Jul 30 2011

Tell me, what about it?

Category: Earth,Humanitarian,MJ Quotes,VideosSeven @ 10:04 pm

Sumatran Tiger

Sumatran Tiger

My friend Reverend Catherine Gross made me aware recently of a tiger that died a horrible death in Indonesia. This tiger is one of only 400 tigers left in the wild today. Tigers are a critically endangered species.

But there is more to the story than just the tiger. The tiger lives, as many do, in the rainforests of Indonesia and his habitat is being destroyed at alarming rates. Indonesia has lost 40 percent of its forest cover in the past 50 years. Between 2000 and 2005, loggers cleared an area the size of Portugal. Today, roads slice through the few remaining places where tigers live, meaning tiger-human conflicts are increasingly common. This habitat destruction forces tigers to have to move further and to different areas to find food for themselves and to have a place in which to live and raise their young. This particular tiger became trapped in a trap which was set to capture a pig, not a tiger. By the time rescuers located the tiger, he had suffered for days with his injuries in that trap and soon died.

There is one company among others primarily responsible for much of the Indonesian rainforest destruction: Asia Pulp and Paper aka ‘APP’.  Many companies in the U.S. and around the world buy paper products from APP.  Looking at their website, we can see a lot of claims made by them about “sustainability” and “green” practices. However, in reality, their practices don’t match up with their claims.

Mother Jones magazine has a couple features on this company, the first of which is called “How KFC and the Tea Party Kill Tigers“. The article states:

APP still has a firm hold on the US paper market. According to Greenpeace, KFC and several other fast-food chains owned by Yum Brands are among its major US buyers. And it enjoys political support, too: In March, the New York Times reported that the Tea Party-affiliated group Institute for Liberty has been lobbying to protect APP’s right to sell paper products to the US without having to pay tarrifs. (The Insitute for Liberty is known for its massive pro-business astroturfing efforts;it has defended Monsanto’s right to sell genetically modified alfalfa, and MoJo’s Stephanie Mencimer recently reported on its campaign against net neutrality.)

APP has tried to spiff up its environmental rep with a major PR push; its website claims that it is “committed to protecting biological diversity, particularly with regards to native plant species, Sumatran tigers, elephants, orangutans, birds and other animals.” The site also brags that APP’s carbon footprint is “remarkably close to neutral.” But last year, the Rainforest Action Network revealed that APP’s calculations of its footprint are sorely lacking, since they don’t take into consideration the carbon-storing peatlands that APP has destroyed.

Despite the greenwashing, APP’s lousy environmental track record finally seems to be catching up with it; several American chains, including Staples, Office Depot, and Target, recently ended their contracts with the paper giant. Will others follow suit before it’s too late for the tigers?

Another article from Mother Jones details the horrible death of this beautiful tiger: VIDEO: Sumatran Tiger Killed in Pig Trap

Because of habitat loss in the Indonesian rainforest, this big Asian cat is among the most endangered species in the world: Only 400 of them are left in the wild. (There’s some incredible footage of them here.) The major force driving the clear-cutting around their home is Asia Pulp & Paper, a vast paper company that wields a lot of power; its clients include Disney and several major toy manufacturers.

Earlier this month, in Riau, Indonesia, one of the 400 tigers stumbled into a snare set by villagers who wanted to catch pigs. When Indonesian conservationists learned of the situation a few days later, they sent in a rescue team to free the tiger, which by that point was badly wounded.

Indonesia has lost 40 percent of its forest cover in the last 50 years. The deforestation has been particularly intense in the last decade: Between 2000 and 2005, loggers cleared an area the size of Portugal. Today, roads slice through the few remaining places where tigers live, meaning tiger-human conflicts are increasingly common. The villagers who set the pig trap didn’t mean to ensnare a tiger, but because of clear-cutting, they could easily reach the formerly remote corners of the forest that used to belong to the tigers.

Asia Pulp & Paper, which logs regularly in the area in Riau where the tiger was trapped, has come under fire for its habitat-destroying practices. In turn, American companies that buy from APP have been criticized for doing business with APP. The outcry has yielded some positive changes: Last month, as a result of a Greenpeace campaign, Mattel promised to stop buying from APP.

