“An Inconvenient Truth”… how convenient.

April 23, 2007 at 4:29 pm (Everything's Green.)

An Inconvenient Truth

         So everyone’s talking about the upcoming election and all of the possible running canidates.  Al Gore seems to be on everyone’s positive side, with his intense care and cultivation of conservation, he seems to be the newest respectible, political craze.  So my question is this: What took so long for conservation to become mainstream?  It seems like it came out of nowhere.  And all of the sudden a tired political figure is aching to gain popularity as the approaching election year draws closer.  Coincidence? Or honest years of research and networking that led this man to actually caring about the world? 

“Interspersed with the bracing facts and future predictions is the story of Gore’s personal journey:  from an idealistic college student who first saw a massive environmental crisis looming; to a young Senator facing a harrowing family tragedy that altered his perspective, to the man who almost became President but instead returned to the most important cause of his life – convinced that there is still time to make a difference.”   http://www.climatecrisis.net/aboutthefilm/

So many people back him.  I guess his crudentials are valid?  I have yet to see the film, and I guess I’ll just have to be my own personal judge.  I just want to make sure he’s not simply looking for a fit spot on the 2007 ballad… although, it wouldn’t be such a terrible thing since he is actually doing something to help our planet.
 

 

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Maybe take that Pepsi…

April 2, 2007 at 4:22 pm (Everything's Green.)

A petition regarding COCA-COLA:

“I am a concerned citizen writing to you in the hope that Coca-Cola will cease abusing its workers, destroying the environment, and violating basic human rights worldwide.

Your “Corporate Commitment” states, “We are truly a global corporate citizen and, as such, we have a tremendous responsibility to market our products responsibly, treat our people fairly, make a difference in the communities where we do business, and protect the environment we all live and work in.”

Sadly, Coke is not living up to this commitment. Coke management is violating its own code of conduct and could be irreparably harming the future of your company and its workers. For example:

– Around the world Coke has been accused of harming its workers and the communities in which it operates. In India, Coke is accused of contaminating water and polluting farmlands with toxic sludge. Coke is facing a lawsuit for allegedly allowing death squads in Colombia to murder eight pro-union employees. In the U.S., Coke paid a record-breaking $192 million to settle a racial discrimination case brought on behalf of 2,000 employees.

– Coke’s restructuring plans could wipe out good-paying jobs and destroy workers’ retirement security and health care coverage.

– Coke workers from around the globe are calling on management to: recognize the rights of all workers to keep jobs, benefits, and union representation during restructuring; bargain with workers over the effects of restructuring; remain neutral in union organizing drives; and cease cutbacks in healthcare and pension benefits. The International Union of Food Workers (IUF) recently passed a resolution including these demands, and urged Coke to negotiate a global human rights policy that would protect the safety and rights of its workers around the world.

– Student and labor organizations in the United States are protesting Coke sponsorship of sporting events because of the hypocritical message Coke is sending to its workers.

Your company claims that it is committed to listening to its customers. As a Coke customer, I am urging you to cease your unethical activities, live up to your own words, and to adopt the IUF resolution so that Coke can become a corporate citizen that we, as Americans, can be proud of.”

              First of all, I am a long time NON Coke customer for years now. Alright, well, this makes me happy that their syrupy, liquidized sugar never appealed to my taste buds. However, when you imagine the growth of a huge, international corporation, you can imagine that somewhere down the line, each individual plant must have its own unique characteristics. Not every single Coke plant has its own class system, however, in a place of lower income, maybe even poverty (like India?), this is just a natural way that people fall into place. It’s been happening for centuries, even before recorded history. In biblical times, in Roman times… look at what the Romans did! Do you think that the workers of Roman ‘businesses’ gave a care to their employees? They were too busy worrying about what the CEOs of the Roman Empire might do to them if they didn’t produce to their expectations. So, I don’t necessarily blame Coca-Cola, because I’m sure the main powers of this company are too busy worrying about financial matters (and I don’t just  mean where they’ll take their next vacation!) The leaders of Coke have set up too many underneath them to make sure that their tiny, individual factory representatives are doing this correctly. With a company so vast, it’s bound to become corrupt at some point.

