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Live Earth: A briefing

The latest in a long list of concerts for causes, Live Earth will stage a multimedia assault on the world's attention span July 7, urging action against human-induced climate change.

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Tokyo – Following the concert, which features some of the top musical talent in Asia, a special music event will be held at the To-Ji Buddhist temple in Kyoto.

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Shanghai – China's event will be held on the steps of the Oriental Pearl Tower. It's topped by the 12 Girls Band, a dozen young women who play compositions on traditional Chinese instruments. The group's members were selected from more than 4,000 applicants.

Hamburg – Two-time Olympic gold medalist figure skater Katarina Witt will speak at Germany's event, while rapper Snoop Dogg and singer Chris Cornell of Audioslave will perform.

London – Madonna, the Beastie Boys, and Duran Duran will be joined by the likes of Spinal Tap, the mock-rock group immortalized in the 1984 film, "This Is Spinal Tap."

Johannesburg – South Africa's concert was originally to be held at Maropeng's Cradle of Humankind World Heritage Site, 40 minutes from Johannesburg, but was changed to the more accessible Coca-Cola Dome. Supermodel Naomi Campbell will speak.

Rio De Janeiro – More than 1 million people are expected to attend this free concert on the famous Copacabana Beach, where Lenny Kravitz, Pharrell Williams, and Macy Gray will perform along with Brazilian artists.

New York – The US is capping the global event with performances by The Police, Smashing Pumpkins, Roger Waters, and Kanye West. The venue is actually across the Hudson River at Giants Stadium in East Rutherford, N.J.

Antarctica – The indie rock band Nunatak, made up of five scientists stationed in Antarctica, will perform for a live audience of only 17 people, although the performance will be broadcast on TV, radio, and the Internet. (Read more about this concert in the Friday, July 6, Monitor.)

Musicians go green

Dave Matthews Band, which will perform at the New York area event, founded the Bama Works Fund, which has contributed more than $4 million to charities, including environmental ones. The group offsets the CO2 emissions of its tours by supporting tree-planting projects. Proceeds fom the sale of its Ben & Jerry's ice cream flavor, One Sweet Whirled, support global warming organizations.

The John Butler Trio, performing in Sydney, has donated profits from its ticket sales to the Wilderness Society. The trio "greened" its 2007 US tour by using biodiesel to run its tour buses, and offset the rest of its CO2 emissions by buying wind-energy credits.

Sting, who will perform with The Police at the New York-area concert, founded the Rainforest Foundation in 1989 to fight rain­forest destruction and the violation of the rights of indigenous peoples in Brazil's Amazon region. The foundation supports projects in Latin America, Africa, and Southeast Asia.

Melissa Etheridge, who also will perform at the New York area event, won an Oscar for her song "I Need to Wake Up," which accompanied Al Gore's climate change documentary "An Inconvenient Truth." She fuels her road shows with B99 (99 percent biofuel).

'Cause concerts'

The Concert for Bangladesh, 1971: The first large-scale benefit concert, held in New York City, was organized by George Harrison and Ravi Shankar and featured Bob Dylan, Ringo Starr, Eric Clapton, and Billy Preston.

Live Aid, 1985: Concerts in London and Philadelphia raised roughly £150 million ($300 million) for Ethiopian famine relief.

Farm Aid, 1985 - present: Rock and country acts raise money for needy US farm families.

Tibetan Freedom Concerts, 1996-2001: New York hip-hop group the Beastie Boys raised awareness of the Chinese occupation of Tibet.

Live 8, 2005: This event, organized by Bob Geldof, put pressure on the leading industrialized nations (the G-8) to increase aid spending, negotiate fair trade rules, and provide debt relief to African countries.

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