First, progressive Senate candidate Shenna Bellows out-fundraised Republican Susan Collins. Now, Shenna is profiled by US News & World Report and The Hill! Check out below. Then please donate $3 to help win this huge Senate race. US NEWS & WORLD REPORT: Democrat Shenna Bellows, a former American Civil Liberties Union leader who grew up without elect […]
UPDATE: Ed Schultz has joined the PCCC in opposing the Keystone XL Pipeline! Watch him say “I was wrong” and come out against the pipeline. PCCC Co-Founder Adam Green was recently asked by Ed Schultz for his thoughts on the proposed Keystone XL pipeline. Click here to listen to Adam discussing the issue: “We see what’s happening in West Virginia right now wh […]
The Philadelphia Flyers will memorialize legendary hall of fame coach Fred Shero, who led two Flyers teams to Stanley Cup Championships (1974 and 1975), with an eight-foot tall, 1300-pound bronze statue at XFINITY Live! The statue will be unveiled...
Philadelphia Flyers (33-24-6--72pts) at Toronto Maple Leafs (33-23-8-74pts) TIME: 7:30 p.m. TV: CSN RADIO: 97.5 The Fanatic 1. RIDING THE WAVE The Flyers are currently riding a three-game winning streak in which they have scored 15 goals in...
Old hockey adage: Forecheck, or be forechecked. The Capitals never possessed the puck for the first 40 minutes on Thursday night, then had it practically all of the final 20, turning what had been rout into a cliffhanger. Minor penalties by L...
Planet Earth is falling apart. It sounds a bit dramatic when you put it in such stark terms, but, in many ways, it’s true. The list of endangered species grows every year as humans bulldoze more habitats and belch more greenhouse gases into the atmosphere. What’s an environmentalist to do?
Build a biodome, of course! At least, that’s what South Korea’s doing as part of a broader effort to protect its native endangered species.
The country just unveiled striking new designs for its National Research Center for Endangered Species that will soon be built in Yeongyang-gun, one of the cleanest parts of the Korean peninsula.
The main area, known as the Core Zone, will contain a visitors center, offices, and quarantine zone. Meanwhile, the main Research Zone includes a number of breeding farms and research facilities, including several biodomes. There’s also something called the Refresh Zone where researchers and visitors can stay.
The whole thing looks like a cross between the new Apple headquarters and that Pauly Shore movie. It also looks very similar to another Samoo biodome project for a few years ago, the Ecorium of the National Ecological Insitute. While this complex is supposed to built elsewhere, the two projects share similar missions. They also make one thing overwhelmingly clear: South Koreans are biodome fanatics.
Source: By Brian Barrett http://gizmodo.com/5456342/south-korea-plans-giant-eco-dome
Passing this bill would finally end a cruel and dangerous practice where people across the U.S. are allowed to keep tigers and other big cats as backyard pets. Other private owners breed big cats for commercial exploitation in dangerous roadside zoos.
This continues to endanger our nation’s police officers and other first responders. These professionals are not trained to deal with the likes of a 300-pound tiger when it escapes, and they shouldn’t have to bear this burden.
Captive big cats in the U.S. have so far killed 24 people (including five children) and nearly 300 additional people have been mauled or injured.
On Friday, the climate movement delivered more than 2 million comments to the State Department calling for the rejection of Keystone XL.
When the Keystone XL tar sands pipeline was proposed five years ago, it could have just been one more energy project green-lighted by Washington D.C. But the massive pipeline would increase tar sands oil development beyond what is acceptable for a safe climate, and could poison drinking water for millions of Americans.
Our movement pushed back and forced the State Department to reconsider the pipeline’s oil-soaked environmental review. And in the last month alone—since the second and final environmental assessment was released—more than 40 organizations and 2,030,000 individuals like you have spoken out demanding President Obama reject the pipeline.
Building the Keystone XL pipeline would lock us into the fossil-fueled future of our nightmares. But our collective voice is drowning out the oil industry and its political allies that would profit from Keystone XL! If we push even harder—if our resistance makes it politically unfeasible for President Obama to approve the pipeline—we can win this fight and stop Keystone XL.
The decision to approve the Keystone XL pipeline is President Obama’s decision and his alone. The President has said he’ll make that decision by this summer. Those who put him into office are depending on him to stand on the right side of history.
We have already spoken through official government channels. Now it is time to go even further to make sure President Obama can’t ignore our call. This is our moment to show just how committed we are to protect our water and our planet. Big moments require big actions. We can beat the oil industry on this, but it will take large numbers to make enough of an impact.
That is why we at Rainforest Action Network, along with our friends at CREDO and The Other 98%, are proud to stand with more than 86,000 people who have joined the Keystone XL Pledge of Resistance, people who feel so strongly that they are prepared to put their bodies on the line by risking going to jail. Will you stand with us too?
If tens of thousands of people stand up as President Obama mulls his final decision, and commit to participate in civil disobedience if necessary, we can convince the White House that it will be politically unfeasible to go forward. That is, our goal is not to get arrested. Our goal is to stop the Keystone XL pipeline—by showing enough opposition to Keystone XL that President Obama will reject it. But if he shows clear signs that he is preparing to approve it, we will be ready.
Here’s the plan: The administration is now working towards a National Interest Determination that will approve or reject the pipeline. If the Obama administration issues a Draft National Interest Determination finding that favors Keystone XL, that will trigger action on our pledge to resist.
Over 100 actions are already planned and many more are in the works. We need you to join them and make their actions even bigger.
We realize not everyone can risk arrest in non-violent direct action. But whether it is attending a rally, reaching out to the media or making art, the Pledge of Resistance has roles for everyone.
Please Attend Berkeley City Council Meeting - Protect Ground Squirrels and Pocket Gophers
An incredible outpouring of support, generating more than 8,000 comments, has already occurred to oppose a plan before Berkeley’s City Council to trap and kill, possibly by gassing, poisoning, or drowning, ground squirrels and gophers at Cesar Chavez Park.
Now we need you to attend the next Berkeley City Council meeting to request that city officials put this terrible plan on hold and allow sufficient time for scientific research, analysis, and public input to find a more environmentally friendly and ethical way to humanely resolve the issue and save these animals’ lives.
We need a large presence at this meeting to prevent this horrific plan from moving forward, which would result in the pain and suffering of several hundreds of ground squirrels, an unknown number of pocket gophers, and potentially burrowing owls, who are nesting at the park.
When: Tuesday, March 11 at 7 p.m. (please be there by 6:45 p.m.)
“We need in a special way, to work twice as hard to make all people to understand that animals are fellow creatures; that we must protect them and love them as we love ourselves. And that the basis for peace is respecting all creatures. We cannot hope to have peace until we respect everyone, respect ourselves, and all living beings.”
ENOUGH OF WAZA’S LIES WHILE DOLPHINS CONTINUE TO DIE UNDER WAZA’S BLESSING. WE DEMAND WAZA TO END $UPPORTING THE BRUTAL CAPTIVE TRADE AND $LAUGHTER OF DOLPHINS IN TAIJI!
Swiss Band RICHTASTE has donated all proceeds to a yet to be determined Oceania Organization (may split it up between a few important ones poised to make actual changes) generated by the play of the below music video entitled ‘The Sea” (I think someone told me we surpassed 5K plays so thanks but we need more s thanks again!)
March 2014: It’s good news for humpbacks as Japan has designated theKerama Islands and surrounding waters in Okinawa Prefecture as the country’s 31st national park and the first in three decades. These waters are also famed as a breeding ground for whales, including humpbacks who migrate to the tropical waters for mating between December and April every year.
The designated area includes 30 islets and reefs, and covers 3,520 hectares of dry land and 94,750 hectares of ocean. It lies 35 kilometres west of Okinawa Main Island and is famous for its rich aquatic environment. It is home to 248 species of coral.
A report in the Japan Times says that the ministry will also designate surrounding waters shallower than 30 metres as a marine park and will strictly restrict development within them, such as the extraction of sand. It also plans to build coral restoration facilities to counter the damage done in the past.
Blue whales and many other marine animals will receive important new safeguards by Chile’s declaration of two new marine protected areas (MPAs) along its southern coast:here.
Despite a rise in popular sentiment against marine mammal parks, these parks are still legally allowed to use wild-caught or captive-bred orcas for performance and entertainment purposes.
But in California, Assemblyman Richard Bloom is proposing a bill to end this alleged abuse.
The law, if enacted, would prohibit routinely scheduled public exhibition and any choreographed display or training of orcas, as well as any unprotected contact between humans and orcas.
The legislation would also outlaw the capturing of wild orcas, as well as the breeding or impregnating of those in captivity. Any institution or person in violation of this law would be fined a substantial amount or imprisoned.
Orcas that have been held for rehabilitation, saved from stranding, or used for research purposes are exempt. If and when it is determined that they are healthy, they will be returned to the wild. In cases where that is not possible they will be held in sea pens open to the public but not used for entertainment purposes.
Assemblyman Bloom is proposing groundbreaking legislation. Send a message of support to let him know you stand with this new law.
To: Assemblyman Richard BloomYour law to ban orcas from performing in California water parks is inspiring. Together we can end this brutal practice once and for all![Your custom message]http://takeaction.takepart.com/actions/save-orcas-from-performing-at-marine-parks
This database serves as an online inventory of marine mammals around the world. All information found on this page can be obtained through the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA), the Marine Mammal Inventory Report (MMIR), organizational press releases, professional journals, internet forums, message boards, and other sources of public information. NOTE: The killer whale database is not current!
He was talking about the members of Congress who are bankrolled by the Koch Brothers and dirty energy industry, and are willing to see the environment suffer just to protect their pocketbooks. We agree with Senator Reid — this has to stop.
Fortunately, a group of more than 25 senators has created a plan to challenge the forces that are denying climate change and delaying action.
This Monday, our Senate allies will pull an all-nighter, speaking on the Senate floor from Monday evening through Tuesday morning to draw attention to the devastating impacts of climate change and demand congressional action.
You’ve told us your stories. We know that you are feeling the impacts of climate disruption, and that you worry about the environment your children and grandchildren will inherit.
These senators, led by Senators Schatz, Boxer, and Whitehouse, understand that too. They know that now is the time to take bold action, and have made it clear that they will not stand idly by while the Koch Brothers and the dirty energy industry tighten their stranglehold on Congress.
But they can’t make this stand alone.
By supporting these senators, we can show the rest of Congress that there is real demand in this country to reduce carbon pollution and take action on climate change. We want to deliver 50,000 messages of support to show that people just like you, all across the country, have their back. Will you be one of them?
President Obama is already moving forward with a strong climate action plan, but we need Congress to take action too if we truly want to curb global warming pollution and build a clean energy economy. Showing our support for these senators will help us convince more members of Congress to prioritize our children’s future over polluter profits.
I am coordinating two articles coming out soon but I have to do my real work first or before I wrap my head around them.
One is an article about or entitled, ‘Who Has What To Hide’ which I feel if you have something to hide (ie: natural Gas Extraction Chemicals Used is considered proprietary (private company), GMO‘s of course for food packaging and then that Ad Gag thingy where they don’t want you to know how they kill animals for you people to eat), something is not right with that situation.
And, then I am doing an article about or entitled ‘Who is tricking people into things, What are They and why are They doing it’ which brings me to this Keystone XL issue today.
What do these people have to gain by allowing this Pipeline to go through America?
Regardless, Gov. (Scott) Walker (WI) says that the keystone pipeline would create 9K jobs in WI.
Now mind you that the pipeline does NOT even go through the state of WI yet it will somehow create jobs there…
The other thing is that is that in a year and a half after its done being built, the 1500 temporary jobs it would create (which honestly, that would help the Dem’s quite frankly in the mid terms and in 16, gain even better jobs numbers for that time being but listen, I just shot myself in the foot so to speak spewing that out), will go from those low K’s to 50 (I say and always said it would actually create 34 permanent jobs but defense report says 50…) permanent jobs….
Now, how the hell will a state that is NOT even getting any of the pipeline going through it, somehow manifest 9K jobs when there will be 50 after next year ends?
This will go into my ‘people that trick people into things’ article coming out soon, but again, I can’t stop laughing at these people in that GOP. they are a ballsy bunch of people.
