So, I guess I’m writing for a magazine now.

September 17, 2012

A few months ago, I was approached by the editor of a magazine in the UK called “The Big Issue.”  It is a news magazine that prides itself on being “a hand up, not a hand out.”  They combat the problem of homelessness by offering eligible people the opportunity to earn a legitimate income by making money selling copies of the magazine.

I’ve since written two pieces for Big Issue.  A new issue is out right now, with my first piece as their American Election Correspondent. You’ll have to get a copy of that one to read it; below is my first piece, from September.

 

POWERLESS: THE EFFECT OF INDIA’S OUTAGE ON LINKIN PARK

Mike Shinoda

In my band, Linkin Park, I help oversee songwriting, production, art direction, and social media.  They are things I grew up doing.  I’ve been drawing and making music since I was a toddler.  My father worked in aerospace, and introduced us to the personal computer in 1984, shortly after Apple’s famous “1984” ad debuted.  I’ve always been a fan of video games—I even started my own club with elementary school friends, centered on beating every Nintendo game we played (I had the team record, finishing a game one hour and fifteen minutes after I first turned it on).

I’m sitting in a hotel room, writing on my computer.  My phone is next to me.  I generally don’t go without my computer or phone for more than a few minutes.  I work, listen to music, create, socialize, and play games on them.  I suppose I would survive without them, but not happily.

I’m on Facebook (facebook.com/mikeshinoda) and Twitter (@mikeshinoda), partly because I like the interaction it gives me with the Linkin Park fanbase, but also because of the speed at which I find out about breaking news.  From the Olympics to NASA’s Curiosity rover, my Twitter community lets me know exactly what’s going on in the world the moment it happens.

At the end of July, my Twitter timeline caught my eye.  People were talking about a massive power outage in India.  Over 600 million people in India lost power for the best part of two days.  That number is twice the size of the entire U.S. population, and twelve times that of England—all without power.

I imagined waking up in a place like that: dark.  Besides the loss of my cell phone and computers (which was terrifying in itself), I started to list the other basics I would miss.  No coffee maker, no television, no microwave, no air conditioning.  Ugh.

But as the list grew, things got much more serious.  What if I got hurt one night and had to go to the hospital?  All the cutting-edge monitoring systems that blink and beep and make me feel safe–the ones that let doctors can see inside my body, so they know how to proceed–would be out of commission.  The refrigerators that keep medicine and life-saving vaccines safe would be dead, and the medicine inside would become unusable.  What if I had to have a surgery in the dark?

As it turns out, that scenario is playing out every day.  Over a billion people—one in five human beings on the planet—don’t have access to sustainable energy.  They are working and studying in the dark.  They are cooking and heating their homes using dung or kerosene, breathing in toxic smoke that causes lung disease and kills nearly two million people every year. Most of them are women and children.

In Uganda, where access to power is limited, doctors are forced to deliver babies in the dark—even performing c-section operations by candlelight.

These are the kinds of reasons my band-mates and I started Music For Relief.  MFR was founded in 2005, to help victims of natural disasters and mitigate climate change.  The organization has raised over $5,000,000 USD, planted over 1,000,000 trees, and provided aid to survivors of the 2004 Indian Ocean Tsunami, Hurricane Katrina, China’s Wenchuan earthquake, Haiti’s 2010 earthquake, and Japan’s 2011 earthquake and tsunami.  We have partnered with organizations like Reverb to set the standard for green touring, ensuring that there are stringent guidelines for energy use, recycling, and carbon emissions on every tour.  In the fall, we will release an action-puzzle game on Facebook called “RECHARGE” that will raise money and awareness for sustainable energy.  And MFR’s ongoing “Power The World” initiative, with the support of The United Nations, will continue to help bring sustainable energy to countries like Haiti and Uganda.

The power outage in India underscores a distinct opportunity for India and many countries in the developing world.  There, we see a distinct opportunity to start fresh, to build it right from the foundation.  Building an efficient, sustainable infrastructure sets the tone.  It trains the community away from wastefulness, encouraging awareness.  It improves health conditions while allowing people to work, study, and play safely at night.  It has the clearest impact on saving money, improving business, and delivering more services by creating energy systems—like wind, water, and solar—that are inexhaustible and clean.  The cost of technology to capture that energy are rapidly falling and starting to become economically competitive with fossil fuels while reducing the risk of climate change.

