Do Not Make Pipeline Protests Illegal

Target: Taylor F. Barras, Louisiana Speaker of the House

Goal: Do not pass a broadly defined bill that could make the act of planning to participate in a pipeline protest illegal.

Louisiana and two other states—Minnesota and Pennsylvania—are attempting to crack down on pipeline protests by making the very act of planning to participate in one illegal. While it is already against the law to trespass on property owned by energy companies responsible for laying down pipelines, a newly proposed bill would go one step further and allow would-be protesters to face severe penalties for merely ‘conspiring’ to protest in the first place. In a state with a long history of battles against major oil companies, this law could silence demonstrators once and for all.

Inspired in part by the success of protesters in North Dakota in impeding progress on the Dakota Access Pipeline, Louisiana activists have staged their own protests against the proposed Bayou Bridge Pipeline in that state, which could endanger the drinking water supply for hundreds of thousands of residents. These actions have resulted in a backlash in the fossil fuel industry and the political groups they are allied with, resulting in the creation of this unfair bill that could label any group of two or more individuals planning to protest at a pipeline site as ‘conspiring’ to break the law. Even if they never disrupt operations or vandalize property, they could still face serious penalties, including arrest and time spent in jail.

Louisiana must not approve such a harsh law that could so severely restrict its citizens’ First Amendment rights. Tell the Louisiana Speaker of the House that this fossil fuel industry-backed bill must be rejected.

PETITION LETTER:

Dear Speaker Barras,

We are writing to urge you to reject a recently introduced bill that proposes to penalize people guilty of ‘conspiring’ to enter property owned by energy companies to protest pipeline construction. Trespassing and vandalization are already illegal in the state of Louisiana, making this new legislation designed to protect these companies’ assets completely unnecessary.

Protesters have a constitutionally sanctioned right to express their concerns regarding pipeline construction and other potentially environmentally damaging actions. That is why we, the undersigned, demand that you do not allow them to be fined or arrested for simply planning demonstrations without causing any actual harm to property or infrastructure.

Sincerely,

[Your Name Here]

Photo Credit: Bart Everson

Don’t Reopen Environmentally Damaging Coal Plant for Mining Bitcoin

Target: Malcolm Turnbull, Prime Minister of Australia

Goal: Don’t allow an environmentally damaging coal power station to be reopened to power cryptocurrency mining operations.

A dangerous and damaging coal plant will soon restart operations at an alarming rate. An abandoned coal-powered energy plant on Australia’s eastern coast will soon be reopened to help bitcoin miners earn more of the digital currency faster in what has become a troubling global trend. So-called blockchain operations like this one are consuming massive amounts of power worldwide, and the fact that environmentally destructive coal plants are being reopened to fuel the craze is a further step in the wrong direction.

While most cryptocurrency mining is done in countries where the climate is cold and energy is cheap, such as Russia or in parts of China, this deal appears to be one Australian tech company’s attempt to make the country globally competitive in this emerging industry. As part of their deal with locally based Hunter Energy, the disused coal plant could become operational in as little as 12 months, when it will begin producing up to 150 megawatts per hour in one of the least-efficient and most environmentally damaging ways possible.

Worldwide, it is estimated that cryptocurrency mining will exceed 120 billion kilowatts per hour this year alone. For the sake of this planet we all share, this wasteful consumption of energy must be curbed. Sign this petition to demand that the government of Australia intervene and block this disastrous deal.

PETITION LETTER:

Dear Prime Minister Turnbull,

A recent deal made between Hunter Energy and IOT Group, an Australian-based tech company, will result in the reopening of a once-abandoned coal power station as part of a wasteful and unnecessary bid to compete with Chinese and Russian cryptocurrency miners. Once the plant is brought back online, it will generate up to 150 megawatts per hour using coal, which produces greenhouse gas emissions and is a major contributor to global climate change.

