- The Washington Times - Friday, February 16, 2007

Former Vice President Al Gore announced yesterday that high-profile musicians, including Duran Duran, the Black Eyed Peas, Faith Hill and Kelly Clarkson, will perform at a series of concerts aimed at raising awareness of climate change.

Think Woodstock for the environment, or Lollapalooza with a global purpose. In the fashion of the famed Live 8 concerts to fight poverty, a broad coalition of activists and celebrities will put on “Live Earth — the Concert for a Climate in Crisis.”

Organizers said the concerts, to be held July 7 on all seven continents, are designed to reach 2 billion people “in every corner of the planet.” The collaboration, called Save Our Selves (SOS), was announced at the California Science Center in Los Angeles.

“The climate crisis will only be stopped by an unprecedented and sustained global movement,” said Mr. Gore, a Democrat who has been nominated for both an Academy Award and the Nobel Peace Prize for his global warming documentary, “An Inconvenient Truth.”

“We have to get the message of urgency and hope out,” Mr. Gore said alongside actress Cameron Diaz and rapper Pharrell Williams, who also will perform at Live Earth.

Television producer Kevin Wall, who produced Live 8 in 2005, founded SOS. He said yesterday that the effort is “more than a global distress call.”

“SOS will give the world the tools we need to answer that call with meaningful action,” Mr. Wall said. “Only a global response can conquer our climate crisis. SOS asks all people to Save Our Selves because only we can.”

The concerts will run for 24 hours, and will be broadcast on television and the Internet. They will be held in Shanghai; Sydney, Australia; Johannesburg; London and cities in Brazil, Japan and the U.S. East Coast.

The organizers expect that 1 million people will buy tickets to the concerts. Proceeds will “create the foundation” for a long-term effort run by SOS to fight global warming.

Mr. Gore also said one show will take place in Antarctica.

The organizers wanted the U.S. event to be held on the Mall in Washington, but that venue may not be available. The National Park Service has received a request for that date from the Smithsonian Folklife Festival, according to published reports.

Other concert performers include the Red Hot Chili Peppers, Foo Fighters, Snoop Dogg, Lenny Kravitz, Bon Jovi, Sheryl Crow, Melissa Etheridge, John Mayer, Damien Rice, John Legend, Enrique Iglesias and Korn.

Though a growing number of Democrats think he could win in another race for the White House, Mr. Gore has said repeatedly that he is not pursuing a campaign.

He has not entirely ruled it out, however, and the New York Observer reported this week that a Democratic source said, “Close associates of the former vice president have communicated to him and other prominent fundraisers who are uncommitted to the other ‘08 candidates that Mr. Gore will consider entering the race — if an opening presents itself — in September.”

Also, some former aides recently met in Boston to discuss a campaign to draft the former vice president.

This article is based in part on wire service reports.

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