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MSNBC staff and news service reports
Updated: 2 hours, 4 minutes ago
LOS ANGELES - Al Gore, the former vice president and now hit documentary maker, on Thursday added rock promoter to his résumé, announcing plans for a 24-hour concert series on all seven continents to highlight, you guessed it, the dangers of global warming.
With a powerhouse lineup of acts from the Red Hot Chili Peppers to Snoop Dogg to Bon Jovi, what's being called "Live Earth" aims to gather more than 100 of the world's top musicians on July 7 — and attract 2 billion viewers, most of them via television, radio and the Web.
The concerts will be streamed live on MSN, Microsoft's information portal. (MSNBC.com is a joint venture of Microsoft and NBC Universal.)
Ahead of the formal announcement in Los Angeles, Gore said that the push, which includes a new campaign called Save Our Selves, has the potential to reach far beyond his earlier audiences.
"In order to solve the climate crisis, we have to reach billions of people," Gore said in a statement. "We hope to jumpstart that movement right here, right now, and take it to a new level on July 7, 2007."
The SOS campaign was founded by Kevin Wall, the producer behind the Live 8 global concerts in 2005 that raised money for Africa.
"Our climate crisis is the biggest challenge facing humanity," Wall said. "SOS is more than a global distress call. SOS will give the world the tools we need to answer that call with meaningful action."
Wall said that these performers had already signed up: Pharrell, Red Hot Chili Peppers, Foo Fighters, Snoop Dogg, Lenny Kravitz, Bon Jovi, Paolo Nutini, Sheryl Crow, AFI, Melissa Etheridge, John Mayer, Damien Rice, Corrine Bailey Rae, Duran Duran, Snow Patrol, John Legend, Black Eyed Peas, Akon, Enrique Iglesias, Fall Out Boy, Mana, Keane, Kelly Clarkson, Korn, Faith Hill and Tim McGraw, Ray LaMontagne, Robin Thicke, and Kenna.
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The concerts will take place in Sydney, Australia; Rio de Janeiro, Brazil; Shanghai, China; London, England; Kyoto, Japan; Johannesburg, South Africa; and a U.S. city that has yet to be determined, Wall said. Gore added that the campaign even plans to stage the first-ever rock concert on Antarctica.
Each concert will run between four and eight hours, Wall said. Stadium locations and ticket sales information will be announced in March.
Proceeds from the concerts will fund initiatives by the Save Our Selves campaign, which launches the same month that a climate experts reported that they are more convinced than ever that human emissions of greenhouse gases are behind an accelerated warming trend around the Earth.
Gore is often mentioned as a possible presidential candidate in 2008 despite his repeated statements that he's not running. Recently, some former aides met in Boston to discuss a campaign to draft the former vice president.
The concerts bring newfound publicity to Gore, who already is enjoying celebrity status with his Oscar-nominated documentary, "An Inconvenient Truth." Gore said he was thrilled that the film, on the perils of global warming, was nominated for best documentary and for best song, the latter nod coming for Melissa Etheridge's "I Need to Wake Up."
The Academy Awards are Feb. 25.
Additional background is online at liveearth.msn.com