       Human rights has always been known for human rights corruption… but the sludge contribution? Now more than ever there is this growing awareness of environmental safety. But this doesn’t stop people from sliding their bills into that big, red machine. What can activists do to make people aware of this? Eco-activists need to hook up with companies like MTV U (the pro-indie MTV spinoff for college Universities). They have this program, Ecoimagination, that they promote constantly; featuring clips of different environmental projects college kids are participating in around the globe. And people suck it up… it’s cool to be an activist now a days… or at least to pretend!

Well, Coke Activists can start somewhere, and I say MTV (for) U!

click here to sign the petition!

P.S.: Ever notice how Kean University doesn’t have Coke machines? They’re not about to get in trouble… for this one at least!

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Article on One Day of Peace

March 26, 2007 at 3:52 pm (Everything's Green.)

The Star-Ledger

In a year of war, one day for peace

 

Friday, March 23, 2007BY REGINALD ROBERTS

Star-Ledger Staff

The South Mountain Peace Action has been opposing war since the early 1960s when the Vietnam War was gaining momentum.

Tomorrow, several decades later, no protests are planned against the war in Iraq, just a day of peace. “Be About Peace Day” has been proclaimed in both Maplewood and South Orange, where the anti-war group is based.

“This is a community event that has broad support,” said Paul Surovell, the group’s chair. “We have support from high school students, middle school students. We have all sectors of the community participating.”

About 75 volunteers have been working for weeks planning a day-long string of activities that begin from 1-5 pm at Maplewood Memorial Library.  A forum will be held later from 7 to 8:30 pm at the Ethical Culture Society, 516 Prospect St. Maplewood. (there is a typo in the original which I corrected here — Paul)

“This is a pretty complex event that takes a lot of people to make it happen.”

Be About Peace Day, the group’s third annual outing, has garnered support from both governing bodies of Maplewood and South Orange.

In fact, the Maplewood was among the first municipalities nationwide to oppose war in Iraq in 2003 before it started. In January, the township committee called for the withdrawal of U.S. troops from Iraq.

“They’ve been on board from the very beginning,” said Karen Dolan, co-director of the Cities for Peace, part of the Institute for Policy Studies based in Washington, D.C.

Dolan said about 300 cities nationwide now have passed resolutions asking for an end of the Iraq War and stopping the escalation.

“I thought it was terrific they have a peace day, moving from the symbolic resolution to more activities educating parents and children.”

Surovell, a schoolteacher in New York, said Be About Peace Day is more about education than about opposition to the Iraq war.

“It is not a protest,” Surovell said “Rather, it is a cultural educational event that upholds the value of peace and peaceful world for children.”

South Mountain Peace Action has been getting the word out however it can, with flyers, posters and news releases.

More than 1,000 lawn signs were distributed throughout the two towns. They carried a design created by Jackson Roberts, who was 10 years old at the time. The three-year-old design has the words: “Be About Peace,” surrounded by repeated words: “War.”

Children can participate in arts and crafts projects with peace as its them. A door hanger, for example, will be made in the shape of a peace sign that can be traced onto a canvas. They can also make buttons with peace slogans.

People will be encouraged to participate in a letter-writing campaign to members of Congress, calling for an end to the war.

The evening program will consists of music and discussion. A 7 p.m. forum, “How a Peace Economy Could Help Maplewood and South Orange,” will include Maplewood Mayor Fred Profeta, Township Committee Member Vic DeLuca, South Orange Trustee Janine Bauer and Rep. Donald Payne (D-10th).

For further information, call (973) 763-9493.

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I’m so very excited about this! Finally, there is some kind of action taking place in our area. This should make everyone feel like they’re a part of some whole; uniting to educate those who do not really know what is going on with Iraq and the “war”. I always take part of online protests (letter writing, signing petitions…) However, finally a “protest” (more like an educational event that upholds peace) How flawless! This could just be my excitement for something new, but I am really looking forward to being a part of this day of peace. If anyone is interested, let me know!

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Sorry for the wayy delay!

March 18, 2007 at 9:58 pm (Everything's Green.)

