Over the next two weeks, millions are expected to flock to theaters to see the King of Pop's final concert. Besides catching a terrific film, they'll also get a glimpse of Jackson's eco-activism. By Gerri Miller Thu, Oct 29 2009 at 10:31 AM EST Source: Mother Nature Network
The buzz about This is It is not hype: the movie capturing Michael Jackson rehearsing for his comeback concert tour is as phenomenal as you’ve heard it is, a fitting posthumous tribute to the incomparable talents of the late King of Pop. Taken from more than 100 hours of footage from the rehearsals and behind-the-scenes preparations for a massive production that was to mark Jackson’s return to the stage after a 10-year hiatus, the film also gives a glimpse of Jackson the perfectionist, the person, and a man concerned about the planet. The 50 sold-out London shows would have included Jackson blockbusters like Billie Jean, Bad, Thriller, Man in the Mirror and the Jackson 5 hits I Want You Back, The Love You Save, and I’ll Be There, but also the less familiar Earth Song from HIStory and Heal the World, reflecting what director-producer Kenny Ortega calls Jackson’s “deep concerns about the health and future of our planet — he felt the messages in his songs were more important than ever.” Jackson’s co-choreographer Travis Payne believes the singer wanted to use the performances “as a vehicle to continue to convey the messages in his music and visuals: the condition of the planet and how, as humanity, we’ve lost sight of so many things that are important to survive,” and the filmed piece created for Earth Song -- which, like numerous other specially shot segments, would have played onscreen during the performances -- articulates it beautifully. Having opened Tuesday at midnight, This is It is already a box office hit. Demand for tickets is high, a fact that might extend its theatrical release beyond the designated two weeks. In any case, it’s worth seeing on the big screen.
I get a bad feeling when I read the newspaper articles these days on the climate change debate and the UN Climate Summit due in December in Copenhagen. The arguments by Indian politicians that India will never go past the per capita carbon footprint of developed nations so it does not have to pay the price now may sound justified but does not make a lot of sense.
Thanks to our ancestors and our value system that we still have this beautiful planet to live on otherwise a billion plus population from both China and India would have long sucked the planet dry if they were to consume the natural resources at the same rate at which the western nations consume today.
Civilisations of the east especially India far out lived some of the western civilisations simply because these civilisations knew how to co-exist with other living and non-living things and balance the planet's eco-system. It is unfortuanate that both India and China are now in a race to compete with the western nations for an increasing per captia energy consumption in the name of development. I am not saying development is a bad thing but we should figure out a sustainable development model.
In India we have rich culture in human development such as Yoga, Ayurveda and many such things. Instead of practicing them and improving the well being of the people we are just aping the west for material development. It is my personal belief that people were a lot happier before we had all this technology. Don't you agree? So, I feel instead of using tit-for-tat tactics with the western world we should encourage simple living and also teach the rest of the world how to do the same.
Things are changing and people are becoming more and more aware of the topics such as global warming and climate change. This Diwali I could notice some change in people's attitudes. It could be because of the recent floods or the cut backs in spending but there were fewer people bursting crackers with a lot less air pollution and noise pollution. I was glad that the local radio stations were making an effort to educate people about how Diwali could be made less harmful to the environment and also more enjoyable with family and friends. It is a festival of lights and not fireworks was the theme. However, I have always felt there was one good side effect from all the smoke of the fire crackers - reduction in the mosquito menace. So I did buy and burst some silent and colourful fire crackers to kill the damn mosquitoes. Not sure if that helped but the kids enjoyed the fire works. The day after Diwali is a nightmare for the city authorities to clean up the trash so I guess a Diwali with lights, colourful but silent fireworks and a responsible disposal of the trash should be the way to go.
Clear message: With dwindling green cover in the city, it’s time people did their bit to save trees.
LET'S BOW DOWN TO NATURE
I recently was on a train journey to Shirdi, the place where the enlightened being Sai Baba once lived, and felt really sorry for all the trash that I saw everywhere. I am suprised that people seem to be oblivious to the lurking dangers of the trash they have created around the neighbourhoods they live in. I don't think Sri Sai Baba would have liked it much either. GOD - The Creator, has meticulously designed the planet and the life on it to thrive and sustain. People seem to have forgotten about the simple ways of living and seem to be trashing the planet. Modern day technologies have brought us lots of efficiencies and automation but it also brought wastage along with it. We seem to be consuming more than what we need and have become material gatherers while our fore-fathers have always taught us how to give up on such material things. We should go back to living simple and natural lives and use technology that is sustainable and stop using technology that is harming the planet. We are all capable of making the right choices. Use reusable cloth bags instead of thin plastic bags. Use bio-degradable paper plates or reusable steel plates instead of plastic plates. If you have to use plastic, make sure it is disposed off responsibily and not just thrown anywhere to litter the environment. Don't waste water, paper and electricity. Go Green and plant more trees and nuture them to grow because they recycle the carbon dioxide we generate and also cool the air around us so we don't need to use air conditioners. I hope to see a change in peoples' ways before it is not too late.
Camping is a wonderful activity for both grown-ups and children to connect with nature. It is a great outdoor activity to get city kids away from the TV & Video games and bring them closer to nature that is surrounded by beautiful wilderness, trees, birds, insects, reptiles and even monitor lizards and wild peacocks. For those who fear insects and lizards, it is just a conditioning of the brain and it helps to do things slowly - short and gentle exposures to these animals will overcome that fear. Building knowledge about the animals also helps a lot. The camping at Greenacres involves a structured introduction to nature and the wilderness, where city kids learn about survival, the dos and don'ts in the outdoors and get hands-on experiences in nature and get interested with the environment. Since Greenacres is a farm, kids can learn how to grow things naturally without using chemical fertilizers and pesticides. They can learn how composting is done from kitchen and garden waste that helps protect the top soil. Kids will also learn various aspects on how they can reduce the carbon footprint and help alleviate climate change.