Protect More Than 300,000 Homes from Flooding

Target: Scott Pruitt, Administrator of the United States Environmental Protection Agency

Goal: Protect coastal communities from the danger and damage of swelling oceans.

A recent climate change study has revealed that rises in sea level as a result of climate change will pose a threat to many US coastal communities. According to the findings, as many as 311,000 houses face the possibility of coastal flooding every two weeks starting sometime in the next 30 years. This type of damage is estimated to affect properties that are collectively worth $120 billion.

Kristina Dahl, a senior climate scientist at the Union of Concerned Scientists, said of the study: “The impact could well be staggering. This level of flooding would be a tipping point where people in these communities would think it’s unsustainable. Even homes along the Gulf coast that are elevated would be affected, as they’d have to drive through salt water to get to work or face their kids’ school being cut off. You can imagine people walking away from mortgages, away from their homes.”

Sign this petition to urge Scott Pruitt to invest in reducing greenhouse gas emissions to prevent coastal community damage from swelling oceans.

PETITION LETTER:

Dear Mr. Pruitt,

A recent climate change study has revealed that climate change will have a devastating impact on the coastal communities of the United States as a result of rising sea levels. As many as 311,000 homes could potentially face bi-weekly coastal flooding well within our lifetime, as soon as 30 years from now. Even houses that are prepared to face coastal environments by being built on stilts would not save residents from the unsustainable lifestyle changes that would be necessary if this type of sea level rise happens. These changes include the choice between driving in high water to attend work or school, or staying home to protect their personal safety.

Climate change can be slowed and prevented by lowering greenhouse gas emissions. I urge you to invest in reducing greenhouse gas emissions to prevent coastal community damage from swelling oceans.

Sincerely,

[Your Name Here]

Photo Credit: Tiago Fioreze

Ban Single-Use Plastic Products in the European Union

Target: Antonio Tajani, President of the European Parliament

Goal: Support proposed ban of single-use plastic products in the European Union.

In an effort to reduce carbon emissions and keep marine environments pristine, the European Commission proposed a ban on some single-use plastic products and a drastic decrease in the use of others. The ban targets products like plastic cotton buds, cutlery, plates, straws, drink stirrers, and sticks for balloons. It would also call for the reduction in the use of plastic food containers and drink cups by blocking their ability to be freely used. This plan mimics the practice of charging a nominal fee for plastic bags at supermarkets. The proposal awaits the approval of EU governments and the European Parliament.

In a statement the Vice President of the European Commission, Jyrki Katainen, said: “Plastic can be fantastic but we need to use it more responsibly. Today’s proposals will help business and consumers to move towards sustainable alternatives.”

Sign this petition to urge the president of the European Parliament, Antonio Tajani, to support the ban of single-use plastic products.

PETITION LETTER:

Dear President Tajani,

The European Commission has proposed a ban on certain single-use plastic products and regulations that would drastically reduce the use of others. This would help to keep carbon emissions low as well as protect the fragile marine ecosystems that are most affected by single-use plastic waste. I urge you to support this proposed ban on single-use plastic items in the European Union.

Sincerely,

[Your Name Here]

Photo Credit: Hans Braxmeier

Praise Costa Rica for Banning Fossil Fuels

Target: Carlos Alvarado, President of Costa Rica

Goal: Praise Costa Rica government for banning fossil fuels.

President Carlos Alvarado has announced a complete ban on fossil fuels in Costa Rica. This establishes the small country as a major leader in political action that fights against climate change. While announcing the ban, Alvarado said: “Decarbonization is the great task of our generation and Costa Rica must be one of the first countries in the world to accomplish it, if not the first. We have the titanic and beautiful task of abolishing the use of fossil fuels in our economy to make way for the use of clean and renewable energies.”

The country has already committed to using renewable energy resources. Costa Rica gets over 99% of its electricity from renewable energy and last year the nation went 300 days without the use of fossil fuels for electricity. Although no specific plans were unveiled around the compete ban of fossil fuels, Costa Rica seems poised to be one of the first nations to succeed in using only renewable energy sources.

Sign this petition to praise the Costa Rican government for its commitment to phase out fossil fuels.

PETITION LETTER:

Dear President Alvarado,

Your recent announcement on the ban of fossil fuels in Costa Rica sets up your nation to be one of the first to move to using 100% renewable energy. This ban shows a huge commitment to a cleaner, more sustainable Costa Rica; it also invites other nations to follow in your wake. I urge you to continue to enact policies that support environmental sustainability and I congratulate you on your decision to phase out fossil fuels.