Another article from GreenPeace is entitled: ‘Walmart, Kentucky Fried Chicken and other major brands driving rainforest destruction and pushing tigers and orangutans to extinction‘:

Beijing/Jakarta/London 6 July 2010 – Walmart, Auchan, Kentucky Fried Chicken (KFC) are amongst the global brands fueling climate change and pushing Sumatran tigers and orang-utans towards the brink of extinction by using or selling paper made from Indonesia’s rainforests for products like cups, photocopy and tissue paper, a new Greenpeace report reveals today.

The report, ‘How Sinar Mas is Pulping the Planet‘, shows how major international companies are driving the destruction of Indonesia’s rainforests and carbon-rich peatlands by sourcing paper from Asia Pulp and Paper (APP) , part of the notorious Sinar Mas group.

Ma Lichao, Greenpeace China forest campaigner, said: “This investigation shows how major international companies like Walmart and KFC are causing Indonesia’s peatland and forests to be slashed and burned for every-day paper products. Some of the world’s best known brands are pulping the planet.”

Greenpeace investigated two important rainforest areas on the Indonesian island of Sumatra and discovered that Sinar Mas is wreaking environmental havoc in both. The Bukit Tigapuluh Forest Landscape is one of the last refuges for endangered Sumatran tigers and orang-utans. Kerumutan’s carbon rich peatlands are a key defence against climate change; some of the forest’s peat is deeper than three meters and thus illegal to clear under Indonesian law. Sinar Mas’ paper arm APP uses the logs from these rainforest areas to feed its Sumatran based pulp mills, which export pulp and paper products worldwide.

“These are just two of many important rainforests being decimated by Sinar Mas for pulp and paper and palm oil expansion. Indonesian President Yudyohono’s new commitments to reduce greenhouse gas emissions from deforestation will be undermined unless he extends the moratorium on new deforestation licenses to cover all forest and peatlands that are currently slated for destruction by Sinar Mas and other companies,” said Ma Lichao.

Several leading companies have already responded to Greenpeace’s evidence of the Sinar Mas group’s illegal and destructive environmental practices in Indonesia and are cancelling their contracts with the palm oil and paper giant.

Today, Carrefour confirmed that it has already stopped buying from APP for its own brands, and Tesco has announced that it will do the same by the end of the year. In addition, Kraft has confirmed that it is phasing out APP paper and packaging, while Kimberly-Clark, Nestlé, and Unilever are implementing new policies that will also rule out supplies from APP, unless the company and its suppliers make substantial changes. Unilever, Kraft, and Nestlé have also dropped contracts with Golden Agri Resources (GAR), the Sinar Mas group’s palm oil arm, following recent Greenpeace campaigns.

“Sinar Mas is not only guilty of environmental abuses but is a repeat offender – its ‘sustainability commitments’ are not worth the paper they are written on. Greenpeace is calling on all companies like Walmart and KFC to stop doing business with Sinar Mas immediately. It also urges them to publicly support the need for the Indonesian government to fully protect Indonesia’s peatlands and to stop all rainforest destruction,” continued Ma Lichao.

The destruction of rainforests and peatlands is the key reason why Indonesia accounts for around a quarter of all greenhouse gas emissions caused by deforestation. According to recent government estimates, Indonesia ranks as the world’s third largest greenhouse gas emitter.

The GreenPeace article and report referenced above was published in 2010. However the article detailing the horrific death of that precious tiger was dated July 25th, 2011 – the 25th day of the 25th month of Michael’s death.

That means that although many companies are modifying their policies to avoid buying pulp and paper from Sinar Mas/APP, and though Indonesian President SBY signed a limited decree in May 2011 declaring a two-year moratorium on new forest concessions to APP and other paper and palm oil companies, the problem still exists. The Indonesian rainforest is still being destroyed at an alarming rate, and the habitats of tigers, orangutans and other animals and plant species, some of which may not even exist in other parts of the world, are being destroyed with them.

And even worse, there’s this from SaveTheRainforests.org:

Often described as the Earth’s lungs, only in reverse, the tropical rainforests, take in vast quantities of carbon dioxide (a poisonous gas which mammals exhale) and through the process of photosynthesis, converts it into clean, breathable air.