Australia must join with other nations around the world to help ensure that future generations have a habitable world. To allow an environmentally damaging coal plant to be reopened simply for one company’s profit is shameful. I ask that you intervene in this senseless and potentially damaging deal and demand that this power station remain closed.

Sincerely,

[Your Name Here]

Photo Credit: Arnold Paul

Save Endangered Green-Haired Turtle from Extinction

Target: Josh Frydenberg, Minister for the Environment and Energy, Australia

Goal: Take stronger measures to ensure the long-term survival of the endangered Mary River turtle.

A turtle species native to Australia is in danger of extinction. The Mary River turtle is a unique Australian reptile known for growing green patches of algae on its head and shell and for its amazing ability to spend up to three days underwater without surfacing for air. Despite these amazing features, the turtle is also now recognized by the Zoological Society of London (ZSL) as one of the world’s 30 most endangered reptile species. As the population of Mary River turtles has been in decline for over four decades, it may be only a matter of time before they are gone forever.

Early reasons for the turtle’s decline were due to overexploitation in the pet trade. Because of the turtle’s docile nature, vast numbers of eggs were collected to satisfy consumer demand. While this trade is now illegal, the turtle continues to face other ecological threats, such as habitat loss caused by dam construction.

The Mary River turtle is a truly unique animal that needs our help to ensure its future survival. Sign this petition and demand that the Australian government take all necessary measures to help this turtle thrive once more.

PETITION LETTER:

Dear Minister Frydenberg,

Mary River turtles were once commonly spotted in their native Queensland habitat before the pet trade and river dam construction caused their numbers to plummet. Now they are recognized by the Zoological Society of London as one of the world’s most endangered reptiles, and unless conservation efforts are stepped up, they may disappear forever.

Because continued development on the Mary River threatens these vulnerable turtles, it is vital that what little healthy river habitat remains be protected against further human encroachment. While this little turtle may not be as well known as other Australian species, such as the koala or platypus, it deserves just as much respect and attention. Please ensure that all necessary measures are taken to ensure its continued survival.

Sincerely,

[Your Name Here]

Photo Credit: Pandiyan V

Demand Facebook Stop the Sale of Illegal Animal Parts

Target: Mark Zuckerberg, CEO of Facebook

Goal: Urge Facebook to remove content featuring illegal animal parts on group pages.

Cruel poachers have allegedly been given an international platform to sell their the fur, horns, and ivory of endangered animals. Facebook has been accused of displaying ads for well-known corporations on group pages run by notorious ivory and rhino horn traffickers from around the world. Advocates for wildlife conservation have complained that the company’s failure to crack down on this illicit trade is turning the social media platform into a online marketplace for poachers. Facebook has a responsibility to put an end to this illegal behavior.

Undercover investigators claim in their complaint to the Securities and Exchange Commission that the ads run were featured on the same pages that illegal ivory, tiger teeth, and other parts from endangered species were being openly marketed. Gretchen Peters, executive director of the Center for Illicit Networks and Transnational Organized Crime, says, “I have looked at thousands of posts containing ivory, and I am convinced that Facebook is literally facilitating the extinction of the elephant species.” Mark Zuckerberg, CEO of Facebook, has yet to comment on these serious allegations as the company deals with its latest scandal involving an alleged breach of private user data.

As one of 20 tech companies that recently signed on to the Global Coalition to End Wildlife Trafficking Online, Facebook must honor its agreement and ban this illegal content. Sign this petition to demand that the company act immediately to remove these ads and help officials punish those responsible for running them.

PETITION LETTER:

Dear Mr. Zuckerberg,

Facebook has recently come under fire for a number of reasons. Among these is the fact that undercover investigators have allegedly discovered scores of internationally banned wildlife products for sale in private and public groups on your site. Users have reported seeing endangered Bengal tiger pelts, rhino horns, and elephant ivory advertised for sale on what appears to be an online black market on your site.

It is time that Facebook stop giving these illegal traffickers a platform where they can initiate their sales. You must remove this content immediately and assist in all efforts to track down and severely punish those responsible for advertising animal parts from endangered animals.

