Rolling Stones' free concert in Los Angeles meant to raise awareness of global warming - - Tulsa, OK - News, Weather, Video and Sports - |

Rolling Stones' free concert in Los Angeles meant to raise awareness of global warming

LOS ANGELES (AP) _ The band that sang ``Paint It Black'' is speaking out on behalf of green with a free concert dedicated to raising awareness about global warming.

The Rolling Stones' concert Thursday night at the downtown Staples Center was taking place in one of the nation's smoggiest areas, despite strict statewide standards for motor vehicle emissions. The event was organized by the Natural Resources Defense Council, a nonprofit activist group.

``This is one way to get the word out that we need a real political commitment, a policy to fight conventional pollution through performance standards for cleaner cars and cleaner power plants,'' said David Hawkins, director of the NRDC's Washington-based Climate Center program.

Stones lead singer Mick Jagger said the event was a no-brainer for rock's rowdy legends: ``That sort of says it all ... We decided we thought that was a good cause and we would do it.''

About 12,000 fans won tickets through an Internet drawing last month, while others received passes through nationwide radio station giveaways.

Former President Clinton was to introduce the Stones with a speech about the dangers of global warming. Celebrity guests including Leonardo DiCaprio planned to give media interviews.

Hawkins said the NRDC is trying to keep the event ``climate neutral'' _ meaning the group will attempt to offset any pollution caused by the concert's electricity or fuel usage with donations to build electricity-generating windmill farms in the Midwest.

The NRDC also plans to distribute postcards to concertgoers that can be sent to General Motors, urging company executives to support clean air laws and build more fuel-efficient vehicles, Hawkins said.

Other automakers and politicians would be targeted in the future, he said.

``A concert by the Rolling Stones is not a solutions-oriented event, but it's terrific that they loaned us their names and talent so we can reach more people and different kinds of people than we would otherwise,'' said Alan Metrick, spokesman for the NRDC.

Concert expenses were paid by real-estate heir and entertainment producer Steve Bing, according to organizers.

The Rolling Stones are currently completing the North American stretch of their Licks World Tour, and will launch the international leg later this month in Australia.

The show comes 34 years after the Stones performed a free concert at the Altamont Speedway in Livermore, Calif. Fighting broke out and four people died.
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