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Live Earth Lights Up Seven Continents

NEW YORK, New York, July 9, 2007 (ENS) - Millions of viewers from around the world logged onto www.LiveEarth.MSN.com to experience Saturday’s Live Earth concerts happening on all seven continents and to confront the threat of global warming, while millions more watched the shows on television, and still more millions saw hundreds of entertainers live in eight concert venues.

As of 3:00 pm EDT on Saturday, MSN had a total of more than 10 million video streams and had the most simultaneous viewers of any online concert ever, the company said.

Former U.S. Vice President Al Gore and actor Leonardo DiCaprio on stage at Giants Stadium for the final Live Earth show. (Photo by JeffPulver)
"History is being made today," said Joanne Bradford, corporate vice president and chief media officer of MSN. "Millions of people around the world have joined together to fight the climate crisis."

"We expect to see an even greater number of streams after the concerts are over as people return to watch their favorite performances or enjoy them for the first time if they missed the concerts live," she said.

On-demand footage of all performances, along with artist interviews, backstage footage, and searching capabilities for specific songs and artists will be available free of charge from all eight official concerts at LiveEarth.MSN.com for the next several weeks.

"Live Earth is committed to providing our global audience with ways to "Answer the Call" and individually make a difference to help solve the climate crisis," said Kevin Wall, founder and producer of Live Earth.

"By providing the opportunity to view the shows in their entirety online," said Wall, "coupled with our unique solutions campaign we’re able to communicate this message on a mass scale in a way that engages people and inspires them to act."

Dr. Henrietta Mann spoke in Washington, DC. (Photo courtesy National Museum of the American Indian
Live Earth partner and former U.S. Vice President Al Gore opened the U.S. leg of the Live Earth concerts with an appearance at the National Museum of the American Indian on the National Mall in Washington, DC, where a surprise concert organized at the last minute was held.

"It is appropriate that Live Earth in America begins here," said Gore, "just as when the Sun rose over Australia the Aboriginal people started this series."

"The American Indian people and elders of native cultures here and around the world have been very eloquent in reminding us what we need to do, expressing the understanding that we are connected to the natural world," said Gore.

"Some who don't understand what is now at stake tried to stop this event," he said, "but here we are."

"Not many years from now our children and grandchildren will ask one of two questions," Gore said. "They will either ask, 'What were they thinking, didn't they hear the evidence of the scientists? Were they too busy, distracted or greedy, didn't they care?' or 'How did they get their act together to rise and successuly solve the climate crisis?'"

UB40 singers Ali Campbell and Astro on stage at Live Earth South Africa. (Photo courtesy Live Earth and MSN)
Most scientists now agree that the Earth's atmosphere is warming at the fastest rate in recorded history, a trend that is projected to cause extensive damage to forests, marine ecosystems, and agriculture.

Human communities are threatened by climate change as seas rise, storms become more intense, and episodes of drought and flooding increase. The polar ice caps are melting and ice-dependent species such as polar bears are struggling to survive.

The scientific evidence is now compelling that recent climate change is caused at least in part by human activities, especially the burning of fossil fuels, which has driven atmospheric carbon dioxide concentrations to their highest levels in 420,000 years.

To combat global warming, Live Earth is encourging everyone to take the Live Earth Seven Point Pledge, promoted at the on stage shows and a feature of the Live online webcast. People watching were urged to sign the pledge and to take whatever actions they could to cool the planet.

In London, Black Eyed Peas frontman Will.i.am was inspired to peform a song he wrote for Gore after meeting him at the Grammys. The lyrics call upon spiritual leaders of many faiths for help in fighting global warming.

Madonna urges the crowd to sing at Wembley Stadium, London. (Photo by Luhermana)
Closing the show at London's Wembley Stadium, Madonna thanked Gore and Live Earth founder and producer Kevin Wall for starting "an avalance of awareness."

"Let's hope the concert here tonight and the concerts all around the world are not just about music - but about starting a revolution," Madonna said.

At Giants Stadium in East Rutherford, New Jersey, actor Kevin Bacon said backstage, "Six degrees could separate us from a global environmential disaster of epic proportions. Scientists warn we could see the temperature rise that high by 2100."

"Only one-third of that rise could mean the extinctions of species," Bacon said. "The time to answer the call is now, right now."

Neil Finn of Crowded House on stage at Live Earth Sydney (Photo by Fabian Foo.)
"Answer the Call" was the motto of the day. Live Earth is calling out for people to do whatever they can to combat climate change - use compact fluorescent lightbulbs, carpool, write to their elected representatives demanding climate-friendly legislation.

On stage at Giants Stadium, Melissa Ethridge, who won this year' Best Song Oscar for the theme song for Al Gore's Oscar award-winning documentary, "An Inconvenient Truth," exhorted the crowd to do something right now.

"When I was in school, it was America," Ethridge said. "People were doing things, people were standing up when it was an unjust war. I remember when we had a President who was a criminal. I remember America rose up and said uh-uh. Our democracy is sacred. what happened to us?"

Laying the blame on mass consumption, Ethridge asked the crowd to imagine that "Monday morning we're going to be looking for the truth. ... We're going to speak the truth no matter how inconvenient it is."

Melissa Etheridge onstage at Giants Stadium (Photo by John)
The Alliance for Climate Protection, chaired by Gore, will receive some of the proceeds from ticket sales of the concerts. In addition, the activities of the Alliance are funded by 100 percent Al Gore’s proceeds from the film and the companion book "An Inconvenient Truth."

The mission of the Alliance "is to persuade the American people - and people elsewhere in the world – of the importance and urgency of adopting and implementing effective and comprehensive solutions for the climate crisis - an unprecedented mass persuasion exercise based on scientific facts."

Live Earth profits also will go to organizations including the Climate Group, and Stop Climate Chaos.

The UK charity Stop Climate Chaos is a coalition of more than 50 organizations that conducts the "I Count" campaign to get people involved in individual and political action on climate change.

I Count Director Ashok Sinha said, "Live Earth is not just a great day for music. It’s a springboard for action. Through I Count we will give visibility to people’s personal actions to reduce their carbon footprint and call on political leaders of all parties to listen and act."

The Climate Group is an independent, nonprofit organization that works to advance business and government leadership on climate change. Based in the UK, the USA and Australia, the group operates internationally.

The Live Earth Pledge

I Pledge:

To demand that my country join an international treaty within the next 2 years that cuts global warming pollution by 90% in developed countries and by more than half worldwide in time for the next generation to inherit a healthy earth;

To take personal action to help solve the climate crisis by reducing my own CO2 pollution as much as I can and offsetting the rest to become "carbon neutral;"

To fight for a moratorium on the construction of any new generating facility that burns coal without the capacity to safely trap and store the CO2;

Lenny Kravitz closed the Live Earth Rio show on Copacabana Beach. (Photo by Rodrigo Bueno)
To work for a dramatic increase in the energy efficiency of my home, workplace, school, place of worship, and means of transportation;

To fight for laws and policies that expand the use of renewable energy sources and reduce dependence on oil and coal;

To plant new trees and to join with others in preserving and protecting forests; and,

To buy from businesses and support leaders who share my commitment to solving the climate crisis and building a sustainable, just, and prosperous world for the 21st century.

Additionally, Live Earth is asking people to commit to making changes at home, at work, while getting around, while shopping, in their communities and to urge changes by their governments. People can make their commitments and find solutions against the climate crisis at www.liveearth.org, www.LiveEarth.MSN.com, or by sending a text message of "SOS" to 82004.

Copyright Environment News Service (ENS) 2007. All rights reserved.



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