Further, my point is that if they are lying to John Kerry and to everyone and/or have no reason to be involved in these debates or conversations, dosnt that raise a huge flag folks? Something aint jiving in Booneville here!
My overall issue about the XL use is that we do NOT need it or how about this one for a suggestion to solve the issue with regard to any so called disaster happening because of a spill? What if this PRIVATE company agrees to pick up on 150% and i mean 150 because there is NO determining the long-term effects if and when a spill happens down that route. But what if all of the cleaning and all of the messes left when it does break down, get cleaned up buy that private company. And,if anyone dies for any reason, that private company and its people that run it should be up for manslaughter charges in our court of law. If everyone is SO sure about what is up safety wise and how it will not affect our planet and humans in any negative ways, put their money where their mouths are so to speak….Back their words once and for all.
They won’t go for that of course, but still and even if they do agree to it, they would use brilliant methods like those paper towels used to clean up that one in MS last year. Besides, the Government or some Environmental Company tried to implement some safety standard two years ago or tried to get the private companies to use a safer material that would maybe even detect a spill, and THEY WOULD NOT GO FOR IT….They may have even fought it in court to get rid of such a mandate. I don’t remember those particulars but my point here is too, is that they are skimping while making it.
It’s a disaster times however many times it breaks, just waiting to happen and most of all, it is NOT needed at all. Just so a few private companies including China can make bank money obtaining these dirty oils. We do NOT need that oil and nor do we need that same oil type that we get from Bakersfield, CA and that we get from Venezuela. We do NOT need ANY of that or those oils today. There are other ways to deal.
Walker addressed the letter Thursday to Secretary of State John Kerry urging the project’s approval. The letter is similar to one he sent in April and comes after the State Department found the pipeline would have little impact on the environment.
Walker says the pipeline would create up to 9,000 jobs in Wisconsin over 20 years.
The Obama Administration has delayed a decision on the pipeline for years. Environmentalists and some landowners oppose the project, while oil companies and the Canadian government support it.
David Kirby has been a professional journalist for 25 years. His third book, ‘Death at Seaworld,’ was published in 2012.
In a surprising move that is sure to send shock waves across the entire captive whale and dolphin industry, a California lawmaker will propose legislation to outlaw Shamu shows at SeaWorld San Diego.
State Assemblymember Richard Bloom, D–Santa Monica, will introduce Friday the Orca Welfare and Safety Act, which would make it illegal to “hold in captivity, or use, a wild-caught or captive-bred orca for performance or entertainment purposes.” The bill would also ban artificial insemination of captive killer whales in California and block the import of orcas or orca semen from other states.
Violators would face a fine up to $100,000 and/or six months in a county jail.
“There is no justification for the continued captive display of orcas for entertainment purposes,” Bloom declared in a written statement prior to a press conference to be held at the Santa Monica Pier. “These beautiful creatures are much too large and far too intelligent to be confined in small, concrete pens for their entire lives. It is time to end the practice of keeping orcas captive for human amusement.”
According to Bloom, the law would be “the most comprehensive protection law for captive orcas in the United States in over 40 years.”
Under the terms of the bill, all 10 orcas held in tanks at SeaWorld San Diego, the only California facility that has whales, “shall be rehabilitated and returned to the wild where possible.” If that is not possible, then the whales must be “transferred and held in a sea pen that is open to the public and not used for performance or entertainment purposes.”
Exempt from the legislation are any orcas held for rehabilitation after a rescue or stranding, or for research purposes. But even these animals would have to be returned to the ocean or sent to a sea pen.
It is not the first time state lawmakers have tried to outlaw the captivity of killer whales, the world’s largest dolphin. South Carolina passed a bill in 1992 against captivity for dolphins and porpoises following efforts by the South Carolina Humane Society to stop a proposed dolphin park in Myrtle Beach. Just last month, New York state Sen. Greg Ball, R-Carmel, introduced a bill to ban orca captivity in that state.
Of course, there are no captive orcas in South Carolina or New York, making the California bill far more than a symbolic gesture.
At least five countries—India, Croatia, Hungary, Chile, and Costa Rica—have also outlawed all cetacean captivity, while Switzerland has banned captivity for dolphins.
“The Blackfish effect has never been in greater evidence—everything has led to this, the first serious legislative proposal to prohibit the captive display of this highly intelligent and social species,” Rose wrote in an email. “SeaWorld should join with this effort rather than continue to fight it. They can be on the right side of history.”
Assemblymember Bloom reached out to Gabriela Cowperthwaite, the director of Blackfish, for help with the bill, who in turn consulted with Rose.
“We did not initiate this proposal,” Rose wrote. “But once they reached out to us, we dove in wholeheartedly and assisted in every way we could—helping with the bill language, information, and fact-gathering, and getting support from various sectors of the public, including the scientific community.”
Rose also gave credit to former SeaWorld trainers featured in the documentary for supporting the legislation. Rose, Cowperthwaite, and former SeaWorld trainers Carol Ray and John Hargrove were scheduled to appear with Bloom at the Friday press conference.
Should the bill become law, SeaWorld might want to look at other highly successful aquariums that do not keep cetaceans in swimming pools. The Monterey Aquarium in northern California, for example, is routinely packed with visitors, without a single whale or dolphin in sight.
In South Carolina, where orcas will likely never entertain people, staffers at the South Carolina Aquarium in Charleston routinely direct visitors to local waterways if they want to see dolphins.
The Charleston Post and Courier reported in 2010 that when tourists ask to see the dolphins at the aquarium, the facility’s CEO, Kevin Mills, “smiles and answers, ‘Just walk out on our observation deck and you’re bound to see them, swimming freely in the harbor.’ ”
A boy surfs Facebook (Photo credit: RAUL ARBOLEDA/AFP/Getty Images)
ALBANY, N.Y. (CBSNewYork/AP) — Under pressure from gun control advocates, Facebook agreed Wednesday to delete posts from users selling illegal guns or offering weapons for sale without background checks.
A similar policy will be applied to Instagram, the company’s photo-sharing network, Facebook said. The measures will be put into effect over the next few weeks and will apply worldwide at Facebook, which claims 1.3 billion active users.
“We will remove reported posts that explicitly indicate a specific attempt to evade or help others evade the law,” the company said in a statement.
“It is very important to note that Facebook and Instagram are not e-commerce sites,” Schneiderman said in a conference call with reporters. “You cannot actually purchase a gun on Facebook, on Instagram, but because they’re such enormous platforms with so much communication, they provided an open marketplace that really allowed anyone, including minors, felons and people with mental disabilities, to exchange information.
“There are sellers out there who want to circumvent state and federal gun laws — and we have one of the toughest gun laws in the country in New York and are being very vigilant about enforcing it — and there are folks who want to use the social platforms to promote the sale of weapons with no background checks, and no questions asked,” the attorney general added.
As CBS 2′s Dick Brennan reported, the move came after a petition by Moms Demand Action garnered more than 230,000 signatures.
“What they’re doing today is to start closing the gun show loophole that is so prevalent in this country, and frankly the loophole that Congress refuses to close on their own,” the group’s founder, Shannon Watts, told WCBS 880′s Wayne Cabot
“This is a huge win, and this is actually going to save lives. Even though they don’t sell guns on their platforms, people are arranging to meet across state lines, people are arranging to sell and trade guns without background checks, and that won’t happen anymore.”
Tom King, president of the New York affiliate of the National Rifle Association, acknowledged that Facebook is allowed to set its own rules but said he regards the new restrictions as “a kind of limit on our First Amendment rights.”
“This is something that could greatly get out of control very quickly,” King said.
New York has some of the nation’s toughest gun laws. It requires a background check for private gun sales and prohibits sales of some popular firearms, such as the AR-15 rifle.
Under the new policy, Facebook would allow a user in Texas to list an AR-15 for sale, since the gun is legal there, as long as it wasn’t offered for sale in states where the weapon is illegal. But the company would delete a similar post from someone in New York.
It would also remove posts from any state in which a gun seller says a background check will be skipped, even if such checks aren’t required where the seller lives.
“This is one of many areas where we face a difficult challenge balancing individuals’ desire to express themselves on our services and recognizing that this speech may have consequences elsewhere,” Facebook said.
“Law enforcement offices like mine and advocacy groups are going to have a direct pipeline to Facebook to flag posts that may facilitate or promote potentially illegal activity, so they can be reported,” Schneiderman said.
The company already has systems in place to remove advertising that is false and deceptive, and it prohibits ads for illegal drugs, tobacco products and prescription drugs.
There’s no way to know how many guns are sold via Facebook, because the transactions are actually completed offline, said John Feinblatt, chairman of Mayors Against Illegal Guns. But such sales have occurred.
In Kentucky, for example, federal authorities in February charged an Ohio man with illegally selling a 9 mm pistol to a Kentucky teenager in a transaction arranged through Facebook.
In an online petition, Moms Demand Action warned that Facebook and Instagram could also be used to sell guns to convicted felons, domestic abusers or others barred under federal law from obtaining a firearm. That list also includes people judged mentally defective.
Feinblatt said Google Plus and Craigslist already prohibit all gun sales, legal or illegal. But he said there are “virtual gun shows” online. His group issued a report in December showing 66,000 active ads on a popular gun sales website called Armslist.
The report said 16 states and the District of Columbia require background checks for private firearm purchases.
Remember when 90% of Americans agreed on a *bipartisan* background-check gun control bill last year… and then the Senate failed to pass it? It’s a disgrace to America.
Stop *wondering* why Congress is such a mess, and start fighting the corruption with us. Sign the petition to support the American Anti-Corruption Act.
Did animals suffer and die to test the moisturizer or shampoo you used this morning? If animal testing for personal care products were a thing of the past, you wouldn’t have to worry! The Humane Cosmetics Act (H.R. 4148) would prohibit animal testing for cosmetics manufactured or sold in the U.S., ending painful tests that rabbits, mice, rats and guinea pigs endure when more reliable and cost effective alternatives are available.
Please make a brief, polite phone call to Rep.Carolyn Maloney (202) 225-7944 to urge co-sponsorship of the Humane Cosmetics Act, H.R. 4148.
As you may know, Ziggy Star has been at the Center in Sausalito since April 2013, which is a long time compared to most of our patients. She is a mature adult northern fur seal, a threatened species listed under the Endangered Species Act, who was found collapsed on a beach on the Mendocino coast, severely emaciated and barely alive.
During her rehabilitation, our veterinarians discovered that Ziggy Star suffers from a serious neurological condition, cerebral demyelination, that causes her to have poor coordination and difficulty processing images correctly, but she is otherwise healthy. However, she cannot survive in the wild, so during the past year, a search was mounted for a permanent home where Ziggy can receive professional care and live a healthy life as an ambassador for her species.
In the next few weeks, Ziggy Star will travel to her new home… But just how do you transport a seal over 3,000 miles?
Our Stranding Manager, Shelbi Stoudt, explains the process. “Non-releasable rehabilitated marine mammals are typically transported cross-country to their new homes by FedEx cargo planes. The animal is put in a specially made crate and driven to the airport, usually in the middle of the night as it is quieter and cooler for the animal. Once at the airport, the crate is loaded and secured closest to the front of the plane, and two trained human handlers travel and stay with the animal at all times.”
Ziggy Star has become an unforgettable patient at the Center. During her time here, she’s befriended numerous pen-mates and become a favorite of visitors, volunteers and staff alike. I think you’ll agree, she has stolen all of our hearts – you even voted her Patient of the Year! She will be missed here in California, but we know that she will have a full life at her new home in Connecticut.
CONSERVATIVES BRING DEATH PENALTY CONCERNS BACK TO CPACGROUP CATAPULTED TO NATIONAL SPOTLIGHT IN ITS FIRST YEAR
Conservatives Concerned About the Death Penalty will return to CPAC (March 6-8, National Harbor, MD) as national support for the death penalty reaches a 40-year low. Republican lawmakers across the country have been taking the lead in calling for an end to capital punishment, with GOP legislators sponsoring and co-sponsoring such bills in Kentucky, South Dakota, and New Hampshire.
Conservatives Concerned About the Death Penalty debuted at CPAC one year ago. In its first year it has gained a score of endorsements, including one from former Republican presidential candidate Dr. Ron Paul. The group has formed a strategic partnership with Young Americans for Liberty and is assisting local conservative groups that are forming in states such as North Carolina, Kentucky, Missouri, Kansas, and Nebraska.
