Environment

Environment

'Rhythms Del Mundo: Africa' At World Bank's Connect4Climate Event

Artist Project Earth (APE) has recently joined forces with the World Bank’s Connect4Climate (C4C) initiative and is collaborating on C4C’s “campaign, coalition, and community that cares about climate

Stop Arctic Drilling From Harming Polar Bears

The Chukchi Sea off the northwest coast of Alaska is home to one of America's two populations of threatened polar bears and the only population of Pacific walrus. These great species of the Chukchi are losing their sea-ice habitat at an alarming rate, but that's not the only thing they have to worry about: Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar wants to let Big Oil drill in their home.

This summer, thanks to a lawsuit brought by the Center for Biological Diversity and our allies, a federal court directed Secretary Salazar to redo the analysis of the environmental impacts of a massive Bush-era oil and gas lease sale in the Chukchi Sea.

But now, just two months later, Salazar has issued a draft document that leaves unanswered hundreds of questions about the impacts of drilling in the Arctic Ocean -- and the potential threat of a spill in those waters.

Don't let Secretary Salazar oil the Arctic. Please act now to tell Salazar that vulnerable Arctic species deserve better than his rushed and incomplete environmental analysis.

Click here to find out more and to take action.

Tell President Obama to increase fuel efficiency standards for cars and trucks

Every day our cars and trucks guzzle an eye-popping 378 million gallons of gasoline, spewing millions of tons of global warming pollution into the air. This accounts for about 40 percent of U.S. oil consumption, with freight trucks adding another 14 percent.

Saving oil in transportation is crucial for reducing our perilous foreign energy dependence and addressing the climate challenge. Improving vehicle technology also would keep our domestic auto industry competitive in a world where fuel efficiency has become a significant advantage in the global marketplace.

Help protect Arctic wildlife

The Western Arctic Reserve may be less well-known than the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge, but its wildlife populations are every bit as unique, spectacular and endangered.

Please take a minute to ask the Obama Administration to grant the strongest possible protection to the Western Arctic Reserve.

Nearly a century ago, the Western Arctic Reserve was set aside as a “National Petroleum Reserve”, but it remains one of our continent’s last, largely untouched tracts of wilderness and wildlife habitat.

The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) is developing a new area-wide plan for the Reserve, providing an ideal opportunity to safeguard its greatest natural treasures -- so-called “Special Areas” -- from destructive oil and gas development.

These Special Areas -- some established at the direction of Congress in the late 1970’s and others proposed by conservationists -- include the Colville River, Teshekpuk Lake, Utukok Uplands, Kasegaluk Lagoon, Dease Inlet, Peard Bay, Ikpikpuk River and the DeLong Mountains and Foothills Special Areas.

The vast network of coastal lagoons, deep lakes, sedge grass meadows and streams that make up the prized Teshekpuk Lake region provide the critical calving grounds for one of the largest caribou herds in Alaska, as well as summer habitat for polar bears. A staggering variety of birds also take refuge in these wetlands, some migrating from as far south as Antarctica.

Along the northwestern coast of the Western Arctic Reserve, up to 3,500 beluga whales gather in the Kasegaluk Lagoon every year to feed and bear their young.

The vast wilderness of the Reserve supports more than just Arctic wildlife. Inupiat Eskimos have subsisted here for thousands of years by following the caribou herds.

Many of these areas have not yet been disturbed, and this may be our last best chance to preserve them for the future. Please tell the BLM that it’s time to grant the Western Arctic Reserve the protection it deserves.

Thank you for taking action to protect our last Arctic wildlands and wildlife.

Help Make Earth Day About Overpopulation

Overpopulation is at the root of all environmental problems, but you wouldn't know it from listening to most environmental groups. The topic is rarely discussed, even though unsustainable human population growth is eating up wildlife habitat, polluting water, overfishing the oceans, and driving species extinct.

Overpopulation is the most important -- and most ignored -- environmental problem on the planet. Help us change that by donating to our Earth Day Overpopulation Fund.

Building on the spectacular success of our Valentine's Day launch of the Endangered Species Condom project, we will distribute a quarter of a million funny, edgy, conversation-provoking Endangered Species Condoms in all 50 states this Earth Day, April 22. With your help, it will be one of the biggest overpopulation campaigns in U.S. history.

Our six condom packages have beautiful drawings of endangered species and funny sayings like "Wear with care, save the polar bear" on the outside. Inside, they explain how species are being crowded off the planet by an ever-growing human population, and what people can do about it.

The packages are designed to get people talking about overpopulation. And boy, do they work. We tested them on Valentine's Day, expecting 100 volunteer distributors to come forward. An astounding 5,000 people volunteered taking all 100,000 condoms in just a couple of days!

