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MY Live Earth...OUR Live Earth?

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

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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.

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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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