“The outpouring of support we’ve received from the conservative movement has shattered the myth about conservatives support for the death penalty,” said Marc Hyden, national coordinator for Conservatives Concerned About the Death Penalty. “We know beyond any doubt that many conservatives have serious reservations about capital punishment.” Conservatives Concerned founder, Roy Brown, a former Montana House Majority Leader and GOP gubernatorial nominee, will be among those representing the group at CPAC.
“I am delighted that so many of my fellow conservatives are re-examining the death penalty and discovering it is wasteful, unfair, error-prone, and out-of-step with conservative values,” Brown said. Other group representatives will join Brown at CPAC: local Republican Party leaders from Texas, North Carolina, and Montana, including the Director of the Montana Young Republicans, and Conservatives Concerned About the Death Penalty staff. Conservatives Concerned
About the Death Penalty will be at booth 717 in the CPAC exhibit hall. For more information contact Jon Crane at 203-982-4575 or email email@example.com. About Us Conservatives Concerned About the Death Penalty is a nationwide group of conservatives questioning whether capital punishment is consistent with conservative principles and values due to the system’s inefficiency, inequity, and inaccuracy. Conservatives Concerned About the Death Penalty is a project of Equal Justice USA, a national, non-partisan, grassroots organization working to build a criminal justice system that works.
We have one last chance to officially tell President Obama not to approve the dirty Keystone XL tar sands pipeline.
By now, we all know what will happen if we tap dirty Canadian tar sands reserves with the Keystone XL pipeline — catastrophic climate disaster. The last public comment period on the pipeline ends this week and numbers really count. We need to show President Obama the huge political and scientific risk of approving the Keystone XL.
The last time the State Department was accepting comments, we submitted over 1 million as a movement. And the pressure worked — the pipeline is still not approved and the President is still on the fence about the project. Let’s beat that number this time around with more than 1 million against the pipeline, and show that our movement is growing.
Submit your comment (petition) against Keystone XL, and tell Obama to be a climate champion and not a pipeline president. Let’s keep the pressure on! Thank you!
Right now, our government is deciding whether to approve a monster oil pipeline that would unleash devastating levels of carbon pollution from Canada’s dirty tar sands. The State Department is holding a public comment process before the big decision, and insiders say they want a mandate to stand up to industry pressure.Let’s help by flooding the comment process with an overwhelming mandate to kill this carbon bomb — we only have days left:
Right now, our government is about to make the defining climate decision of Obama’s presidency –whether to approve a monstrous pipelinethat will transport up to 830,000 barrels a day of the world’s dirtiest oil from Canada across the US.
If approved, the Keystone XL pipeline will help pump billions of dollars into the pockets of a few companies… but also millions of tons of carbon into the atmosphere. It’s been called “a fuse to the biggest carbon bomb on the planet”. Bold public action has delayed it once, and a court ruling the other week has dealt a serious blow to the project. Now, if we act fast and in massive numbers, we can help kill it for good.
Secretary of State John Kerry, responsible for the US’s relationship with the world, has opened a final round of comments from the public. He knows this decision is a vital litmus test for US global leadership to avert climate disaster. Avaaz members from every country will turn it into a truly global referendum by flooding the consultation with a million voices calling on them to kill Keystone and take the leadership role they say they want in the fight to save the planet. We only have days until it closes – join here: https://secure.avaaz.org/en/stop_the_keystone_xl_pipeline_loc_us_fbcss/?bIQwIeb&v=36748
The heat from Big Oil is already intense – they’ve bought out the ads in DC subways that politicians pass through to get to work. If we hit a million signers, Avaaz will fight back on the DC battleground, taking out ads right next to theirs so Secretary Kerry and his staff see the people’s voices first and loudest.
Big Oil ads are just the tip of the iceberg. We know that our government is under fire from industry lobbyists who will make serious money from the pipeline. But it will be at the cost of all of our futures. Tar sands oil is the dirtiest dirty fossil fuel ever cooked up – releasing 3-4 times the global warming pollution of normal petrol!
Last year, Obama said he’d let Keystone go ahead only if it was found to be in our national interest and if it could be proven that it wouldn’t worsen the climate crisis for future generations. And Kerry has spent decades fighting for the climate and even opposed Keystone as a Senator. Pipeline supporters are answering with claims of more construction jobs and greater independence from petro-states. But Obama knows that the real jobs are in clean energy and that climate change is perhaps the greatest threat to US and global security there is.
We’re already winning. Three years ago, this pipeline was a foregone conclusion. But then people-power swung into action — thousands were arrested at the largest act of civil disobedience in the US in decades, and Obama refused the initial proposal. Let’s do our part now by collecting over a million comments in the US and around the world and give Kerry and President Obama the public cover they need to reject the Keystone carbon bomb:
Wherever we are in the world — Alberta, Canada, where the pipeline would begin; the UK, still recovering from historic floods; Australia, just emerging from a summer ravaged by record fires, or any other country where extreme weather is taking its toll – we’re all downstream from climate change. If we stand together today, we can all be a part of a victory to stop this crazy pipeline and help build a strong climate movement.
Pascal, David, Luis, Antonia, Emma, Patri, Wen, Ricken, and the Avaaz team
Also, Exxon-Mobil and Enbridge Inc. are attempting to create a pathway for tar sands from Montreal, Canada to Portland, Maine. If it goes into effect, up to 300,000 barrels of this especially toxic brand of oil could be pumped through wildlife habitats.
The demanding extraction of tar sands oil creates more pollution than conventional crude and makes cleaning spills impossible. Even worse, numerous species — namely moose, depend on the waterways around the proposed pipeline. With the influx of carcinogens caused by extraction to the environment, they will be put into harm’s way.
We can’t let this risky venture go forward. Write to the U.S. State Department and demand that they put a stop to the Northeast tar sands pipeline!
PHOTOS: Hundreds Arrested In Protest Of Keystone XL Pipeline
“PHOTOS: Hundreds Arrested In Protest Of Keystone XL Pipeline“
Youth activists held a rally on Sunday outside of the White House demanding President Obama stop construction of the proposed Keystone XL pipeline that would carry tar sands south across the country from Alberta, Canada to Texas.
About 1,000 were expect to turn out for the protest, many of them university students. Anestimated 300 people locked themselves to the White House fence before being arrested by security. The protest comes just days after a report from the State Department’s Inspector General found that there was no conflict of interest in the fact that the contractor hired to write a Environmental Impact Statement on the pipeline also worked for major oil companies involved in its construction.
Last week, Sen. Barbara Boxer (D-Calif.), head of the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee, announced that she had some “dramatic new information” to share. The information: Heavy crude from tar sands isn’t just going to bring us back to the hot mess of the Cretaceous, it’s also going to make us sick. Or some of us, anyway.
The information is dramatic, though not new. Every time you’re around crude, heavy or light, it’s not great for you. Anyone who uses the EPA’s website to search for pollution near their zip code is going to find a lot of old gas stations and auto body shops. The health risks Boxer highlighted — asthma, respiratory ailments, increased risks of heart disease and cancer — are ones that community activists near oil refineries, power plants, and drilling operations have been warning about for years. But extraction of heavy crude releases more emissionsthan extraction of light. And when a pipeline carrying heavy crude ruptures, the resulting spill is much more difficult to clean up, meaning that — so far, at least — more of it stays in the ecosystem it spills in, up to and including the people in that ecosystem. So Boxer is not so much making a new argument as reformulating an old one and, in the process, giving anti-Keystone activists another line of attack: human health.
At her press event on Wednesday, Boxer brought experts to speak on the health risks potentially posed by Keystone. The first, John O’Connor, was profiled in Mother Jones six years ago. A rural physician working in Fort Chipewyan in Alberta, Canada, he became convinced that the community’s residents had much higher rates of lung, colon, bladder, and prostate cancer than residents of other small towns in the region, and suspected there was a connection between those rates and a tar-sands extraction operation upstream. When O’Connor found five cases of a rare cancer of the bile duct in the community, he reported his suspicions to the Canadian government, and then the press. The news didn’t go over well. Canada’s national health agency accused him of exaggerating his numbers and raising “undue alarm” about the dangers of living in Fort Chipewyan and creating “a sense of mistrust” in authorities. O’Connor could have had his medical license suspended or revoked, but the charges were later dropped. Since then, the Alberta Cancer Board has recommended monitoring Fort Chipewyan for the next five to 10 years, but the small size of the community makes it less than ideal for an epidemiological study.
The health effects of environmental pollution are notoriously difficult to quantify. People lead such complicated lives before they get cancer that it’s difficult to pinpoint one huge cancer-causing villain. Humans make poor lab rats — they live longer than rats, for one thing, and they have a way of doing things that complicate experiments, like smoking, or taking new jobs, or moving from house to house and from city to city.
But the research of Isobel Simpson and Stuart Batterman, another team cited by Boxer, also suggests there could be potentially troubling links between tar-sands production and cancer, though they’re more cautious than O’Connor. After searching through a decade’s worth of Canadian medical records, the duo concluded in a paper published in October 2013 that men living in counties downwind of tar-sands extraction operations and refineries in Alberta, Canada, had higher levels of leukemia and non-Hodgkins lymphoma, but they stopped short of saying that the industry had caused the elevated levels of cancer.
Simpson and Batterman uncovered other disturbing information as they tried to figure out which counties in Alberta were most affected by tar-sands extraction and refining. Rather than going by the counties’ own emissions records, they calculated air quality by taking one-minute samples of the air in different counties at random times over a period of several years. Their readings showed that these rural, out-of-the-way counties had air quality as bad as some of America’s largest and most polluted metropolises (Galveston, Texas, was a close match). They also had high levels of carcinogens like 1,3-butadiene that plants in the area had never disclosed they were emitting.
Boxer’s stated goal in holding her press conference was to pressure the State Department to conduct a new study into the human health impacts of the proposed Keystone XL pipeline. The 11-volume doorstopof an environmental impact study that the State Department bestowed upon the nation last month is “woefully inadequate” in examining health risks from the pipeline, Boxer said. She continued:
Today I ask how are more Americans with asthma in the national interest? How are more Americans with cancer in the national interest? How is it in the national interest when kids playing baseball have to duck and cover from dangerous pollution?
Children and families in the U.S. have a right to know now — before any decision to approve the Keystone tar sands pipeline — how it would affect their health.
Secretary of State John Kerry is probably not going to call for a health study and add yet another step to this already protracted and controversial process. But if he did, it would give him and President Obama an excuse to stall on the Keystone decision even longer, past November’s midterm elections, bolstering its reputation as the nation’s biggest hot potato.
Here’s a look at some photos from the protest:
The Keystone XL pipeline is estimated to ship enough oil to emit 51 coal plants’ worth of carbon, while creating just 35 permanent jobs. While there have been some successful legal challenges to the pipeline’s construction, President Obama is the only major obstacle standing in the way of its creation.
Rally organizers peg the number arrested at around 400. Buses were brought in to cart away those who’d been arrested:
Poaching is incredibly frustrating. But other than ponying up $350,000 to save an endangered rhino, your options for doing something can seem somewhat limited.
Thankfully, now there’s WildLeaks, a new website that calls itself “the first secure, online whistleblower platform dedicated to wildlife and forest crime.” You can safely and anonymously submit tips about poaching, illegal logging, wildlife trafficking, and more — as well as photo and video documentation. It might not be as sexy as NSA spying, but wildlife crime is a huge deal, WildLeaks reports:
According to Global Financial Integrity, a Washington watchdog group, wildlife crime is the 4th largest transnational crime in the world, worth an estimate US$ 17 billion annually, after narcotics, counterfeiting, and human trafficking …
Wildlife crime is now the most immediate threat to several species including elephants, rhinos, big cats like tigers and lions, apes, pangolins, reptiles and birds, among many others.
The market for ivory, trophies, and such drives demand, but so do zoo visits and the popularity of exotic pets, so it’s time to narc on your friend who keeps a slow loris in her purse. Like those anti-terrorism ads on the bus say, “If you see something, say something!”