As planned, the media ate it up. We generated funny but deadly serious conversations about overpopulation and the extinction crisis in hundreds of newspapers including The New York Times, L.A. Times, Miami Herald, and Boston Globe. More than 300,000 blogs and Web sites covered the issue.

Please help us ramp up the campaign now with a generous gift to our Earth Day Overpopulation Fund. It's the perfect opportunity to reach hundreds of thousands of people at Earth Day events across the country. We need to raise $50,000 in the next week to make it happen. With $50,000, our staff can produce and distribute a quarter-million Endangered Species Condoms on Earth Day and double our overpopulation activist network.

It is imperative that we break the wall of silence around overpopulation. If we don't, all the environmental progress we make will be overwhelmed by the sheer mass of people pushing into the last wildlife habitats, eating the last fish, and damming the last wild rivers.

I hope you'll commit now to support this critical, creative project and help us distribute a quarter of a million condoms for Earth Day 2010.

Santa Barbara Celebrates Earth Day's 40th Anniversary with Earth Day Festival

On April 17-18, thousands of communities around the world will celebrate the 40th anniversary of Earth Day. On the California Central Coast, the community of Santa Barbara, together with regional not-for-profit Community Environmental Council, lays claim to sparking the Earth Day movement forty years ago.

This year, 20,000 will gather for Santa Barbara’s Earth Day 40 Festival (www.SBEarthDay.org) on April 17-18. Under the apropos 2010 theme “Bringing It Home,” the celebration recognizes not only Earth Day’s 40th Birthday, but also the community’s own legacy of environmental stewardship.

For four decades, Santa Barbara has harnessed its mindful community members, innovative leaders, and abundant access to renewable energy resources to help lead the environmental movement. Today, with the ongoing support of the Community Environmental Council and its aggressive “Fossil Free by ’33” initiative, the community continues to serve as a model for how to move an entire region away from fossil fuels.

In 1969, the devastating images of a massive oil spill from an oil platform off Santa Barbara’s coast galvanized California into action and caught the attention of the rest of the nation, including Senator Gaylord Nelson, founder of Earth Day. The resulting swell of outrage and concern gave rise to the first Earth Day in 1970, as well as to the creation of the Community Environmental Council – the largest and most established environmental organization in the region, and the host of Santa Barbara’s Earth Day 40 Festival.

Today, the Community Environmental Council (CEC) is leading a campaign to move Santa Barbara County away from fossil fuels in one generation – Fossil Free by ’33. This bold, regionally driven blueprint seeks to head off a nearly perfect storm of energy-related concerns, including rapidly diminishing oil supplies (“peak oil”), growing concern over our national security because of our dependence on foreign oil, volatile fuel prices, and climate change.

The Fossil Free campaign is particularly timely following the climate talks in Copenhagen last December, in which international leaders noted that more than half of the actions needed to address global warming will be led not by national or international policies, but through local initiatives and leadership.

“Copenhagen will likely be a central theme as communities around the world prepare for the 40th anniversary of Earth Day,” says CEC Assistant Director Sigrid Wright, noting that the collective international Earth Day events are expected to touch over a billion people. “We believe that climate change is the responsibility of every community to address and that Santa Barbara and California are out in front on this issue.”

In downtown Santa Barbara, the Santa Barbara Earth Day 40 Festival will offer real-world solutions, with participation by approximately 250 emerging green businesses, cutting edge technology vendors, and regional and national environmental organizations. Other features will include:

• a two-day amateur Green Shorts Film Festival,
• the largest known private
Green Car Show in the country, and
• a Green Home Pavilion – a re-enactment of a 1,200-square foot home, featuring the latest green construction materials, home décor products, and energy-saving appliances and technologies.

Earth Day brings us together to celebrate, recharge and focus our energies and resources on ending our dependence on fossil fuels,” says Wright.

“This is a pivotal time in history for the environmental movement because for the first time ever, being free of fossil fuels is actually within reach," says Wright. “The CEC and the community of Santa Barbara are committed to reaching this goal by 2033. The region has unique access to renewable energy resources – particularly the sun, wind and ocean. And, as history has shown, the size of the community – small enough change course with relative speed, yet large enough to matter when those changes are made - makes us poised to lead the charge."

Tell the EPA not to let a massive limestone mining project ruin the Everglades

The Everglades wetlands ecosystem, our country's largest subtropical wilderness, has already been devastated by a century of destructive human activity. For many years, NRDC and other environmental groups have been working to stop a gargantuan limestone mining project from causing even more harm to the Everglades, irreversibly destroying critical wetlands and endangered species habitat, contaminating local drinking water supplies and costing taxpayers hundreds of millions of dollars.

