Protect the Ocean: Ban Plastic Straws

Target: Scott Pruitt, Administrator of Environmental Protection Agency

Goal: Ban plastic straws to reduce plastic waste in our oceans.

Aquatic life is dying all over the world due to our consumption and improper disposal of plastic consumption. Plastic is ending up in every ocean in all corners of the world, and sea life is slowly declining due to plastic ingestion. Several countries have already taken measures to reduce plastic waste, including Sweden and Britain, who recently banned plastic straws and are already seeing a reduction in plastic waste recovered off their coastlines.

If the United States adopted a similar policy, it would have a huge impact on the overall amount of plastic in our oceans, considering the US is a leader in plastic waste. We need to take every measure possible to reduce plastic waste before we end up with any more beached whales full of plastic. Tell EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt to stand up for the planet and sign a ban on plastic straws.

PETITION LETTER:

Dear Mr. Pruitt,

Your position in the EPA is the most crucial role we have on the front lines of environmental justice. Your influence reaches across all borders and far beyond the land mass we occupy. You have a duty to protect the Earth through any environmental policy you enact. The people have said enough is enough; we demand a ban on plastic straws.

If you were to create a simple ban outlawing the use of plastic straws, our plastic waste would be significantly reduced. There are direct effects we’re seeing across the world when a country bans plastic waste, and the US should step up to the plate next. Stand with us in banning a harmful pollutant.

Sincerely,

[Your Name Here]

Photo Credit: Karen2754

Don’t Increase Pollution From Cars and Trucks

Target: Donald Trump, President of the United States

Goal: Don’t allow car companies to increase climate change and air pollution.

Trump’s EPA Administrator, Scott Pruitt, wants to roll back car and truck efficiency standards that were created by the Obama administration to reduce pollution and climate-warming carbon emissions. Vehicular tailpipe emissions contribute significantly to the degradation of local air quality as well as to greenhouse gas emissions and global climate change. Several states, including California, have already declared their intentions to maintain the stricter standards in the face of the federal rollback, which would cleave the automobile industry market in two, causing conflict in industry standards as well as potential economic impacts to consumers.

Carbon pollution from transportation are one of the largest sources of greenhouse gas emissions in the United States, and also imperil public health by releasing pollutants such as nitrogen oxides, carbon monoxide, particulate matter, and others. Greenhouse gas emissions from automobiles contribute directly to manmade climate change while other air pollutants, in addition to acting as secondary contributors to greenhouse gases, are a risk to public health. The previous progress made to curb these emissions will not only be nullified, but reversed, continuing on the path to worsening impacts from climate change.

The proposed change in vehicle emissions standards is simply a political move to setback the progress set into motion by the previous administration, and represents a detriment to the environment and a potential economic burden on consumers. Please, take a stand by notifying your government that we will not tolerate this assault on our health and the environment.

PETITION LETTER:

Dear President Trump:

The EPA’s proposed reversal of automobile emissions standards set in place by the Obama administration will degrade local air quality and increase greenhouse gas emissions. Whether or not you believe in human-made climate change, these tailpipe emissions can cause issues for human health and the environment, and many states have already declared intentions to support and uphold stricter standards.

Transportation is one of the leading contributors to air pollution and reversal of the stricter standards could cause significant negative impacts to the environment, as well as to public health. On top of that, the constant changing of tailpipe emissions standards will create an economic burden on manufacturers that will most certainly be passed along to consumers, your constituents.

Don’t allow auto companies and the oil industry to take us backwards. Prevent this reversal of emissions standards that could negatively impact consumers and their environment.

Sincerely,

[Your Name Here]

Photo Credit: Salvatore Arnone

Do Not Make Longtime Environmental Opponent Secretary of State

Target: Chuck Schumer, Senate Minority Leader

Goal: Do not appoint a nominee who fights environmental causes to one of the nation’s highest government offices.