As I sit in my comfortable, air-conditioned hotel room, typing on my laptop and checking texts, I’m preparing for the first show of our U.S. tour.  At the venue, we’ll be recycling waste.  Our crew is working out of biodiesel busses and trucks, drinking out of reusable containers rather than water bottles.  Linkin Park is donating $1 per ticket to the Power The World initiative.  And we’re looking for ways to do more.

My hope for the people in India, Haiti, Uganda, and everyone making important decisions about energy is that they find a way to do it sustainably.

Meanwhile, I’ll keep thinking about people without power, and ways to get it to them.

Sign the pledge to support clean energy and energy access at http://www.powertheworld.org/splash-video.html

mike

60 Comments

  1. pamelamerce on November 25, 2012 at 8:33 pm

    It is a noble cause, I love the initiative to help others.
    I want to know more about it.
    Congratulations you are a great writer ….

  2. shashankravishankar on November 25, 2012 at 6:20 am

    Mr Shinoda
    I am from India, from a place called Mumbai. I know atleast twenty of my friends here who actually worship you. So do I. I am feeling really elated right now to hear that my idol has written about India, and I hope to see you and the rest of the band on a tour here really soon. Can’t wait!
    Anyways, in India, the government is not really efficient. In other words, they are corrupt. They decide to spend, lets say, 20 billion dollars on providing energy to rural villages, and swallow up 19.5 billion dollars for their own selfish purposes. We Indians are tired of getting up in the morning, picking up the newspaper, and reading a new scam, or a new corrupt minister. Just sharing it.

  3. dushybushy on October 17, 2012 at 10:47 am

    Hey Mike,
    Fantastic article. We get power outages all the time in India and it seems that other countries don’t understand the kind of basic issues we have. I guess a lot of us really do take everything we have for granted.
    I’m really glad that you published an article about this crisis. I love the way you have managed to relate India’s power outage to many other issues across the globe. Would love to see more articles like this!

    We’re all eagerly waiting for you guys to visit India!!!

  4. shoegaze4u on September 27, 2012 at 12:01 pm

    Your latest report is nice and the upshot is very interesting. Btw, for the reasons you named, I would never use “Ping” on iTunes. I’am also not a fan of the “like it buttons”. We should try to form our own opinions and at the same time to be open for other stuff anyway.

  5. adiek84 on September 27, 2012 at 11:35 am

    Your US-election column went online today and I really loved it. It’s interesting how you applied smart advertising to political opinions and you’re having a point – opposition is important to form an opinion even if it just strengthens a believe you already had.
    As a German, I know of course how one-sided politics can end, considering that we had two dictatorhips (of totally different kinds, of course) in the last century, and there are more than enough present-day examples.
    I can’t wait for the next column. Keep up the writing. It’s pretty good.

  6. svstels on September 27, 2012 at 10:44 am

    For LP Remix contest!

  7. cleopatrashinoda on September 26, 2012 at 4:41 pm

    i don’t understand space.

  8. cleopatrashinoda on September 26, 2012 at 4:40 pm

    hey, what’s up. :) you know, when I was homeless, I was filthy dirty and I loved it. the black dust from fossil fuel never did seem to clog my pores, only bless me with the camoflage of it’s previous intuition in a glow that was radiant of my solar plexus. geez… people are so cool in NYC when you are experiencing yourself again and it’s clear you’ve already been there. the beautiful fluctuations of not just psychological intellectual perceptions of instinct, but the blatant manifestations of being a human lost in translation of any thought are too intrepid not to notice in my algorithm I had previously perfected… :) 29th… when all i was missing was you.

  9. demozene on September 25, 2012 at 10:10 am

    Mike, please release LT in 24bit 96khz or something, or on vinyl
    amazing album

  10. 1oo71 on September 24, 2012 at 9:22 pm

    Hey Mike, could you please write an article on Procrastination? You seem like a very productive guy, being able to manage so many different projects with your art, LP, film scores, charity, and now journalism. Could you please talk about how you break up your time, the techniques you use, personal rules you have, etc, to get so much stuff done? Please please please. Thank you.

  11. spraypaintninkpens on September 23, 2012 at 4:54 pm

    What happened to Fort Minor?

  12. sidharth5360 on September 23, 2012 at 3:11 pm

    Thank you Mike, I am myself a half indian and I’m proud to read about my country in the post and the problems you have observed.That’s very kind of you.Presently I’m in Ukraine and personally thank you for the performance you ppl gave in Odessa.I’m glad and proud that my hero is so caring and the band is so amazing !

  13. zahralp on September 22, 2012 at 9:44 am

    this is the kinda or inspiration you give to your fans that i love. keep doing great things mike.

