How Green Was Your Live Earth?

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Al Gore on stage at Giants Stadium Saturday. Photo: Getty Images


Al Gore's multi-continent, multi-hour Live Earth concert on Saturday was an impressive event for an impressive cause. But two days later, we're still trying to figure out just how impressively green it was, at least at its New York outpost at Giants Stadium. Gore, to his credit, rode Amtrak up from Washington, but, well, let's just say we're not sure everyone else made such an effort. At least some box seats at the stadium, we were told, had no glass enclosure — which meant that to keep VIPs cool, A/C was blasted on high throughout the concert, into the open air. The press was relegated to an aptly named media bubble, a giant off-white tent in the parking lot, which also offered A/C. (Not that we're complaining!) Volunteers stood by the trash cans, helpfully directing the garbage into one of three piles: compost, recycling, and “waste,” 90 percent of which, a sign promised, would be diverted away from the landfills. A man wandered through the tent, dispensing yogurt smoothies from a backpack connected to a squirt gun. There was no vegetarian option on the snack table — just ham and American cheese.

Every now and then, a star showed up to lecture, press-conference style, about using Brita filters, while reporters guzzled bottled water and smoked incessantly. (Robert Kennedy Jr., passing by in a golf cart, chastised a few to quit.) KT Tunstall, who uses biodiesel in her tour buses and is insulating her new apartment with sheep’s wool, earned high honors for knowing what she’s talking about, as did the band Taking Back Sunday, whose guitarist drives a 1982 Rabbit fueled by leftover vegetable oil from Chinese restaurants, and whose bassist drinks water out of what he calls “a Man Sippy Cup.” Dave Matthews was obsessed with a video on how livestock damage the ozone — “We need to harness the energy of cow farts!” — and praised his Prius for its rearview camera, which makes it easy to back up fast and scare people. Fall Out Boy talked about their upcoming trip to Uganda for a video to star “invisible children,” children forced to be soldiers. And Akon, who admitted he’d basically just learned about the environmental movement during his limo ride over — a limo ride! — provided the comic relief. We asked if he'd date someone who wasn’t green. “I’d date someone green," he replied. "I don’t have color boundaries.” —Jada Yuan