Protect Migratory Species of The World

Target: Jim Kurth, Director of the United States Fish and Wildlife Service

Goal: Protect migratory wildlife from expanding construction and urbanization.

Thousands of wildlife species’ migration patterns are threatened by 40 million miles of concrete. These roads are highly dangerous to the animals forced to cross them; many are killed by motorists each year, and they provide next to no nourishment to sustain them during their lengthy journeys. Those who are not endangered on these roads are blocked from travel by the settlements and developments they lead to, while aquatic wildlife are blocked by over 400 dams.

Migration is highly important to many species. It is how they seek out others of their kind to breed and increase their numbers, and it is how many protect themselves from adverse weather effects. With this inborn instinct and life pattern of theirs blocked by settlements such as dams or endangered by dangerous road conditions, these animals remain isolated. They suffer the negative effects of summer or winter, and are unable to reproduce. This has already led to the endangerment of many species, and will possibly cause extinction of some down the line.

These structures are beneficial to human beings, but these benefits should not come at the expense of wildlife and their natural patterns. Sign this petition to demand safe passageways for all migratory wildlife.

PETITION LETTER:

Dear Director Kurth,

The migratory patterns of thousands of wildlife species are in jeopardy due to the increasing amount of roads and settlements being built. While these roads and settlements are vital to humans, many animals are killed by passing motorists, or blocked in by dams or other structures. Migration is highly important to the survival of these animals, as it aids them in seeking out others of their kind for reproduction and allows them to seek protection from adverse weather effects.

You must aid in making the roads safer for wildlife, and ensuring that there will always be passages for these species on land, in water, or in the air. If unable to migrate, these animals will become endangered or even go extinct due to adverse weather and a lack of chances to breed and increase their numbers. It is possible to allow for urban development without destroying these animals’ way of life.

Sincerely,

[Your Name Here]

Photo Credit: Western Arctic Reserve

Revive the Northern White Rhino From Near-Extinction

Target: Jim Kurth, Director of the United States Fish and Wildlife Service

Goal: Support scientific endeavors to bring the northern white rhino back from near-extinction.

Scientists have discovered a way to preserve the northern white rhino as a subspecies even after the last remaining male died from health complications. This method is in-vitro fertilization coupled with stem cell science; frozen sperm from deceased male rhinos plus the eggs of the two last aging females would be implanted into the womb of female southern white rhinos.

However, this method is both controversial and still a fledgling idea. Currently, eggs and sperm alike have been frozen until scientists can figure out a foolproof way to implant them. But more than that, the idea has proven controversial, as conservationists believe the money required to fund this revival should be used to protect other species. While technically true, the northern white rhino’s near-extinct status should render it a priority at the moment, thus the need to back this endeavor.

A species hunted to near-extinction so rarely has the chance to be revived, and the northern white rhino deserves that chance. Sign this petition to support funding for the IVF and stem cell methods in saving this species.

PETITION LETTER:

Dear Director Kurth,

The northern white rhino is on the brink of extinction after the last remaining male died of illness, but scientists have discovered a way to preserve the population via IVF. The eggs of the two remaining females plus sperm frozen from other deceased males would be implanted into the uterus of female southern white rhinos.

Unfortunately, in addition to the practice of rhino IVF still being in the fledgling stages, the plan has generated some controversy due to conservationists feeling other species are more deserving of the funding that would go into this plan. While it is good to protect as many endangered species as possible, the northern white rhino is in dire need of resuscitation. The only two remaining are elderly, and their time on this planet is limited.

You must support this endeavor wholeheartedly. The northern white rino deserves this chance at a revival, and is worth the funds necessary to make it possible. Support the scientists as they work to save this subspecies from completely disappearing.

Sincerely,

[Your Name Here]

Photo Credit: Sheep81

Success: Congratulate Montana for Rejecting Coal Development

Target: Brian Morris, Judge for the District of Montana

Goal: Congratulate Judge Morris for protecting precious land and resources from oil drilling.

A Montana court delivered a heroic ruling recently and saved over 15 million acres of land from being turned into coal mines and oil refineries. A proposal by the Bureau of Land Management would have desecrated sacred land in Montana and Wyoming.

