Live Earth Concert in Brazil canceled – put away your conspiracies

Having seen a couple stories from folks complaining about the Live Earth Concert in Brazil being canceled, I figured, as someone who lives here, I’d make a couple simple points.

“Who knows what pressure the government is getting from global warming deniers to cancel this concert, so help us give them the support to change their minds and hold it instead,” wrote Carolyn Kay of Makethemaccountable.com.

While I truly believe Kay’s heart is in the right place, her common sense just isn’t. Currently, Brazilian police in Rio are busy trying to keep the city from completely exploding in violence.

  • Rio Police Promise War on Drug Gangs
  • Inside Rio’s violent favelas
  • Rio’s shantytowns shake up Brazilian tourism
  • Simply put, this event was to be held in Rio de Janeiro, which is as dangerous a big city as you’ll find in the Western world. If a court says they are unable to guarantee security, I believe them

    As for the talking down toward Brazilians as far as global warming, keep in mind: Brazil signed Kyoto. Brazil understands global warming and tries to do what it can, and has in the recent past shown a willingness to stand up to any that may bully them.

    In fact, part of the reason the concert was canceled was due to the environmental effects that 700,000 people would have at Copacabana Beach, where it was scheduled to take place. Officials said that if the event was able to change locations inland, in areas where Carnival is held annually, it could still likely take place and be easier to secure.

    And to top it all off, Rio is hosting the Pan-American Games, starting July 13. Throw in the fact that Brazil’s soccer season is in full swing, and the concert has gotten extremely lukewarm response from Brazilians, anyway.

    “It is far too risky putting on a concert for 700,000 people on the eve of the Pan-American Games and when the police are also involved in the frequent conflicts in the [Complexo do] Alemao [shantytown network],” said Judge Denise Tarin in a statement, referring to the recent clashes between drug traffickers and security forces in Rio.

    Judge Tarin speaks the truth of a land she knows much better than most. Brazilians care about the environment, and aren’t anyone’s pushovers. But they aren’t going to put lives and their beaches on the line for a concert, regardless of what it’s for.

    Brazil is not the United States. It’s a developing nation. But it’s a developing nation that has consistently shown a bigger heart in foreign affairs of late than the U.S. has. To accuse Brazil of canceling the event for nefarious reasons is both insulting to Brazilians, and shows an ignorance of the nation as a whole.

    –WKW

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    15 Comments

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    15 responses to “Live Earth Concert in Brazil canceled – put away your conspiracies

    1. Pingback: William K. Wolfrum » Blog Archive » Live Earth Concert in Brazil canceled - no, it’s not a Global Warming conspiracy

    2. Melissa McEwan

      I know this is so not the point of your (excellent) post, but I’m nonetheless going to use the thread to say that energy-gobbling, litter-spawning, pollution-creating ROCK CONCERTS are about the dumbest fucking way to promote environmental concerns ever.

      That is all.

    3. Technically speaking – Brazil is a developed country.

    4. Jersey

      Melissa, I’ve been thinking the same thing since I started seeing the adverts for this. People are just so stupid. Stay the fuck home and plant a bush.

    5. Em

      Tecnically speaking it´s better for Brazil to be seen as a developing country not a developed one. There are certain trade and funding benefits.

    6. When I was in Brazil, I noticed that just about every car on the road was small. No SUVs, no minivans. Everyone was in a small, fuel-efficient car. My eyes actually had to adjust to how different this made the roads look (well, also the signs were in Portuguese).

    7. Paul the Spud

      Totally. I’ve been seeing some ad for some “Green” concert, and all I can say every time I see it is “Yeah, and I suppose all the gobs of electricity needed for this show came from solar power, right?

      Fucking stupid.

    8. Paul the Spud

      Gah. That last comment got all screwed up and I can’t edit, but it was in response to Liss’ comment. Please ignore my italics.

    9. Reuters says the judge has reversed herself on the ban, and the show’s back on.

    10. William K. Wolfrum

      Reuters says the judge has reversed herself on the ban

      See, the thing is, they really want to have this show, and anything else to look good for tourism reasons. Which is why I found thhe thinking that they were canceling it due to “Global warming deniers getting to them” to be preposterous.

      My guess is the judge, who acted in her best judgment originally, was put immediately under major political pressure to reverse herself.

      We’ll see what happens. I’m not predicting a bloodbath or anything like that, but one line from the NY Times story sums up Rio’s violence problems:

      “Rio has one of the highest murder rates in the world, with a toll comparable to some war zones. At least 1,800 people were killed in the first four months of 2007 in the metropolitan area, official figures show.”

      –WKW

    11. William K. Wolfrum

      A couple last points: There was another show scheduled for that same day that was moved to a different area, is one of the reasons police say they can keep Live Earth secure.

      Also, the State has said they will keep track of all environmental damage, and send a bill to the event’s promoters afterward, with the money going to some national environmental fund.

      –WKW

    12. Isn’t it also the case that Brazil’s internal combustion engines run on 90% (or more) homegrown biofuel? I mean, I can grouse about clear-cutting the Amazon rainforest, and I do, but the country seems to be a lot more sensible about powering its vehicles than we are.

    13. eastsidekate

      Also, the State has said they will keep track of all environmental damage, and send a bill to the event’s promoters afterward, with the money going to some national environmental fund.

      Awesome! I’m assuming paying that bill won’t entail holding another benefit concert.

      Speaking of which– is the point of these concerts to raise money, or merely awareness?

    14. Erin M

      No SUVs, no minivans. Everyone was in a small, fuel-efficient car. My eyes actually had to adjust to how different this made the roads look…

      Same thing happens to me in Germany, Deborah. It also leads to weird effects like never having one’s view across the street blocked while walking down the sidewalk, or being able to pull out of parking spaces with significantly less risk of getting your rear fender clipped.

    15. Pingback: Inside The Mind Of An Automotive Geek

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