It is hard to pick out the nadir of the Live Earth concerts this weekend, but if pushed I'd plump for around 3pm at Wembley Stadium.
It was at this moment that middle of the road songsters David Gray and Damien Rice decided they would unveil a cover version of that ode to resignation and fate Que Sera, Sera that saw them launch into its don't bother to man the battlements chorus of "whatever will be, will be".
They might have thought that singing a song appropriated by football crowds the world over may have been somehow appropriate for a Wembley audience, they may even have thought that changing some of the lyrics in the verses to assess a future where we would be drowning in our own excrement may somehow turn this laissez-faire ditty into something fitting for a concert designed to urge people to take action.
They were wrong – no one listens to verses. Instead everyone just sang along to the chorus. The whole of Wembley united in one clear message on climate change – "whatever will be, will be"
So incongruous was the song choice that even the BBC reporter assigned to the event was moved to comment on what on earth Al Gore must have been thinking.
Perhaps he was consoling himself that Gray and Rice were simply guilty of rank stupidity and weren't deliberately taking the rise out of the entire concept. That task fell to US comedian Chris Rock who after the event claimed, with considerable justification and impeccable comic timing, that he hoped the concert "would solve global warming the same way Live 8 solved world hunger".
Al Gore was of course asking for these kind of responses when he enlisted celebrities to endorse and deliver a message that many of them neither understand nor follow. But while the gallows humour raised a laugh it also created the very real sense of Gore's message being gently undermined.
Using celebrities to get the message about climate change across might one day prove an effective channel, but only if they become low carbon role models rather than rank hypocrites. I, like many others, can do without Sting endorsing a call for a reduction in carbon emissions when only a few years ago he sold one of his songs to be used to advertise a 4x4. I can certainly do without those who think Que Sera, Sera represents a call to action. It simply creates the impression that expresssing some vague concern about climate change is enough.
Looking back on the event it is possible to argue that it marks the moment when Gore's campaign for popular action on climate change reached its outer limits.
The fact is Gore's campaign has been hugely successful, providing a public and political platform the scale of which the environmental movement has never enjoyed in the past. But the success of An Inconvenient Truth and Gore's lectures were always built around him preaching to the choir. The problem, as a recent survey showing that over half of people believe there is still scientific debate around what is causing climate change and a UK TV audience of just 3.1m this weekend's concert both show, is that it remains a pretty small choir.
The idea, as espoused through the Live Earth extravaganza, that we can all do our bit is welcome and accurate but it will always falter against the brick wall of mass apathy and confusion over climate change.
This apathy is less a factor of people not caring about the future and more down to a combination of laziness and a lack of low carbon infrastructure. It is far easier to believe the siren calls about a "debate" on climate change science than take moves to live a genuinely low carbon lifestyle. Regardless of Gore's skills as an orator calling for a return to austerity is never going to reverse half a century of consumerism.
Mobilising grass roots support for the fight against climate change is important and Gore's efforts are to be praised, but the success or failure of the transition to a low carbon economy will be determined more by structural and systemic changes to the economy than popular rallies.
Changes in individual behaviour may ultimately lead to a low carbon revolution, but there is little indication that the shift in hearts and minds will be achieved fast enough to make a difference. Instead the crux of the campaign against climate change has to focus on the political and business leaders who can deliver the macro-level structural changes required to de-carbonise the economy.
Calling for everyone to use low energy light bulbs is great, but getting governments to follow Australia's lead and ban high energy bulbs will have a greater impact on carbon emissions; asking people to use public transport once a week is admirable, but ensuring public transport is cost-effective and comfortable enough that it is desirable regardless of environmental factors would have a greater impact; getting everyone to turn off devices is sensible, getting manufacturers to axe stand by functions is more so.
In short, making low carbon behaviour intrinsic to our existing lifestyles is always going to be more effective than calling for people to make changes and give things up.
Gore may claim to be bored of traditional politics and keen to find a new way of doing things, but if he has political capital left to spend the corridors of power may still be the best place to spend it.
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