John Berlau of the Competitive Enterprise Institute takes a comprehensive look at Al Gore’s claim to have outsmarted those who prevented him from holding a “Live Earth” concert on the Mall. A conspiracy by “climate change deniers,” charged Gore’s apologists. Turns out the culprit was the Smithsonian Folklife Festival, which followed the rules.
The truth is that Gore’s desires for a huge concert on the Mall were actually thwarted not by Republicans, but by a very talented group of Irish Riverdance cloggers, Vietnamese folk artists, and African-American gospel singers. They were performing as scheduled at the acclaimed annual Smithsonian Folklife Festival and at a gospel show sponsored by the predominantly black Christian organization Together One Unity. It seems the “nefarious right-wingers” who organized these folk and gospel fests had the temerity to schedule their events with the National Park Service, which runs the Mall, weeks and months before Live Earth’s organizers ever contacted the agency, and then not call them off when Gore let out a sneeze.
I attended these events on the Mall that weekend and found them to be a wonderful antidote to the green hype of Live Earth and, in truth, a better example of true conservation and simple living then the giant rock concerts were. They were a sort of anti-rock festival, with informal singing and craftsmanship taking precedence.
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