Tragically, the tropical rainforests are being destroyed at an alarming rate. According to Rainforest Action Network, more than an acre-and-a-half is lost every second of every day. That’s an area more than twice the size of Florida that goes up in smoke every year! “If present rates of destruction continue, half our remaining rainforests will be gone by the year 2025, and by 2060 there will be no rainforests remaining.”

Every second . . we lose an area the size of two football fields!
Every minute . . we lose an area 29 times the size of the Pentagon!
Every hour . . . we lose an area 684 times larger than the New Orleans Superdome!
Every day . . . we lose an area larger than all five boroughs of New York City!
Every week . . . we lose an area twice the size of Rhode Island!
Every month . . .we lose an area the size of Belize!
Every year . . . we lose an area more than twice the size of Florida!

Unless Indonesian President Yudyohono extends the moratorium on new deforestation licenses to cover all forest and peatlands that are currently slated for destruction by Sinar Mas and other companies, this destruction will continue.

As I mentioned, on May 19th, 2011, Indonesian President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono signed a decree to bring into force a two-year moratorium on new forest concessions. The moratorium was supposed to start in January 2011. The president was given a choice of two decrees to sign. One covered all forests, including peatlands. The other covered only primary forests and peatlands. Yudhoyono chose the latter.

Paul Winn of Greenpeace Australia-Pacific said, “This is a bitter disappointment. It will do little to protect Indonesia’s forests and peatlands. Seventy-five percent of the forests purportedly protected by this moratorium are already protected under existing Indonesian law, and the numerous exemptions further erode any environmental benefits.”

Teguh Surya of Walhi (Friends of the Earth Indonesia) told the Jakarta Post that “The President ignored input from civil society who care about conserving forests and threw its support to big businesses, such as palm oil plantations.

The fact that the decree is late is probably not too important in the long run. It will run for two years from today. Whether two years is long enough is, of course, another question. However, the fact that the decree is too little is a disaster for Indonesia’s forests, indigenous peoples and local communities.

In the days before President Yudhoyono signed the less effective limited decree, RAN (Rainforest Action Network) sent a briefing note to more than 100 companies that consume pulp, paper and palm oil, requesting that they support a robust moratorium on forest concessions in Indonesia. The briefing said in part:

The Rainforest Action Network welcomes President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono’s leadership and strong international commitments to reduce Indonesia’s greenhouse gas emissions from its forest sector.

We encourage international customers and investors to do the same, by adopting environmental and social safeguards relating to their own investments and supply chains and by supporting a broad, clear and verified moratorium administered by non-­interested parties that will effectively address deforestation and forest and peatland degradation.

Remember some of Michael’s last words before he died? His intent was to make his last tour primarily about saving the planet thus, ‘Earth Song‘ being planned as major feature of the shows.

I respect the secrets and magic of nature. That’s why it makes me so angry when I see these things that are happening in the world: that every second I hear the size of a football field is torn down in the Amazon. That kind of stuff really bothers me. That’s why I write these kinds of songs you know – to get some sense of awareness and awakening and hope to people. I love – I love the planet. I love trees – I have this thing for trees and the color and changing of leaves…I LOVE it. I respect those kind of things.

I really feel that nature is trying to compensate for man’s mismanagement of the planet. The planet is sick – like a fever. If we don’t fix it now its at the point of no return. This is our last chance to fix this problem that we have or its like a runaway train. The time has come “This is It”. People are always saying.. “Oh they- they’ll take care of it.” “The government will d-they’ll” They who? It starts with us. US. Or else it’ll never be done.

Tell me, what about it?

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Jun 21 2011

Earth Song, Neverland, and a Narcissist

Category: Earth,Friends,Justice,PhotosSeven @ 10:57 pm

Lynda Parrish

Lynda Parrish

Which of these things doesn’t belong? The narcissist seems rather out of place, doesn’t it? Many would like to see that item removed. More below about those efforts, along with some more positive news.

Lynda Parrish, who was very briefly a stylist for Michael Jackson, had the self-serving indecency to put a very personal item of Michael’s on display a while back and has now put the item up for sale with Julien’s. The lot in which the item is listed will be on auction June 26th, 2011 – just a few days from now.

Being his stylist, even for a short time, Parrish was certainly aware of how sensitive Michael was about this particular item, however she has nonetheless chosen a path that reveals her lack of ethics and respect when it comes to her clients. How anyone could trust her with their personal appearance after these self-serving stunts is inconceivable.

