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Let's save the Earth by doing gigs!

I was reading about the Live Earth concert held simultaneously 24 hours in some of the biggest cities around the world yesterday. While the concept is the same as the 1985 Live Aid concert as well as the recent Live 8 in 2005, Live Earth was the brainchild of former future President of the USA, Al Gore who is now famous for his environmental causes especially concerning global warming.

Malaysia itself wouldn't want to be left out of the rain so yesterday we held the SuriaFM Green Every Day Concert 2007 at the National Stadium in Bukit Jalil. While not as big as Live Earth, the concert wasn't too shabby with performances from local artistes as well as those from Singapore and Indonesia.

Considering the state of the environment these days, I praise the noble effort of the organizers though I find it ironic how people organize concerts to raise awareness about energy conservation. Why? Well first and foremost, the concert to raise awareness about energy conservation itself uses a lot of energy. Those electric guitars and amps aren't going to ring itself is it? Not to mention those stage lights they use.. Then imagine the energy used by people who traveled to the stadium. Add all that up and you'll end up with a huge waste of energy. Oh, and I was just talking about the concert in Malaysia, never mind the Live Earth. Here's what I read from the UK Daily Mail:
A Daily Mail investigation has revealed that far from saving the planet, the extravaganza will generate a huge fuel bill, acres of garbage, thousands of tonnes of carbon emissions, and a mileage total equal to the movement of an army.

The most conservative assessment of the flights being taken by its superstars is that they are flying an extraordinary 222,623.63 miles between them to get to the various concerts - nearly nine times the circumference of the world. The true environmental cost, as they transport their technicians, dancers and support staff, is likely to be far higher.

The total carbon footprint of the event, taking into account the artists' and spectators' travel to the concert, and the energy consumption on the day, is likely to be at least 31,500 tonnes of carbon emissions, according to John Buckley of Carbonfootprint.com, who specialises in such calculations.

Throw in the television audience and it comes to a staggering 74,500 tonnes. In comparison, the average Briton produces ten tonnes in a year.

The concert will also generate some 1,025 tonnes of waste at the concert stadiums - much of which will go directly into landfill sites.
See what I mean? Still, a noble cause nonetheless. Hurm...

Well, as they say.. Save the rainforest; eat a vegetarian.

My Friday Prayer Experience

The mosque was not too spacious to be able to lodge hundreds of people, but large enough when the fact that its location is in a non-Muslim dominating region is put into perspective. There was some make-shift tents prepared as to give extra space for overload crowds who devotedly attended the ritual weekly congregation. Forecasters earlier said that the day’s temperature was 11° Celsius, but the heavy downpours were believed to have reduced it somewhat. Those seated under the tents were apparently freezing, but they stayed anyway. Nothing in this world seemed to bother them from remaining there.

The pouring rains were too loud that they eclipsed the sound of sermon from inside the mosque. Periodically, a bloke or two were seemed entering the mosque ground, covering their heads with a piece of cloth or bare hands and dashing to get to the nearest roofed space. They were a bit late that most of the spaces were already occupied, but nothing could stop them from attending the congregation. Soon, the sermon was finished, and the crowds stood up in unison to prepare for the prayer. Those who could not initially find empty spaces tried to squeeze in. Amidst the chilliness of the day, the sound of the rain, and the over packed mosque and make-shift tents, they started praying, led by the Imam. In a little while they finished. Miraculously, the downpours also stopped, as if it understood the problem it would lay for the dismissing crowds.

As the congregation was inching to the end, a proportion of the Muslims stayed chatting with fellow countrymen or even strangers who had just become friends, while some left straight away, perhaps to continue working. It was only their lunch hour after all.

That was the scene during today’s Friday prayer in a small city Down Under that is Adelaide, as seen by my bare eyes. I believe, a typical scene as such can be seen anywhere around the earth where Muslims reside. We might live a totally different life from others, or speak different languages, or perhaps drive different cars, but when it comes to how we are seen by Him as embodied by the act of performing our obligation such as this Friday prayer, unequivocally, we are all the same.

Footnote: My apology for the second-class photo, I had to basically snap pretty quickly as to avoid eye-contact from the crowds. You do know it is not appropriate to take pictures in such situation don’t you.