Sincerely,

[Your Name Here]

Photo Credit: Facebook

Stop Deadly Plastic Waste Killing Whales and Other Wildlife

Target: Isabel Garcia Tejerina, Minister of Agriculture, Fishers, Food and Environment for Spain

Goal: Reduce the amount of plastic waste that is entering the ocean and endangering whales and other marine species.

A sperm whale measuring over 30 feet and weighing over six tons was found dead on a Spanish beach. Local officials determining the whale’s cause of death discovered that the animal had swallowed over 60 pounds’ worth of plastic garbage, including disposable bags and nets used in the fishing industry. It is believed this caused the whale to develop a deadly infection, leading to his tragic demise.

Plastic poses many risks to whales and other forms of marine wildlife. While large pieces of plastic waste can cause lethal harm, as seen in the case of this sperm whale, even microscopic plastic particles are contributing to a slow death by poisoning for countless animals. Combined with overfishing and other forms of pollution threatening our seas, the addition of even more plastic waste could spell doom for many vulnerable species, including whales.

All countries have a responsibility to help clean up the ocean and stop contributing to the plastic waste epidemic. Sign this petition to urge the Spanish government to enact stronger laws and cut down on the amount of disposable garbage entering the sea.

PETITION LETTER:

Dear Minister Tejerina,

Government officials in Murcia have determined that the official cause of death for a sperm whale discovered on a regional beach was an intestinal infection caused by the whale’s ingestion of nearly 30 kilograms worth of plastic waste. Among the recovered garbage were scores of disposable bags, as well as nets and ropes widely used in the fishing industry. Combined, this human-produced waste contributed to the young sperm whale’s untimely death, and it is poisoning countless more creatures worldwide.

You must take necessary measures to enact stronger laws and regulations on plastic waste, as well as to limit the amount of disposable garbage that is entering Spanish waterways. Spain could pave the way to a more environmentally friendly future by eliminating disposable plastic bags nationwide and requiring that fishermen use equipment that is less harmful to wildlife. Please do your part to help ensure that the oceans will remain a haven for many living creatures for generations to come.

Sincerely,

[Your Name Here]

Photo Credit: Richard Humphrey

Stop Allowing Hunters to Gun Down Wolves with Assault Rifles

Target: Bill Walker, Governor of Alaska

Goal: Stop hunters from using assault rifles to kill major predators like wolves by creating a no-kill buffer around Denali National Park.

Wolves are being killed at near record-high numbers in the area around Denali National Park, prompting officials from Alaska’s Department of Fish and Game (DFG) to shorten its annual wolf hunting season. While the DFG claims that the wolf population is not at risk, wildlife experts have expressed concerns about the state’s lax hunting regulations and the fact that these predators are increasingly being gunned down in large numbers by hunters using assault rifles on highly mobile snow machines. They fear it may be only a matter of time before the iconic wolves of Denali are hunted to extinction.

While shortening the wolf hunting season will help prevent more senseless killings, it cannot reverse the damage already done. If the wolves were to go extinct, this would not only be disastrous for the ecosystem– it would likely hurt Alaska’s economy as well. Denali National Park is the state’s biggest tourism draw, with many people visiting simply to get a chance to see the wolves in their natural habitat.

We must protect Alaska’s wolves for the future. Sign this petition to demand a no-kill buffer zone around Denali National Park and a statewide ban on using assault rifles to target major predator species, including wolves.

PETITION LETTER:

Dear Governor Walker,

Denali National Park is your state’s largest source of tourism revenue, drawing thousands of wildlife-lovers annually. Many of these visitors come simply to see wolves in their natural habitat, a sight that has vanished in so many other parts of the world. Yet thanks to lax regulations on predator control in Alaska, the wolves may soon disappear from Denali as well.

