Jonah Goldberg
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"If you want to save the planet, I want you to start jumping up and down. Come on, m------------!" Madonna railed from the stage at London's Live Earth concert Saturday. "If you want to save the planet, let me see you jump!"

You just can't beat that. What else could capture the canned juvenilia of a 48-year-old centimillionaire - who owns nine homes and has a "carbon footprint" nearly 100 times larger than the norm - hectoring a bunch of well-off aging hipsters to show their Earth-love by jumping up and down like children?

But, hey, I don't want to bash Live Earth, which is not to be confused with Live Aid (1985, dedicated to eradicating African famine) or Live 8 (2005, promising to relieve African nations' debts). So with the African continent so well-fed - and debt-free! - who can blame the Celebrity Concern Industry for moving on to its next big success?

The avowed point of Live Earth was to ... can you guess? That's right: raise awareness about global warming. Considering the energy required to put on the show, the nine Live Earth concerts doubtlessly raised more CO2 than awareness. NBC's three-hour televised version got trounced by "Cops" and "America's Funniest Home Videos." Moreover, surely most of the people who attended or tuned in already knew about global warming before they saw the video tutorial about Ed Begley Jr.'s eco-friendly home and sanctimony-powered go-cart.

Still, if fans had somehow missed the global warming story entirely, imagine how befuddled they must have felt while listening to Dave Matthews sing the glories of cloth diapers. And, assuming they didn't hit the mute button when Czech supermodel Petra Nemcova came to the stage, one wonders what any climate-change ingenues might have made of her remarks. The model, who nearly was killed in Thailand by the 2004 tsunami, explained that she "didn't feel hate toward nature" because of the tsunami. "I felt nature was screaming for help."

It's nice that Nemcova didn't want to blame the messenger, but it's hard to feel a similar reluctance about Live Earth's impresario in chief. Former Vice President Al Gore recently penned a book in which he rails against the current "assault on reason" by the evil forces of Earth-hating right-wingery. He repeatedly invokes science as if it's his exclusive property. But the soft paganism on display in Nemcova's faith-based assertion that a suboceanic earthquake was the result of Mother Nature sending us a message is typical of greenhouse gasbaggery.

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Jonah Goldberg

Jonah Goldberg is editor-at-large of National Review Online,and the author of the forthcoming book The Tyranny of Clichés. You can reach him via Twitter @JonahNRO.
 
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