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Human Influence on Climate Change Is ‘Unequivocal’
From Stephanie Feldstein, Population and Sustainability Program Director
Between 2000 and 2018, the global population grew by nearly 19%. But the population in flood-prone areas rose by more than 34% — putting as many as 86 million more people at risk and increasing the pressure on natural ecosystems like reefs and dunes that once provided flood protection. Meanwhile, the megadrought in the American West is so bad that the U.S. government declared a water shortage on the Colorado River, which provides water for about 40 million people, 5.5. million acres of farmland, and countless plants and animals.
What these water crises have in common is climate change, which increases the frequency and severity of both floods and droughts. Earlier this month, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change released its latest report with dire predictions for warming temperatures, stating, “It is unequivocal that human influence has warmed the atmosphere, ocean, and land.” Although some warming is inevitable, we can still avoid the worst impacts of climate change — and the Center for Biological Diversity is fighting for that every day. Read on to learn more about transforming the food system, advancing sexual health and rights, and challenging capitalism.
More than 25,000 vehicle collisions with large mammals were reported across California between 2015 and 2018, with estimates of unreported accidents as much as 10 times higher. According to a new Center report, properly built wildlife crossings could reduce wildlife-vehicle crashes by 80% or more.
Eating for a Small Planet With Frances Moore Lappé
Join us Sept. 9 at 7 p.m. EST for a live Zoom conversation and Q&A with author and scholar Frances Moore Lappé as we celebrate the 50th anniversary of her revolutionary book Diet for a Small Planet. The new edition of the book, available Sept. 21, reconnects food advocacy with planetary health and delicious, diverse cooking. Jennifer Molidor, the Center’s senior food campaigner, will interview Frances on how access to healthy, Earth-friendly food is vital to solving justice and environmental issues. Space is limited, so sign up today.
Here's one thing you can do: Join the conversation by sending your questions for Frances in advance to firstname.lastname@example.org. You’ll also have a chance to ask questions during the webinar using Zoom’s Q&A feature.
As students head back to school, many will miss out on the education they need to make responsible decisions about sex, form healthy relationships, and gain media literacy. Population and Sustainability Campaigner Kelley Dennings has discovered that despite all the strides made recently in understanding gender, sex and teen pregnancy, sex education in her Nebraska hometown hasn’t changed much in the past 35 years. The state still leaves sex ed up to each district and, because comprehensive sex ed isn’t required, that often leaves students in the dark when it comes to consent, gender identity, sex-positive messages, abortion and more.
Read Kelley’s article in Ms. Magazine about how medically accurate, inclusive and culturally responsive sex education can improve the lives of young people, prevent unplanned pregnancies and protect the environment.
Here’s one thing you can do: Urge your representatives to support the Real Education and Access for Healthy Youth Act to ensure all young people get comprehensive sex education.
Food Justice Film Festival – Register Now
Join us for our second virtual Food Justice Film Festival, featuring four powerful films exploring issues around agriculture and climate change, the colonization of food, exploitation of farmworkers and children, and the importance of saving seeds and traditions.
The free festival will take place Sept. 16-19, featuring Truly Texas Mexican, The Ants & The Grasshopper, The Harvest/La Cosecha and Seed: The Untold Story. These powerful and inspiring films will be accompanied by panel discussions with the filmmakers, farmers and activists. Watch the trailers and sign up for the festival today. Space is limited and festival passes are first come, first served.
What Happened to Building Back Better?
In 2020, following months of pandemic lockdowns around the world, Earth Overshoot Day — the date when we’ve used up the resources the planet can replenish in a year — fell in late August. But this year the date we went into ecological debt rebounded back to July 29, just four days shy of the record. And this isn’t a record we want to break: The earlier we go into overshoot, the more time we spend depleting nature and worsening the climate and extinction crises.
For all the calls to “build back better,” we didn’t waste much time returning to unsustainable levels of consumption, emissions and pollution. Policymakers missed opportunities to push back Overshoot Day when bailout funds were given to polluters without any requirements for a green recovery — ignoring the climate and extinction emergencies. But there’s hope: Some local communities are taking the climate crisis seriously and integrating equity and environmental protection into their policies.
Here’s one thing you can do: Engage with your local government to support meaningful climate action, sustainable food and policies that challenge consumption.
Earlier this month the Center hosted a webinar with Break Free From Plastic and the U.S. Solidarity Economy Network about creating an economy that’s better for people and the planet. The solidarity economy is a growing effort to move beyond capitalism to a diverse economy that eschews a one-size-fits-all approach and is grounded in the values of solidarity, sustainability, participatory democracy and equity. Transforming the economy may seem daunting, but there are already common practices that align with the values of a solidarity economy, such as cooperatives, community land trusts and public banking. Watch the webinar recording to learn more (presentation slides are also available).
Here’s one thing you can do: The holiday season — and all the consumption that comes with it — is right around the corner. Join us for a webinar on Nov. 2 about redefining the holidays to reduce waste, spending and stress.
Wildlife Spotlight: New Mexico Meadow Jumping Mouse
The New Mexico meadow jumping mouse spends its summers breeding, raising its young, and binge eating enough to replenish energy and store up fat. The other nine months of the year this tiny mouse hibernates. Little is known about exactly where it burrows, but when it’s awake, this endangered mouse needs tall, dense grasses and forbs and the running water of riparian habitats.
Despite the fact that the jumping mouse and its habitat are protected as endangered, cattle have been allowed to graze in its streamside meadows in New Mexico’s Sacramento Mountains, trampling the sensitive habitat and devouring the grasses. So this month the Center and Maricopa Audubon Society sued the U.S. Forest Service for failing to protect the mouse’s home.
Center for Biological Diversity | Saving Life on Earth
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Photo credits: Flood via Canva; coyote by James Marvin Phelps/Flickr; Frances Moore Lappé by Michael Piazza; sex education by The People Speak!/Flickr; Food Justice Film Festival graphic; Earth by Apollo 17; community garden vegetables by Choo Yut Shing/Flickr; New Mexico meadow jumping mouse by Jennifer Frey/USFWS.
Center for Biological Diversity
P.O. Box 710
Tucson, AZ 85702