#1: Ringling Circus Gets Largest Fine of Its Kind for Animal Cruelty — Thank USDA & PETA!
From PETA: “Feld Entertainment, the parent company of Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus, must now pay the largest settlement of its kind in U.S. history―$270,000―for alleged violations of the Animal Welfare Act (AWA) dating back to 2007.” More gruesome details on PETA.
PETA is suggesting that you now go thank the USDA for this action. I’d also recommend thanking PETA!
#2: Tell Congress to Stand Up to Big Oil & Cut Taxpayer Subsidies
From Democrats.com (this is also something I’ve written about numerous times):
Over the past decade, the big five oil companies — BP, Chevron, ConocoPhillips, ExxonMobil and Shell — have enjoyed nearly $1 trillion in profits.
At the same time, these oil companies benefit from more than $4 billion in special tax breaks and other giveaways every year.
Why are we subsidizing one of the most profitable industries? Why does ExxonMobil get a tax break while so many Americans are struggling to make ends meet and get stuck paying higher gas prices?
The House of Representatives has already cast several votes this year related to ending oil industry subsidies, but each time Big Oil’s congressional backers successfully beat back those efforts. In fact, pro-polluter lawmakers in the House are instead pushing irresponsible drilling that puts our economy and our environment at risk — demonstrating their energy policy is simple: oil above all.
But as Congress continues to work on the 2012 budget, we need to make sure that oil industry subsidies are on the chopping block.
#3: Join 1083 Cities in 93 Countries, Host a Climate Reality Presentation
Take action and host a Climate Reality presentation via this page. For recent news on how this project is going, here’s more from Al Gore’s Climate Reality project:
Two months ago, we invited you to take action by hosting a presentation in your community. The response we received was phenomenal. Over 1,800 leaders across the globe (and counting!) have requested a Climate Reality presentation. We’ve received requests from 93 countries, all 50 U.S. states and Puerto Rico, and over 1,083 cities across the globe. Your voice is helping us reach thousands.
We’ve created this infographic to show the world that we are active around the globe, helping people learn about the climate crisis and move toward real solutions. What does this show? It shows that while progress on the world stage may be slow, people like you are sharing the truth about climate change and demanding action
#4: Help Save Bryce Canyon from a Coal Mine
From CREDO Action:
Bryce Canyon National Park is a unique, secluded park known for its expansive views, clear air and dark night skies.
But the Bureau of Land Management is on the verge of approving a massive 3,500 acre strip coal mine right next to the park1 that would operate 24 hours a day, 6 days a week, polluting Bryce’s air, water and quiet seclusion.
Despite these significant concerns shown in BLM’s own analysis,2 BLM has just proposed that the mine be approved. BLM is currently accepting public comments on its proposal and strong public opposition is needed to convince the BLM to reverse course and reject this dirty coal mine.
Head on over to CREDO Action to send your comments to BLM, telling it to not allow coal mining right next to Bryce Canyon National Park.
#5: Don’t Let the Government Imprison U.S. Citizens as Terrorists without Charge
Seriously, it sounds like fiction, doesn’t it? But it’s a real concern now. Here’s a large part of Will Potter’s post over on Green is the New Red:
The U.S. Senate voted Tuesday to maintain provisions in a bill that would allow the military to apprehend U.S. citizens, including those on U.S. soil, without charge, and hold them indefinitely if they are labeled as terrorists. President Obama has threatened a veto.
The vote comes after attempts by the American Civil Liberties Union and others to strip the massive National Defense Authorization Act of these components. An amendment by Senator Mark Udall of Colorado failed by a 61-37 vote.
Udall warned “these proposed changes would require the military to take on a new responsibility as police, jailors and judges — jobs for which it is not equipped and which it does not want. These changes to our laws would also authorize the military to exercise unprecedented power on U.S. soil.”
Why is this so dangerous? As Shahid Buttar of the Bill of Rights Defense Committee said pointedly:
“We have courts in America to check executive power. Impartial judges limit over whom the state may exercise its coercive power to deny freedom. We don’t trust prosecutors to make those decisions, because we presume innocence. Being considered ‘innocent until proven guilty’ is a bedrock constitutional norm, a cornerstone in the edifice our Founders constructed to defend freedom from the potential tyranny that Levin & McCain casually invite.”
Supporters of the provisions, including Senators Carl Levin (D-Mich.) and John McCain (R-Ariz), say the bill only targets al-Qaeda (the unspoken rationale, of course, is that we are to believe that anyone accused of being associated with Al-Qaeda is not entitled to a fair trial). Yet they go on to note “the administration has broad authority to decide who is covered by this provision and how and when such a decision is made.”
As Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) said: ”The enemy is all over the world. Here at home… They should not be read their Miranda Rights. They should not be given a lawyer…”
Read more on Green is the New Red. And, here’s Potter’s ‘take action’ suggestion (the first link is to an online petition): “Contact your senators to register your opposition, and contact the White House to urge a veto.“