Legislation Proposed in NYS to Ban Exotic Animals in Circuses
Over the last several years, a number of different constituencies have worked hard to advance legislation to ban exotic animals (elephants, tigers, lions, etc.) from circuses. There is now a bill pending in committee in the New York state legislature. Below follows a press release from one of the groups working on this issue:
Proposed NYS Legislation To Ban “Wild & Exotic Animals” in Entertainment.
This is to inform all residents of New York State that 2 bills (Assembly A5407 and Senate S5971) have been introduced which would ban the use of wild and exotic animals (elephants, lions, tigers, etc) in entertainment, including circuses.
THERE WILL BE NO ACTION TAKEN on these bills unless there is public support for them. It is crucial that voters call or email their New York State representatives to urge support of these bills (do a search online if you do not know who your representatives are). Supporters should also use social media to further publicize this very important legislation.
The Pace University Academy of Environmental Studies has published a comprehensive report that documents the inherent cruelty in training and the public safety risks associated with the use of these animals. The New York City Bar has published a report supporting both these bills. The Pace University and the Bar reports have been sent to all members of the Assembly and Senate Agriculture Committees to which these bills have been referred. The committees will only schedule hearings if pressured to do so by members of the senate and assembly. Call your representatives!
Why Is This Important?
While most people are not inherently cruel, they never ask themselves this basic question “How do they get those, elephants, tigers, lions et al to perform those ‘tricks’?” Unfortunately, the answer is “No animal performs because it wants to so the only way to ‘train’ them is via cruel, inhumane ways such as with chains, fire, bull hooks, beatings, withholding food and many other unacceptable practices. Not only is there a plethora of information on what goes on during the training of animals, there are also mind-numbing videos where the ‘trainer’ is encouraging an apprentice to “Beat him, make him scream!!” while pummeling an elephant with a bull hook! Go to http://www.circuses.com if you have any doubts.
If the average circus goer knew the means of training, they would see that animal circuses are not the innocuous, family-friendly tradition they are purported to be. The children, who go to the circus because they love the animals would be mortified.
Not only is the abuse horrendous, it is on-going – the physical abuse as well as the emotional and psychological abuse suffered when wild animals are kept in boxcars for hours and hours on end. They NEVER get to live as in the wild where they constantly roam extensive ranges. They don’t receive adequate medical care and spend their time outside the circus ring in cages or chained on concrete floors.
Ask Congress to End the Use of Live Animals in Combat Trauma Training
Please take a moment to ask your members of Congress to support the BEST Practices Act (S.1550/H.R. 3172), a bill to end the use of live animals in combat trauma training courses. We have provided some text for you, but we encourage you to personalize your message to make it stand out. If you decide to write your own email, please be polite and encouraging. Here are some talking points:
I am writing as a constituent to urge you to co-sponsor the BEST Practices Act, a bill to end the use of live animals in combat trauma training courses.
The use of animals in this type of training is inadequate, due to the numerous anatomical differences between animals and humans.
More than 8,500 pigs and goats are killed every year in this type of training.
Validated, human-based methods such as medical simulators are effective and widely available.
The military recently stopped using live animals to train medical students, so it is clear they see them as a valid training tool.
Transitioning away from the use of animals will result in significant cost savings for the military over the long term.
Please co-sponsor the BEST Practices Act and do everything you can to ensure its passage.
“Let me put it this way: If one year from now, you’re not using Dark Mail, it’s because you enjoy knowing the NSA is reading your emails,” says Ladar Levison, founder of Lavabit, the email provider used by former National Security Agency contractor Edward Snowden.
After Snowden’s identity became known, Levison shut down Lavabit, posting the following message on the company website:
I have been forced to make a difficult decision: to become complicit in crimes against the American people or walk away from nearly ten years of hard work by shutting down Lavabit. After significant soul searching, I have decided to suspend operations. I wish that I could legally share with you the events that led to my decision. I cannot.
Levison was prohibited from discussing any details of the case until last October, when the court unsealed a portion of the documents.
Los Angeles moves to ban fracking. (Thinkstock) Los Angeles has become the largest city in the United States to actively take a stand against the practice of hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, as the City Council unanimously approved Feb. 28 to take a moratorium on the unique practice to draw more oil out of the ground. The 10 to 0 vote means steps will be taken to amend Los Angeles’ zoning code to prohibit fracking until the practice can be properly regulated at the local, state, and federal levels. Friday morning’s vote was met with heavy applause and cheers by a large contingent of anti-fracking activists and supports sitting in the council chamber’s gallery. “I think we all can agree unregulated fracking is crazy. It’s time to stop this crazy practice,” Councilman Paul Koretz, who was one of the authors of the motion proposing a fracking moratorium, told his colleagues. “Fracking related earthquakes are
Pledge to Join the People-Powered Rally Against Fracking on March 15th
Posted By: Oil Change International (campaign leader)
Thanks for your pledge to attend the people-powered rally against fracking on March 15th. We’re expecting this to be the biggest anti-fracking rally California has ever seen! Now we want to get you the info and logistics you need to join us.
After you RSVP we’ll to send you all the info you’ll need to join us in Sacramento in two weeks. We’ve got buses coming from all over the state, roles that you can help out with, or you can just show up and join the thousands marching on the capitol calling for Governor Jerry Brown to ban fracking in CA.
On March 15th, thousands of protesters will descend on Sacramento, demanding Governor Brown put a stop to fracking in California.
Together with our friends in Californians Against Fracking and beyond, we’re helping to organize one of the largest anti-fracking rallies the state has ever seen and we would love for you to join us.
Sign up to the right to let’s us know you’re in and we’ll keep you updated over the coming weeks as the rally develops.
We’ve gathered over 100,000 public comments on fracking in California, followed Governor Brown to public events across the state, and even dropped a banner at the State of the State. Now it’s time to kick things up a notch and show Sacramento how big a movement we truly are.
We just got word out of Los Angeles that the city council has unanimously voted to place a moratorium on fracking, becoming the largest city in the US to take a stand against fracking. This is huge news and a great momentum boost as we work to take this moratorium state-wide!
Check out a few quotes from council members:
“I think we all can agree unregulated fracking is crazy. It’s time to stop this crazy practice.”– Councilman Paul Koretz.
“This does not meet any test of common sense or public safety.” – Councilman Mike Bonin
“We’re also turning millions and millions of gallons of clean water into toxic waste. We’re seeing it up close in our neighborhoods.”
– Councilman Paul Koretz
Read the rest of the article HERE. Lets celebrate this today, but we’ve still got work to do to take this state-wide.
Send a message to EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy: Tell her it’s time to reopen these fracking investigations.
Thanks to EPA whistleblowers, The Los Angeles Times reported that the fracking investigation in Dimock, PA was shut down despite evidence from EPA’s water tests that Dimock’s drinking water was polluted.The EPA has also shut down fracking investigations in Wyoming and Texas.
The number of rail cars hauling dirty fracked oil has grown exponentially in the past five years. Each day in 2008 there were 9,500 rail cars hauling oil by rail. But thanks to the fracking boom there are now more than 400,000 rail cars carrying oil across the country every day. Many of those trains are passing through our communities, and they bring risks of derailments and spills.
We’ve been watchdogging and researching this issue for the past few months, and it’s time for us to sound the alarm.
There is now more than 1.6 million gallons of oil moving through our state each year by train. Big Oil has been developing sneaky plans that will endanger our communities, our environment and our health by shipping oil through our state over rail lines and on giant barges down the Hudson River.
Environmental Advocates of New York is working with community activists and organizational partners to stop Big Oil in its tracks, to protect our communities and demand answers.
In our video, we’re sharing the stories of New Yorkers whose lives are impacted by these trains. New Yorkers who are asking tough questions and organizing their neighbors. People are fighting back, and together we can help share their stories. You can help us grow this movement, and empower more people statewide to push back against Big Oil.
Nestled at the flanks of the iconic Uinta Mountains, the Uinta Basin is a majestic landscape. Sadly, it’s also been the target of intense fracking pressure over the years and more than 11,000 oil and gas wells have been drilled in the region.
Not only has this drilling decimated the landscape, it’s fueled a critical air pollution crisis. Smog levels in the Uinta Basin now rival Los Angeles and Houston. It’s big city pollution in the backyard of the American West.
Send a letter today calling for this latest fossil fuel disaster to be stopped before it can start.
Because according to the Bureau of Land Management, the latest drilling and fracking plans will only push pollution levels higher than ever. To boot, it’s estimated that 3.4 million tons of carbon will be released annually just from the fracking, as much as a coal-fired power plant.
In total, half a billion tons of carbon will be unleashed when the oil and gas is burned.
AFP Photo/Thierry Zoccolan - A Cape Coral, Florida woman living “off the grid” was ordered last week by a magistrate to hook up to utilities to comply with city codes or risk eviction from her home.
Special Magistrate Harold S. Eskin ruled Thursday that Robin Speronis violated city codes by refusing to connect to the Cape Coral’s water system. Eskin ordered Speronis to pay for water service, adding that her sewer access would be capped until she did, The News-Press reported.
“I am in compliance,” Speronis told the News-Press. “I’m in compliance of living … you may have to hook-up, but you don’t have to use it. Well, what’s the point?”
In addition, her alternative source of energy must be approved by the city, Eskin ruled. The city contends that using rainwater and solar energy violates the International Property Maintenance Code, which is used in many US and Canadian communities. It“states that properties are unsafe to live in if they do not have electricity and running water,”according to Off The Grid News, though Speronis has both electricity and water.
Eskin also pointed out that several liens were placed on her home given Speronis had used drains but without paying water bills.
“This resident provided testimony at the code compliance hearing that she has been living in the home for the past year and using the city’s wastewater system without paying for the service,” said Connie Barron, a spokeswoman for Cape Coral.
Yet the Magistrate said the city abused its authority by not giving Speronis proper notice of the supposed violations. Speronis was given an eviction notice in November.
City spokeswoman Barron said the sewer would have been capped sooner, but the city decided to wait for the code hearing. The city had actually overlooked Speronis’ setup until she did an interview with a local television station regarding her living arrangements.
Eskin did admit, though, that the city’s code may be obsolete.
“Reasonableness and code requirements don’t always go hand-in-hand … given societal and technical changes (that) requires review of code ordinances,” said Eskin, who actually dropped two of three counts against Speronis.
Speronis’ attorney posited that there’s a conflict in the city’s code, given Speronis has been ordered to hook up to the water system despite city officials’ admittance that she does not have to use it.
“It was a mental fistfight,” Speronis’ attorney Todd Allen said of Eskin’s review of the case.“There’s an inherent conflict in the code.”
For her part, Speronis said she does not intend to hook up to the city’s water system, vowing to appeal the Magistrate’s ruling.
“I know how to live off the grid completely and in a sanitary way,” Speronis said in response to the city’s action, according to The News-Press. “That’s what seven months living in the woods taught me. I do have an alternative toilet from my days of living in the woods.”
The Cape Coral resident said she will dispose of waste just as dog owners do for pets. She also plans to collect wastewater in containers for use in her garden.
Speronis already collects rainwater for bathing and other uses, all while generating electricity with solar panels.
“What happens in the courtroom is much less important than touching people’s hearts and minds,” she told Off The Grid News. “I think that we are continuing to be successful in doing just that and I am so pleased — there is hope! [Friday] morning, as I took my two hour walk, there was a young man, unknown to me, who drove by me, tooted his horn and said, ‘Robin, congratulations on your victory yesterday, keep up the fight and God bless you.’ That is beautiful.”
Putting solar on your home is one of the biggest things you can do to fight climate change. And it could save you money. It’s easier than you might think to go solar for $0 down with Solar City. Get started now and find out if you qualify and how much you could save.
Our leaders aren’t exactly springing into action against climate change.
In fact, it’s downright frustrating that we still have to spend our time telling President Obama not to frack, not to export coal, not to approve the Keystone XL pipeline – instead of embracing more positive solutions.
Luckily, there are positive things we as individuals can do.
Putting solar on your home is one of the biggest. In many places, your energy bill doesn’t have to be very high to be able to save money and get clean energy for your home, with no upfront cost. That’s why CREDO has partnered with Solar City to help you go solar.
Instead of getting energy from fracking and burning coal, or a dirty utility, much of your power could come from the sun: clean, fossil-free, and positive.
With a $0 down solar system, you can make a major impact against climate change AND could save money with no upfront cost. (Solar City even takes care of the maintenance and insurance on your system for the life of your lease.)
