Activism News & Action Opportunities Round-Up (10 Stories)


occupy kfc activists

1. Activists occupied KFC on two continents last week. More from the Dogwood Alliance: “Colonel Sanders and various woodland creatures made appearances at over 150 KFC restaurants across the country and various locations in Europe to deliver a message, ‘Stop destroying Southern forests for your throwaway packaging.’ The iconic KFC bucket and other KFC paper packaging comes from critical wetland forests and some of the last remaining special places on the southeastern coast.”

2. Activists in Washington State are fighting the burning of more coal by stopping coal terminals that will facilitate massive shipments to China. More from NPR: “Plans are afoot to build giant new coal terminals on the West Coast to ship this lucrative commodity to China. But activists want to stop this, in part because coal produces huge amounts of carbon dioxide when it’s burned. Federal climate policy is silent on this potentially large source of emissions, so the debate is happening at the local level.”

3. For all those fighting to educate the world, and especially global warming deniers and skeptics, about global warming and climate change, Skeptical Science has been publishing a “Debunking Handbook” in parts over on its site. REALLY good stuff. Here’s part 1: The Debunking Handbook Part 1: The first myth about debunking.

4. Climate activism is making Obama and others pay more attention to the issue, and Bill McKibben postulates that it might just be a critical issue in the 2012 elections. Here’s the intro to his TomDispatch piece: “Conventional wisdom has it that the next election will be fought exclusively on the topic of jobs. But President Obama’s announcement last week that he would postpone a decision on the Keystone XL pipeline until after the 2012 election, which may effectively kill the project, makes it clear that other issues will weigh in — and that, oddly enough, one of them might even be climate change.”

5. Help Stop Animal Cruelty and Use of Exotic Animals in Circusesask your representative in the House to support the Traveling Exotic Animal Protection Act (TEAPA).

6. Help Protect Whale Sharks! Sign a Pew Environment Group petition on the topic. “The world’s largest fish is threatened from tuna fishing boats in the western and central Pacific Ocean. Massive purse seine vessels with nets stretching up to a mile and extending 1,000 feet below the surface, cinch fish with a drawstring mechanism that prevents escape. These vessels frequently set their gear around whale sharks to scoop up the tuna that congregate underneath the larger fish.”

7. Angelina Jolie, Bono, Al Gore, and Arnold Schwartzenneger are among the notable who will be pushing for an international climate treaty in Durban, South Africa in a few days. From Haute Living: “Haute 100 Los Angeles member Angelina Jolie will be leading a star-studded crew of celebrities to Durban, South Africa in three weeks for the 17th Conference of Parties (COP17) climate change conference, the single biggest event in the city’s history.”

8. Take Action to Help Implement New Clean Car Standards! “We stand on the verge of historic progress with the Obama administration’s recently proposed fuel efficiency and global warming emissions standards for vehicles sold between 2017 and 2025. These standards would save consumers billions of dollars at the gas pump, prevent millions of tons of global warming emissions, and save as much oil in 2030 alone as we currently import from Saudi Arabia and Iraq,” the Union of Concerned Scientists (UCS) writes. “Automakers have the technology to make all new cars, trucks, and SUVs cleaner. But just as opportunity knocks, automakers and their allies are working behind the scenes to weaken the standards with loopholes that could increase pollution and oil dependence.” Sign a UCS petition to the Obama administration to implement clean car standards.

9. Win! Whale meat was withdrawn from sale at an Iceland airport after an activist push. “It isn’t quite the cod war, but conservationists and the UK Foreign Office can claim a significant victory over Iceland without even sending a gunboat,” the Guardian writes. “Within hours of the Foreign Office updating its travel advice to British tourists, warning that they faced possible imprisonment or fines of up to £5,000 if they brought home whale meat, authorities withdrew the food from sale at Keflavik airport.”

10. Two leading environmental organizations (and, well, many others) recently spoke out about some environmentally-unfriendly moves by the Obama administration.

From Defenders of Wildlife:

“The Obama administration made the wise decision to protect vast tracts of the country’s oceans from oil and gas exploration. However, the inclusion of the Arctic Ocean in the country’s five-year drilling plan is indefensible. From the extreme and unpredictable conditions of the region to the lack of a realistic spill response, the risks of a drilling disaster in the Arctic remain too high to authorize exploratory drilling. While the announcement proposes to address these threats by deferring drilling for a handful of years, the only way to protect this fragile marine environment from the threats posed by dangerous oil and gas exploration is to take it off the table altogether.

“Instead of enabling our country’s addiction to oil for five more years, the administration should strengthen its efforts to wean America off dirty fossil fuels, accelerating the transition to a clean energy future.”

From Earthjustice:

“The U.S. Forest Service yesterday issued a decision that literally paves the way for conglomerate Arch Coal to build up to 48 well pads and 6.5 miles of road into pristine roadless lands about ten miles east of Paonia, Colorado. This decision permits a 1,700-acre expansion of Arch’s West Elk coal mine, one of the state’s largest greenhouse gas polluters.

“The Obama administration’s action comes on the heels of the recent decision by the Denver-based Tenth Circuit Court of Appeals upholding the 2001 National Roadless Rule, court action in which the administration defended that rule. The National Roadless Rule prohibits road construction on about 4 million acres of roadless forest in Colorado, including the Sunset Trail Roadless Area that Arch coal would develop.

“’The Forest Service is snatching defeat from the jaws of victory,’ said Ted Zukoski, an attorney with Earthjustice, a public interest law firm that defended the 2001 National Roadless Rule in courtrooms across the nation for the last decade.”

KFC activism photo via meganpru

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