Sincerely,

[Your Name Here]

Photo Credit: John

Stop Senselessly Killing Pregnant Whales

Target: Shinzō Abe, Prime Minister of Japan

Goal: Switch to non-lethal survey methods to prevent the senseless killing of whales.

A report has revealed that during the annual whale hunt in Japan last summer, 120 pregnant whales were killed. In total 333 minke whales were caught and killed during a 12-week period. Of those 333, 128 were female and 122 of them were pregnant.

The numbers of whales killed in Japan last year were recently revealed in a technical report submitted to the International Whaling Commission. Members of the Institute of Cetacean Research, an agency involved with Japan’s fisheries ministry, wrote the report. Conservationist groups have met the numbers with shock.

Alexia Wellbelove of the Humane Society International said in a statement: “It is further demonstration, if needed, of the truly gruesome and unnecessary nature of whaling operations, especially when non-lethal surveys have been shown to be sufficient for scientific needs.”

Sign this petition to urge the Prime Minister of Japan to commit to non-lethal survey methods to prevent the senseless killing of whales.

PETITION LETTER:

Dear Prime Minister Abe,

In a recent report, it was made public knowledge that Japan killed 333 minke whales last season. 122 of those killed were pregnant. This senseless killing was rationalized by saying that the whale slaughter was necessary for scientific surveys. However, many nations are conducting surveys on whales without killing the specimen.

I urge you to switch to non-lethal survey methods so that the senseless killing of whales at Japanese hands will come to an end.

Sincerely,

[Your Name Here]

Photo Credit: Herry Lawford

Urge Trump to Retain Ban on Extreme Hunting in Alaska

Target: Donald Trump, President of the United States of America

Goal: Do not lift ban on extreme hunting in Alaska.

The Trump administration is discussing lifting a 2015 ban on aggressive predator control tactics in national preserves in Alaska. If the ban is lifted, extreme hunting tactics, like shooting bear cubs and wolf pups in their dens, will become legalized. The proposal to repeal these rules has received a lot of negative responses from environmental groups.

The changes would affect the National Park Service’s current regulations and would permit controversial sport hunting and trapping techniques on about 20 million acres of Alaskan federal lands. Supporters of lifting the ban claim that allowing these controversial techniques would increase hunting opportunities on national preserve land.

Actions that are currently prohibited but would be allowed if the ban is lifted include luring bears with bait, hunting bears and their cubs using artificial lights, shooting animal young in their dens, using dogs to hunt bears, and shooting caribou that are swimming to escape motorboat traffic.

Sign this petition to urge Donald Trump to protect Alaskan wildlife by keeping the ban on extreme hunting tactics in Alaska.

PETITION LETTER:

Dear President Trump,

Alaksa is one of the last wild areas that the United States has, and it needs to be protected and preserved. A recent proposal made by your administration would lift a ban on extreme hunting tactics on federal lands in Alaska. This would permit hunters to shoot animal young in their dens and use dogs and artificial lights to hunt bears. To use these cruel and unfair tactics to hunt wild animals for sport is unjust and cruel. I urge you to keep the ban on extreme hunting tactics in Alaska to protect and preserve the animals that call Alaska their home.

Sincerely,

[Your Name Here]

Photo Credit: Yathin S Krishnappa

Demand Fisherman Guilty of Torturing and Killing Innocent Seal Pup Pay Mandatory Fine

Target: Mark MacKenzie, Nova Scotia fisherman

Goal: Publicly apologize for abusing and killing innocent baby seal and immediately pay court-ordered fine.

An innocent baby seal was brutally murdered and now the men responsible must pay the consequences. Mark MacKenzie, the captain of a Nova Scotia fishing vessel, was ordered to pay a fine of $7,500 after he was captured with two other fishermen abusing and killing a seal pup. MacKenzie is also banned from fishing from January 1, 2019 until June 30, 2019. The ban is not starting immediately because the court wanted to suspend MacKenzie’s ability to fish during the most lucrative time for the groundfish fishery off Yarmouth. Prosecutor Alex Pink said of the punishment: “It is a significant penalty and a groundfish prohibition is significant as well. That could be thousands and thousands of dollars that that person will not be able to earn.”

The other two fishermen aboard MacKenzie’s vessel that were involved in the animal abuse were prosecuted as well. Jay Alexander Jenkins received a fine of $3,500. Brendon Douglas James Porter received a fine of $2,500. Although there was a trial scheduled for the charges in Yarmouth provincial court, all three pleaded guilty to a charge under the Fishery General Regulations relating to the release of incidental catch—a regulation that should have protected the seal pup.