If going solar works for you, it’s a true win-win. Finding out online is easy.
Even in the face of inaction by our leaders, there are big things we can do. (This one could also save you money.)
The fight to stop oil exploration in and around Virunga National Park—home to more than half of the world’s endangered mountain gorillas—is gaining considerable momentum, giving me hope that we can protect the Africa equivalent of North America’s Yellowstone.
Help us keep this momentum going! Share the petition with your friends and family and ask them to join you in taking a stand for Virunga:
In this month alone, here’s what happened that encourages me:
We surpassed 650,000 signatures on our petition demanding oil giant Soco International’s immediate retreat from Virunga. Many thanks to you for signing it!
An international agency, the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development, has accepted WWF’s complaint that highlights allegations of lack of transparency and human rights violations related to Soco’s operations in Virunga.
French oil company Total SA, which has an oil concession overlapping Virunga, publicly committed to keeping out of all natural World Heritage Sites.
Please help us keep the momentum going by sharing our petition with your friends. Virunga is home to more varieties of rare plants and animals than any other protected area in Africa. Let’s be the voice that save them in this fight to protect Africa’s oldest national park.
IKEA is in trouble for cutting down 600-year-old trees
According to the U.K.’s Sunday Times, the Forest Stewardship Council has banned disposable-furniture retailer IKEA from cutting down trees in Karelia, Russia. The FSC investigated the Karelia logging operations of Swedwood, the furniture giant’s forestry subsidiary, and found it was cutting down trees that were up to 600 years old.
The Times says that the FSC, an international nonprofit that promotes responsible woodland use, found that Swedwood had several “major deviations” from its logging agreement, which stipulates that the company will back off of old trees and trees growing on slopes (which would erode without root systems holding them in place). So Swedwood’s forestry stewardship certificate has been suspended, which seems like a fitting punishment for lousy forestry stewardship.
IKEA says most of the problems with its Karelia operation have already been corrected, but this isn’t the first time the chain has come under fire, and it said it was improving last time too. Since IKEA uses 1 percent of the world’s wood supply, it’s really important that the company make good on its promise of sustainable logging — not just by phasing out beloved bookshelves, but also by leaving antique trees alone.
Confused Animal Lover from St. Louis writes, “I’m a huge animal lover, and I understand why the circus is bad for animals, but what about zoos?”
Great question! Many people aren’t aware of the cruelty behind zoos, so it’s good that you’re thinking about animals used for entertainment. When I was a kid, I went to the zoo all the time with my family. I loved pandas as a kid (still do!), and I thought being able to see them in person would be neat. But once I saw them “up close and personal,” I realized that the animals were miserable. It instantly became very clear to me that the animals imprisoned in zoos are sad and don’t want to be kept in artificial environments, have people gawk at them, listen to children who bang on the windows of their enclosures, or have cameras flashing in their faces. To put it simply, zoos are imprisoning animals who want to be free.
Captive animals are deprived of everything that is natural and important to them, and as a result, they become bored and lonely and many even suffer from a condition called “zoochosis.” If you’ve ever witnessed a captive animal rock and sway back and forth, you’ve seen the disease firsthand. This condition is so rampant in zoos that some zoos give animals a mood-altering drug, such as Prozac, because the public has started to catch on.
Some animals are so unhappy that they risk their lives in desperate attempts to free themselves. At the Dallas Zoo, a gorilla named Jabari tried to escape by jumping over the walls and moats of his enclosure, only to be fatally shot by police. A witness later confessed that teenagers were taunting him by throwing rocks.
Animals are unable to thrive in small enclosures, especially with unnatural weather and climates. For example, elephants typically walk up to 30 miles in just one day, but Lucy, the lone elephant at the Edmonton Zoo, is locked inside a barn when the zoo is closed and during Edmonton’s frigid winter months, which means she spends most of her time indoors, without much room to move. The near-constant confinement because of the harsh weather has caused Lucy to develop painful arthritis.
In reality, most people only spend a few seconds at each display, waiting for the animals to do something “exciting,” but they gain little, if any, true understanding of the animals. In addition, captive animals don’t get to choose their mates, and they are sometimes artificially inseminated so that their babies can be sold or traded to other zoos. This often results in miscarriages, death at birth, or the mother’s rejection of her young. The Chinese government “rents” pandas to zoos worldwide for fees of more than $1 million per year!
Traveling and roadside zoos are even crueler. Animals are often kept in barren cages, such as concrete pens, and in stressful environments, with nothing more than an old tire or a log to stimulate their minds and enrich their lives. People have also been sickened—and some have died—after contracting diseases from animals in petting zoos.
Instead of going to the zoo, you can learn about animals by watching nature documentaries or observing the animals in their own natural habitats instead. Now that I know the reality behind zoos, I don’t go to the zoo, and I encourage my friends and family to boycott them as well. I love animals, and I want to see them free, not held captive behind bars!
Read more: http://www.peta.org/living/entertainment/reality-zoos/#ixzz2uV3Djfwa
Cruel World: Up to 5,000 healthy zoo animals – including hundreds of larger ones such as giraffes, lions and bears – are killed by zoos in Europe every year
The revelation comes in the wake of the international furore over the killing of Marius, a healthy 18-month-old giraffe, by Copenhagen Zoo. It has since been established that five of the animals have been put down by zoos in Denmark since 2012.
Across Europe, 22 healthy zebras, four hippos and two Arabian Oryx were also put down. The Oryx were killed at Edinburgh and London zoos in 2000 and 2001.
Several German zookeepers were prosecuted in 2010 for killing three tiger cubs at Magdeburg Zoo. However, some zoos, such as Twycross in Warwickshire, have a policy of not putting down healthy animals.
Dr Lesley Dickie, executive director of the European Association of Zoos and Aquaria (Eaza), told BBC Radio 4’s The Report that between 3,000 and 5,000 healthy animals are put down every year across Europe. “That’s our estimate for all animals management euthanised in the zoo, be it tadpoles up until a giraffe,” she said.
She added that “less than a few hundred” larger animals such as giraffes, zebras, lions and bears were included in the total. She said the true number was not known as studbooks sometimes do not record why an animal is killed. Like Marius, some animals are put down as part of a breeding programme designed to encourage genetic diversity in the captive population.
Dr Dickie said if zoo populations became too inbred they would be “absolutely no use for any future reintroduction programme. There’s lots of success stories. Tiger populations are now more stable in our zoos than they are in the wild,” she said. “Things like golden lion tamarins, a small primate from South America – it only exists because of zoos. There are other animals in which the situation in the wild is very dire and thank goodness we have captive populations.”
The Eaza yearbook for 2007-08, the latest available to the public, indicated that over-breeding was a problem for some species with surplus male monkeys, baboons and leopards. Simon Tonge, Eaza’s chairman, admitted that the “numbers game can be made to sound awful”, but insisted most of the public were on their side.
“There is 10, 15 per cent of the population who believe that the worst thing a human being can possibly do under any circumstances is to kill an animal,” he said. “But for the majority of people, if it’s necessary to euthanise an animal for human consumption or to regulate the populations, actually they are perfectly happy for that to happen.”
But Libby Anderson, of animal welfare group OneKind, said the idea that killing zoo animals was part of a conservation effort was misguided. “These animals will never replenish the wild populations. If we want to conserve wild populations, we have to address the challenges that they face in their environment,” she said.
Target: President & CEO of the Wildlife Conservation Society, Cristián SamperGoal: Free elephants imprisoned at the Bronx Zoo and send them to a wildlife sanctuaryFor more than 35 years, three elephants have been on display at the Bronx Zoo in New York City. These creative, intelligent and social animals have been forced to endure frigid East Coast winters spent in small, cramped cages without room to roam freely. Depriving these elephants of a life spent exploring their natural warm weather environment with their herd is enslavement and therefore a violation of their basic rights as living beings.
Happy, Maxine, and Patty have spent nearly four decades imprisoned at the Bronx Zoo, and while the zoo’s staff has certainly done their part to care for the animals as best as they can, it has become clear that the elephants’ needs are not being fully met. To remain warm during the harsh New York City winters, the elephants must be housed in cramped concrete cages for extended periods of time. Even worse, ever since Happy’s companion passed away eight years ago, she has been forced to live alone. This improper care can often result in increased health problems and psychological deterioration, as elephants require a complex social structure for optimal health and wellness.
Although the Bronx Zoo has pledged to “phase out” its elephant exhibit once the next elephant dies, all three of these majestic creatures should be allowed to spend their twilight years enjoying the beauty and freedom of life in a sanctuary. Forcing elephants to endure harsh winters to which they are unaccustomed and sentencing one to solitary confinement despite their social nature is inhumane and cruel.
By signing this petition, you will be urging conservation authorities to free Happy, Maxine, and Patty to a wildlife sanctuary where they can enjoy their remaining years roaming freely.
That report does NOT give the thing a green light by any means of the words. The GOP has actually taken half sentences and ran with it because again, if you actually read that State Department Report issued about the Keystone XL, it has many huge issues with building it. And, if you listen Boehner and whomever is a proponent of the XL, they are acting like this report gives us a complete go ahead when that is NOT what it says. Plus, these same people who call the President a fascist or a monarch or a King are now telling him to blow by any state law and any due process to use his power to sign it. They are yelling out things and acting like he (Obama) can just sign it and boom, it would all be set in place.
That is NOT how it works in America. We have bureaucracies to deal with and again, the Pres. just can’t sign that deal on his own.
Overall, that report is NOT such a great report for the building of the XL.It has many negative issues about it in that report. Even though you would never know that if you listen to our media spew out that one sound bite from people who just lie. Boehner even said yesterday that it would create thousands of jobs and maybe insinuate that the Pres. is holding us back from gaining jobs. When they (jobs relating to building the XL pipeline) would all part-time and for a short period of time. They are NOT permanent jobs. That report says it would create 50 Perm. jobs whereas i maintain it will create 34. Unless they added 16 more in the last two years somewhere, it was 34 by my count 50 seems to be the real number in that report. While thousands would get work building the pipeline and then one its done in a few months, that job is done too.
Most of all, we do NOT need this oil or pipeline at all. A few private companies will make bank money and thats it. Including companies from China mind u, and we have so many other ways and means to deal. We should concentrate on those mediums and not the ones that pollute the earth and not for people that plunder the earth just so they can make a huge amount of money.
Again, a final decision is coming soon: Join more than 77,000 others and Pledge to Resist Keystone XL.
If enough of us show our fierce commitment to opposing Keystone XL in the coming months, we will leave President Obama no choice but to reject it. If you are ready to commit to risk arrest if necessary to oppose Keystone XL, please consider signing the Pledge of Resistance now.
Victory or defeat. One or the other is coming very soon in the fight against Keystone XL.
After years of delays and deferrals, President Obama has for the first time reportedly committed to a final decision on the pipeline in the coming months.1
This is especially significant because a major legal victory for landowners in Nebraska last week invalidated TransCanada’s route through the state, and gives the president an opportunity to keep delaying.2 Instead, it looks increasingly like we will get a final decision shortly after May 7, when the State Department’s national interest determination process is scheduled to conclude.
After yesterday’s report by the State Department Inspector General turned a blind eye to clear conflict of interest in the oil-industry written, sham State Department environmental analysis, the stakes are higher than ever to do everything in our power over the next two months to make our closing case to President Obama - that the “game over for the climate” tar sands pipeline from Canada clearly fails the climate test he set, and that approving it will come at a massive political cost.
We’ve been sending that message since last March, when CREDO, Rainforest Action Network and the Other 98% launched the Pledge of Resistance in response to the State Department’s terrible draft environmental evaluation, and tens of thousands of people committed to risk arrest in their communities if the State Department finds Keystone XL is in the national interest and recommends approval to the president.
CREDO CEO Michael Kieschnick told the president about the Pledge of Resistance face-to-face last year, and the commitment of more than 77,000 people has been incredibly effective in preventing the president from approving.
With a decision coming soon, we need to make our pressure even bigger, and make sure he has no choice but to reject.
As we near a decision, our momentum is building. At the beginning of this month, we mobilized the biggest, rapid-response, on-the-ground demonstration of the Obama administration after the release of the State Department’s final sham environmental evaluation. We’ve since seen strong language from President Obama and Secretary Kerry on the need to fight climate change.3 And then a major blow to TransCanada when its route was invalidated in Nebraska.
