- The Washington Times - Monday, July 9, 2007

The sports czars — Roger Goodell, David Stern and Bud Selig — should be motivated to hold a green summit following the stirring sermons of the Live Earth celebrities.

The inspiring appearance of Leonardo DiCaprio at Giants Stadium in East Rutherford, N.J., lent a carbon-free air of credibility to an event that was staged with the eco-friendly help of windmills, hamster-powered wheels and candles.

As expected, DiCaprio pedaled a bicycle from his home in Hollywood Hills to be on stage with the high priest of the movement, Al Gore, who told the crowd: “You are Live Earth.”

Gore proceeded to take the seven-point pledge he is encouraging others to embrace.

The pledge calls on Americans to smack any grocer who hands them a plastic bag at the checkout line, as demonstrated by two method actors in a commercial touting a cleaner earth.

This is not considered assault in the new world order.

“Today 2 billion of us have come together in over 130 countries on seven continents,” Gore said. “Times like these demand action. Please sign the Live Earth pledge.”

That plea extends to the sports czars, who could require their teams to become more eco-friendly in a variety of ways, starting with travel by hot-air balloon.

The private-jet addiction of sports teams is well known.

But if DiCaprio, Gore and John Travolta can eschew their private jets, America’s sports teams certainly can do the same.

DiCaprio tackled the delicate subject of transportation while promoting his eco-documentary, “The 11th Hour,” in Cannes, France, in May.

Asked whether he had traveled to the nuclear-powered country by jet, DiCaprio said, “No, I took a train across the Atlantic.”

Traveling to Europe by train is an option more Americans are starting to consider, although missing the connecting train in Reykjavik, Iceland, remains a problem the Trans-Atlantic Railroad Authority has been unable to resolve.

DiCaprio, like Sting and so many of the green thumbs who donated their musical talents to Live Earth, has moved out of his energy-guzzling mansion to save the earth.

These intellectual giants in the entertainment industry are making these sacrifices in order to be consistent with their philosophy.

It is certainly not right of the artists to ask LeBron James to give up his Hummer if they are traversing the globe in private jets, live in castles and have a fleet of vehicles stashed in garages the size of an ordinary person’s home.

America’s sports czars also should have been moved by the faded power and glory of Madonna, the recovering vamp who used to perform with highway cones stuck on her chest.

Madonna expressed gratitude to Gore from London’s Wembley Stadium.

She said we can thank Gore “for giving the world the wake-up call it so badly needs and for starting an avalanche of awareness that we are running out of time.”

We are so running out of time that Live Earth II could be necessary to spread the word to the rest of the globe, so long as event organizers continue to plant trees to offset the massive carbon footprint of the event.

The latter was one of the unfortunate downsides of Live Earth, although the entertainers tried their best not to use too much energy.

Several vowed not to tour ever again and to start reusing toilet paper, which no doubt pleases Sheryl Crow, the head of the toilet paper police.

The sports czars hopefully will act in the days and weeks ahead.

Holding events in venues lit by candles is not enough.

Our professional athletes should agree to live in a scaled-down fashion, especially with DiCaprio taking up residence in a two-bedroom, one-bath bungalow in the 11th hour and 59th minute of the crisis.

One tiny question, though: What should all of us do with the parkas we stuffed in our closets in anticipation of the ice age?

That was our principal concern not too long ago.

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