Large predatory species, such as wolves, play a pivotal role in ecosystems by managing herbivore populations. When they are killed at unsustainable rates, as is happening in the area around Denali and statewide, the entire ecology of the region is negatively impacted. That is why we are urging you to establish a no-kill area around Denali National Park, and to change hunting regulations to prohibit the use of high-powered assault rifles against large predators, including wolves.

Sincerely,

[Your Name Here]

Photo Credit: D. Kopshever/National Park Service

Protect Foxes and Other Wildlife from Illegal Hunting

Target: Theresa May, Prime Minister of the United Kingdom

Goal: Strengthen hunting restrictions and severely punish those engaging in illegal hunts.

Animal rights groups in Britain claim that over 500 illegal hunts were reported across the country last year, with the fear that this number is simply ‘the tip of the iceberg.’ It is believed that thousands of foxes, hares, deer and other animals are being cruelly slaughtered annually using packs of hounds, even though this practice has been banned for over a decade. It is far past time that those engaging in illegal hunts be found and punished, and that this ‘tradition’ be finally brought to an end.

Although most forms of hunting using dogs have been banned in the UK due to the fact that it causes suffering and harm for both wildlife and dogs, there are allegedly many hunters who are flagrantly violating these laws, using a legal loophole known as ‘trail hunting’ to cover their tracks. In addition to hunting down and barbarically killing innocent animals, packs of hounds have allegedly harmed domestic pets and run into traffic, resulting in dangerous situations for animals and people alike.

Reported incidents such as these indicate a need for Britain to crack down on these illegal activities. Sign the petition below to demand that all violators be found and punished, and that hunting restrictions be tightened to avoid more needless and cruel bloodshed.

PETITION LETTER:

Dear Prime Minister May,

There have been hundreds of reports of so-called ‘trail hunters’ who have been illegally using packs of dogs to kill various forms of wildlife, including foxes and hares. While this method is touted by hunting advocates as a humane alternative involving no live quarry, it is believed that many hunters are using this as a cover for traditional hunting methods using hounds to kill live prey. Because trail hunting so closely resembles old fashioned tactics, it is easy for hunters to potentially deceive investigators and other local officials.

As long as hunters can use this legal loophole as a cover for illegal activities, innocent animals will continue to be subjected to cruel and painful deaths. That is why we, the undersigned, demand that trail hunting be made illegal and that all those found in violation of hunting laws be punished severely.

Sincerely,

[Your Name Here]

Photo Credit: K Hill

Do Not Allow Pesticide Manufacturers to Destroy Biodiversity

Target: Donald Trump, President of the United States

Goal: Block a proposed merger between two giant pesticide manufacturers that could result in the collapse of entire ecosystems.

The European Union (EU) has approved a merger between Monsanto and Bayer, two of the world’s largest chemical manufacturers that have both created a slew of deadly pesticides. These toxic products have devastated insect populations, which in turn is causing the slow extinction of many bird species and the collapse of entire ecosystems. The United States must block this merger or else the production of many pesticides, including bee-killing neonicotinoids, will likely expand greatly.

Pesticides have been linked with a loss of biodiversity worldwide, as important pollinators like butterflies, honeybees and birds have been poisoned and can no longer fertilize the many plants wildlife and humans rely on for food. Biodiversity has been further reduced thanks to the proliferation of genetically modified seeds and other GMOs produced by Monsanto. Rather than banning toxic pesticides or strictly regulating GMOs, the EU has paved the way for more of the same, and the planet will likely suffer as a result.

If the United States blocks this merger under existing antitrust laws, it will prevent these two companies from exerting immense control over the fate of agriculture and the environment worldwide. Sign this petition to demand that President Trump turn down this exceptionally bad deal for America and the planet as a whole.

PETITION LETTER:

Dear President Trump,

Pesticides are a major threat to the many species of birds, insects and other animals on our planet. If the Bayer-Monsanto merger is approved in the United States, it will likely mean that more of these toxic chemicals will be pumped out into American soil and waterways, causing potential harm to untold numbers of animals and people. This merger is bad for agribusiness in the United States and even worse for the global environment.

