propaganda department told performers not to politicize the event with talk of global climate change and to minimize the event ahead of time.

— Posted by Lin

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