Prior to this, Ms Parrish had the work of Karen Faye, Michael’s make-up artist and stylist for almost 30 years, on her (Parrish’s) website, in an attempt to pass off Faye’s work as her own. Many fans are appalled at this woman’s lack of integrity as well as her blatant disregard for Michael Jackson’s privacy and his wishes.

What’s next? His underwear? Almost. One company is allegedly selling scraps of Michael’s clothing as part of some cards that can be bought to “have a piece of Michael Jackson.”  In this “anything for a buck” world, no disrespect for Michael Jackson or disregard for his privacy is too much, is it?

Ain’t the pictures enough, why do you go through so much
To get the story you need, so you can bury me
You’ve got the people confused, you tell the stories you choose
You try to get me to lose the man I really am

You keep on stalking me, invading my privacy
won’t you just let me be ‘cause your cameras can’t control,
the minds of those who know
That you’ll even sell your soul just to get a story sold

-Michael Jackson, Privacy

In an effort to at least let their feelings be known, if not to altogether stop this untrustworthy, dishonest, and selfish woman, fans have initiated a letter and a petition whose signatures will be delivered to both Ms. Parrish herself and Julien’s auction house before June 25th and 26th.

The letter says, in part:

Ms. Lynda Parrish, Michael Jackson’s most recent hairstylist (not counting the rehiring of Ms. Karen Faye for the This Is It rehearsals and concerts), apparently owns this item and gave it to Julien’s Auctions to be sold at an auction that will take place on June 25 and June 26. Previously, this wig had been exhibited in Atlanta in April 2010. The title of this event was “The Hands That Touched A King”, and it was organized by Ms. Parrish’s new business affiliates, Chuva Group, a company specializing in image and brand development. This exhibition appears to have been a promotional effort by Chuva Group, exploiting the value of the brand “Michael Jackson” to gain attention and increase awareness.

“Afterwards, Lynda mentioned that the unveiling was so tasteful and respectful that Michael Jackson himself would have approved.” http://chuvagroup.com/chuva-group-presents-the-hands-that-touched-a-king-the-exhibition/ Michael Jackson had suffered extensive and painful burns during an accident while filming a commercial in 1984 which resulted in loss of hair. Michael Jackson entrusted Ms. Lynda Parrish to be his hairstylist and to respect his privacy in these matters. It is her responsibility as a professional to be sensitive toward situations which are of a private agenda. What we have seen with this exhibition is the opposite – this dehumanizing spectacle degraded Michael Jackson, and her public statement following the unveiling was equally distasteful – an equivocal belittlement of Michael Jackson’s legacy.

The O2 press conference March 5, 2009 in London where Michael Jackson announced the This Is It concerts epitomizes developments which put Michael Jackson on a road that ended with his death on June 25, 2009. The item Ms. Parrish is looking to sell to the highest bidder at the upcoming auction is promoted referencing this press conference. We consider this thoughtless and downplaying the tragedy involved in this event. … For these reasons, this particular item should not be sold at a public auction, and it is our firm belief that it should not be on public display at all. At this point, it may not be feasible any more to ask Ms. Parrish to withdraw this item from the auction since bidding has started. Yet, we, the undersigned, wish to express our utter dismay regarding the public auctioning of this particular item. We are firmly convinced that we are not alone with our feelings.

You can learn more and sign that petition here: http://www.change.org/petitions/open-letter-and-petition-to-ms-lynda-parrish-and-juliens-auctions-6?utm_medium=twitter&utm_source=share_petition

MITM_small

Man in the Music, by Joe Vogel

In other more pleasant news, Joe Vogel, author of the upcoming book “Man in the Music, the Creative Life and Work of Michael Jackson“, has written an article about “Earth Song“, one of the most important songs of our time, and one of the most important songs Michael had ever written. Joe shared a sneak preview of his article on his website.

The article will be published in its entirety on Huffington Post on June 25th. Keep an eye out for it! It’s bound to be fascinating, as everything from Joe is due to his meticulous research into Michael’s creative life.

