RuthG in Chicago is doing 24 things including…

give a damn

120 cheers

 

RuthG has written 31 entries about this goal

Save the bees!

From Avaaz.org:

Silently, billions of bees are dying off all over [the US] and our entire food chain is in danger. Bees don’t just make honey, they are a giant, humble workforce, pollinating 90% of the crops we grow.
Multiple scientific studies blame one group of toxic pesticides for their rapid demise, and bee populations have soared in the four European countries that have banned the deadly products. But powerful chemical companies are lobbying the Environment Protection Agency hard to keep selling this poison. It’s up to us to defend the bees and our food supply by calling for a US ban now.
We have no time to lose – a recent study shows 96% of our four main bee species have been wiped out. Let’s build a buzz across the nation calling on the EPA to outlaw these killer chemicals and save our bees and our food. Sign the emergency petition now and send it on to everyone and we’ll deliver it to the top decision makers:
http://www.avaaz.org/en/save_the_bees_usa/97.php?cl_tta_sign=148d1aed85f80d49e569232fe22cffd3



There's also this petition

http://www.avaaz.org/en/save_copenhagen/?cl=416695840&v=5063

to ALL the world leaders in Copenhagen – who are realizing that they really are expected to DO SOMETHING WORTHWHILE there & are suddenly scrambling at the last minute! Nearly 14 million people have signed this Avaaz petition. Isn’t that cool? Add your name & help bring the number to 15 million!

Petition to the 110 Presidents and Prime Ministers negotiating in Copenhagen:
We call on each one of you to make the concessions necessary to meet your historic responsibility in this crisis. Rich countries must offer fair funding, and all countries must set ambitious targets on emissions. Do not leave Copenhagen without a fair, ambitious and binding deal that keeps the world safe from catastrophic global warming of 2 degrees.



Now, quickly, please - 4% reduction is not even close to enough!

From Avaaz.org: A leaked UN analysis shows that the current deal on the table in Copenhagen would see a temperature increase of 3 degrees Celsius – enough to bring near-apocalyptic droughts, flooding, and sea level rise across large swathes of the world.

The US, with a extremely weak emissions reductions commitment so far, is the key to increased ambition, and Obama is responding to pressure. Today, after thousands of messages from Avaaz members to the White House, a global ad campaign, and stunts in DC and Denmark, Hillary Clinton announced a global target of $100B in long-term climate financing – still not enough, but serious progress!

If President Obama strengthens our emissions target too, we could still see a breakthrough instead of a collapse in Copenhagen. Let’s flood the White House right now with messages, and tell President Obama, Secretary Clinton and the whole US Copenhagen delegation to lead the world to a fair, ambitious and legally binding deal – starting with a 2020 target in line with climate science:

http://www.avaaz.org/en/usa_lead_on_climate

Less than 36 hours is left of the negotiations. Right now, the 2020 emissions target Obama has offered the world is a puny 4% below 1990 levels – and other countries like China and the EU are using it as an excuse for their own weak targets. Let’s urge Secretary Clinton and President Obama to do what it takes to achieve a fair, ambitious, and legally binding treaty in Copenhagen by offering to cut emissions faster – and pushing other countries to do that same.



Environmental refugees

The people of low-lying islands around the world are being displaced by rising sea levels. Here’s a brief article about it from the Christian Science Monitor. No action alert is connected to it—let’s just keep the faith, keep working to reverse global climate change.

Photo is from the Maldives, whose first democratically elected president is considering using national funds to buy land in a neighboring country in case his people are flooded out.



Upcoming UN meeting

There’s an exciting new campaign to help fight the climate crisis.

Here’s the deal: The United States has historically contributed the most to global warming, and over the past eight years it’s done the least to stop it. In fact, the U.S. has actively tried to block progress on a global climate deal.

Whoever takes office as U.S. president next year has a lot of work to get the U.S. back in the game—and his very first test on climate change will come even before either Obama or McCain takes office. That test will be the next UN Climate meeting coming up in December.

IF the next president goes and makes a strong statement about the U.S. rising to the challenge of the climate crisis, it could dramatically alter the course of the negotiations. But McCain and Obama will go only if they’re invited.

That’s where we come in. It’s crucial that citizens from around the globe (you don’t need to be from the U.S.!) put pressure on Obama and McCain to ensure they attend the meeting and play their part in getting the U.S. to be a leader on global warming.

Please visit www.350.org/invite to send your personal invitation to McCain and Obama today.



The food crisis

I just signed a petition urging world leaders to tackle the food crisis now gripping the world. This is important and I thought you might like to sign it too:

http://www.avaaz.org/en/world_food_crisis/tf.php?CLICK_TF_TRACK

Have you noticed food costing more when you shop? It’s happening all over the world, and it’s devastating poorer countries. Rocketing prices are squeezing billions and triggering food riots. In Sierra Leone alone the price of a bag of rice has doubled, now unaffordable for 90% of citizens.