Hey everyone, sorry that I haven’t posted in a while! I’ve been so busy starting up this whole Green Virtue company that Ron (stepdad) began.  This is the deal: I am now a promotional coordinator for Green Virtue, which is a grass roots version of Green Seal.  We are currently in the developmental stage (obviously) but would like to begin finding different companies that produce organic, environmentally safe products.  What Green Virtue will then take their product and have it review by a panel of scientists whom categorize the product and stamp it environmentally safe!  Sounds so confusing, but it’s really not!  In the previous post about Green Virtue, I was still confused as to the point of the company.  The main question I had about the company was:

-What is the motivation for these companies?

-Why would they want to get certified by Green Virtue?

If these companies will have to pay some few hundred dollars to be Green Virtue certified, there must be some benefit that comes from it.  Ron explained to me that when other companies and consumers want to buy their product, the certification shows them that it’s an environmentally safe product.  He gave me the example of a bottle that says: ‘Made from 100% recycled plastic’.  That’s a little stamplet that shows the consumer that it’s recycled plastic.  That’s kind of what the Green Virtue certification will be; a little stamplet that shows they meet certain EPA standards.  So, the motivation will be that these companies will have the upper hand in their distribution.  Pretty sweet, huh?  So my job is to promote the company; try and talk to people that will lead me in the right direction to other companies.  It’s a big, new job but I’m very excited about it. 

 Ron actually changed the Green Virtue logo.  Check it out and let me know how it looks so far, and if you have any ideas about the company! Green Virtue

Thanks everyone! I’ll be posting again really soon!

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Stepping forward.

February 18, 2007 at 10:58 pm (Everything's Green.)

The government-funded company, Green Seal, provides a “certification” seal for different enviro-friendly products like ‘coffee filters and air coolers’; the standards are based upon the guidelines given by the EPA.  The ‘about’ points made on the company’s website seem extrememly promising and almost lure me in to want to participate in their work.  However, my step father, Ron, who has always been dangling in enviro-interest commpanies, brought to my attention the fact that they are government funded, which means that small organic companies would have to pay thousands of dollars to get certified.  Seems kind of biased and selfish for a non-profit organization to collect so much money from financially-struggling companies even though they’re getting their money from sponsers and THE MAN.  As a result, Ron came up with the idea of providing certification to small companies for a lot cheaper of a price.  He’s taking the same concept as Green Seal and applying it seriously to small organic businesses for less money.  Excellent idea!  I am so excited about it.  He mentioned to me that he wants me to become a part of it. 

GREEN VIRTUE!  This is the site, however it’s still under construction.  I’m very excited about this whole thing.  If I do wind up getting very involved in this, it will look great on my resume, especially if I do decide to go into the Peace Corps or Americore or some organization like that.  If anyone has any information on anything dealing with this topic, please comment me, I’d love to hear other perspectives! 

The more I find out, the more I will post.  Till then… keepin’ it green.. always.

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Peace Corps

February 14, 2007 at 3:46 pm (Everything's Green.)

So I’ve been doing a lot of research on the Peace Corps lately.  I’m trying to figure out what direction I want to go in when I graduate Kean.  I will have my bachelors in Elementary Ed and English/Writing… so that will definitely help me if I do choose to join the PCs because I can choose to teach English in other countries.  I was reading a few different blogs of people who have “served” and honestly some of it seemed pretty unpromising.  One girl reminded me of myself, actually in the way that she feels the need to save the world.  And she says, “This euphoria over working in paradise lasts a pleasurable two minutes as my daydream fades into reality…”  This is something that I almost never considered before.  The reality of changing the world.  When dream fades into reality… Does it feel just as good helping someone than it does thinking about helping someone?  Probably not, because the rewards are most likely so minimal in the moment… It wouldn’t be until years later that this young woman felt that she has been accomplishing.

And there’s this other man who gives any hope of changing the world a zero chance.  He basically sums it all up saying that in the end, there isn’t much that you as the individual accomplished, however, it’s still a great and interesting experience.  He mentions something about how the level of work isn’t really high… meaning that you’re not contributing much.  What a waste!