About this, Joe recently tweeted:

A sneak preview of “Earth Song – Inside Michael Jackson’s Magnum Opus” will be on my website — www.joevogel.net — at 12:00 EST The full piece will be available this Saturday, June 25th. Please help spread the word about this piece. This is a song (and message) that mattered deeply to Michael. I want it to be heard over the sensationalism. I spent hours talking to people who worked closely with Michael on this song. I was amazed at what I learned.

You can read the sneak preview of Joe’s article here: http://www.joevogel.net/a-sneak-preview-of-earth-song-inside-michael-jacksons-magnum-opus

Also, Joe will be on LA Talk Radio at 5:00 PST (8:00 EST) this Friday June 24th talking about Earth Song and Michael Jackson. Visit http://www.latalkradio.com/Sheena.php

Finally, Larry Nimmer, the filmmaker who created “The Untold Story of Neverland” back in 2005, has recently visited Neverland again and found that in a few ways at least, some of what Michael had built there had been restored and that his spirit is still very much alive there.

Speaking of Nimmer, there is an effort afoot to promote the TV airing of his film The Untold Story of Neverland“. Airing the film on television requires the permission and support of the estate however and the effort is to gain their approval and support.

Why do we want to see Nimmer’s film aired on TV?

Well, as we know, the networks never tire of re-airing that fictitious (to put it nicely) Bashir hit-piece “Living With Michael Jackson“. In fact they’re doing so again in Australia and likely in other countries on June 24th and June 25th in a crude and cruel stab to his legacy on what is now the second anniversary of his tragic and suspicious death.

One way to counter this Bashir garbage is with some different, more accurate and truthful content. Specifically, a positive documentary such as Nimmer’s. So, that’s why it would be nice to see “The Untold Story of Neverland” aired on TV – preferably often, at least for a while, in order to counteract the constant onslaught of negative, twisted, and inaccurate propaganda like Bashir’s film.

Regarding his recent June 2011 visit to Neverland, Larry recently shared on his Facebook group (called “Being Mike-like“):

I had a wonderful visit to Neverland Ranch yesterday, thank’s to the Mike-like gesture of Tom Barrack and Sebastien Brassard Simard. Tom Barrack, the ranch owner, invited Sebastien to visit Neverland and Sebastien was allowed to take one guest, and he invited me. While Mr. Barrack was not at the ranch during our visit, the rest of the staff treated us like kings and we certainly appreciated their Mike-like hospitality. BTW, we found the ranch to be in beautiful shape. Many things were missing from Michael’s heyday at Neverland, but, the ranch was well groomed and some things have returned, like the inner gates. And, some sick animals that needed a home were living at the zoo.

Larry At Neverland, June 2011

Visit to Neverland June 2011 - Larry Nimmer

Visit to Neverland June 2011 - Larry Nimmer

Visit to Neverland June 2011 - Larry Nimmer

Catherine Gross, host of “A Place In Your Heart” radio, interviewed Larry Nimmer on June 19th. If you missed that wonderful show, you can listen after-the-fact here: http://www.blogtalkradio.com/a-place-in-your-heart/2011/06/19/talking-with-larry-nimmer

You can also find Larry on Twitter and at his website, LarryNimmer.net

You can learn more about how you can contribute to the effort to get “The Untold Story of Neverland” aired on television here: http://mjjjusticeproject.wordpress.com/2011/06/20/neverland-campaign/

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Apr 22 2011

Earth Day. Earth Song. Planet Earth: What YOU can do. . .

This photo of the Austfonna Ice Cap melting was taken by marine photographer Micahel Nolan, the sad, sad face of mother nature is shown sobbing as the ice slowly melts away. This photo appeared on the internet the day Michael was interred at Forest Lawn, September 3, 2009

This photo of the Austfonna ice cap melting was taken by marine photographer Micahel Nolan. The sad face of mother nature is shown sobbing as the ice slowly melts away. This photo appeared on the internet the day Michael was interred at Forest Lawn, September 3, 2009. Austfonna is Norway's largest ice cap.

He was a prophet in a way you know, in his music; a modern day prophet. Like I said, he was sent by God to enlighten, much like the prophets of old times. A lot of people don’t recognize it because he’s different in that he’s an entertainer, and he was sent in that form of being an entertainer, so a lot of people overlooked the prophecy he was teaching. His teachings of love and concern; you can hear about his concern with “Earth Song,” and other songs he preached concern for the planet and people, for humanity, for one another. I think he’s a wonderful human being. I think he’s a lesson for everybody to learn and model after in that light; the light of concern and caring for one another. Sure would be a better world if everybody did.

