Monday, July 09, 2007

Live Earth – The Aftermath

The concerts attracted audiences from all over the globe, with live music in major world cities ranging from Sydney Australia to New York. Some of the planet's most well known entertainers took part, including Black Eyed Pea, Madonna, Phil Collins, Police, Red Hot Chilli Peppers, Snoop Dog, and more. Even Israel had its own version in central Tel Aviv, playing ironically only meters from the spot where Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin was assassinated in November, 1995. The message was clear enough, as expressed in a taped message by former U.S. Vice President Al Gore: the world is getting hotter due to Mankind's abuse of the environment; and as a result, severe and even drastic changes are already occurring to the earth's climate – changes that could prove fatal to many of our planet's inhabitants in the coming years.

And in addition to the live concerts, the events were watched on T.V. the world over by at least 2 billion souls.

Little Israel, with a population of over seven million, is getting its share of the effects of global warming, the consequences of which were being shown to both the concert attendees at Rabin Square as well people sitting at home. Some of what of is bringing on these changes in Israel, and the end result, including rising temperatures and coastal sea levels were also talked about including the fact that most of the country's fresh water supplies, especially the Jordan River and the Sea of Galilee is heavily polluted, and that high air pollution levels in major cites result in the death of at least 600 people annually. With more than 1,000,000 cars on the country's roads, at least 60% of them leased vehicles given to employees of high tech and other companies. This fact alone is responsible for 92% of the country's air pollution problems.

Israel's mounting problem with solid waste disposal, including hazardous industrial chemicals and other compounds was also mentioned, though not covered enough, considering the countrys' problem with both ground and air pollution.

So now, just a few days later, have any changes occurred since Live Earth that can be spoken of in real terms, since the music ended? Even after the concerts, most people rode home in either their own cars or in public conveyances, some of which also are major contributors to air pollution. Ramat Hovav, Israel's frequently talked about industrial waste disposal site, is likely to remain polluting the country's entire southern regions for years – if not generations – to come. And the country's ground water aquifer is becoming harder and harder to purify as more and more surface pollutants continue to contaminate it.

Madonna, one the London concert's guest performers and a champion of world social and environmental issues, made a very important comment by hoping that people attending the concerts will not only listen to the music but get the message of what needs to be done to prevent the end results of global warming. Many people say that the consequences of environmental pollution will eventually be far more serious to Israelis that any security problem short of outright nuclear war.

And so, people still clog the highways with their "lease-mobiles", still throw their rubbish on the country's beaches and in the national parks, and literally thousand of plastic bottles and other similar non-biodegradable items are seen lying forlornly everywhere. For those who aren’t aware, those plastic water and soft drink bottles are estimated to take at least 800 years to disintegrate; and the polymer composition of the plastic is very carcinogenic.

Three days later and nothing seems to have changed. – so far anyway. The future of global warming to inhabitants of this region is one in which rising sea levels may inundate parts of Tel Aviv and other coastal cities, and surface summertime temperatures may be similar than those in places that Kuwait and Saudi Arabia (one wonders what the climate in those places will be like a mere 50 years from now).

Live Earth; save the planet. We all have a lot to do in order to make this dream become reality. We all live on an island we cannot leave. And unless we make a greater effort to reverse the environmental problems we all face , the future may not be very pleasant for any of us. So, make the effort and make one day a week a car-less day, and try to conserve both energy and water supplies, as well as pick up and dispose of trash more properly. Wash dishes by hand and hang out clothing to dry in our abundant sunshine. And take just one less shower per week.

It's our world, so let's improve it!

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