URGENT ACTION- Sat, March 28, 2009

This Saturday is Earth Hour!

On Saturday, March 28, 2009, at 8:30 pm CST, 50 million people in 400 cities world-wide will be turning out their lights and unplugging computers and appliances not in use at that moment. I will be participating and my world-wide company will too! This is all an effort to fight against climate change. This is sponsored by the World Wildlife Fund.

All you need to do is turn off anything not in use at that moment for one hour beginning at 8:30 pm CST. This is anything that uses electricity to operate. Homes, offices and other businesses are taking this action as well, if they can do it so can you!

Join tens of millions of concerned citizens and corporations throughout the world in calling for action to save our planet for future generations. The lights went out at Sydney’s Opera House, Rome’s Coliseum, the Empire State Building and the Golden Gate Bridge in 2008. Even the Google homepage went dark on this day last year! In Israel, President Shimon Peres personally turned off lights in Tel Aviv. Many major corporations took part including HP, Coca-Cola, and Morgan Stanley in 2008.

This year, Earth Hour promises to be even bigger. In the US, many cities have already pledged to participate including Atlanta, Chicago, Dallas, Las Vegas, Los Angeles, Miami, Nashville, New York, San Francisco, Washington, DC…with more signing up daily. They will join international cities such as Beijing, Cape Town, Copenhagen, Edinburgh, Helsinki, Hong Kong, Kuala Lumpur, London, Manila, Mexico City, Moscow, Rome, and Toronto.

To get a better sense of the magnitude and inspiring nature the event, please take a moment to watch WWF’s video about Earth Hour 2008 at www.youtube.com/watch?v=BjWD8pbK5t8.

For more information and to make your commitment for this event, visit www.EarthHourUS.org where you’ll also find tips for what you and your family and friends can do when the lights go out.

I have already blogged about reducing your Carbon Footprint (see Climate in Crisis), this is just one more way you can help reverse and stop the effects of carbon dioxide in our atmosphere.


Take Action Against Human Trafficking

The Definition of Human Trafficking is:

The recruitment, transportation, transfer, harboring or receipt of persons, by means of the threat or use of force or other forms of coercion, of abduction, of fraud, of deception, of the abuse of power or of a position of vulnerability or of the giving or receiving of payments or benefits to achieve the consent of a person having control over another person, for the purpose of exploitation.

You may think this only occurs in impoverished or third-world countries, but this is not true. Human Trafficking occurs even in the US, in large cities and small towns, and in high rise apartment buildings and in the suburbs.

Prevention Address the demand and supply side of trafficking, for example by challenging discrimination against women and girls, addressing the overwhelming poverty which makes people vulnerable to trafficking; changing attitudes which allow some people (especially women and children) to be bought and sold as commodities.

Support for victims Provide immediate assistance to trafficking victims and protect them from their exploiters.

Prosecution Enact and enforce laws that criminalize trafficking in human beings by prosecuting traffickers, as well as pimps, johns and brothel owners; do not criminalize the victims.

People are trafficked into a range of exploitative practices that include: labor exploitation, domestic work, sexual exploitation (prostitution), military (child soldiers), sports (camel jockey), forced begging, marriage, chattel slavery, debt bondage, and child labor.

Human trafficking is the second most profitable criminal activity behind only arms trafficking. An estimated $32 billion is generated in annual revenue from arms, human, and drug trafficking activities worldwide.

Sexual exploitation is the most commonly identified form of human trafficking (79%), followed by forced labor (18%).

An estimated 17,500 foreign nationals are trafficked annually in the United States alone.
Most trafficking is national or regional, carried out by people whose nationality is the same as that of their victims. There are also notable cases of long-distance trafficking. Europe is the destination for victims from the widest range of origins, while victims from Asia are trafficked to the widest range of destinations. The Americas are prominent both as the origin and destination of victims in the human trade.

The International Labor Organization estimates that there are 12.3 million people who have been trafficked; statistics range from 4 million to 27 million.

Approximately 80% of victims of transnational trafficking are women and up to 50% are minors. The majority of female victims are trafficked into commercial sexual exploitation, mail order brides, and domestic work. The majority of male victims are trafficked into forced labor such as agricultural, manufacturing, and construction work.

A 2006 study found that 76% of 207 trafficked women interviewed were physically assaulted by their trafficker, pimp, madam, brothel and club owner, clients, or boyfriend. The same study found that 90% of victims reported being physically forced or intimidated into sex or other sexual acts, and 91% of victims reported being threatened with death, beatings, increased debt, harm to their children and families, or re-trafficking.

Some factors that make people vulnerable to trafficking:

Low status and discrimination against women and children.
Demand-without demand for exploitation, there would be no supply.
Humanitarian disasters and armed conflict can exacerbate existing vulnerabilities.

To get involved and/or to learn more, visit one or all of these websites:
www.AssetCampaign.org www.PolarisProject.org
www.Somaly.org www.Unicefusa.org


A Planet in Crisis

I have encouraged others before to recycle to save the planet, but now I want to give you a little more information and additional resources.

I saw a movie recently that provided me with a great deal of facts that I was unaware of before. The movie is "An Inconvenient Truth" and is a documentary staring Al Gore. Now, say what you will about the Politician, Al Gore, but put your opinions aside and listen to the message. The movie is not boring and will truly enlighten you.

You can also get more information about how you and your family can positively effect change on our planet by visiting the website www.climatecrisis.net. This problem is not a racial, gender, religious or cultural problem. It is inevitable if every person, every country and every government does not make immediate changes. This site will also show you what your household's Carbon Footprint is and what it should be. (A Carbon Footprint is the total amount of carbon dioxide that you emit into the atmosphere) My household footprint is 11.5, but it should be lower. I am taking actions today to lower this number. Are you willing to make a few changes that will have a major impact?

If we don't reduce carbon dioxide emissions then our atmosphere will continue to grow thicker. The thicker the atmosphere, the more heat from the sun will stay on our planet and not escape into space. We WANT some heat to escape into space.

When too much heat remains on our planet the oceans get too warm, which increases the frequency and intensity of hurricanes. When the oceans get too warm, the polar ice melts which increases the ocean water levels. When the ocean water levels get too high, there will be instant and permanent flooding of major states and cities such as Florida, New York City, San Francisco, and New Orleans. If you think this will not occur in your lifetime, you are right. However, it will occur in your children's and grandchildren's and great grandchildren's lifetimes. Do you want them to suffer for a problem your generation could have prevented?

Think about this, where do you suppose all the people who survive the massive and permanent flooding of these major cities will go? They will be forced to move further inland into cities such as Dallas, Reno, Kansas City, Orlando, and Atlanta. Can these cities handle an extra 10,000 plus residents overnight? Remember, that this flooding is permanent so they will not be leaving to return to their former homes.

This is just the tip of the problem. You really should educate yourself by visiting the www.climatecrisis.net website and renting "An Inconvenient Truth".

Do you enjoy the change of seasons? Do you enjoy endless water usage? Do you enjoy all your electricity privileges? Do you love to travel to multiple destinations, anywhere you want from hot to cold climates?

These are just a few of the luxuries we have today that are in danger!

Take an active role. One person and One Household Can Make A Difference!