-Jonathan ‘Sugarfoot’ Moffett (drummer from ‘This Is It’)

The earth we all share is…a living, nurturing being. She cares for us; she deserves our care in return.

I wanted to change the world, so I got up one morning and looked in the mirror. That one looking back said, “There is not much time left. The earth is wracked with pain, Children are starving. Nations remain divided by mistrust and hatred. Everywhere the air and water have been fouled almost beyond help. Do something!”

We’ve been treating Mother Earth the way some people treat a rental apartment. Just trash it and move on. But there’s no place to move on to now. We have brought our garbage and our wars and our racism to every part of the world. We must begin to clean her up, and that means cleaning up our own hearts and minds first, because they led us to poison our dear planet.

-Michael Jackson

Increasingly, the world around us looks as if we hate it.

-Alan Watts

God has cared for these trees, saved them from drought, disease, avalanches, and a thousand tempests and floods. But he cannot save them from fools.”

-John Muir

The earth we abuse and the living things we kill will, in the end, take their revenge, for in exploiting their presence we are diminishing our future.

-Marya Mannes

We call that species most successful that has made its own kind its worst enemy.”

-Garrett Hardin

The ice cap carrying an image of Mother Nature ‘crying’ has been continually shrinking by as much as 160 feet every year for several decades. Jon Ove Hagen, a member of the World Glacier Monitoring Service (WGMS) and professor in geosciences at Oslo University, Norway, has been studying the Austfonna ice shelf since 1988. He says: “The geometry of the ice cap is changing. The fronts are retreating, the lower parts are getting thinner, with a thinning rate of about three feet-per-year while the interior of the ice cap is thickening with about 1.6 feet-per-year. The ice cap is losing about 1.6 cubic miles of ice every year.

So what can we do?

The Facebook group ‘A Million Trees for Michael‘ was created in answer to Michael’s plea for everyone to do their part to help the planet. The group has shared some things we can all do to help our Earth. The group today shared the following from ‘The Daily Green‘:

1: Avoid Waste by Recycling

The Daily Green calculated that for every trash can of waste you put outside for the trash collector, about 70 trash cans of waste are used in order to create that trash. To reduce the amount of waste you produce, buy products in returnable and recyclable containers and recycle as much as you can.

2. Give Up Paper and Plastic Bags

Twelve million barrels of oil were used to make the billions of paper and plastic bags consumed in the United States last year according to The Daily Green. The Daily Green says the best option is reusable shopping bags made of cotton, nylon or durable, mesh-like plastic. Keep the reusable shopping bags handy so you have them on your next shopping trip.

3. Stop Buying Bottled Water

The Daily Green suggests using reusable water bottles instead made from materials like stainless steel or aluminum that are not likely to degrade over time. If you choose a plastic water bottle, check the number on the bottom first: Plastics numbered 3, 6 and 7 could pose a health threat to you, so look for plastics numbered 1, 2, 4 or 5.

4. Stop Receiving Unwanted Catalogs

According to The Daily Green every year billions of catalogs are mailed to consumers. Save the millions of trees and billions of gallons of water by putting a stop to unwanted mail. Go online to CatalogChoice.org for help.

5. Give Up Conventional Detergents

The Daily Green advises that many natural detergents today are made to clean clothes just as effectively in cooler water temperatures. Choose detergents and other laundry products that are plant-based, concentrated and biodegradable.

6. Give Up Hot Water in the Washer

The Daily Green says that almost 90 percent of the energy is used to heat the water, and most clothes will come clean in cold water. So switch your washing machine’s temperature setting.

7. Give Up the Clothes Dryer

The second biggest household energy user, after the refrigerator, is the clothes dryer. Overdrying your clothes can end up costing you money as well. The Daily Green says when using the dryer, clear the lint filter after each load and dry only full loads of clothes. Dry heavy fabrics separately from lighter ones, and don’t add wet clothing in the middle of the drying cycle. And remember that hanging clothing outside in the sun and air to dry is the most energy-efficient method — or use a folding indoor rack all year long.