Thanks to efforts by conservation groups, the case made it to court in Montana, where Judge Brian Morris ruled the proposal to be unlawful. The case took several years to fight and was an uphill battle for the defense, but thanks to Judge Morris and all of the environmental groups involved, Montana and Wyoming will remain beautiful. Sign this petition below to thank Judge Morris for his tremendous decision.

PETITION LETTER:

Dear Judge Morris,

Thank you for allowing pristine land to remain beautiful under environmental protection. By ruling this proposal unlawful, you have set a precedent as we shift towards renewable energy. Now, when land groups seek to desecrate beautiful land, they will have an exceedingly more difficult time doing so.

If judges like you continue to protect our environment in the age of Trump and the Pruitt-led EPA, then our planet stands a chance of survival. With an administration so determined to kill the planet, decisions like yours make all of the difference.

Sincerely,

[Your Name Here]

Photo Credit: United States Forest Service

Demand EPA Ban Deadly Chemical in Household Products

Target: Scott Pruitt, Administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency

Goal: Follow through with ban on lethally toxic paint-thinning chemical.

A common household product is already responsible for killing dozens of people. Methlyene chloride is a chemical found in common paint thinners that has been found to be toxic to humans, yet the Environmental Protection Agency has not followed through with a proposed ban on the chemical.

The EPA had plans to ban the product altogether after Obama-era regulations were put in place, yet the agency has moved to a standstill in regards to banning the chemical. The chemical has been found to be too toxic to use indoors and has killed dozens of people already, including veterans, teenagers, and a mother of four. Sign the petition below to demand the EPA go through with the ban.

PETITION LETTER:

Dear Mr. Pruitt,

Once again, your agency is doing a terrible job at protecting the environment from harmful chemicals. This time, the problem has spread to suburbia, where people are just trying to strip paint from the sides of their houses. Nobody should have to worry about dying when they’re stripping paint.

Choosing to take your time on this issue does nothing but further harm at-risk families. There is no positive outcome that happens when you keep a toxic chemical like this legal, so why are you hesitating? We, the American people, demand a solution to this issue at once. Ban methlyene chloride now!

Sincerely,

[Your Name Here]

Photo Credit: Gage Skidmore

Help Citizens Breathe Clean Air

Target: Becky Keogh, Director of Arkansas Department of Environmental Quality

Goal: Increase awareness around hydrogen sulfide contamination and protect public health.

Citizens in Arkansas are breathing dangerous air. In Crossett, Arkansas, a rotten-egg smell is familiar to its citizens, who regularly breathe in hydrogen sulfide from wastewater near the Georgia-Pacific paper mill. Although reports have demonstrated that hydrogen sulfide air and odor measurements regularly exceed safe limits, the paper mill has not been penalized or charged. Instead, residents face health problems such as eye, nose and throat irritation, headaches, poor memory, balance problems, and breathing difficulties. This is especially true for people who suffer from asthma and respiratory problems already.

In the 1990s, the paper mill reached settlements with citizens for being found responsible for corroded air conditioners, swing sets, basketball goals, and other properties. While hydrogen sulfide was not included in the emissions permit for the paper mill, leaving them free of liability, the permit now includes overall hydrogen sulfide released, especially in its wastewater paths. Georgia-Pacific has tried to mitigate its emissions by creating pipes for wastewater instead of letting them flow openly, but this has not reduced emissions.

Over three years of monitoring, Arkansas has released over 25 notices of hydrogen sulfide air measurements exceeding the limit. A complaint was made to the EPA in 2011 followed by site visits, conversations, and investigations, but the situation remains the same. In a predominantly black area with 22.8% of the population living below the poverty line compared to the national average of 12.7%, residents have no other choice but to go on as usual. It is unfair that residents must suffer health problems because a company refuses to find alternative ways to dispose of wastewater. Urge the Arkansas Director of Environmental Quality to increase awareness for this public and environmental health issue, and protect both from pollution.

PETITION LETTER:

Dear Ms. Keogh,

Residents in Crossett, Arkansas suffer from health problems due to the hydrogen sulfide released by the Georgia-Pacific paper mill. The steam from dirty wastewater finds its way into their lungs and respiratory systems, inducing problems such as eye, nose, and throat irritation, headaches, poor memory and balance problems, breathing difficulties, dizziness, and sleep problems.

