Bono's Big Bad Clawprint

It was only a matter of time before U2 were attacked for their latest tour. Even more offensive than the giant claw that adorns their stage is the estimate of the carbon footprint of the 44 date worldwide show.

Bono fans will no doubt let this fact slide - the rare opportunity to see their pint sized messiah in the flesh will be too important to miss. It seems entirely hypocritical for a man who has campaigned to rid the world of poverty not to at least address the impact that his career is having on those he cares so much to save. We know that climate change will have the greatest effect on poorer nations (in fact Bono's primary area of campaign concern - Africa - is already the most effected - see DFID for more info) - does he not consider this before jetting off on a carbon intensive tour? He has acknowledged the issue of climate change in contributing to global poverty when he took to the stage at Davos last year. Perhaps he's becoming forgetful in his elder years.

I'm not expecting Bono or any artist to be a saint. But walking the talk is essential to credibility, and it shouldn't be surprising that the mantra of campaigners like him fall on deaf ears. It is also worth noting that as the business model of the old industry falls away artists will be under increasing pressure to tour to make up revenue. More touring equals a bigger footprint - not only of the artists themselves, but for every fan that travels to see their shows.

I do expect artists who are role models - like U2 - to be innovators and leaders. They should be establishing the blue print for not only a new music industry, but a new way for the world to behave and interact. Bono demanded we make poverty history - I'd like to see him step up and show us how its done.

No comments: