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

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

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 Tree Clearing To Save Koala Population

Target: His Excellency Paul de Jersey, Governor of Queensland, Australia

Goal: Save Queensland koala population by preserving as many trees as possible.

Queensland’s koala population is rapidly disappearing due to mass tree clearings. The trees are chopped down to make room for housing and infrastructure, robbing the species of their natural habitat and rendering them vulnerable to the high concentration of fast-moving vehicles, predatory dogs, and lack of food due to industrialization of the land.

Nearly 5,000 koalas died within the span of four years, from 2012 to 2016, and the death toll continues to rise to this day. Koalas cannot thrive or survive outside their natural habitat, and the trees not only provide their shelter and water supply, but the gumleaves they subsist on. The fewer trees there are, the fewer gumleaves, thus many koalas starve to death if they are not hit by motorists or attacked by dogs first.

The species will disappear completely within a few years’ time if the tree clearings are not curbed. We cannot allow these wonderful animals to vanish from this planet forever. Sign this petition to demand a stop to the tree clearings in Queensland.

PETITION LETTER:

Dear Governor de Jersey,

Queensland’s koala population may completely disappear in a few years’ time due to mass tree clearings. Many forests worth of trees have been cut down to make room for housing and infrastructure, robbing the species of their shelter and food source. This has caused nearly 5,000 koala deaths within four years, many of which were starvation-induced. Those that do not starve are killed by passing motorists or attacked by dogs.

You must stop the tree clearings before this species is gone for good. The koala is a vital species to Australia, and trees are vital to the ecosystem as a whole. You cannot allow industrialization to rob the planet of these wonderful animals. Ban the clearing of trees and give koalas a fighting chance.

Sincerely,

[Your Name Here]

Photo Credit: Erik Veland

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

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

Praise India for Punishing Celebrity Guilty of Illegal Hunting

Target: Pradeep Nandrajog, Chief Justice of Rajasthan High Court

Goal: Praise Indian court for protecting wildlife animals and holding illegal hunters accountable.

A famous Bollywood star in India has been sentenced to five years in prison and fined $153 for poaching a species of protected Indian antelope. It is believed that the actor, Salman Khan, and four other actors were present in the car during the incident in 1998, but fled when caught, leaving the dead animals behind. The other actors were found not guilty due to lack of evidence.

Without a special permit, most wildlife species are off limits to hunters in India. Khan was arrested for hunting two antelopes and three other gazelles, and eight years later, he was convicted of killing the antelopes. The charges hung over him for the next decade, but in 2016, he was found not guilty of poaching the gazelles. The allegations first came from a witness who wrote down the vehicle number as it sped away from the scene. In 2018, finally, Khan was found guilty of illegal poaching.

Because of his status and affluence, Khan continues to be showered with affection from his fans. Although he has a history in court for drunken misbehavior, domestic abuse, and a fatal hit-and-run, his male followers empathize with him, claiming that he is only a human male who makes mistakes. This is a toxic attitude, but sentencing him to prison and issuing a fine signals that not even celebrities should walk free if they violate wildlife laws. Sign the petition below to praise the Rajasthan High Court for protecting wildlife and enforcing laws regardless of status.

PETITION LETTER:

Dear Chief Justice Nandrajog,

Salman Khan, a famous Bollywood actor, has been sentenced to five years in prison and fined for illegal hunting in 1998. While filming a scene, Khan (and allegedly several other actors) killed the animals, which were then a vulnerable and protected species. While the other actors were acquitted, Khan is going to pay the price for harming wildlife.

Celebrities should not be given a free pass when it comes to following wildlife regulations. Although Khan’s fans still adore him after allegations and instances of domestic abuse, drunken misbehavior, a fatal hit-and-run, and illegal poaching, I am glad that the court is serving justice for wrongly killed animals. I applaud your efforts in enforcing wildlife laws, even for citizens of high social and economic status. With this guilty verdict, India demonstrates that it does not tolerate illegal hunting and will do what it takes to protect wildlife.

Sincerely,

[Your Name Here]

Photo Credit: Bernard Dupont

Regulate Electronic Waste to Protect Waterways and Public Health

Target: Kepha Ombacho, Kenya’s Director of Public Health

Goal: Create and implement policy to regulate e-waste, protecting environmental and public health.

Kenya generates 44,000 tons of electronic waste (any device that uses a plug or battery) each year, posing great public and environmental health hazards. Electronic waste is a huge problem across the world, with 45 million tons produced in 2016, but in Kenya, this waste is not regulated. This is a growing problem for waterways such as the Nairobi River, where e-waste is dumped and toxins are distributed to agricultural areas. While there are three facilities licensed to handle e-waste, they are all currently running under capacity because of a lack of awareness about the dangers of e-waste and how to dispose of it properly.

A rise in income and a decline in electronics prices have contributed to this problem. Kenya also receives large amounts of e-waste from Europe, which is a common practice for developing countries. Across Southeast Asia, many landfill workers make money from recycling electronic parts or separating precious metals from the plastics. Direct contact with dangerous materials like lead, cadmium, and chromium are associated with developmental and behavioral problems, especially with children. In addition, these toxins accumulate in soil, waterways, and food.

Regulating e-waste has the potential to increase awareness about proper disposal practices not just with electronic waste, but with plastic waste. It also has the potential to turn the conversation to harmful consumer behaviors. Consumers often discard older electronic models when they still work or keep broken ones in their homes without disposing of them properly. Kenya’s government must implement a policy to regulate e-waste before it causes any more damage to the environment and its people. Sign the petition below to urge the Kenya’s director of public health to push for this legislation.

PETITION LETTER:

Dear Director Ombacho,

Electronic waste is a huge problem across the world, but it is even more so in Kenya, where 44,000 unregulated tons are produced each year. Because there is no policy regulating e-waste, it is common practice to dump it into waterways, streets, and regular garbage bins. Electronic waste is highly detrimental to human health; it causes developmental and behavioral problems, especially in children. Toxins from e-waste also accumulate in soil, waterways, and food. The Nairobi River is now an awful e-waste dumpsite, and the rest of Kenya’s waterways are affected.

Kenya can make a positive impact on global e-waste by implementing a policy to regulate it. This waste has potential to improve recycling for all types of garbage, such as plastic. It can also help steer the conservation to changing consumer habits, not only regarding proper waste disposal and recycling, but also being mindful of purchasing new electronics when old ones can be repaired or traded in. Although widespread access to electronics may signal social and technological progress, we must ensure that it does not cause environmental degradation and public health deterioration. I hope that you implement a policy to regulate e-waste and help protect environmental and public health.

Sincerely,

[Your Name Here]

Photo Credit: Sascha Pohflepp