Grassroots Alternative to Live Earth Aims to be 'Truly Low Carbon'

Live Earth will hit the screens on Saturday 7 July but for the past month an alternative concert against climate change has been underway online.

Alive Earth is the unofficial grassroots alternative to Live Earth, inviting people from across the world to submit their impassioned works on climate change to the website.

Almost 90 performances are now part of this continuing carnival against climate

Acts range from music, poetry and comedy by established acts such as Seize the Day, David Rovics and Saul Williams to pieces composed and performed in bedrooms, car parks and gardens around the world.

Punk and ska, heartfelt folk, vitriolic satire, school environment projects and, in some cases, the "frankly bizarre" will all form part of the performances, according to the Director of the Climate Outreach Information Network (COIN), George Marshall, one of the minds behind Alive Earth.

The final line up of ten has already gone live on the website and includes 'Working Under the Ground', a song from the mines of Zimbabwe by Pax Afro and a withering critique of oil dependence David Rovics, 'What If You Knew?'. The Dancing Butterflies, meanwhile, offer a "dazzlingly perplexing paean to our degraded environment", says Marshall, with their song 'Lets [sic] Save Our Environment'.

The online concert was conceived by COIN, an Oxford based charity which feels that the centralised stadium concerts are not doing enough to support a wider range of voices on climate change.

The online concert has been open to everyone, on the condition that they say something about climate change and that are not performing at Wembley on 7 July, the day of the Live Earth concerts in London, New York, Hamburg, Istanbul, Tokyo, Shanghai, and Johannesburg.

Alive Earth is supported by a multitude of music, poetry, environmental and social justice organisations and individuals, including APE (the Artists Project Earth), New Internationalist, Plane Stupid, The Ecologist, Corporate Watch, Rising Tide, Undercurrents, CDs not CO2, Causes of Global Warming, Oxford's alternative poet laureate Steve Larkin, IRN and Omslag, the Workshop for Sustainable Development in The Netherlands.

"We always welcome initiatives aiming to increase public awareness of climate change but we don't think that the Live Earth concerts are doing enough to encourage new songs or support the talent of people who are really trying to say something powerful or orginal," said Marshall. "So we had a brainwave. We thought it would be fun to create a web based parallel concert called Alive Earth for everyone who is not a rock mega star but just has something they want to say. This is their venue."

Marshall added that the Alive Earth alternative would also be low on carbon emissions.

"And, because this concert will be on the web, there will be no executive jets, no cars, no floodlighting, no air conditioning, no paper, no plastic, no cans. Truly low carbon," he said.

To watch Alive Earth go to