Tampa store hosts "Live Earth" event

07/09/07 Mitch E. Perry
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The global music concert Live Earth drew more than 10 million online viewers on Saturday. According to Microsoft, that’s the most ever to simulatenously to watch a concert broadcast over the Internet.

However, the ratings weren’t great via the old fashioned way Americans get their mass media – television. At least not on broadcast….The estimated 2.7 million viewers for NBC on Saturday night for a 3 hour portion of Live Earth was slightly under the 3 million viewers NBC has averaged on Saturday nights in the summer with repeats and Stanley Cup hockey playoffs.

The ratings for the all day broadcast on the Sundance Channel and Bravo will not be available until tomorrow.

Locally, there were a couple of events held in the Tampa Bay area observing Live Earth.

At the International Bazaar in Ybor City, a forum was held Saturday night regarding the ills of global warming, along with the Live Earth Concert being broadcast on large television screens.

Among those going into the store during the daytime to watch some of the cable coverage of Live Earth was Suzed Doughtrill from Riverview (roll tape#1 o.q. “I have 5 children, so I’m concerned..”)

Jacqueline Conley is one of the owners of International Bazaar, the host of the Live Earth event in Ybor . She describes her store as a social economic development project, geared towards global poverty. (roll tape#2 o.q.”but to the globe”)

Conley had over 3 dozen people come by to watch a discussion on the dangers of global warming at the International Bazaar on Saturday night. She said it was a great event for people in Tampa to learn about being more ecologically sensitive (roll tape#3 o.q.”the sunbelt is growing”)

Kimberly Finn is with Creative Tampa Bay. She said she saw an ad for Live Earth while visiting Argentina a few months ago, and was hoping a viewing party could be arranged in Tampa . Finn has worked on efforts in Tampa to get local officials and business people to bring green design elements into buildings, and doesn’t think the area is too far behind the green curve (roll tape#4 o.q.” to our community”)

Finn said things that happen in Tampa does have a global impact (roll tape#5 o.q.”my home town”)

Later this week, Florida Governor Charlie Crist will host California Governor Arnold Schwarzenneger and noted environmentalist Robert F. Kennedy Jr.at a summit on global climate change in Miami. Riverview resident Suzed Doughtrill isn’t sure if enough politicians understand the significance of climate change right now (roll tape#6 o.q.”the sunbelt is growing”)

Criticisism of Live Earth was expected and deliver on conservative blogs and talk shows today..Many quoted from the London Telegraph, which said of Saturday’s event in London, “ Al Gore’s “An Inconvenient Truth” woke a lot of people up to the very real and imminent dangers of climate change. But .the inconvenient truth of Live Earth is that it was a soulless telethon, with no clarity or drive..”

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