In the next two months, we need to grow the resistance to Keystone XL, and send the message that we will be ready to unleash a massive burst of civil disobedience if the State Department’s national interest determination recommends to approval of Keystone XL.
More than 400 local leaders have been trained to lead activists in their communities in civil disobedience if the State Department recommends President Obama approve Keystone XL. More than 100 local action teams have already formed and trained together to take action. In the next two months, we need your help to double that.
Less than three years ago, the approval of Keystone XL was “inevitable.” We had a major setback earlier this year, when construction finished on the southern segment of Keystone XL championed by President Obama — connecting existing tar sands pipelines to Gulf Coast export terminals. But we have still successfully fought off the northern, cross-border section which would enable a massive expansion of tar sands production.
The arrest of over 1,200 people at the Tar Sands Action at the White House in the summer of 2011 was a pivotal moment in stopping approval of Keystone XL. Now, with the commitment of tens of thousands more people, we can win once and for all — and move on to make even bigger progress to reduce the pollution that is causing climate change.
No matter the exact route of Keystone XL, we already know that it will endanger our land, our water, and enable a disastrous expansion of tar sands production. In fact, approving Keystone XL virtually guarantees that President Obama fails to achieve the carbon emission reduction goals central to his climate action plan.4
We know that Keystone XL fails the president’s climate test. But he won’t reject it unless we leave him no choice.
Corporation Exploiting Major Loophole To Quickly Build 600-Mile Tar Sands Pipeline
“Corporation Exploiting Major Loophole To Quickly Build 600-Mile Tar Sands Pipeline“
In the five years since TransCanada submitted its first application to build the Keystone XL pipeline, protesters have held marches and vigils, chained themselves to pipeline trucks, interrupted a presidential speech and gotten themselves purposefully arrested, all in the name of stopping the pipeline.
For Debra Michaud, one of the founders of Tar Sands Free Midwest, getting these activists to just take notice of the pipeline her group has been working to stop since early last year would be a victory.
“Nobody’s heard of it,” Michaud said. “People know Keystone, but nobody’s heard of Flanagan South.”
Unlike Keystone’s northern leg, which has been mired in court challenges and political skirmishes since 2008, Flanagan South is already in the works, after about two years of negotiating with landowners along the route and going through its permitting process. Once completed, it will pass over approximately 1,950 wetlands and waterways, including the Missouri and Mississippi rivers.
But it’s not the threat of spills or the ever-present worry of climate change that concerns Michaud most about Flanagan South. It’s the ease and speed by which the pipeline was approved, using a tactic that Michaud — and a pending Sierra Club lawsuit — says allows companies to bypass certain environmental protection laws to fast-track pipeline projects.
“This is one of the most important fossil fuel issues of our time,” Michaud said. “This is really laying the groundwork for the way they’re going to take over this country with pipelines.”
Once constructed, Flanagan South, an Enbridge project, will be a 589-mile pipeline that will carry tar sands and Bakken crude from Pontiac, IL. to Cushing, OK. The pipeline, which workers began constructing last fall, will have an initial capacity of 600,000 barrels of oil from Canada, North Dakota and Montana per day — by comparison, Keystone XL will be 1,179 miles in its entirety and have a capacity of 830,000 barrels per day.
Since Flanagan South doesn’t cross an international border like Keystone, its approval fell under the jurisdiction of the Army Corps of Engineers, not the State Department. For Flanagan’s approval, the Army Corps used a permitting process calledNationwide Permit 12, a process that gives expedited approval to projects like access roads and pipelinesthat do not “result in the loss of greater than 1/2-acre of waters of the United States for each single and complete project.”
In Flanagan’s case, the Corps treated each of Flanagan’s water crossings — about 1,950 wetlands and waterways — as a single and complete project, thus allowing a pipeline that will impact about 25 acres of streams and 38 acres of wetlands in Missouri aloneto qualify for the NWP 12 process.
That practice of breaking up the pipeline into separate waterway crossings allows it to avoid a project-specific analysis under the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA), says Doug Hayes, a staff attorney for the Sierra Club. Last year, the Sierra Club filed a lawsuit in D.C. federal court claiming that the Army Corps of Engineers approved the pipeline without adequate environmental review or public notice.
“This whole idea is that these are single and complete projects, that each water crossing along a pipeline is a single and complete project — it just sort of goes against what your normal understanding of the words ‘single’ and ‘complete’ are,” Hayes said. “None of the parts of the pipeline that could go through federal waters could exist on their own, none of the easement sections could exist on their own. They all depend on each other for the success of this project.”
The Sierra Club requested that work on Flanagan South stop while the lawsuit was underway, but in November a judge denied that request, saying that the Sierra Club didn’t adequately make the case that the Army Corps’ usage of NWP 12 was inappropriate, or that it violated any NEPA or Clean Water Act rules.
“In the Court’s view, Plaintiffs have significantly overstated the degree of federal involvement in the FS Pipeline in an attempt to shoehorn this essentially private project into the NEPA statute; consequently, at least on the record as it currently stands, Plaintiffs’ claim that NEPA requires a comprehensive environmental review is unlikely to be successful,” U.S. District Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson wrote in the court’s opinion. She continued, “Because every oil pipeline project of any reasonable length is likely to pass over some segment of federal land or waters of the United States, the practical effect of the result that Plaintiffs seek would be to transform NEPA into a statute that requires federal oversight of all domestic oil pipelines (in the form of an environmental review).”
In short, Judge Jackson argued that the less rigorous environmental analysis conducted by the Corps when they reissued the permit in 2012 was sufficient and a full review as mandated by NEPA was not necessary. Jackson heard the Sierra Club’s suit in court on February 21, and will decide in the coming weeks whether or not their claims have merit. The Army Corps declined to comment to ThinkProgress on the Sierra Club’s claims, citing the ongoing litigation.
The Sierra Club argues that the analysis and public comment period for NWP 12 as a whole isn’t enough. Under NEPA, the Environmental Protection Agency is required to conduct an Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) and allow for public comments. Since Flanagan South was approved under NWP 12, it didn’t require a project-specific EIS or public commenting period. The lack of project-specific public comment, Hayes said, left the public in the dark.
“When we were talking to people along the pipeline route, many of them were surprised and shocked to learn that there was this major tar sands pipeline being approved without any public involvement whatsoever in their backyards,” Hayes said. “So no, there was not adequate public awareness of this. There still isn’t.”
Michaud said Enbridge did hold open houses for residents along the pipeline’s route, but described them as the company coming in and “selling a bill of goods” to the public. Enbridge said in August that they held 12 open houses to educate the public about the project.
“We’ve been out there, we’ve been open, we’ve been transparent with this project from the get-go,” Enbridge spokeswoman Katie Lange told the St. Louis Post Dispatch.
“This idea that the Corps can approve a 5-or 600-mile pipeline under NWP 12, and no agency has to ever do a project-specific NEPA analysis — that is something that’s new and I believe started with Keystone XL,” Hayes said.
So far, Flanagan South’s history with NWP 12 has closely followed Keystone XL’s. When the group found out about the permitting process for Keystone XL’s southern leg, the Sierra Club filed a lawsuit similar to the one against Flanagan South, asking for a temporary injunction while the lawsuit was active and challenging that the Corps’ approval of Keystone XL violated NEPA and Clean Water Act laws.
In August 2012, the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Oklahoma denied the Sierra Club’s request for injunction, saying, like the Judge in the Flanagan South injunction case, that the Corp’s use of NWP 12 for Keystone XL was acceptable and the more thorough environmental review was not required.
As the pipeline’s construction moves forward at an accelerated pace, it’s the threat of oil spills that worries Earl Hatley, Riverkeeper of the Grand River Watershed in Oklahoma, most about Flanagan South. Enbridge is required to submit a spill response plan to the Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration, but ithasn’t made that plan public.
The fact that Enbridge is the company in charge has Hatley particularly concerned. The company was responsible for a July 2010 pipeline break that spilled up to 1,000,000 gallons of tar sands crude into a tributary of the Kalamazoo River, the largest on-land oil spill in U.S. history. More than three years later, oil is still being removed from the affected area after Enbridge missed an EPA deadline to have cleanup completed by the end of 2013.
Hatley said if a spill made its way into Oklahoma’s waterways, it would devastate the state economically, due to the high level of fishing, camping and other tourism activity in the area. But he’s also concerned about the impact the extraction and use of tar sands oil is having on the climate, and has been dismayed by the way the Army Corps has treated the Flanagan South and Keystone XL cases. He said he’s had a hard time getting any information from the Corps, even from those members whom he has known and worked with on other environmental issues.
“I’ve been an environmental organizer since 1969, so basically all my adult life, and this is one of the toughest things that I’ve fought,” he said. “Primarily because there’s no rules and regulations governing it that I can find. They’re skirting the environmental laws. It’s almost like they’re making it up.”
Distracted By Keystone
Despite the fact that this permitting process has played a role in the Keystone XL fight, Michaud says it’s been hard to spread the word about Flanagan South and what NWP 12 means for future pipelines.
“Your average environmentalist has no idea that this is going on,” she said. “Like your average environmental activist — not just the person who sends a $25 check — but your activist who’s in the streets does not know about this.”
Michaud is trying, with Tar Sands Free Midwest, to raise enough money to create a short, animated film about Flanagan and NWP 12′s role in the permitting process. She also wants to tour the length of the pipeline to talk to more families and hold educational open houses along the route. But she said the technical nature of the NWP 12 process and the focus on Keystone XL makes it difficult for other, larger environmental groups to spread the word about Flanagan South.
“At this point, it’s a question of how do you put this on the map so that the big groups even want to take it on?” she said.
Hayes said the lack of public notice about the pipeline has also allowed Flanagan South to largely fly under the radar. But learning about Flanagan South is learning about NWP 12, and if the court strikes down the Sierra Club’s lawsuit over NWP 12, the process will likely be used for more U.S. pipelines in the future.
“It’s not just a matter of one pipeline — there are a number of different pipelines that are all trying to do the same thing and that’s allow the tar sands development to increase in Canada by getting increasing amounts to the market,” Hayes said. “I think that while the public has been largely focused on Keystone XL, the Corps and other agencies are quietly approving these projects without allowing the public to become involved in any way.”
Overheard: A conversation between two moms, concerned about the effects of natural gas development on their families’ health. One woman is from upstate New York, which sits atop natural gas reserves in the Marcellus Shale and has imposed a moratorium on hydraulic fracturing.
“We’ve got to ban fracking completely,” she says. “It is too risky, our watershed is too vulnerable–millions of people will suffer if our water is contaminated.”
The other mom is from Pennsylvania, into which the Marcellus Shale extends.
“Fine for you to talk about a ban,” she says. “But fracking is already here–and its been here for a long time. We can’t talk about a ban. We have to talk about rules. We need help. We need protection.”
Moms Clean Air Force supports the rights of communities to ban hydraulic fracturing. Indeed, the engagement, concern, and activism that leads people to fight for bans is pushing legislators into doing something else we support: creating strong regulations to govern natural gas at every stage of its development.
Recently, over the protests of much of the oil and gas industry, Colorado became the first state in the country to adopt strong air pollution rules against leaking methane (the main component of natural gas and a powerful greenhouse gas) as well as the toxic volatile organic compounds that lead to the formation of ozone. Governor John Hickenlooper had challenged the industry to clean up its emissions after four communities had voted to ban fracking outright.
For almost a year, state officials hammered out these new rules in negotiations with the Environmental Defense Fund, other environmental groups, and three of the state’s largest oil and gas producers. With the new rules, which cover a range of sources of methane emissions, Colorado will become the first state to require that companies regularly inspect for methane leaks, in some cases as often as once a month, and repair faulty equipment.
Colorado is the sixth-largest producer of natural gas; it has seen a boom–the highest oil and gas production in 55 years. With that has come a thick smog along Colorado’s beautiful Front Range–exceeding federal ozone guidelines, and endangering people’s health.
Natural gas releases half the carbon of coal when it burns. But when it leaks uncombusted, it is mostly methane, a potent greenhouse gas. For the first 20 years after it enters the atmosphere, methane is more than 84 times more potent that carbon dioxide in trapping heat, according to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. Over a few decades, methane breaks down to carbon dioxide, which lingers for hundreds of years.
