Live Earth reaches an estimated 2 billion, critics harp on hypocrisy

By all accounts, Live Earth (perhaps you’ve heard of it?) was a smashing success. Organizers say the shows reached about 2 billion people in 130 countries. More than 150 musical acts crooned, and supporters held more than 10,000 registered “fringe events” in addition to the main concerts on every continent. Al Gore appeared in person (and in hologram form!) to urge crowds to commit to a seven-point pledge to green their lives, and launched a three-year campaign that will “get the scientific [climate] evidence in front of people all over the world.” From Shakira shaking her hips to the Beastie Boys bedecking themselves in green to the Police sending out an S.O.S., the shows — well, rocked. And while critics made noise about the event being too resource intensive and featuring “hypocritical” artists who own big houses and fly a lot, they didn’t dampen the day. (“I’m flawed,” Dave Matthews shot back. “Cows fart and so do I.”) For more on the scene, catch up with Emily Gertz in Gristmill.