  14. Jersha Grace on September 21, 2012 at 9:13 am

    You guys are just totally awesome.
    It’s amazing how you guys just keep working for a better tomorrow, especially you Mike.
    Music For Relief’s work has always greatly impressed me immensely and I hope you all just keep your humanitarian work up going along with your amazing music.
    Greetings from India :)

    Jersha.

    P.S – I hope I get to see the band real soon in India. Me and my friends from Linkin Park India Unlimited have been working hard. Hope to see you soon Mike :) :)

  15. Radyo Plexus on September 20, 2012 at 12:18 pm

    Reblogged this on Xandro Pontillas.

  16. lebaneselioness on September 19, 2012 at 8:48 am

    Mike you’re such an inspiration! I loved your article and how it engages readers to reflect on the world. Proud of you.

  17. yasjohnson on September 19, 2012 at 6:48 am

    Hi Mike! I don’t even have to tell you what a great article this is, or how truly amazing all of your philanthropic efforts are. I want to help. Here’s the short… I work at an Optometry practice in NY. Over a month ago, I asked my boss if I could donate $20.00 of all of eye glass sales to Music For Reilef. He agreed. He just asked that I got the OK from the you all, along with a little in office marketing. We promote everything we do pretty intensely, so we really want a green light from MFR before we get started (and I really want to get started). I’ve made a few attempts to contact MFR directly, and would really love a response. Thanks in advance.

  18. aravind221 on September 19, 2012 at 1:18 am

    Hi mike I’m frm India too .tganks for highlighting his issue to the world through your blog .We have power cuts from
    Morning 6-7 am and all your home appliances depend on it , it makes out life hard.if you have a gen you can save your life what about people who are poor they are doomed !! As the slogan goes “Rich get richer poor get poor” it so implies here a lot .Infia is wealthy country but corrupted I’m Ashamed to say tho .Goverment this time is talking measures lets see.Please support us more through MFR kind request . Please. I time to support us though your music . ” Hands held high ” –/ Aravind (proud Lpu member since 8,London summit attendee)

  19. elipeca on September 18, 2012 at 12:00 pm

    Hello mike! That’s great! I love the article, totally agree with you in my humble opinion, it would be good to have offices around the world that has this serious project for a future for Music For Relief, it is wonderful to be disseminate this cause of the need for sustainable energy to be part of the solution, do something for the planet, I am a volunteer for Greenpeace Argentina and change we do everything and it should always be the commitment to continue to make more

  20. preetamsaha on September 18, 2012 at 12:00 pm

    1st I want to thank you for thinking about my country India and also want to appreciate about the initiatives you people are taking to make the World a better place to live in. These things makes you something far more than a music band. God bless u guys !
    If you want to know what do I think about your music, only one thing I will say, I live on your music ! Your music help me a lot, everyday in my tough times, happy times and inspires me a lot.
    And about the power problems in India, its very shameful for a country who is currently one of the economic powerhouse of the world still have to struggle with problems like power failures.
    1 request, plzz come to India.

  21. Aditya_the_warrior_within on September 18, 2012 at 10:06 am

    I read this first article of yours before and I must say I’m very grateful that you guys think about us in India and other nations affected by such calamities. Although I’m from Mumbai the largest and relatively the “best” city in the country, it was very disastrous for 3 whole grids to shut down leaving almost one third of the population, majority of the north to go through this. That is why I have always loved and respected LP more than the amazing music you make. Being one of your oldest fans from here, LPUer for over 6 years and waiting for over 8 years to see you live. Hopefully that day is coming close, hope to meet you and talk about various topics then.

  22. vickykun on September 18, 2012 at 8:41 am

    Great article! See, I´ve been reading a lot of articles lately (different subjects,but still and I´m glad to see that you´re helping to keep everyone aware of the problems with power around the world.

    In some countries the word of order is to not care about the other countries. Unfortunately even some schools don´t give much attention to the world´s issues at class,which sucks because the kids needs to know that there´s a whole world out there outside of their little bubbles.

    We all need to know so that way we can figure out how to help. :)

  23. cincybmxlpfreak on September 18, 2012 at 7:47 am

    Very cool, Mike. I can’t wait to hear what you have to say about the election. :)

    P.S. EVERY AMERICAN SHOULD BE VOTING THIS ELECTION YEAR! NO EXCUSES! If you are 18 or older and are not registered to vote, please contact your county’s board of elections and learn how you can become REGISTERED! I don’t care WHO you vote for, I just care THAT you vote!

  24. 1oo71 on September 18, 2012 at 4:39 am

    I really respect your fight for sustainable energy. I wanna help.