Of course, methane emissions are not the only problems caused by fracking; water and chemical contamination issues loom large for many of us, as do extreme traffic and noise problems, as development gets closer to people’s homes and schools. In a study done in rural Colorado, researchers recently found that women living near natural gas wells had babies with more congenital heart defects compared to women with fewer wells nearby.
Natural gas development in Montana, Arkansas, Wyoming, Texas, Colorado, North Dakota, West Virginia, Pennsylvania and Ohio is creating an energy boom for the US–along with a challenge to our health and safety. Those of us who ban fracking in our communities still turn on the lights and power up our computers each and every day. Most of us are benefiting from the gas boom. So we owe it to the people who live where gas is harvested–indeed, we owe it to the whole world that will suffer the effects of climate change along with us–to harvest that gas as safely as humanly possible.
Actually, this is directed at SeaWorld and not the people that made that movie. I am glad that film brought more attention to this issue than ever. So whatever, but satirically speaking here, I think SeaWorld and its rep’s really think that people out there believe that this is a normal way to act toward marine mammals.
It does not take a movie to tell a human with a brain that it is NOT normal to steal a whale or Dolphins (or seals although they may love getting fed 24/7) from its vast oceans to house it in some pool the size of ours in our back yard. They were not put on this planet to be trained to balance a ball on its nose (so to speak).
Thats is NOT normal and I have never even seen the movie. I can care less about the movie as far as my activism goes because that movie and its content is long overdue for decades now. So, whatever campaign SeaWorld tries to embark on to say that movie is false or whatever is a non issue because again, it does not take a film to tell normal people with brains that this is a practice set up to make money and thats it.
SeaWorld is NOT doing this for marine biology or for our education of the oceans or to teach the world about mammals. They are doing it to make themselves money.
And, it’s not necessary. If you need to watch a dolphin jump through a hoop, get a life. Find anything else to occupy your time or I’ll tell you something way better because if you are at SeaWorld, than you are in fricking San Diego and Orlando for gods sakes….go to the beach to swim with the Dolphins yourselves.
OK. It won’t balance a ball on its nose but so what. You can swim with Dolphins and get near Whales very easily today and especially near SD and off the FLA coasts.
Stop being lazy humans.
And, anyone with a brain. Think. Think about it. Is that what you would want for your life? It’s no different than jail or its more like slavery. Thats the practice .its the age old practice of slavery. People just take whatever for free basically (minus operations costs of course but they had that in slavery period anyway) and in some cases they kill it if it’s no use for them and in other cases they get that thing to work for them for food and for modest housing that the owners set up for their slaves.
A rainforest that’s home to 10-15% of all species on earth — including the last remaining 400 Sumatran tigers — is being methodically destroyed in Indonesia.
Yet, despite this terrible fact, I’m optimistic. I’m not writing to tell you about extinction or catastrophe. I’m writing because I believe we’re on the verge of a historic moment that could change everything. To get there, I need your help.
Greenpeace launched a new global campaign this month demanding that big name brands cut their links to dirty palm oil — the leading cause of deforestation in Indonesia. And the pressure is working — new companies are announcing No Deforestation policies almost weekly.
But a few key corporate holdouts are stalling the progress. If we get these companies to commit, we can transform the palm oil industry in Indonesia for good.
Changing corporation’s palm oil policies won’t just help protect Indonesian rainforest. When major brand start demanding no deforestation palm oil, suppliers around the world will have to stop cutting down forests to keep their customers. This single campaign could protect forests across the globe from destruction for palm oil plantations.
We are at the tipping point to utterly transform the entire palm oil industry. Do that, and we’re well on our way to achieving our goal of zero deforestation globally by 2020.
The Horse Protection Act prohibits the showing and transporting of horses who have been “sored,” which involves the application of caustic chemicals and other painful training methods used to force horses to perform an artificially high-stepping gait for show competitions. Horse industry organizations are the industry’s self-policing groups that operate alongside the USDA to conduct inspections at Tennessee walking horse competitions.
The appellants in the current appeal include the individual horse show participants but not SHOW. Their arguments have already been rejected by the district court, and The HSUS’ brief makes clear that they have no legal foundation.
— Photo not filed with this Release.
Stop Ignoring Ongoing Dog Abuse
Target: Representative Sannie Overly
Goal: Create more effective laws against dog-chaining Kentucky’s animal abuse laws are consistently reported as the worst in the country. Stronger legislation is desperately needed to enforce any meaningful punishment.
Click Here; Sign Here: http://animalpetitions.org/3415/stop-ignoring-ongoing-dog-abuse/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=stop-ignoring-ongoing-dog-abuse&utm_source=Animal+Petitions&utm_campaign=d8530916b0-RSS_EMAIL_CAMPAIGN&utm_medium=email&utm_term=0_5c8ef52732-d8530916b0-77706393Several US states including Kentucky have laws banning or regulating dog chaining. Unfortunately, initial penalties are often as small as “warnings” or $50 fines. In some locations, there is no indication that the animal will be taken away from the abuser once the abuse is discovered. These shortcomings greatly reduce the intended purpose of the legislation, which is to remove dogs from harm and prevent future abuses.
Chaining often creates dangerous and unnecessary restrictions that prevent a dog from caring for itself. A lack of food, water, shelter, and mobility are all common problems that infringe on an animal’s freedom. Furthermore, dogs are referred to as “pack animals,” meaning that they need contact with other dogs or people so as not to be distressed. Chaining an animal to a post for the majority of its life is senseless neglect.
Please sign and share this petition to create widespread awareness of this unacceptable crime and the lack of legislation in place to prevent it. By calling on the worst state in the country, we can encourage a standard for the entire nation.
When a nuclear reprocessing plant owned by Sellafield Ltd. built a new security fence around the facility, they accidentally trapped 12 roe deer inside the fence perimeter. The company claims the best solution to the problem is to kill the deer. Condemn this plan and demand the release or relocation of the deer immediately.
The roe deer is a relatively small deer native to much of Europe and is part of the local landscape in Sellafield, England. When a new set of security fences were constructed at the Sellafield nuclear reprocessing site, about 12 of the deer were trapped in a large section between the fences. Sellafield Ltd., in consultation with the government, decided that killing the animals would be the most humane option. When residents of the nearby community of Seascale found out about the planned cull, they set up protests around the facility and are rallying the people to save this herd of deer.
These deer were in the wrong place at the wrong time and are now facing the death penalty for it. Sellafield Ltd. is claiming that killing the deer is in the deer’s best interests and is the least stressful option for the deer. It is extremely likely that if the deer had a say in it they would rather suffer a little stress then be killed. Demand that Tony Price, Managing Director at Sellafield Ltd. relocate the trapped deer and save them from an untimely death.
Target: Boone County Animal Services Operations Supervisor Roger Tresemer
Goal: Shut down inhumane puppy mill and prevent callous breeder from owning animalsA dog breeder in Illinois keeps her puppies in small wire cages that are stacked on top of each other, forcing the dogs to defecate and urinate on the other puppies below. The cages are left in her two-car garage year-round, even during ice-cold Midwestern winters. Various breeds of puppies are kept in that chilly dungeon, including Boston Terriers, French and English bulldogs, Pekinese, pugs and more. These cramped, unsanitary quarters are a breeding ground for life-threatening illnesses and many of the animals in this heartless woman’s care suffer from serious health issues.
Visitors to the breeding establishment have reported that one of the dogs is missing its eye, another is missing an eyelid, and several appear emaciated. Many of the dogs also suffer with hair loss and given the poor living conditions, it is probable that many of them suffer with mange, which is highly contagious. According to witnesses, one puppy was seen dragging itself along the concrete floor in distress while another was believed to be suffering from internal bleeding. The breeder reportedly admitted to administering her own medical care, so the dogs never receive proper veterinary care.
Females are impregnated within two to three months after having a litter, meaning that there is a constant stream of puppies being forcefully born into these disgusting conditions. Several residents in Boone County have reported the breeder for her horrid mistreatment of these animals, however, her breeding establishment still has not been shut down.
By signing this petition, you will be urging local animal control officials to close this cruel puppy mill, save the puppies that are currently in the breeder’s care and hold her accountable for the abuse and neglect that she has inflicted upon these innocent animals.
Target: Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack, United States Department of AgricultureGoal: Protect animals from cruel rodeo-like practices at an event known as the charreadaThough the rodeo industry has a history of contentious animal welfare issues, some of which are addressed by regulations, the charreada—a competitive event similar to rodeo—is another animal entirely. Events typically feature dangerous and stressful practices, among them horse-tripping and bull-rolling, which can lead to serious injury or even death. Demand a crackdown on these cruel and dangerous practices.Horse tripping is one of the most criticized practices in these rodeos, and for good reasons. In these events, a horse is chased by participants, known as charros, who must rope either the front or hind legs and bring the horse down. Aside from serious, even life-threatening injury from smashing to the ground at high speeds, horses are subjected to rope burns, dislocation, and the stress of pursuit. Nor are they spared from repeated use; horses are often subjected to tripping until serious injury or lameness occurs. Horse tripping is banned by the Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association, which sanctions and regulates rodeos, but that has not ended the practice at charreadas.
Horse tripping is not the only event deserving of scrutiny and greater regulation. Steer-tailing, another common practice, involves slamming a steer to the ground by grabbing the tail. This can result in degloving of tails—meaning the flesh is ripped off—as well as broken bones, spinal injuries, or organ damage. In another event known as the pass of death, a charro must jump from his horse onto the back of an unbroken and loose horse and ride it to exhaustion.
Regardless of traditional significance, cruel and abusive practices for entertainment should not be tolerated. Sanctioned and registered events are more highly regulated and subject to stricter regulations, yet still pose a danger as horse-tripping is allowable. Regulations have yet to comprehensively address these concerns and issues, and unsanctioned events pose an even greater obstacle to tackling abuse and cruelty in charreadas. The true extent of injury and death remain unknown. The government must take action to crack down on and regulate these events to prevent the abuse of animals and ensure their welfare.
The wildlife repository at the Rocky Mountain Arsenal National Wildlife Refuge outside of Denver is a warehouse that contains a staggering quantity of seized illegal wildlife products. There are over 1 million specimens in the room—tons of ivory, animal parts illegally poached for fashion, decor and more—that have been confiscated by United States’ authorities.
The good news is that tide is turning. The US and the world have started to take a stand against wildlife crime and the demand that fuels it.
Just a few weeks ago, the Obama administration showed an unprecedented commitment to tackling wildlife crime by releasing the first-ever National Strategy for Combating Wildlife Trafficking. The plan includes an ambitious set of actions to stop the multibillion dollar illegal wildlife trade and elevate the seriousness of wildlife crime in US law and foreign policy. It also includes bold steps by the administration to greatly restrict commercial trade of elephant ivory in the US—something that WWF’s leadership played a role in shaping.
Meanwhile, following the examples set most recently by the United States, China and France, more countries are taking action to show that they will not tolerate illegal wildlife trafficking. This past Friday, Chad destroyed 1.2 tons of illegal ivory. Government officials from Tanzania and Ethiopia have stepped up as well, pledging to either crush or burn any illegal ivory confiscated within their borders.
And, in an unprecedented move, heads of state, ministers and other high-level representatives from 46 countries—including those most heavily impacted by poaching and illegal trade of wildlife—came together in London on February 13 to sign a joint declaration to stop illegal wildlife trade.
The momentum is shifting around the world. WWF is helping to make a difference. And we need your support.
We are pushing for more action. In March, President Obama’s Advisory Council on Wildlife Trafficking will meet again to discuss implementation of the US National Strategy on Wildlife Trafficking. By stemming the demand for illegal wildlife products, we can ensure that wildlife has a fighting chance for survival.
Goal: Protect elephants by banning all ivory sales in one of the nation’s largest markets
The illegal ivory trade claims up to 100 elephants each day. Out of the 350,000 to 500,000 animals estimated to remain, poachers target between 30,000 and 35,000 elephants a year. For the sake of making ivory jewelry and other trinkets, the relentless slaughter of elephants continues. We might even start to see species like the African forest elephant become extinct, says Elizabeth Bennett of the Wildlife Conservation Society.