The incident was caught on camera and a video of the fishermen tormenting the seal pup circulated on Facebook. This showed the men taunting and prodding the seal with a buoy and being kicked while the men laughed. One is heard making the suggestion to kill the seal while another speaks of getting a machete. Circulation of this video caused the incident to gain national attention last year. In the video, you can hear someone saying, “I want to play tug-of-war with him.” The video was obtained by the CBC and was eventually deleted.

However, before the video was taken out of circulation, public outcry began. Many people following the case commented on it via The Vanguard‘s, a local paper, Facebook page. There was praise for the judge as well as some people offering the opinion that the fishermen should have received stricter punishments. One woman wrote, “I believe they deserved a whole lot more than they got!” Another commented, “So amazing to see this good outcome! Animal abuse like this is never OK under any circumstance.”

The men legally have until December 18, 2018 to pay their fines. Sign this petition to urge Captain MacKenzie to publicly apologize for his actions and to pay his fine immediately.

PETITION LETTER:

Dear Captain MacKenzie,

Last year you were involved in an instance of animal abuse that was caught on camera. The video of you and your two shipmates taunting and abusing a seal circulated on Facebook and led to criminal charges. As you know, under the Fishery General Regulations, you should have released the seal—unharmed—as an incidental catch. Your decision to instead mistreat and abuse this animal has led to a $7,500 fine. This case has very much played out in the public eye and, therefore, I urge you to publicly apologize for your despicable behavior and pay your fine immediately.

Sincerely,

[Your Name Here]

Photo Credit: Ville Miettinen

Stop Murdering Elephants for UK Ivory

Target: Boris Johnson, Foreign Secretary of the UK

Goal: Follow through on leading the fight to shut down the ivory trade in the European Union.

Harriet Baldwin of the United Kingdom has promised that the UK will be leaders among European nations to end the ivory trade. She said that the UK would lead by example and described the issue as a “personal priority” for Boris Johnson, the foreign secretary. While speaking in Botswana at a conservation summit, Baldwin said: “The UK will lead by example. We will be shutting down our ivory trade. We will be working with the EU to do the same. That is something we can do irrespective of whether we are in the European Union or not.”

Between 2010-2015, the UK was the world’s leading legal ivory exporter. In October of 2017, the UK made good on public outcry to ban ivory, although there are still some significant exemptions. Now, the UK and France are joining together to call on the EU to ban the internal trade of raw, or newly carved, ivory. Currently, there are laws that ban the export of ivory, but that does not stop the production of it within countries. Many African nations want to see EU states go further in their policies to protect against the ivory trade.

This month, the presidents of Botswana, Uganda, and Gabon spearheaded a call for the EU to shut down domestic ivory markets, working toward a global ban and an end of the ivory trade. Tshekedi Khama, Botswana’s environmental minister, said: “If the EU gives us money to train rangers but still allows the exit of the trophies to the EU, that to me is a hypocrisy. Let’s stop the flowery approach that says: ‘I’ve ticked a box and I look good. I’ve given so much, but I’m still allowing you African range states to be challenged by poachers because I haven’t closed the European gates.” Essentially Khama’s argument states that if there is a market for ivory, poaching will continue regardless of measures taken to prevent it. The issue must be addressed at the source.

Sign this petition to urge Boris Johnson, foreign secretary of the UK, to make good on his promises to end the ivory trade in the UK and lead by example in the EU by working to remove exemptions on ivory trade and totally ban the trade of trophies in the UK.

PETITION LETTER:

Dear Secretary Johnson,

Harriet Baldwin has said that ending the ivory trade in the UK is a personal priority of yours. Right now, dominant legislation in the EU prevents ivory products from being exported, subsequently preventing an international market for trophies. However, domestic markets still exist. In order for poaching to end, laws must be passed to stop all markets, both international and domestic.

I urge you to push for legislation that will ban ivory trade, without exemption, in the UK. This will set an example for the rest of the European Union and help prevent the unnecessary and cruel killing of elephants.

Sincerely,

[Your Name Here]

Photo Credit: Tony Knight

Urge Norwegian Krill Fishing Company to Contribute to Antarctic Conservation

Target: Øyvind Eriksen, CEO of Aker ASA

Goal: Reduce krill fishing in Antarctica.

Antarctica, one of the world’s last great wild spaces, is being compromised as a result of industrial krill fishing. A Greenpeace study analyzed the movements of krill fishing vessels in the area and noted that the vessels are increasingly operating “in the immediate vicinity of penguin colonies and whale feeding grounds.” This means that the krill fishing vessels are adding human competition to the natural feeding cycle of these animals. The study also noted incidents of the krill fishing boats being involved in groundings, oil spills, and other accidents, which pose a serious threat to the Antarctic ecosystem.