8. Check for Leaks in Your Toilet

According to The Daily Green a leaking toilet can waste anywhere between 30 and 500 gallons of water every day, so any leak should be repaired. To see if your toilet is leaking, put a few drops of food coloring in the toilet tank. If the dye shows up in the toilet bowl after 15 minutes or so, the toilet has a leak. Leaking is usually caused by an old or poorly fitting flapper valve, which can be replaced by any amateur DIY-er!

9. Give Up Conventional Toilet Paper

If every household in the United States bought just one four-pack of 260-sheet recycled bath tissue, instead of the typical tissue made from virgin fiber, it would eliminate 60,600 pounds of chlorine pollution, preserve 356 million gallons (1.35 billion liters) of fresh water and save nearly 1 million trees The Daily Green. The best news is that a four-pack of recycled toilet paper costs about the same as a four-pack of conventional toilet paper.

10. Give Up Paper Towels

Paper towels create a lot of unnecessary waste. Instead of loading up on them The Daily Green suggests buying some reusable microfiber towels, which grip dirt and dust like a magnet, even when they get wet. When you are finished with them, toss the towels in the wash and reuse them again.

11. Run a fully loaded dishwasher

If you have dishwasher, use it. Running a fully loaded dishwasher — without prerinsing the dishes — can use a third less water than washing the dishes by hand, saving up to 10 to 20 gallons of water a day. Simply scrape
large pieces of food off your dishes and let the dishwasher handle the rest. And by using the air-dry setting (instead of heat-dry), you will consume half the amount of electricity without spending a dime.

12. Lower the temp in your fridge

As one of the biggest appliances in your kitchen, the refrigerator is also one of the most power hungry, accounting for 10 to 15 percent of the average home energy bill each month. Get your fridge running in tip-top shape. First, set the refrigerator thermostat to maintain a temperature between 38 and 42 degrees (F). This temperature will protect your food from spoiling while saving electricity. Twice a year, clean the condenser coil at the back of your fridge. Condenser coils tend to get dusty, making them less efficient.

13. Give up two degrees

Electric power plants are the country’s largest industrial source of the pollutants that cause global warming. By snuggling under a blanket on the couch on a snowy winter night instead of turning up the heat, or enjoying the breeze from a fan in the height of summer instead of turning up the air conditioning, you can save pounds of pollution, as well as some money off your utility bills. Set your thermostat in winter to 68 degrees F (20° C) or less during the daytime and 55 degrees F (13° C) before going to sleep or when you are away for the day. And during the summer, set thermostats to 78 degrees F (26° C) or more.

14. Give up dry cleaning

Until recently, almost all dry cleaners used a cancer-causing chemical called perchloroethylene, also known as Perc or TCE. Traces of this toxic chemical remain on your clothes after dry cleaning and will evaporate into the air in your car or home. If you have to use a traditional dry cleaner, take your dry cleaning out of the plastic and air it outside or near a window before hanging it in your closet. To avoid the need for dry cleaning at all, make customer care a part of your clothing purchase decisions and choose fabrics that don’t require dry cleaning at all.

15. Stop wasting gas

Increase your gas mileage by checking your tire pressure. More than a quarter of all cars and nearly one-third of all SUVs, vans and pickups have underinflated tires, according to a survey by the Department of Transportation. If every American kept his or her tires properly inflated, we could save 2.8 billion gallons (10.6 billion liters) of gasoline a year — and help curb global warming pollution — so inflate the tires on your car or truck and continue to do so once a month or as necessary.

I respect the secrets and magic of nature. That’s what makes me so angry when I see these things that are happening in our world. That every second I hear the size of a football field is torn down in the Amazon. I mean, that kind of stuff really bothers me. That’s why I write these kinds of songs. You know, to give some sense of awareness and awakening and hope to people. I love the planet. I love trees. I have this thing for trees. And the colours and the changing of leaves. I love it! And I respect those kinds of things.

I really feel that nature is trying so hard to compensate for man’s mismanagement of the planet. The planet is sick. Like a fever. If we don’t fix it now, it’s at the point of no return. This is our last chance to fix this problem that we have. Or it’s like a runaway train. And the time has come; this is it.

People are always saying, “Oh,” they think, “They’ll take care of it.” “The government’ll do…” “They’ll…” They who??  It starts with us. It’s US! Or else it’ll never be done.