A legal loophole allows this slaughter to continue. To allow for antiques like piano keys and older works of art, the sale of ivory from elephants killed before 1989, when the ivory trade was outlawed worldwide, is still legal. Yet, ivory tusks can easily be darkened to look older, and even the most expensive radioactive testing fails to detect the time of killing consistently.
The U.S., France, and even China have taken to destroying illegal stockpiles of ivory to warn poachers and ivory traffickers against continuing their violence. Now, the state of New York is debating a prohibition on the ivory trade altogether, according to the New York Times, banning ivory until African elephants receive adequate protections. The logic: penalties for illegal ivory trading are currently minimal, while wildlife state authorities struggle to enforce the existing ban. New York State Assemblyman Robert Sweeney encourages all states to stop issuing permits for trading ivory until we can slow down the killing of the animals.
Flawed laws leave elephants vulnerable to greater slaughter. In the absence of effective legal protections, elephant populations continue to disappear. By banding together, states can send a powerful message that poaching and trafficking these animals just for their tusks will not be tolerated. New York is poised to take the lead on this initiative. Please sign the petition below and help end the slaughter of elephants once and for all.
Dear Mr. Silver,
I am writing to you in regards to the New York State Assembly’s proposed ban on the ivory trade. As you know, the measure would outlaw trade in ivory taken from elephants killed both before and after 1989, when the ivory trade was outlawed worldwide. I encourage you to take leadership in passing the ban and uniting the assembly on this crucial issue.
Home to one of our nation’s largest ivory markets, New York has the opportunity to send a powerful message to poachers and traffickers that slaughtering these majestic animals just for their tusks is unacceptable. The longer we wait to enact this ban, the more elephants we lose for the sake of trinkets and other trifling items. I appeal to you in order to help save a species, and an ecosystem, from extinction. Please use your leadership to stop the merciless killing of these animals.
[Your Name Here]
Photo Credit: Wikimedia Commons
Chengeta Wildlife is a group of people from around the world who formed a nonprofit organization to support Rory Young and the work he does. He has skills and knowledge that the teams protecting wildlife badly need to protect themselves and wildlife. If enough funding is generated we would like to purchase tactical equipment needed by the teams. Things like night vision goggles, thermal sensing equipment and motion sensing cameras.
Rangers and scouts are brave men who risk their lives to protect wildlife. They may face heavily armed poachers, sometimes ex-guerrilla fighters that are hired by ivory smuggling syndicates. These rangers need to have the best training and anti-poaching strategy possible and that is what we provide.
Rory Young is an expert professional tracker with knowledge and practical ability gained over many years in the bush. Since his childhood, he has developed an amazing database of knowledge and skills and a highly developed intuition to become one of the best in his field. By looking at human tracks or “spoor” he can form a description of a person. Approximate height, weight, age, how fast they are traveling, if they are fit, when they were in the area and if they were carrying a load. At times he can tell if they are carrying weapons. His training is highly sought after.
Together they have worked out an anti-poaching “doctrine”, which they are currently putting into writing in the form of a “Field Manual For Anti-Poaching Operations”.
Young has been implementing this “doctrine” or methodology in the field, most importantly, with in-service or in-patrol training on the ground with scouts and/or rangers, depending on the country and the needs. He spends up to eighteen hours a day training and patrolling with them. The strategy to stop poachers in the area is laid out in detail. The results have been impressive, especially considering in each case there has been minimal added costs of personnel or equipment to achieve those results. It is a case of teaching already capable people in situ how to stop the poaching intelligently.
A Los Angeles City Council committee recommended a moratorium on fracking Tuesday, citing the state’s drought, residents’ health concerns and what the practice could mean for the city in the event of an earthquake.
The full L.A. City Council is expected to consider the issue on Friday. Fracking is a technique used to extract natural gas or oil from rock layers deep within the earth. The drought was cited because large volumes of water are used in the process.
“There’s a way of drilling for oil and natural gas that many scientists are saying could cause earthquakes and contaminate our drinking water,” said Councilman Mike Bonin, who authored the moratorium motion along with Councilman Paul Koretz. “And all this motion says is there should be scientific proof that fracking and other unconventional drilling is safe before it is allowed to continue.”
If the full council approves the moratorium, the city will conduct its own study on health effects. The ban was opposed by the Western States Petroleum Association and local business groups.
“We feel these proposals are premature — if at all needed,” said Ruben Gonzalez with the L.A. Area Chamber of Commerce. A ban will lead, Gonzalez said, to “dirtier energy from outside the state, a loss of jobs, loss of millions in revenue to government.”
Committee members could not say precisely how much fracking takes place within the city limits, but Bonin said: “Fracking and unconventional drilling are largely unregulated and we don’t know the true extent of the threats here in Los Angeles. Make no mistake, a lot of people say there’s not a lot of fracking in Los Angeles. Fracking and other unconventional drilling is happening here in Los Angles and without the oversight and review to keep our neighborhoods safe.”
What is generally considered the largest urban oil field in the country includes parts of Culver City, Baldwin Hills and Inglewood — outside the L.A. city limits.
The Chamber of Commerce’s Gonzalez asked that the city wait for the California Department of Natural Resources to conduct an independent study of fracking, which was called for in State Sen. Fran Pavley’s bill when it was approved last year.
A WILDLIFE watchdog fears mock warfare and missile fire may be harming whales and dolphins, causing them to flee Scotland’s marine tourism hotspots.
The Hebridean Whale and Dolphin Trust’s (HWDT) concern over the effect that the Joint Warrior exercise may have on cetaceans is highlighted in its newly published annual report.
The UK-led land, air and sea exercise, the largest tactically focused exercise in Europe, is staged off Scotland’s north west coast each spring and autumn, featuring submarine warfare, loud missile and small arms firing. Now the trust has announced that it plans to send its survey vessel, the Silurian, into the mock war zone this autumn to monitor the effects.
Joint Warrior can see up to 85 aircraft, 22 ships and three submarines taking part and the north west of Scotland, with its low population and combination of deep and shallow water, is seen as an ideal location.
But the area is renowned for its plentiful array of spectacular wildlife, which is the lifeblood of its marine tourism industry.
The report states: “HWDT has ongoing environmental concerns regarding the military exercises that take place on the west coast of Scotland, specifically the Joint Warrior exercises.”
Kerry Froud, Marine Biodiversity Officer for the trust, said yesterday: “There is a lot of concern and that is why we are hoping to go ahead with the survey.
“There are different worries, including that if the sonar from the vessels is quite intense it could rupture the eardrums of whales and dolphins and there could be an issue with seals too. Whales and dolphins use echo location to hunt prey and to navigate and if the sound is interfered with it can interfere with their navigation.
“Another concern is that it could scare them away. It has been documented by different people – there are eyewitness accounts of minke whales fleeing the area, people have seen that here in the Hebrides, so it’s trying to work out if it is related.”
The ten-day survey is scheduled to take place during the two-week long autumn 2014 Joint Warrior exercise, said Miss Froud, adding that the organisers were co-operating with the trust over the monitoring plan.
The trust carries out frequent marine surveys and notes any changes in cetacean behaviour during the exercise. Acoustic recordings will also be made.
Military activity is not the only threat to whales and dolphins according to the report, which states that 70 per cent of marine litter collected by the trust last year was plastic, which can cause harm if creatures become entangled in it or digest it.
There were 792 sightings of marine creatures reported to the trust in west coast waters last year, while its own research vessel team made 722 marine observations. The most common sighting reported was harbour porpoise, with 316 recorded compared to 173 the previous year. Reports of basking sharks however, declined to 32 last year compared to 68 in 2012.
Miss Froud said: “The weather conditions were better in 2013 than 2012 which may have something to do with the number of porpoise sightings, but we are not really sure about the basking shark numbers.”
A Ministry of Defence spokesman said: “The MoD is committed to taking all reasonable and practical measures to protect the environment and mitigate effects on marine mammals.
“Environmental Impact Assessments have been produced where required, such as for the use of active sonar and live weapons, as well as consultation with landowners, national stakeholders and local communities to ensure appropriate mitigation procedures are put in place.”
Ed Sibylline : conclusion, the number of stranding is expected to rise further!
Goal: Protect pets from being stolen and slaughtered for meat in China
The consumption of dog and cat meat is especially popular in China, because it is believed that the meats have medicinal properties such as generating heat and stimulating body warmth. Many of the animals are either stolen pets or diseased strays snatched off of the streets. Further investigations have shown that the animals undergo inhumane and brutal treatment before their slaughter.
Each year, thousands of dogs and cats suffer from cruel preparation methods and unsanitary slaughterhouses. After being stolen from their owners and their homes, they are transported to slaughterhouses in trucks containing hundreds of other caged cats and dogs. The treatment of these animals prior to their butchery is enough to turn even the strongest stomachs. Many of them are skinned alive or thrown, thrashing and yelping, into boiling vats of water as a means of removing their fur. They suffer excruciating pain at the hands of people who feel no remorse towards these kind animals.
Unfortunately, many people in China who have lost their canine or feline companions have no way of knowing for sure if their missing pets were butchered and sold at meat stalls. The fact that this could be a viable outcome for their beloved pets is an incredibly sad truth. Sign this petition to raise awareness and stop the slaughter and consumption of these companion animals.
Dear President Xi Jinping,
In has sadly come to my attention that many of the cats and dogs who are being slaughtered for their meat are in fact stolen animal companions. In other words, pets are being taken from their homes and owners. These cats and dogs are forced to endure excruciating amounts of pain before they are brutally slaughtered.
I ask that you consider making the trade of dog and cat meat illegal. Not only are the animals treated inhumanely, they are butchered in extremely unsanitary slaughterhouses. The filthy conditions in which the animals are slaughtered have the potential to negatively affect the health and well-being of the people consuming the meats.
Dogs and cats should not be butchered, because they are friends of humankind. The people of China who are missing their feline or canine companions should not have to wonder if their pets were stolen and butchered for consumption.
Please join with your fellow IDA activists, Direct Action Everywhere, and other local animal advocates as we speak out against the abhorrent use of animals in testing and research at UC Berkeley. Five animals recently died of thirst in a UC Berkeley laboratory due to the egregious neglect of laboratory staff. Please help spread the message that vivisection is not the answer to our health needs; rather, it is often dangerous for human health, horrifically cruel, and a waste of taxpayers’ dollars.
We’ve just launched a historic courtroom battle against the Navy to stop its heartless and deadly assault on whales.
We’re taking on the Navy’s legal guns for the sake of whale survival.
Help us wage and win this courtroom battle — and save thousands of marine mammals from needless suffering and death
The Navy estimates it could kill nearly 1,000 marine mammals over the next five years during routine training and testing with dangerous sonar and explosives. There will be more than 13,000 serious injuries, such as permanent hearing loss or lung damage.
NRDC has moved swiftly to file suit against the Navy in federal court.
The Navy’s ships will be blasting ocean waters with nearly 300,000 hours of deafening mid-frequency sonar — the kind of lethal noise that has been shown to cause whales’ internal organs to hemorrhage.
They’ll also be conducting torpedo tests, bombing exercises and underwater explosions — some 1.1 million of these events overall. That’s an average of about one detonation every two minutes for the next five years … many of them in and around sensitive whale habitat.
Here’s the kicker: the Navy has adamantly refused to take precautions that would help save whales — such as avoiding vital areas where whales are known to migrate and raise their young. Mind you, putting these simple safeguards in place would not compromise military readiness one iota.
Please make an emergency donation to help NRDC challenge the Navy’s plan and win the kind of protections that whales so urgently need and deserve.
Our legal challenge takes direct aim at the Navy’s plans to test and train off the coasts of Southern California and Hawaii — some of our country’s most biologically rich and diverse waters, home to at least 39 species of marine mammals, including endangered blue whales and fin whales, as well as vulnerable populations of beaked whales.
Make no mistake: the Navy’s wholesale assault on whales is almost certainly illegal.Our environmental laws obligate the Navy to take steps to prevent whales from stranding, suffering and dying.
But unless compassionate citizens like you and me take the whales’ plight to heart and hold the Navy accountable, the killing of whales will continue unabated — for five long years.
I’m sure you agree: not a single whale should have to die for military practice, much less hundreds of them. The courts are their best and last line of defense. I hope you will stand alongside NRDC as we wage this legal fight for the sake of whale survival.