Don’t Abandon Recycling Programs

Target: Andrew Antoniolli, Mayor of Ipswich, Australia

Goal: Preserve recycling programs in the community and focus on building out local recycling facilities.

The Australian city of Ipswich has decided to scrap its waste recycling program, and instead will be sending all recyclable materials to local landfills, where they could pose significant environmental hazards. The move comes as the cost to recycle cans, bottles, and plastic goods has risen following China’s decision to block the import of recyclable materials, and it is feared more communities in Australia will soon follow suit. Human-generated waste is a huge problem worldwide, and measures must be taken to encourage recycling wherever possible.

While sending all garbage to area landfills may seem like an effective cost-cutting measure, it may cause more harm in the long run, especially to the environment. Government officials have complained that the rising costs have been worsened by the fact that many people do not sort their recyclables correctly, or that many recyclable materials arrive contaminated with other trash. A program that helps to educate the community and relies on local recycling facilities could create jobs, while also reducing the amount of contaminated or incorrectly sorted waste.

Landfills are an unsustainable solution to the serious problem of handling the tons of garbage communities like Ipswich and others generate each year. Sign the petition below to urge this Australian community to reverse its decision immediately.

PETITION LETTER:

Dear Mayor Antoniolli,

Recyclable waste, such as cans, bottles, and paper goods, should not be allowed to clutter landfill space simply because the cost of recycling has risen in recent years. These nonbiodegradable materials will sit in heaps for centuries, or perhaps for even thousands of years, when they could be put to much better use. This waste can be harmful to the health of the environment, or even pose a human health risk.

Your community can make a positive environmental impact by opening local recycling facilities that do not rely on the expensive export of recyclable goods. This could create jobs, and you could also educate the community in how to recycle properly to reduce the number of items that are incorrectly sorted or discarded. I hope that you will implement these changes and help protect the health of the environment and all Australians.

Sincerely,

[Your Name Here]

Photo Credit: Rupert Ganzer

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

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

Australia: Extend Environmental Laws to Protect Birds

Target: Josh Frydenberg, Australia’s Minister for Energy and Environment

Goal: Demand Australia’s wildlife protection laws be extended to protect birds.

Several species of Australia’s birds are dangerously close to extinction, but the continent’s environmental laws are not protecting them. Despite the birds being listed as endangered, the laws feature several loopholes that have led to the steady decline of species such as Carnaby’s black cockatoo, the swift parrot and the southern black-throated finch. Additionally, birds native to the islands are not protected at all.

The biggest offender in exploiting these loopholes and exemptions is the logging industry, which cuts down thousands of trees every year. Habitat destruction is the chief culprit in the loss of these birds, and the loss of these species and the trees themselves damage the delicate ecosystem of the forests and the islands where these birds reside. Unfortunately, Australia’s minister for energy and environment has said that the existing act is “the best mechanism for the federal government to protect the most important and sensitive matters.”

We cannot let these birds disappear. The lives of these beautiful creatures are as valuable as any human’s, and the environmental and animal protection laws must reflect this. Sign this petition to demand the law be extended to protect these birds and their habitat.

PETITION LETTER:

Dear Minister Frydenberg,

Australia’s current environmental protection laws do not extend to birds, of which several species are dangerously close to extinction due to the logging industry’s exploitation of various loopholes. Species such as the swift parrot and the southern black-throated finch are losing their homes every year, and their numbers decline more and more every day.

These birds are a vital part of Australia’s ecosystem, as are the trees in which they reside, and their loss will do great harm to the environment. Additionally, the lives of these birds are as valuable as that of any human. You must consent to changing the law to protect these species before they completely disappear. Australia’s government has failed them in the past, but there is still time to correct this and change their fate.

Sincerely,

[Your Name Here]

Photo Credit: Dominic Sherony

Shut Down the Kangaroo Meat Industry

Target: The Honorable Malcolm Turnbull, Prime Minister of Australia

Goal: Put an end to the kangaroo meat industry to save the species.

Kangaroos are heavily endangered, and a recent documentary has shown that this is largely in part due to the species being hunted for their meat. The grisly and shocking film exposed the harsh realities of the kangaroo meat industry, most notably the cruel methods used by slaughterhouses. Those who praised the documentary have pointed out the hypocrisy: those who clamor for better treatment of cows and chickens turn a blind eye to the plight of the kangaroo.

It is clear that the conditions in slaughterhouses are only part of the problem, however. The steady decline in kangaroos over the years due to poaching and environmental factors, plus the inhumane slaughter methods, are proof that the kangaroo meat industry is becoming more trouble than it is worth. With the loss of habitat and the species barely able to breed and keep their numbers stable, the constant poaching will render the kangaroo extinct in a matter of years.

We cannot let Australia’s iconic mascot disappear. We must ensure the kangaroo’s survival, and putting an end to the inhumane meat industry is the first step. Sign this petition to stop the poaching and slaughter of kangaroos.

PETITION LETTER:

Dear Prime Minister Turnbull,

A recent documentary has exposed the harsh realities of the kangaroo meat trade, most notably the conditions and methods in the slaughterhouses. The kangaroo has recently been declared a highly endangered species overall, due to environmental factors and loss of habitat, but mostly due to poaching of the animals for their meat.

The decline of the species coupled with the cruelty of the slaughterhouses equal a toxic industry that must be shut down. Kangaroos are denied the chance to rebuild their numbers as they are hunted down, and the species could disappear completely in a matter of years if this practice is not stopped. You must ban the hunting and killing of kangaroos and shut down the meat industry as soon as possible. The lives of living creatures are worth far more than the monetary gain of their meat sales.

Sincerely,

[Your Name Here]

Photo Credit: Matthew Wakefield

Protect Critically Endangered Habitats and the Animals That Call Them Home

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

Goal: Register federally endangered habitats so that their species and resources can be preserved for generations to come.

It has been well over a decade since Australia has listed a critically endangered habitat on its federal registry, meaning that endangered species have not been protected and resources have been plundered for over ten years. Despite having more than 1,800 federally threatened species in the country, Australia has not taken steps to protect the habitats these animals call home.

The situation facing endangered species in Australia is dire. Several million hectares of forest are set to be cleared in the coming decades, robbing thousands of plants and animals of their homes. Habitat loss, argue scientists, is the leading cause of plant and animal extinction.

Listing a species as endangered is simply not enough. Stronger actions must be taken, beginning with protecting the lands these animals live in. Sign the petition to demand that the nation of Australia start to declare habitats as federally endangered so that more steps can be taken to protect and preserve the lives of more than 1,800 endangered species.

PETITION LETTER:

Dear Minister Frydenberg,

More than 1,800 species in Australia are listed as critically endangered by the federal government. However, the government has not listed any habitat as endangered for over a decade. This has allowed deforestation to continue, robbing endangered species of their habitat and resources.

Habitat loss is the leading cause of endangered species extinction. Listing species as endangered is not enough. Their homes must be protected as well. I demand that critically endangered habitats be federally listed and the animals that call these habitats home be protected.

Sincerely,

[Your Name Here]

Photo Credit: The Central Intelligence Agency