21 years ago, how many people were actually aware of what was and continues to go down in the Brazilian rainforest? Exactly! Most of us had no clue about the sheer destruction caused by deforestation because it wasn’t occurring in our backyard and the media rarely educated us.
In 1989, Sting and his wife Trudie Styler first learned about this important issue and decided to take action. The couple was so moved by the plight of indigenous tribes that they established the Rainforest Foundation in an effort to raise funds to enable indigenous Kayapo Indian tribes to map and protect their territories and obtain basic human rights and legal protection from big industry.
One of the main ways that Trudie and Sting continue to achieve the financing goals for their foundation is by holding a yearly Rainforest Benefit Concert at New York City’s Carnegie Hall, which this time around featured musical performances from Lady Gaga, Elton John, Bruce Springsteen, Mary J. Blige, Debbie Harry, Nile Rogers, Shirley Bassey…and naturally, the former Police front man himself.
Ms. Styler recently sat down with Katie Couric and said that although they’ve managed to raise close to $30 million to date, sadly it isn’t enough to protect tribes from the destruction triggered when huge corporations like Chevron stake their claim. Still, Trudie feels proud that she and her husband are making a concerted and consistent effort to make a tangible difference, not only by running their charity, but by taking other steps to offset their acknowledged “massive carbon footprints.”
Some other eco-chat elements included her perspective on:
- Why It’s So Important to Preserve the Brazilian Rainforest: Besides being the lungs of the earth and keeping our air very fresh, “without the right amount of oxygen in the air, we will suffer.”
- Why a Tree Isn’t Just a Tree: “We need to start thinking about the value of a tree not being in a mahogany sideboard but its value being intrinsically there in the ground and flourishing.”
- Our Oil Addiction: “The downfall of our existence” will come “if we don’t start to put real effort and money and energy into an alternative to oil.”
- The UN Climate Change Conference of 2009: “Copenhagen was an unmitigated disaster…” “an entire waste of resources…getting all those people there…huge amounts of money and time were spent and it generated absolutely nothing.”
- The “It’s Not In My Backyard” Mentality: “This is what really gets us into trouble.” You see a microcosm of what hell is really like for indigenous people since everything is pure and simple for them and then along comes the oil companies and they take everything away from them, especially their health.
If you are really intrigued by Styler and Sting’s combined efforts to protect the rainforest in Brazil, set aside some time and watch their interview below…good stuff!
Via NY Daily News