Secretary of State nominee Mike Pompeo has faced scrutiny over his position on some human rights issues, but Congress has paid minimal attention to the former CIA director’s threat to environmental efforts. Pompeo’s hardline views on climate change and his cozy relationship with corporate environmental abusers distinguishes him as a looming danger that could prove even more destructive than the former big oil executive whom he will replace.

Pompeo stands accused of playing a prominent role in influencing President Trump to withdraw from the Paris Climate Accord, one of many efforts at climate diplomacy that the Secretary of State nominee has advocated against. Pompeo also stands as an alleged avid spreader of lies about climate change and a staunch advocate for big oil interests. If confirmed, he will likely push for Arctic drilling: a measure that would further devastate an already vulnerable, key portion of the world.

With enough votes, Pompeo’s nomination could be blocked, potentially averting more catastrophic environmental policies. While some senators have already pledged to veto the current nomination, stronger guidance and leadership can secure the necessary ‘no’ votes needed. Sign this petition and compel Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer to take a stand for the environment and against a man who could unleash a fresh wave of environmental and subsequent human rights crises upon the world.

PETITION LETTER:

Dear Senator Schumer,

The United States has remained one of the world’s most prominent players in environmentalism, for good and ill. Anecdotal evidence tells us by the day what scientists have long warned: human-induced global trends in climate change pillage not only our environment, but also communities worldwide impacted by subsequent drought, mass migration, natural disasters, public health crises, and so much more.

Some of your colleagues have vowed to say no to a man who will likely propagate these dangerous trends: Mike Pompeo. Distressingly little attention has been given in the confirmation hearings to Pompeo’s questionable-at-best, deeply concerning record on environmental issues. From attacks on the Paris Climate Accord and other environmentally friendly initiatives to wholesale cheerleading for destructive drilling and similar actions that value corporate interests over global protection, Pompeo is poised to be one of environmental welfare’s strongest foes.

Please weigh the pros and the cons of confirming Pompeo and ask yourself if a ‘yes’ vote will be a long-lasting ‘no’ to the future of the world we all call home.

Sincerely,

[Your Name Here]

Photo Credit: Gage Skidmore

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

Remove Anti-Animal Rights Politician from Job in “Wildlife Protection”

Target: Ryan Zinke, United States Secretary of the Interior

Goal: Remove avid anti-animal rights figure from a position that would give her complete control over the fate of our nation’s endangered species.

A woman who has spent most of her political career fighting against the protection of endangered species has been promoted to a leading role in the United States Department of the Interior. Despite her stance against endangered animals, Susan Combs will help oversee federal wildlife policy.

No endangered species will be safe under Combs’s rule. She has referred to endangered species lists as “incoming scud missiles.” These words and other harmful political stances have prevented Combs from receiving official Senate confirmation. However, Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke has found a loophole by awarding Combs an acting role in the interim.

Susan Combs will not protect natural landscapes of the United States. She will destroy them. Sign the petition to demand that she be removed from her position immediately.

PETITION LETTER:

Dear Secretary Zinke,

Susan Combs, a woman who has spent her entire political career fighting against endangered species, is now in charge of their “well being.” She has been given this duty despite Senate opposition.

Combs will not serve the American people’s interests. She will not do her duty to protect the United States and its natural landscapes. I demand she be removed from her position in the Department of the Interior immediately.

Sincerely,

[Your Name Here]

Photo Credit: Bureau of Land Management

Trump, Tell Unethical EPA Chief ‘You’re Fired!’

Target: Donald Trump, President of the United States

Goal: Remove the EPA administrator for ethics violations.

Seemingly every day, more details emerge about the egregious ethics violations committed by EPA head Scott Pruitt. With this continuous stream of allegations, more demands for Pruitt’s resignation or firing emerge as well. Recently, over 60 members of Congress sent a letter to President Trump calling for the embattled EPA chief’s resignation.