  25. Alexandra Nofi on September 18, 2012 at 4:12 am

    A while back, I was watching an episode of House Hunters International, and a young Indian couple were looking for a new home in Southern India. As they were viewing one home, the power was suddenly cut off. Each day, to conserve power usage, different neighbors are shut off at once for a set period of time.

    I do love that the internet allows me to talk to people from all over the world. I know full well what could happen in my home if we lost power permanently. On Wednesday of last week, my mother was seriously injured. Without a phone, she never would have gotten an ambulance. I rely on her for transportation, how would I get home and find her?

  26. linkinoda on September 18, 2012 at 3:18 am

    many of my Italian friends do not ask me why i listen to, and what brings you to listen to their music, what you see in mike shinoda chester and in the other you know what I tell him that no Italian singer showed no evidence Italian singer has a real relationship of amiczia with his fans and he jokes about or worry for his fans who do not live where they live they say you have a cabbage goodness immmensa you you would make in 10 000 for us that’s why I love your music and I like you you you care about us and this makes us honor

  27. nine84 on September 18, 2012 at 2:28 am

    Good text&very honestly!However,u perform much humanitarian work but I am disappointed a little again that u exert yourself always only for a certain kind of life.But there are 1.000s of others lifes which would need even more ur help,too.I would be glad if u would also use ur power&celebrity for saving THIS life&to give them a voice that the people can hear them.They have the same right of life like we have.It would be nice if u would to contact me to help to move something,but surely u will not. But I love it that u use your celebrity&power to help others.Really.Thats not natural&says a lot about u from&honors u only the more.Stay as u are&keep up the good work!! You`re really amazing Mike

  28. YoMarquesLP on September 18, 2012 at 2:24 am

    I’ve read this first article and I think it’s really interesting, thanks for RTing my tweet about it a few days ago. It’s awesome that you’re doing this, really looking forward to the next ones. Thanks for showing so much support to other people :)

  29. androidea on September 18, 2012 at 2:14 am

    So much respect for you and to the band, the crew, and MFR.

  30. Rohit on September 18, 2012 at 2:03 am

    I am from India & with all due respect the were no such above mention catastrophes while the power was out. & all hospitals have emergency backups. The University which I am enrolled in has enough Power Generators to power 18 massive buildings 24/7.
    If you don’t believe it, please come to India we’ve been waiting for you, also bring the band & we could have a concert :)

  31. parisafakour on September 18, 2012 at 1:43 am

    Mike, you are a GREAT man

  32. anvanoppens on September 18, 2012 at 1:20 am

    Great job!

  33. oskarbu on September 18, 2012 at 1:14 am

    i like this post :)
    the way you write! more than write lyrics of songs you can write everything!

  34. evooba on September 18, 2012 at 1:11 am

    Needless to say that you are a amazing writer. Seriously, wow! You should write more often in the future :)
    Loved how you described the problems we’re facing through simple, daily-life examples. You’re making an impact on many people’s lives and I’m so proud of you! Keep it up…hopefully this project will grow big like your previous ones with MFR! Let’s Power the World :D

  35. claudiagrabowska on September 18, 2012 at 1:05 am

    Mike, that what you’re guys doing for all the ppl in the world are indescribable.

  36. shoegaze4u on September 18, 2012 at 12:17 am

    True: As I read that, I thought:
    If God loves music, than he might be a Linkin Park fan.
    Respect Mike!

  37. Arpit Rathi on September 17, 2012 at 11:27 pm

    India wouldn’t b the same if the ppl running this country weren’t so corrupted read bout scams they are the bigger picture here . politicians making money on basic needs such as medicines and this is just once case you should google it only to understand whats happening here .

  38. showmihomi on September 17, 2012 at 11:12 pm

    Wonderful person.

  39. lpmoonshine on September 17, 2012 at 10:45 pm

    so effective issue.I love to read your writing over&over again<3

  40. giridharvc7 on September 17, 2012 at 10:04 pm

    Great article , really hoping to see LP in India. We are looking for alternate power sources in India , a good man from the western part of the country has started harnessing the solar power in the Thar Desert . Also a big Nuclear power project is waiting to get started in the south. Although , the nuclear power project is getting loads of opposition from the local mob. I really hope the power crisis ends in India by this year , We are eagerly waiting for the nuclear plant start functioning , it has a capacity to power up more than 2 states , if i’m not wrong.