While regular monitoring of hydrogen sulfide levels show that they exceed safe levels, there have been no cases or penalties brought up against Georgia-Pacific. Many people seem skeptical of the residents’ ailments and complains. Nearly a third of the vulnerable community of Crossett lives below the poverty line, compounding even more health problems for many residents.

As the director for the Department of Environmental Quality of Arkansas, you must protect underrepresented communities, especially, from threats such as this. Georgia-Pacific can no longer claim that it is not responsible for hydrogen sulfide emissions or that it has no way of measuring how much it is releasing. Plenty of evidence has shown that they are the 13th biggest producers of hydrogen sulfide of a list of 508 facilities. I hope that you take appropriate action and begin helping these communities by protecting them from unjust environmental hazard exposure.

Sincerely,

[Your Name Here]

Photo Credit: Nicolaus Czarnecki

U.S. Military Must Reduce Toxic Waste and Contamination

Target: Jim Mattis, United States Secretary of Defense

Goal: Demand that the Pentagon work to clean up areas that have been contaminated with military pollution across the United States and worldwide.

The United States military is the world’s largest polluter, producing more toxic waste than the five largest U.S. chemical manufacturers combined. Both domestic and foreign U.S. military bases consistently rank as some of the most polluted places worldwide, with hazardous jet and rocket fuel components being major culprits for contamination. With hundreds of bases listed on the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) Superfund cleanup list, it is clear that something must be done.

In the United States, almost 900 of the 1200 sites identified by the EPA as being the worst polluted locations are former military sites and bases. According to retired Michigan congressman John D. Dingell, “almost every military site in this country is seriously contaminated.” Globally, the situation is even worse, from groundwater contamination in Okinawa to depleted uranium leftover from the Gulf War in Iraq.

It is time that the United States military and the Department of Defense (DoD) take necessary measures to clean up their toxic legacy. Sign this petition and demand that more be done to reduce waste and address the severe contamination found at military bases and other installations worldwide.

PETITION LETTER:

Dear Secretary Mattis,

The United States military has the dubious honor of being the world’s largest polluter, with almost 900 of the EPA’s Superfund sites consisting of former military bases and other sites. Worldwide, U.S. military actions have left contamination at thousands of locations, from the nuclear fallout on the Marshall Islands and Guam to depleted uranium leftover in Iraq from the Gulf War. At home, Navajo Indian reservations have been poisoned by former DoD-contracted uranium mines. These are just a few of many examples.

It’s time that the U.S. military and Department of Defense act to address these issues that have exposed potentially many millions of people to hazardous waste known to cause cancer and other illnesses. We, the undersigned, urge you to step up efforts to clean up the pollution found at both domestic and foreign bases and to pledge to reduce waste moving forward.

Sincerely,

[Your Name Here]

Photo Credit: Ian Cunliffe

Stop Road Accidents That Kill Countless Animals

Target: Elaine L. Chao, U.S. Secretary of Transportation

Goal: Invest in roadway technologies that save human and animal lives.

If you have never been personally caught in a roadway accident involving an animal, you likely know someone who has experienced this danger. An estimated one billion dollars in damages result from such collisions every year. The more tragic statistics, however, mark the number of lives lost: some human, but most overwhelmingly animal deaths. Larger animals such as deer may get the courtesy of having their bodies removed from roadways if only to prevent vehicle ‘obstruction’ or damage. The lives of so many other animals are reduced to gory splatters on roads and highways across America.

Animal crossings present a viable solution to preventable tragedies where wildlife and civilization collide. Utilizing the best minds in science, engineering, and transportation planning, animal crossing initiatives develop safe passages for animals living and traveling near busy roadways. These projects include fencing around particularly dangerous areas, as well as construction of bridges, overpasses, and underpasses. Studies have validated that animals ranging from bears to deer do make use of these structures when they are available, curtailing countless accidents and fatalities. More beneficial still, these structures let animals travel the distances they need in order to ensure the diversity and replenishment of their species.

While animal crossings have become increasingly popular around the world, their numbers still remain woefully underrepresented in North America. Sign this petition to encourage the Department of Transportation to give this investment in human and animal safety a more in-depth evaluation.