Concern about the impact of fishing and climate change on the Antarctic ecosystem has led to a global campaign to create a network of ocean sanctuaries to protect the Antarctic seas. Furthermore, Greenpeace is calling for an immediate stop to fishing in areas that are labeled as sanctuaries. Frida Bengtsson, a representative for Greenpeace’s Protect the Arctic campaign, said: “If the krill industry wants to show it’s a responsible player, then it should be voluntarily getting out of any area which is being proposed as an ocean sanctuary, and should instead be backing the protection of these huge swaths of the Antarctic.”

Even though krill are very small organisms, they are the foundation of the Antarctic food chain. A combination of industrial krill fishing and climate change could have an adverse effect on the populations of larger predators. A study warned that in ten years’ time the penguin population could decrease by as much as one third as a result of changes in krill biomass.

There is a global demand for krill-based products, which are usually health products that claim to help a range of issues from heart disease and high blood pressure to strokes and depression. The krill industry is only expected to grow in the coming years. However, without any government in Antarctica, the responsibility for maintaining the ecosystem falls on all of the countries and companies involved in the industrial krill fishing industry. Since the 1970s, krill populations in Antarctica have declined by 80%. Unless changes are made, this decrease could continue and have adverse effects on the whole ecosystem. Sign this petition to urge Øyvind Eriksen, CEO of Aker ASA, to limit krill fishing in Antarctica and immediately stop krill fishing in sanctuary regions.

PETITION LETTER:

Dear Mr. Eriksen,

As the CEO of a company involved in offshore fishing operations, you know how quickly the industrial krill fishing industry is growing. New countries like China are getting involved and countries like South Korea, who have had small fishing operations, are growing their business in krill fishing. The demand for krill-based products is growing as word of its positive health benefits spreads.

However, krill are necessary for the Antarctic food chain and without a large amount of krill biomass, other animals will suffer as a result. The entire Antarctic ecosystem is at risk if large companies like yours do not take a stand to protect it. I urge you to immediately stop fishing in sanctuary zones and to limit fishing in Antarctica to protect these fragile ecosystems.

Sincerely,

[Your Name Here]

Photo Credit: Leonora (Ellie) Enking

Trump: Reinstate Trophy Ban on Elephant Parts

Target: Donald Trump, President of the United States

Goal: Reinstate ban on elephant part imports that promote trophy hunting.

President Trump has repealed a ban on the import of legally hunted elephant remains, or “trophies,” from Zimbabwe and Zambia that was put in place while President Obama was in office. This is the second time this year that the United States Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) has brought up the idea of easing trophy import restrictions. The first time, Trump criticized trophy hunting, calling it a “horror show.” This time, however, his actions speak louder than words.

In November 2017, when discussions on lifting the elephant part import ban first came up, public outrage ensued. Conservationists as well as celebrities like Ellen DeGeneres and Leonardo DiCaprio spoke out about opposing the lift of the ban. In response to the outrage, President Trump announced that he would “review all conservation facts” before making any decision. He went on to say that he would be “very hard-pressed” to lift the ban and that, in his opinion, big game hunting doesn’t help the “conservation of elephants or any other animal.”

Despite the remarks that President Trump made in November, an official FWS memo dated March 1, 2018 states that imported trophies will now be considered “on a case-by-case basis” as opposed to banning the trophies outright. The agency has rationalized the decision by assuming that big game hunters will assist in conservation efforts in an attempt to be able to continue their cruel leisure activity. Conservationist groups like the Humane Society and Save the Elephants have stated continuously that trophy hunting is never beneficial for the animals being hunted and is especially worrisome for the elephant populations in the countries that the ban was protecting: Zimbabwe and Zambia.

Sign this petition to urge President Trump to reinstate the ban on all elephant trophies from Zimbabwe and Zambia.

PETITION LETTER:

Dear President Trump,

In January of 2018, Piers Morgan interviewed you. You stated that you “[didn’t] want elephants killed and stuffed and have the tusks brought back into this [country].” You have also referred to big game hunting as a “horror show.” These public remarks contradict the actions taken by the United States Fish and Wildlife Service under your command to lift the Obama-era ban on elephant trophies from Zimbabwe and Zambia.

Big game hunting needs to be stopped not only in order to save animals that are endangered or part of a declining population, but also because the practice itself is cruel towards other living things. I urge you to stop considering any big game hunting appropriate, even on a case-by-case basis, and reinstate the ban on elephant trophies from Zimbabwe and Zambia.

Sincerely,

[Your Name Here]

Photo Credit: Charles-J-Sharp