Most of the allegations swirl around gross financial abuse of organizational funds, including millions of dollars in extravagant travel expenses, office furniture worth more than the annual salary of the average American worker, use of emergency vehicles as ‘escorts’ to a  lavish restaurant, and a security detail that far eclipses security for the president himself.

Even more troubling , however, are the actions that have a direct impact on the future of a vital American agency. In line with the unprecedented number of lobbyists now circling the EPA, Pruitt rented a luxury room from a well-known lobbyist in the energy industry that falls under EPA regulation. When concerned EPA employees exposed these abuses, they were punished with demotion.

While other EPA employees categorize Pruitt’s tenure as a “low point,” President Trump continues a wholehearted defense of his foot soldier in unprecedented assaults on environmentalism. Sign this petition to hold the president to his campaign promise of “draining the swamp.”

PETITION LETTER:

Dear President Trump,

‘Drain the swamp.’

This was one of your most consistent and passionate rally cries. With your continued defense of EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt, you have broken this pledge.

Will you stand in support of someone who views office furniture as more valuable than a year’s worth of work from the average American? Will you pat the back of an individual who believes he is entitled to travel, accommodations, and security rivaling that of the president? Will you pledge your allegiance to a ‘swamp creature’ who uses his influence and taxpayer dollars to advance his own interests, or will you pledge allegiance to the United States of America and the individuals who elected you to be ‘their’ champion?

The choice is clear. Back Pruitt, or back the people.

Sincerely,

[Your Name Here]

Photo Credit: Gage Skidmore

Demand Michigan Reject Nestle’s Exploitative Water Program

Target: Rick Snyder, Governor of Michigan

Goal: Demand that Michigan reject the proposed water extraction program by Nestle.

Nestle has plans to build a water extraction plant in Michigan, and when the public was questioned for approval, over 80,000 negative comments came in. The plant was still approved by the state legislature to begin construction later this year. There were less than 100 total approvals of the plant submitted through public comment, so why is Michigan still moving forward with the plant?

Nestle is a corporation known for destroying whatever environment it touches. Counties and states from all over the country have previously rejected Nestle’s plan for bottling plants, leaving them to search for whoever will say yes. Unfortunately for the people of Michigan, who are still recovering from the water crisis, Michigan said yes. Stand with us and sign the petition below demanding Michigan reject this plant before it’s too late.

PETITION LETTER:

Dear Governor Snyder,

Michigan has been through enough in the last few years in regards to water quality. The state finally ended its free water bottle program and declared the water in Flint safe to drink again. These are landmark actions of progress that show the state is moving forward.

So, why are you so content on poisoning the water again? Nestle is known for polluting the environment it drills into, and Michigan is already a sensitive environment. There’s no good reason to destroy a landscape that is currently recovering from previous damage. We demand you stand on the right side of history and reject Nestle’s proposal. The people of Michigan have spoken, and it’s time to listen.

Sincerely,

[Your Name Here]

Photo Credit: Alan Murray-Rust

President Trump: Do Not End Protections for Hundreds of Threatened Species

Target: Donald Trump, President of the United States

Goal: Do not eliminate rule granting protections to nearly 300 threatened species, who will otherwise face the risk of extinction.

Almost 300 species classified as threatened under the Endangered Species Act may lose their protections entirely if a proposed rule submitted by the U.S. Department of the Interior passes. Targeted species include southern sea otters, northern spotted owls, piping plovers, red knots, Yosemite toads, delta smelt, Santa Catalina Island foxes, and gopher tortoises. This proposed rule would affect mammals, birds, fish, and plants throughout the entire country, and would therefore be sure to have dire consequences.