PETITION LETTER:

Dear Secretary Chao,

America spends billions of dollars on wildlife-related road accidents every year. Despite the loss of property and of life, a key tool in combating these preventable tragedies has not garnered the needed support. When an animal crossing initiative failed in Colorado despite its governor’s support, decision-makers cited cost as a major obstacle. Will these costs ever equal the losses already incurred, however, and the many more losses that will likely take place in the future?

Structures around the world, including one prominent structure in Alberta, Canada, are testament to the success of animal crossings in preventing roadway accidents and in helping wildlife flourish. Dedicated designers forge strong collaborations with highway planners, with conservation groups, with scientists and engineers, and with all interested parties in order to evaluate what works best. They also gather the necessary data to measure the effectiveness of these crossings, making maximum use of infrared cameras and other helpful technologies. The most important goal of these designers, though, lays in reaching out to the public and to policymakers about the benefit of these vastly underrepresented life-savers.

Please reach out in turn to discuss, collaborate, and ultimately implement a framework for wildlife crossing development nationwide.

Sincerely,

[Your Name Here]

Photo Credit: State Farm

Clean Power Trumps Pollution: Hold Super-Polluter Accountable

Target: William H. Spence, Chairman, President, and CEO of PPL Corporation

Goal: Demand one of the country’s top polluters enact clean power solutions.

Toxic: this is a fitting word for agents that cause impaired lung development, respiratory disease, and premature death. These effects just represent the toll on humans. The impact toxic air pollution and greenhouse gas emissions exert on the environment is manifest in a different kind of symptomology: rising water levels, erratic swings in temperature, dying ecosystems, and unforgiving natural disasters. A few years ago, an alarming study about America’s ‘super-polluters’ revealed that just 100 US companies released fully one-third of this country’s pollutants into the atmosphere. America ranks only behind China as the world’s largest polluter, so a mere 100 companies not only pollute US skies, they add millions of metric tons of environmental killers to the world as a whole. Of these 100 companies, energy giant PPL Corporation stands among the very worst. With continued federal deregulation and lacking EPA support, destructive organizations like these will continue to destroy our environment unchecked.

The Center for Public Integrity’s super-polluters list measured companies based on toxic air pollution and greenhouse gas levels. Two separate top-100 lists resulted, and several companies had the ‘honor’ of making both of these lists. Only PPL, however, had three offenders on both lists. In the time since this list’s unveiling, PPL has done little to mend its destructive practices. The organization remains the seventh biggest emitter of carbon dioxide in the country. Recently, PPL’s shareholders approved a measure requiring reports of how any climate change initiative would curtail their earnings. While some of the organization’s plants run by oil and natural gas, several—particularly in Kentucky—are powered by coal, a significant pollutant-inducer.

EPA leaders are continuing efforts to abolish the Clean Power Plan and its requirements for states to reduce carbon dioxide emissions. Therefore, PPL may feel emboldened to abandon modernization investments for its plants. Sign this petition and urge PPL leadership to take a significant step into the future for the sake of progress and, more importantly, for the longevity of our environment.

PETITION LETTER:

Dear Mr. Spence,

Across the country, similar stories unfold in disadvantaged regions. Much is emphasized about the economic well-being of these communities, but distressingly little is said about a more insidious, devastating problem. Residents of these regions are literally being choked and strangled over a long period of time. From Indiana to Kentucky to Pennsylvania, these residents and the very air they breathe are under assault from poison. Much of this poison rests in your organization’s hands.

You have the dishonor of being named one of the country’s most prominent super-polluters. Your emissions—most notably from your coal-powered plants—consistently rank you in the top 10 of carbon dioxide contributors in the United States. It is not too late, however, to reverse this trend— to put environmental and public health before profit margins.

Follow through with plans to create an energy infrastructure that better reflects the direction of the rest of the world. This will help you stay in step with your progress-minded competitors while implementing a new, better mission for your organization’s future. Honor the spirit of the Clean Power Plan and clean up the chaotic damage you have helped create.

Be a true consumer advocate and ambassador for change by leaving pollution and toxicity in the past and by forging a better, cleaner path forward.

Sincerely,

[Your Name Here]

Photo Credit: Jason Hawkes

Tell FEMA to Stop Ignoring Climate Change

Target: William B. “Brock” Long, Administrator, Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA)

Goal: Acknowledge the reality of climate change and include it in FEMA’s strategic plan for the next four years.

