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The green debate evolves

Live EarthWhile it is too early to say how much this weekend’s marathon Live Earth concert achieved, in terms of awareness around climate change, it has had at least one unintended consequence. The volume of critical comment from the world’s media — examples here from ABC News, the Guardian newspaper, and so on — has highlighted what a tricky path organisations must negotiate when trying to associate themselves with green causes.

There’s plenty of reasons for why one could criticise Live Earth: the private jets for its stars, the huge energy consumption of the events themselves, the sponsorship from SUV-maker Chevrolet (or rapper Ludacris singing about driving an SUV), and many others — in fact, this Daily Mail article manages to sound almost apoplectic about it. But then there’s plenty to praise it for too: it must surely have had some impact in terms of educating people about the issue at hand and making them feel, even if only briefly, more fired up to do something about it. As this article argues, it isn’t any old event that can reach an estimated 2 billion people, or about 1 in 3 of this planet’s citizens.

For those firms wanting to promote and publicise their green credentials to the market, it is clear that the debate in the media is evolving rapidly. This may make lives a fair bit harder for a few marketing types. But on the bright side, it is pretty hard to find an article about Live Earth that still tries to deny that climate change is actually a problem…

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