The rule seeks to undo vital regulations that have been in place for 40 years, which grant these severely threatened species with the same level of protection as those on the Endangered Species List. Protections can only be loosened for any of these species if the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service deems it warranted. However, Endangered Species Director of the Center for Biological Diversity Noah Greenwald says if this new rule is enacted, it “could be the end for iconic wildlife like the northern spotted owl and southern sea otter. Trump is erasing America’s natural heritage to make his friends richer and allow polluters to ravage our environment.” He says, “The Trump administration just issued a death sentence to nearly 300 threatened species.” Sign below to demand that this wildlife be saved.

PETITION LETTER:

Dear President Trump,

The almost 300 threatened species of wildlife across the country that are currently afforded the same level as protections as those listed as endangered must remain protected. Iconic animals like the southern sea otter and northern spotted owl are two of many that will face extinction if the new rule proposed by the Department of the Interior is enacted and their protections are lost. The consequences of this proposed rule are dire and must not be allowed to occur.

As Noah Greenwald, the endangered species director at the Center for Biological Diversity, states, “If these critical protections for threatened species are eliminated, Trump will go down in history as the extinction president. This administration’s assault on critical safeguards for our air, water, and wildlife is not supported by the American public. It threatens to undo decades of progress towards improving the health of the environment for people and wildlife alike.” I urge you not to allow this to happen. Please preserve the crucial decades-old regulations protecting these threatened species.

Sincerely,

[Your Name Here]

Photo Credit: U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service – Pacific Region

Stop Marine Animals From Drowning in Abandoned Fishing Gear

Target: Benjamin Friedman, Deputy Undersecretary of Commerce for Oceans and Atmosphere, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration

Goal: Eradicate ghost gear that pollutes the water and severely disrupts delicate marine ecosystems.

Fishing equipment lost or discarded in the ocean, also known as ghost gear, is killing over 100,000 marine animals every year. The abandoned refuse pollutes waters, and it’s an accumulating threat to the delicate balance of the oceanic environment. Animals that become entangled in ghost gear suffer physical injury and drown, while other unfortunate creatures remain entrapped to die of starvation.

Fish, turtles, sharks, dolphins, whales, seals, birds and more get ensnared in ghost gear, unable to free themselves. Frighteningly, the entire wildlife food chain is affected because when one animal is caught up in the debris, its predators attempt to consume it and also become relentlessly trapped. Just one ghost fishing net, line, or trap can kill an enormous number of oceanic dwellers.

Tons of ghost gear ends up at the bottom of the ocean, continuously killing animals for no reason. In addition to destroying marine life, it also harms the underwater habitats of sediment-dwelling organisms and coral reefs. Making matters worse, ghost gear is composed of highly resilient and durable material that is estimated to take up to 600 years to deteriorate.

Every effort must be made to correct this problem before it is irreversible. Our government has a responsibility to protect the environment, and the problem will only worsen if effective steps are not taken to address the threat of marine garbage. Sign the petition to demand that ocean clean-up research be conducted and intensive action taken to save the ocean and its inhabitants.

PETITION LETTER:

Dear Deputy Undersecretary Friedman,

Every year, lost or abandoned fishing nets, lines, and traps claim the lives of countless sea animals that become ensnared and unable to escape. This refuse problem, classified as ghost gear, has become increasingly threatening with the expansion of globalized fishing operations. Furthermore, the discarded fishing gear was designed and manufactured for durability and could take up to 600 years to break down.

The research and efforts that have been made to abate this problem are simply not enough. The issue of overall marine debris must be addressed in order to halt and reverse the obvious damages to oceanic ecosystems. This mounting environmental issue also directly harms human beings by creating pollution and diminishing food sources.

The ghost gear resting at the bottom of the ocean is deadly to countless aquatic animals, and it subjects living creatures to physical harm and a lingering death for absolutely no reason. It wreaks havoc on the entire wildlife food chain as predators also become imprisoned to await an agonizing death. I demand that extensive efforts be made to research the escalating problem of ghost gear in our oceans, and I insist that appropriate and intensive action be taken to protect the ocean for current and future generations.

Sincerely,

[Your Name Here]

Photo Credit: ECONYL

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