You must strongly oppose this attempted power-grab over agricultural policy and production by these two huge conglomerates. If these companies are allowed to merge, small farmers will suffer and bee populations may continue to plunge, putting future food security at stake. For the sake of this country and the planet as a whole, you must not allow this bad deal to go through.

Sincerely,

[Your Name Here]

Photo Credit: CGP Grey

Stop Trophy Hunters from Hunting Giraffes to Extinction

Target: Greg Sheehan, Acting Director of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service

Goal: Ban the import of all giraffe hunting trophies into the United States.

The world’s tallest animal is in danger of vanishing thanks to the greed of trophy hunters. Over the past 30 years, the sub-Saharan African giraffe population has plummeted by nearly half, as foreign hunters, many from the United States, have hunted the majestic creatures for their spotted skins or simply for the bragging rights. Experts warn that unless trophy hunters are prevented from bringing coveted giraffe trophies back to the United States, all giraffes may face a “silent extinction.”

Over the past decade, it is believed that American trophy hunters have brought back over 21,000 giraffe bone carvings, roughly 3,000 skin pieces and thousands of other miscellaneous hunting ‘souvenirs.’ Each trophy represents a part of a once-living animal and attests to the fact that American hunters have slaughtered thousands of these creatures needlessly. Yet the United States government has failed to recognize the giraffe’s plight, as none of the nine subspecies of giraffe are currently considered endangered.

Giraffes are unique inhabitants of African savannas and woodlands that deserve to have a future in the wild. Please sign this petition to demand that the United States stop allowing trophy hunters to drive them to extinction.

PETITION LETTER:

Dear Mr. Sheehan,

The giraffe is one of the world’s most recognizable mammals and one of Africa’s most iconic species. Yet as beloved as these creatures are, they are at grave risk of extinction thanks to trophy hunters, many of whom are traveling from the United States with the hopes of bringing back hunting souvenirs, including skins and bone pieces. Giraffes are being killed at unsustainable rates, and if this is allowed to continue, it is likely they may disappear forever.

Your department has a responsibility to protect endangered wildlife. That is why we, the undersigned, are urging you to at long last classify giraffes as endangered and prevent the import of all giraffe hunting trophies into the United States.

Sincerely,

[Your Name Here]

Photo Credit: Miroslav Duchacek

Do Not Allow the Hunting and Slaughtering of Crows

Target: Scott Darling, Wildlife Program Manager for the Vermont Department of Fish and Wildlife

Goal: Put an end to the open season for hunting crows in the state of Vermont.

Wild crows were targeted by a Vermont hunting club that posted an event on Facebook, announcing that a ‘crow shoot’ would be taking place to see who could bring down the largest numbers of these intelligent native birds. The post generated outrage on social media among bird lovers and animal welfare advocates, prompting the hosts to cancel the event. While this is commendable, it does not change the fact that in the state of Vermont, crows can be legally hunted and killed each year in droves for no other reason than the apparent fun of it.

While crows are not an endangered species, they are a part of the native ecosystem in New England. Furthermore, studies have shown that members of the crow family are remarkably intelligent, rivaling the great apes and cetaceans on certain tests used to demonstrate problem-solving abilities. Allowing people to senselessly kill these birds for recreation is cruel and must not be tolerated.

Crows have every right to exist and be given the chance to coexist with humanity. Sign the petition to demand that the state remove its open season on these birds once and for all.

PETITION LETTER:

Dear Mr. Darling,

Crows are native inhabitants of Vermont that have existed in the state for far longer than humans. They are intelligent, social creatures that are adaptable and can live alongside people in peace. There is no reason to kill these birds, except out of spite or bloodlust. That is why we are calling on you to put an end to the open season for crows in your state.

Crows should not be subjected to killing contests for entertainment or publicity purposes. To prevent hunting organizations from staging these barbaric events, we urge you to ban all crow hunts going forward.

Sincerely,

[Your Name Here]

Photo Credit: Grendelkhan