Earlier this year, a federal court determined that the Army Corps of Engineers violated the law when it issued permits to the mining industry to turn more than 5,000 acres of Everglades into open pits. But the Corps is now set to re-issue those permits as well as approve the destruction of another 10,000-12,000 acres of wetlands. Together with existing mines, this would amount to converting 30 square miles of historic Everglades and irreplaceable wildlife habitat into mining pits.

As if the devastation to the Everglades were not reason enough to stop the mining, recent studies demonstrate that the proposed mining would endanger the adjacent public wellfield, which supplies drinking water to millions. Alternative mining plans exist, and include large buffers to protect the Everglades and the public wellfield but still allow at least eight years of mining (depending on demand, which has slowed recently).

The Environmental Protection Agency has the authority to stop the proposed mining project by vetoing the permits.

What to do

Send a message urging the EPA to exercise its legal responsibility to protect the Everglades and public water supplies by vetoing the proposed permits and to approve only short-term mining plans that will protect the Everglades and public drinking water supplies.

Tell President Obama to protect our oceans, coasts & Great Lakes

We've known for years that our oceans are in trouble, struggling under the strain of oil drilling, pollution and overfishing. More recently, scientists have learned that rising amounts of carbon dioxide from burning fuels reacts with seawater to form an acid that dissolves sea shells. This process, called ocean acidification, makes it more difficult for any shelled creature in the ocean to survive and threatens the stability of marine food webs worldwide.

Healthy marine and Great Lakes systems regulate our climate and provide us with food, jobs and recreational opportunities. Protecting and restoring them to health now is made all the more urgent because of global warming: the healthier these systems are, the better able they will be to withstand the additional stress imposed by ocean acidification and other harmful effects from global warming pollution.

Part of the challenge in addressing the various problems facing our oceans, coasts and Great Lakes is that they are currently governed by more than 140 laws and 20 different agencies, each with different goals and often conflicting mandates. Like the Clean Air Act for our air, and the Clean Water Act for our water, we need a national policy for our oceans, coasts and Great Lakes.

Earlier this summer, the Obama administration announced that it would develop a unifying national policy and framework to effectively manage the increasing amount of industrial pressure on our seas, coasts and Great Lakes, and is now collecting public comment on what that policy should look like. Protecting, maintaining and restoring the health of our oceans, coasts and Great Lakes must be the core focus of a national policy, which should be formalized in an executive order from the president.

 
What to do:
Send a message urging President Obama to issue an executive order formally establishing a national policy to protect, maintain and restore the health of our oceans, coasts and Great Lakes.



Tell the EPA to protect us from global warming

At long last, the Environmental Protection Agency is on the verge of recognizing that global warming pollution leads to killer heat waves, stronger hurricanes, higher smog levels and many other threats to our health and environment. In April, EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson proposed an "endangerment determination" under the Clean Air Act -- a finding that carbon dioxide and other heat-trapping air pollutants "may reasonably be anticipated to endanger public health or welfare."

Then in May, flanked by automakers, governors and environmentalists, President Obama ordered the EPA to follow up the endangerment proposal with standards to reduce global warming pollution from new cars and trucks -- standards that would save consumers billions of dollars at the pump even as they protect the planet. We can cut global warming pollution from our vehicles, as well as from our power plants and other sources, by using renewable and cleaner energy sources and by using energy more efficiently.

But powerful groups like the U.S. Chamber of Commerce are trying to thwart the EPA's efforts to finalize the proposal and adopt standards to cut vehicle pollution. If these industry interests succeed, we will lose this valuable opportunity to help our economy recover, create millions of green jobs, save consumers billions of dollars and cut our dangerous dependence on foreign oil.

The EPA is accepting public comments on its proposal through June 23rd.

What to do:
 
Send a message, before the June 23rd comment deadline, urging EPA Administrator Jackson to adopt the proposed endangerment finding and issue strong standards for reducing global warming pollution.

Tell Interior Secretary Salazar to reverse Bush administration attacks on endangered species

polar-bearsJust before leaving office, the Bush administration issued sweeping changes to the Endangered Species Act to weaken protections for imperiled wildlife, including polar bears, wolves and whales. These changes decrease scientific review for activities that could harm threatened and endangered species and prohibit the government from considering the impact of global warming pollution on polar bears and other wildlife.

Interior Secretary Salazar now has the opportunity to help reverse these destructive changes. In March President Obama signed a spending bill that allows Secretary Salazar to overturn President Bush's last-minute changes to the Endangered Species Act regulations as well as a separate rule that weakens Endangered Species Act protections for polar bears. But the Obama administration must act by May 10th, and opponents of the Endangered Species Act are working hard to convince Secretary Salazar that he should not withdraw these rules.

What to do

Send a message right away urging Secretary Salazar to withdraw the Bush administration's last-minute Endangered Species Act regulations and polar bear rule under the authority granted by President Obama and Congress