NEW YORK (AP) — As a longtime supporter of the Rainforest Action Network, actor Chris Noth is excited to bring the organization's annual benefit back to New York.

"I hope to raise over $100,000, which isn't big," Noth said of the event, to be held Monday night. "James Taylor and Sting, with their rainforest group (the Rainforest Foundation) raise over a million dollars. But look at who they are, right?"

The "eco rock" fundraiser will include an auction, music by Warren Haynes (Gov't Mule, The Allman Brothers Band) and a set by comedian Jim Gaffigan. Noth, who will host the event, plans to read a poem by Robert Frost.

The 59-year-old actor, star of CBS' "The Good Wife," spoke recently with The Associated Press.

AP: Tell me about your fundraiser.

Noth: This is the fifth New York event that I've hosted and helped put together to raise money. They usually have their events in San Francisco, where they're based. We've consistently managed to get great entertainment, but we don't have the publicity status of Sting. The first event I threw for RAN, we got Norah Jones to play. This is like six years ago, seven years ago. ... We raised anywhere from $40,000 to $50,000. Not big numbers because I didn't know quite know what I was doing. People just came in and (we) asked them to donate. Now we have a credible auction, like a really big one. We have great music and entertainment.

AP: Do you feel the discussion on climate change has become a partisan issue?


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Noth: That's why I say it's unethical to do this in a partisan way. It's completely selfish. They're doing it just to stay in office. It's completely unethical to pretend it's not happening. Part of their job (elected officials) is to see the big picture, not their little, small view. The Gandhis, Abraham Lincolns and everyone else that have helped change the world for the better, didn't have a small world view. If we don't have an Earth to stand on, all of these others things that are troubling us — which are important, too — won't matter, because we won't be able to live on Earth, we won't be able to survive.

AP: Rather than politics, doesn't it come down to the people to help change policy?

Noth: If we can get the people to understand the seriousness of the cause, the health of their children and the beauty of the planet. I'm a tree guy. I grew up around trees. I hate to see a mall put up where there was a forest. It's a scientific fact that trees are the lungs of the world.

AP: Did having a son change your perspective?

Noth: I know the next 20 years will be crucial. What kind of world he will live in the next 20 to 30 years is up to us, right now. ... (On) Father's Day, I'll be with the family up in the Berkshires planting trees. I did teach my son a phrase, which he says all the time: Too many cars, not enough trees.

AP: The success of "The Good Wife" seems to grow. Now you're the governor. What's next?

Noth: I think they're looking at the relationship between my character and Julianna Margulies' (character). It's exploring what a political marriage might be where it lost its — where the power of the politics takes over the intimacy of the marriage. They're using each other in a way to maybe take advantage of each other, yet the marriage itself, while not quite dead, hmmm, doesn't conform to a traditional marriage ... and exploring what that means. That's all I know. I know the show pretty much resurrected itself this year with everything. I never know what they're going to do, to tell you the truth. I think I'm the governor but I never did have an inauguration. I'm pretty sure I'm the governor. The more politics, the better. That's my love of that part. I love when they get into that.

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Online:

http://www.ran.org

http://www.cbs.com/shows/the—good—wife/

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