THEN there’s this whole idea that the Peace Corps is a military service… and you serve in the Peace Corps as a volunteer.  Hm, a slight turn off, I’m not going to lie.  Anything that slightly represent our government right now (media, manipulation, mistakes, egos…)  One article I stumbled upon even talked about how it doesn’t matter about your views on the government, because as long as you act like you’re well-rounded and willing to “cross-culturalize”, others will get a good representation that Americans aren’t as arrogant as they seem.  YEP.  A GOOD  thing about joining the military-run Peace Corps is that after I graduate, I think I might be able to defer my loans for a couple years… and when I’m done serving I receive $6,000 and a plane ticket home.  YES. A plane ticket home. 

I have more to rant about on this… but I’m supposed to be in class in 15 minutes.

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OK here it is….

February 12, 2007 at 4:01 pm (The Beginning)

It’s been many posts with many ideas… I need to start closing in on one.  The environment is absolutely something that I will pursue.  I plan to join some type of “peace Corp” but not that exactly… when I graduate.  I need that hands on… in the dirt… changing the world feeling.  And in order for me to go into that with a strong umph, I do need to learn more about the things that I would be dealing with.  SO this is my blog to discover all of the things I need to learn about the environment, and/or anything pertaining to it.  FINALE.

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post 3… further narrowing…

February 5, 2007 at 4:11 pm (The Beginning)

I’m not quite sure whether or not I’m making any progress with discovering a topic.  So far I’ve thought of two different possibilities… one dealing with music and the schools, the other dealing more with just music and the drums.  Ironic though how both of them deal with music in some way.  I guess that should say something about what I’m passionate about, right??  Another thing I’m really into is the environment… so maybe I could do a piece on that?  Like, how I am the only smoker in the world at Kean and beyond that throws my cigarrette butts in the garbage instead of flicking them.  They aren’t biodegradable you know!  And it’s interesting how global warming is becoming so bad, and yet, we wouldn’t survive without it.  Why isn’t anyone watching their consumption of carbon dioxide??  I don’t know too much about all the environmental stuff, especially the politics of it. But I want to learn… and I think I’m going to do that when I graduate….

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post 2… trying to narrow a topic

February 3, 2007 at 8:45 pm (The Beginning)

I’m trying to think of something that I could write about as a Wikipedia article.  Music is also a passion of mine… but what could I discover about music that no one else has really ever touched upon?  I ‘ve been playing the drums for like, ten years now… and when I listen to music I definitely pay so much attention to the way the song is written, not just how the overall finished product sounds… I like to break it down… that’s why I love music so much because there are certain songs that when the bass hits a certain note it makes me feel.  Or sometimes, the drums are like poetry… where the drummer hits the snare one hit extra, or a half a beat too late, but he does it on purpose, just like a poet.  The poet could use any list of synonyms, however he choses the one that he does in order to make the audience feel something particular.  That’s what I used to do when I played in my old band. I’d purposely hit certain beats at certain times to make the audience feel what I felt when choosing to write that drum part. It’s like emphasis or something. I’m not too sure what I mean by that… maybe like, emphasis on the other instruments in the band… you hit the drum at that time to gain the audience’s particular attention… to be like “Hey! Listen closely! Feel this part!”  I don’t really see how I can become a professional blogger on music or the drums… or how writing and music are the same things just in different forms. hmm….

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post 1.

January 22, 2007 at 2:24 am (The Beginning)

So, I’m not really too sure what we are supposed to be writing about, or aiming for.  Something that is interesting?? Hmm… well I’m trying to think of something that I’d be passionate enough to write about in a wikipedia entry.  Last semester in my Writing in the Humanities course I had to choose a focus and become “scholarly” in it… I chose music and the classroom.  It sounds trivial at first, but after researching it for four months, I discovered that children do better in non-music classes when they’re involved in some kind of music lesson.  I figured that this was so important for me to research because I’m going to be a teacher one day and I know that when the state cuts budgets, music class is usually the first to go.  This is a major problem because no one realizes how important music is for the brain… and a child’s brain especially!  So malleable!  Even though this idea hasn’t gone mainstream yet, it’s bubbling under the surface… researchers like Gardner and Rauscher have taken the idea and put it to test… showing that randomly selected students scored better on tests involving their spatial-temporal reasoning when receiving musical instruction over a period of time than those students who don’t take lessons.  Hmm… I could very well write about this… except I think Wikipedia has some information on this since Rauscher is pretty famous….

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