Al Gore announced Friday a surprise Live Earth concert in Washington, foiling Senate Republicans who blocked Gore's attempt to bring his global warming extravaganza to the grounds of the U.S. Capitol.
The former vice president said the all-day "Mother Earth" concert would be held on the National Mall at the National Museum of the American Indian — about two blocks from the Capitol — as part of Saturday's concert series focused on climate change. The headliners are Garth Brooks and Trisha Yearwood.
"Global warming naysayers in the political world have not been able to have their way, because this will — despite their best efforts — be held on the Mall," Gore told The Associated Press.
The "Mother Earth" show had been previously planned, but Gore announced Friday that it would be part of the Live Earth series. The concert will also feature films, music, dancing and guest speakers, including scientists and cultural leaders from the American Indian community.
"There is no more important matter before us than the question of how to live sustainably on the Earth," said Tim Johnson, acting director of the American Indian museum and a descendant of the Mohawk tribe.
There are eight other Live Earth concerts scheduled Saturday, starting in Australia and continuing to London, New Jersey, Japan, China, South Africa, Brazil and Germany.
Earlier this year, Republican leaders in the Senate refused Gore's request to host one of the concerts on the Capitol grounds facing the Washington Monument. The denial came after Gore testified before House and Senate panels in March about what he calls a "true planetary emergency."
Sen. James Inhofe, R-Okla., who has called global warming a hoax, led the move to squash the Capitol concert. A spokesman said at the time that Inhofe objected to using the Capitol for events that are partisan or politically controversial. Inhofe said the "Gore concert is both." He did not immediately return a phone call Friday.
Gore, a Democrat, said Friday that global warming "is not a political issue; it's a moral issue. Nevertheless, some of the issues will have to be worked out in the political system."
Gore said he was pleased that the concert would be audible at both the Capitol and the White House.
"A couple of the global warming deniers tried to deny it with parliamentary maneuvers," he said. "The cavalry didn't come riding to the rescue; the American Indians did."