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Friday, June 4, 2010

We Aren't the World, Part 2: Where are the music world environmentalists on the BP Gulf oil disaster??

Posted By on Fri, Jun 4, 2010 at 8:01 PM

On May 29, in a post titled "We Aren't the World," we asked a simple question: In the face of the biggest environmental disaster in American history ...

Has anyone else wondered where the Hollywood/music outpouring of support has been? Tim Robbins, Mos Def and Lenny Kravitz are a few of the people who have pitched in — the operative word being ‘few.’ We haven’t seen Jay-Z, Justin Timberlake, Jennifer Aniston, Kanye West, Ellen DeGeneres, Rosie O’Donnell or Sean Penn. No sightings of Bruce Springsteen, Kid Rock, Sheryl Crow or Dave Matthews. Where’s George Clooney? Where’s Bono?

These people, of course, have no obligation to help — but they’ve shown their willingness to be generous in the past, and I’m wondering: why is the biggest oil-related disaster in American history suddenly unworthy of celebrity-charity attention?

Looking for answers, I went to the website of the Green Music Group, a coalition founded in January by some of the most high-profile environmentalists in the music industry. This is how GMG describes itself:

Green Music Group is the first organization to harness the collective power of the entire music community to affect millions of individual actions, bringing about measurable global environmental change. Green Music Group is not simply green in name – we are committed to a sustainable future both on and off-stage.

And these are the founding members:

click to enlarge green

* Dave Matthews Band

* Linkin Park

* Maroon 5

* Willie Nelson

* Sheryl Crow

* The Roots

* Bonnie Raitt

* Barenaked Ladies

* Guster

... and there doesn't seem to be a single word on their website about the BP Gulf oil disaster. Not one.

There are activities ("Take a picture of yourself using an alternative form of transportation. Don't forget to be creative and have fun! For example, see how many people you can (safely) fit on a bicycle, or take all of your friends on the bus with you."), and there are prizes ("Take this challenge by noon ET on Friday, June 4th and you could win $500 from our friends at Hard Rock! This can be used for pretty much anything: tickets to shows, a night at a hotel, meals, Hard Rock merchandise and more!!"), and there's a lot of information that boils down to how swell these people are. But there is not a word about the oil disaster on their website, on their Facebook or on their Twitter feed. There is a chance to clean a New Hampshire beach with someone from the Dave Matthews Band -- a New Hampshire beach -- that was posted on June 2, which happened to be 44 days after the Deepwater Horizon explosion in the Gulf.

Not a word. Nothing. There's not a word about it on Sheryl Crow's blog. Nor Dave Matthews' blog. Or on Guster's journal. You get the idea.

I've got an email out to the Green Music Group, the largest and most visible collective of environmental musicians, some of whom have actually played Jazz Fest and are considered friends of Louisiana, asking where the hell they are on this thing. If I hear back, I'll update this.

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