I appreciate Avaaz’s perspective on this. It’s not just a matter of shipping loads of grain from the United States to other parts of the world. The biofuels craze & “free trade” policies are at the root of this & need to be addressed: “The prices of staple foods like wheat, corn and rice have almost doubled, and the crisis is slipping out of control—so we’re calling for immediate action on emergency food aid, speculation and biofuels policy, while asking forthcoming summits to tackle deeper problems of investment and trade.”

Let’s press our leaders to address the real issues.



From Avaaz.org, on biofuels--take action

I just sent a message to GWB urging the creation of international biofuels standards to ensure that the current expansion of the biofuels industry does not damage the environment or drive up food prices.

As developed countries push for biofuels as an alternative to fossil fuels, increased demand for the crops that make biofuels is causing the destruction of rainforests (cleared to make way for plantations) and a rise in food prices, as farmers grow crops for fuel instead of food. Just last week, the UN World Food Program announced a massive budget deficit as a result of rising food prices, caused by a combination of biofuels growth, bad weather, and high oil prices.

Note from me: In Colombia, lots of land taken forcibly from Afro-Colombian communities in recent years has been planted in oil palm, which absolutely devastates the rainforest. And now other Afro communities are being told that if they want a share of new US-AID funds, they have to get on the oil palm bandwagon! It’s horrifying.

This Friday through Saturday, the G20 group of countries (the twenty biggest economies, responsible for more than 75% of the world’s carbon emissions) will meet in Chiba, Japan, to begin climate change discussions leading up to the G8 summit this summer. Before the summit, Avaaz.org is launching a global cry for sustainable biofuels. By sending a message to your leader urging biofuels standards, you can make a difference on this critical issue. Take action now:

http://www.avaaz.org/en/biofuel_standards_now/98.php?CLICK_TF_TRACK

Thanks!



Food & fuel
Opinion pieces in today’s New York Times show succinctly how Congress has allowed corporate interests to dictate policy at citizens’ expense:
  1. In food production, penalizing farmers who grow fruits & vegetables for local consumption outside the states with huge agribusiness (California, Texas, Florida)
  2. In subsidies to Big Oil rather than to innovators in sustainable energy

Sigh. Let’s keep pressing our senators & reps, U.S. folks.



Good news

I haven’t had a chance to read it yet, but there’s a recent book available for free download that explores the possibility and feasibility of the United States’ becoming carbon & nuclear free in the foreseeable future. Here is the book’s central finding:

The overarching finding of this study is that a zero-CO2 U.S. economy can be achieved within the next thirty to fifty years without the use of nuclear power and without acquiring carbon credits from other countries. In other words, actual physical emissions of CO2 from the energy sector can be eliminated with technologies that are now available or freseeable. This can be done at reasonable cost while creating a much more secure energy supply than at present. Net U.S. oil imports can be eliminated in about 25 years. All three insecurities (severe climate disruption, oil supply and price insecurity, and nuclear proliferation via commercial nuclear energy) will thereby be addressed. In addition, there will be large ancillary health benefits from the elimination of most regional and local air pollution, such as high ozone and particulate levels in cities, which is due to fossil fuel combustion.

It’s focused on what would be possible for the U.S., but obviously the implications are similar for other countries & regions. The book is by Arjun Makhijani: Carbon-Free and Nuclear-Free: A Roadmap for U.S. Energy Policy. Helen Caldicott raised money for its writing & publication. You can download it here.



Sign polar bear card to GWB

From the NRDC:

Help give polar bears the gift of a future on our planet by signing this Holiday SOS Card to President Bush in support of their protection under the Endangered Species Act.

http://www.polarbearsos.org/holiday_card

Please add your name to the card right now—because the polar bear can’t wait. Within the next 30 days, the Bush Administration will either throw polar bears a lifeline or condemn them to extinction.

Without urgently needed protection, all of Alaska’s polar bears could be extinct in less than 50 years—along with two-thirds of the world’s entire polar bear population.

But there is still hope if the Bush Administration takes action now. That’s why we are asking you, and everyone who cares about polar bears , to help us add 100,000 names to this Polar Bear Holiday SOS Card.

Together, we must create a nationwide show of support for polar bears in the next 30 days—because a North Pole without polar bears is simply unthinkable.

My addition: I believe one sticking point is that putting polar bears on the Endangered Species List implies taking global warming seriously, & of course more than pollution cleanup would be involved. The polar bears are very important in themselves, & they are also of high symbolic importance in tackling climate change.



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