The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) is the U.S. government’s first responder to natural disasters, and it has dropped all references to climate change from its latest strategic planning document, which will guide its actions for the next four years. Administrator Brock Long, the head of FEMA and the person who signed off on this Strategic Plan, was appointed to this office by President Trump. He has been publicly evasive about humanity’s role in climate change, and even about its very existence, stating, “The term climate change has become such a political hot button that, I think, it keeps us from having a real dialogue.”

FEMA’s Strategic Plan refers to “rising natural hazard risk,” and “pre-disaster mitigation,” but does not address any conditions causing those risks, and completely avoids using the terms “climate change” or “global warming.” In the Emerging Threats section of the document, terrorism and cybersecurity are mentioned, while weather events, rising sea levels, and anything related to the possible impact of the earth’s escalating temperatures are all conspicuously and thoroughly absent. Climate change poses threats to life around the globe, and it is therefore extremely dangerous to the world at large for America’s emergency management system to ignore it completely. Sign below to demand that FEMA include climate change and fully address its risks in the strategic planning document.

PETITION LETTER:

Dear Administrator Long,

As leader of FEMA, it is your responsibility to ensure that our country is prepared to deal with emergencies it may face as effectively and efficiently as possible. There is absolutely no way to do this if one of the largest threats to our country and to the planet—climate change and the risks associated with it—is not even mentioned in FEMA’s strategic planning document.

Natural disasters, rising sea levels, and increases in the surface temperature of the earth are extreme dangers to our planet, its wildlife, and the whole of humanity. Yet FEMA’s Strategic Plan mentions none of these things in its Emerging Threats section, and skirts around the conditions behind the “rising natural hazard risk” we face. This is irresponsible and unacceptable, and must be remedied. I urge you to ensure that climate change and all its associated threats are thoroughly addressed in FEMA’s Strategic Plan for the next four years.

Sincerely,

[Your Name Here]

Photo Credit: Tumisu

Support Shoe Company’s Unconventional Role as Environmental Champion

Target: David Kahan, CEO of Birkenstock Americas

Goal: Back companies driven by missions of environmental sustainability and eco-friendly policies.

In response to the bold actions of some manufacturers in the wake of the Parkland massacre, a new tool for advocacy and reform has gained prominence: the ‘buycott.’ Rather than refusing to support certain businesses, as happens in a boycott, the buycott is designed to reward those organizations that step up to aid a popular cause. This approach reflects the increasing power of the consumer. For individuals advocating environmental and related animal welfare causes, a German shoe company has emerged as an unlikely but strong ally.

Birkenstock, a maker of comfort-based footwear, recently received an award from PETA’s youth branch for its strong advocacy of veganism. The company’s contributions to such causes—now spanning over five decades—are ingrained in its very production processes. Sustainability remains a key goal , with environmentally friendly materials such as water-soluble adhesives and natural cork safely taken from trees embedded in the makeup of Birkenstock’s popular sandals. These materials also make the shoes easily reusable at the point when many other types of footwear would have been discarded and relegated to waste piles. In addition to its products, Birkenstock likewise emphasizes environmental awareness in its packaging and even in its store designs. Carbon emission and consumed energy reduction are consistent priorities in these processes and in the planning of future campaigns.

Consumers can affect change by empowering organizations that share their values while sending a strong message to those who only value the bottom financial line. Sign this petition to support Birkenstock and other business leaders willing to support our environment and all its precious resources.

PETITION LETTER:

Dear Mr. Kahan,

Social responsibility and sustainability are prominently featured on your website. You consistently demonstrate these commitments in actions as well as words. Congratulations on the Libby Award given you by PETA’s youngest members. While your commitment to veganism is admirable, you provide an even more far-reaching benefit to all of this planet’s living beings through your dedication to environmentally sound processes and initiatives.

Every day, you are demonstrating how a company can succeed without sacrificing quality, comfort, or, most importantly, integrity. In a world where our environment is increasingly under assault, it is heartening to see progressive entrepreneurs who recognize the value of our world’s natural resources.

Please continue your eco-friendly approach and know that consumers who care stand behind you every step of the way.

Sincerely,

[Your Name Here]

Photo Credit: Osakabe Yasuo