MY Live Earth...OUR Live Earth?

Kanye West

Kanye West performs at Live Earth in NYC. Getty Images hide caption

itoggle caption Getty Images

My big concert days are slipping behind me. But if I did have the patience to hang out with thousands of my closest friends in 90-degree heat, I'd have been right up there on the National Mall to check out the Live Earth concert this weekend.

Why? A former sociology major, like myself, is always intrigued by groups' mass gatherings — whether it's Promisekeepers, the Million Man March, Anti-war rallies or a March for Life — if it's happening in my city, I want to see it for myself. I want to know what brings people out. Is it the already convinced, or do the merely curious come to be intrigued and possibly persuaded?

I have a particular interest in the Live Earth issue because NPR, as many of you probably know, has committed to reporting on the issue of climate change for the year. Working in partnership with National Geographic, correspondents from NPR have been circling the Globe reporting on everything from coal to the Co2 gas emitted from sheep breath (the sheep thing really took me down).

As we have searched for our own voice on this story, I keep returning to one issue again, and again — the issue of being black, brown...and green.

Needless to say, many people of color live close to the earth, whether by necessity or choice. But I am wondering how it is that one can persuade those who may feel they have only recently begun to experience the best of the western consumer society, whether it be electric lights, personal cars, or 6500 sq ft. mini-manses that they should do without (or do with less of so that the world might be better off).

The question intrigues me.

We had an interesting answer today from Norris McDonald, a man who has made it his concern to persuade African-Americans to embrace the environmental movement. He has an idea about why they haven't already. You may, or may not, agree.

Plus...who wouldn't want to talk to Angelique Kidjo? The lovely west African singer performed at Live Earth in Johannesburg this weekend. We caught up her in Milan (I feel very fancy just telling you all that..."Yes, why I was chatting up Angelique." "Oh, really? Where is she?" "Oh, Milan.")

She tells you why she thinks going green is particularly important for the developing world.

...So, how green are you?
Do you embrace the idea of reducing your carbon footprint? And if so, how do you plan to do it?
If not, what puts you off?
Do you not believe the science? Or do you just figure:

"Hey, it's the other guy's problem? 'Cause I just got my hummer?"

Fess up. That's what blogs are for...



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I watched some of the Live Earth concert. I am a Black American female. I am concerned about the environment because any problem that has the majority population's concern and attention is one that minority population (Blacks) are always more severly affected by. Ozone--asthma, lead paints--old urban buildings, waste dumping--black neighborhoods, water standards/sewers poor--older urban areas populated by Blacks. Furthermore, I care because God's wonderful creation is being destroyed because of capitalistic greed. Greed of any kind is never satisfied. When one is greedy there is always more that is desired regardless of what one already has. So unless we address what our real "needs" are we will ultimately destroy the earth and ourselves--because we never will have enough. Keeping it simple is the best (KIS principle). As consumers we must stop the consumption.

Sent by jd m | 1:24 AM | 7-10-2007

How Green Am I?

On a scale of 1 to 10, I'll give myself a 4 on being green and I still have a long way to go. Last earth day (sometime in April), I learned a few things on what I could do to play a small part in saving our planet such as not leaving my cell phone charger in the outlet all day (a knack of mine at the time). And like millions of others, I watched the Live Earth concert and picked up additional tips.

In the past year, I've substituted most of my abrasive household cleaners with more green alternatives and even bought a couple T-shirts made of recycled materials. But I'm not ready to trade in plastic bags for paper at the grocery store . . . just doesn't seem convenient; neither am I ready to trade in my car for a hybrid. If I do get a hybrid, it would have less to do on how "green" I'm trying to be and more on how much "green" (cash) I'm trying to save.

Sent by Moji | 2:18 PM | 7-13-2007

Earth Day is April 22 Moji, a horrible time for such a day because it is always rainy and cold for those symbolic litter pick ups.

For some reason I cannot discern, I have found that most whites are uncomfortable about discussing the black community. I can speculate that it is a desire for America to be one nation at the same time we see whites moving out as fast as they can when blacks move in. And income does not matter. Prince George's County is the richest majority black county in the country and whites high-tailed it out of here as these affluent blacks moved in. So we proudly address environmental issues in general but also in the black community--because there is one in virtually every city in the United States.

Sent by Norris McDonald | 8:32 AM | 7-20-2007

hi wat's up

Sent by jerrick | 7:19 PM | 8-24-2007