Everyone’s getting green these days. No one want to die. Smaller cars, less paper, better recycling – it’s finally sinking in. One dude that’s been ahead of the curve vis a vis the elimination of greenhouse gases is Sting, and as much as wiseacres once teased him as a strident do-gooder, they’re thanking now him for being on the case. Each year the singer and his wife Trudie Styler corral an array of musicians at Carnegie Hall and put on a fundraiser to further one of their prime concerns, repopulating rainforests around the world. This year it takes place in on Thursday, May 8. Feist, Billy Joel, Brian Wilson, James Taylor and many other are on board. Here are the show specifics. In a recent chat, Sting filled us in on a few facts about the subject that’s so close to his heart. Ready for five intriguing quotes?
1. “You can’t save the rainforest all at once; you have to save bits of it at a time, and hope the idea will grow. And it kind of has. We’ve raised $25 million over the past 20 years. We’re now on four continents – Asia, Africa, Central and South America. And we’re helping indigenous people to protect themselves.”
2. “It’s important that we conserve energy where we live, and it’s important that we reduce transport emissions. But greenhouse gases are caused by deforestation – by a lot. That comes from real facts. What’s warming up the planet is the destruction of the rainforest. More and more, people around the world are getting the idea that this is one planet and what we do one part of it effects all of us. It’s a growing realization – particularly among young people.”
3. “We were enthralled by the beauty of the rainforest and the damage you see on the way there. You cross land that was formally a virgin forest – it’s now a desert. So we were asked if we could demarcate a piece of land, which is the size of Connecticut or maybe Switzerland. And after a five-year learning curve we created a legal infrastructure around this land. Which we use as a model for other work. It seemed like the best way to protect the forest was to protect the people who lived there.”
4. “I think this is our 15th concert we’ve done at Carnegie Hall. We have a usual cast of characters. One of the interesting things is that we’re bringing some of our sons and daughters to perform. Our own daughter Coco, James Taylor’s son Ben and daughter Sally, and also Alexa Joel. We thought we’d pass this baton onto a younger generation.”
5. “People want to your hits, so we’ll do ‘em. But I’m also going to do a version of “Strawberry Fields Forever” with an orchestra. We throw the show together in about three days, and it’s often quite spontaneous. It’s usually an amazing event. I hope this one is the same.”