  41. r2d277 on September 17, 2012 at 9:26 pm

    Great first article about MFR and Power The World Mike! For your information, we’ve translated this article in French for Mike Shinoda Clan France. Here it is => http://mikeshinodaclan.com/fr/2012/09/article-de-mike-shinoda-lets-power-the-world-coulisses-avec-jh-audio-brad-phoenix-rencontrent-we-care-solar/
    Share this for more awareness please. We also encouraged people to sign the pledge and shared the story of Imani, trying to promote MFR in France the best we can. And we’ll go on! Let’s Power The World!

  42. dcl1982 on September 17, 2012 at 9:08 pm

    So proud of you, dude! Can’t wait to see the new article! I hope this project brings you new fans too!

  43. rocksylvie on September 17, 2012 at 8:47 pm

    Very nice, Mike! Looking forward to reading the newest one! Congrats!

  44. paulinashinoda on September 17, 2012 at 8:45 pm

  45. illbehavoir on September 17, 2012 at 8:45 pm

    Mikey Congrats on the magazine :-) I read the entire piece. You are the most sweetest person around I really think that you should be in Washington DC right now cause they need people like you in there. Why don’t you run for president? seriously. You would make the best one :-)

  46. JUNIOR on September 17, 2012 at 8:22 pm

    Reblogged this on Gelson Junior.

  47. newfoundlpfan on September 17, 2012 at 8:13 pm

    MS has got to be the most awesome, underrated, artist of all time. Not only is everything he does awesome, but he’s the kinda guy you would want to be best friends with. I mean seriously, is there anything he can’t do???

  48. paulinashinoda on September 17, 2012 at 8:10 pm

    I wonder how you get into the shoes of people suffering my respect for you
    So I join your cause and also to help publish this great foundation I invite you to read my first blog…
    http://paulinashinoda.wordpress.com/2012/09/18/the-music-green-energy-better-life-for-all/

  49. JuniorLPC. on September 17, 2012 at 7:57 pm

    You were fantastic Mike.

  50. filacastillo92 on September 17, 2012 at 7:57 pm

    It´s good to see that you as an artist not only care about your career, the fame or your fans, you have the awareness about the needs of other people and the initiative to help.
    Sometimes I try to imagine a world without a technology but it’s difficult, beacuse even the slightest change makes the difference. Like iphone 10 hoho not lol :P

  51. icecremsandwich on September 17, 2012 at 7:51 pm

    At first, in the beginning, I thought you said “In my bed” and I was like.. what kind of blogs is Mike writing now….

  52. leoama12345 on September 17, 2012 at 7:47 pm

    I’s so great to see a person, like you who has an empathy about the people who are suffering!Welocome to the third world! in some places of these countries ,there are people who haven’t even seen a computer!They Don’t even have the access to the electecity. Only one or two public transport vehicles for the whole area! GREATEST THING IS, U ARE A PERSON WHO HAS A FEELING FOR THESE INNOCENT PEOPLE! U R A GREAT HUMAN MIKE! EVERY GOOD POWER OF THE NATURE WILL SAVE U ALL!

  53. argol8489 on September 17, 2012 at 7:34 pm

    People like you drive others to perform these actions, in important issues such as sustainable energy and others. You keep a steady pace on helping others … those who need it most. his voice and his actions in congunto with the band (Linkin Park) should be spread around the world forever.

  54. purnamalp on September 17, 2012 at 7:34 pm

    You are my role model and I am extremely proud of it. To me I think a good role model is a person who tells, or influences you to make the right choice in life, we live in a society that really doesn’t allow one to be different . A role model DARES you and themselves to be different. You do all that. Thanks for everything Mike, keep up the good work :3

    Greetings from Indonesia :)

    Xoxo

  55. lpfmfan on September 17, 2012 at 7:20 pm

    That’s awesome, Mike. Great article btw I enjoyed reading it. Hoping I can read the other article you wrote sometime soon. Congratulations on the article, well written.

    – Ana

  56. Michael Gonzalez on September 17, 2012 at 7:16 pm

    Really cool article. I’m just like you Mike, I always have to have my phone and iPad with me. I can survive without them, but like you said, just not happily. You never cease to inspire me sir.

    I recently released a music video and would love for you to check it out. You and your band have inspired the production. Hope you enjoy.

    -Michael Gonzalez

  57. Braffschein on September 17, 2012 at 7:11 pm

    *can never get enough OK

  58. Braffschein on September 17, 2012 at 7:11 pm

    I love how you can never enough of work.
    Awesome, man. I love how you write articles.

  59. NephthysPhoenix on September 17, 2012 at 7:11 pm

    Really cool

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