Earth Day

Soledad O’Brien seemed a bit frazzled last Saturday during her co-hosting of a huge Earth Day event o the Washington DC Mall. She was talking to the 250,000 people, but it didn't seem that most people were interested in speeches. They were there for the music.

Soledad O’Brien and Black Eyed Peas bandleader Will.I.Am both seemed annoyed. In fact, several reports, such as one in the Washington Post by Chris Richards wrote. “O’Brien, either frustrated by glitchy teleprompters or perhaps not clear on how a concert works, actually shushed the crowd at one point.”

The music was from No Doubt, Common, Train, My Morning Jacket, Mary J. Blige. Fall Out Boy and No Doubt and the crowd was obviously into the party and not the dozens of "dry, unimaginative speeches" by U.N. Secretary General Ban Ki-moon, International Monetary Fund Managing Director Christine Lagarde, foreign dignitaries, corporate sponsors and too few activists.

Perhaps the hosts' experience is a reflection of a larger problem with Earth Days these days.

Seven years ago, the Wall Street Journal wrote,“Launched in 1970 as a protest against corporate environmental misconduct, Earth Day has become a planet-hugging marketing frenzy for companies themselves. Makers of everything from snack chips to sport-utility vehicles now use April 22 to boast about their efforts to help save the planet.”
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