-Michael Jackson, 2009

"It is our collective and individual responsibility to protect and nurture the global family, to support its weaker members and to preserve and tend to the environment in which we all live." Dalai Lama | The photo was taken in New York on August 15, 1999. Ten years later the Dalai Lama granted an interview to German jounalists while in Germany. Asked about Michael he said: "I met Michael Jackson 2 or 3 times and I liked and admired him because he really knew how to entertain people."

"It is our collective and individual responsibility to protect and nurture the global family, to support its weaker members and to preserve and tend to the environment in which we all live." -HH Dalai Lama •|• The photo was taken in New York on August 15, 1999. Ten years later the Dalai Lama granted an interview to German journalists while in Germany. Asked about Michael he said: "I met Michael Jackson 2 or 3 times and I liked and admired him because he really knew how to entertain people."

The group “Major Love Prayer” asks that we all take time out of our day today to say a loving prayer to Planet Earth. It has been shown that positive thoughts can actually change water. They no doubt can change more than just water. Take time today to say a prayer for our Earth.

Finally, what would Earth Day be without the voice of one of her biggest protectors, for whom she cried when he was laid to rest. Following are Michael’s poem ‘Planet Earth‘, and his ‘Earth Song‘ for you to revisit and enjoy as a reminder of how important caring for our planet was to Michael – and how important it is for all of us.

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May 31 2010

Sunflower Symbolism in Lore and Performance

Category: EarthSeven @ 2:02 am

Much ado has been made about Michael and sunflowers after Lisa-Marie Presley shared her memory of his love for the flower. And not least by MJJ-777 itself with the “Sunflowers for Michael Program“, an effort to keep our King’s resting place showered with these happy flowers.

Different flowers are said to have different meanings or symbolism and the sunflower is no exception. Sunflowers are typically seen as a symbol of loyalty and constancy. Their petals resemble bright yellow rays of sunshine, evoking feelings of warmth and happiness from their big resplendent faces. In addition, the sunflower is often associated with adoration and longevity.

Not so oddly, since it was allegedly his favorite flower, sunflowers have also appeared in some interesting places before Michael was taken from us too. Places that may have previously gone unnoticed.  Some astute fans have picked up on this, particularly in the ‘This Is It‘ performances, as well as in a previous performance of ‘Earth Song‘.

Although some have questioned the legitimacy of LMP’s claim that sunflowers were Michael’s favorite, maybe these “Sunflower Sightings” from before Michael left us will lend credibility to her claim.

For instance, ‘Light Man‘ in the ‘This is It‘ production, was seen for an instant or two to be covered in sunflowers:

Light Man Covered in Sunflowers

Light Man Covered in Sunflowers

And did anyone notice that one of the zombies in the ‘This is It‘ performance of ‘Thriller‘ had a hat full of sunflowers?

Zombie With Sunflower Hat

Zombie With Sunflower Hat

And in a previous performance of ‘Earth Song‘, the little girl comes out with a sunflower in front of the tank where Michael and the guy with the gun are standing:

Sunflower Girl in Earth Song

Sunflower Girl in Earth Song

Please excuse the poor quality of these photos. They are of course taken from screen grabs of their respective videos.

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{ Thank you to my friends Insanity X and Karen K. for finding these interesting ‘Sunflower Sightings’! -Seven }

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Apr 15 2010

There’s a place in your heart and I know that it is Love

Category: Earth,MJ Quotes,Photos,Quotes About MJ,VideosSeven @ 2:31 am

Vienna Imperial Hotel in Austria

Vienna Imperial Hotel in Austria

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It was the third concert Michael gave in Vienna in 1997 when he stayed at the Vienna Imperial Hotel . The first concert he gave there was the Bad Tour in 1988. The second was the Dangerous Tour in 1992 when he stayed at the Vienna Marriott.

Below is a YouTube video of when Michael arrived at this hotel 1997 for the HIStory Tour. It’s bad quality, but interesting to see with fans singing ‘We Are The World‘, and Michael, always sweet, masked, and so polite – and always with the little ones following him!

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{ Thanks to my Austrian friend Brigitte, who lives just ’round the corner from the Vienna Imperial hotel, for the photo of the hotel, and to “bebebebovo” for the video of Michael’s arrival at the hotel in 1997! -Seven }

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