A Powerful Climate Plan for the Next President

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10 Bold Steps for the New President to Fight Climate Change

The climate crisis can't wait any longer.

This week the Center for Biological Diversity joined more than 500 other groups in calling on the next U.S. president to declare a national climate emergency. We outlined 10 bold executive actions that can, and should, be taken in the first 10 days in office to confront the climate crisis without seeking approval from Congress.

Among the bold steps are an immediate halt to new fossil fuel leases, infrastructure and exports; major investment in renewable-energy generation; use of the Clean Air Act to slash greenhouse pollution; and prosecution of fossil fuel polluters.

We also need a just transition that protects workers and communities disproportionately affected by the climate catastrophe and the shift to a post-carbon-pollution economy.

"Swift action to confront the climate emergency has to start the moment the next president enters the Oval Office," said the Center's Kassie Siegel.

Get more from EcoWatch.


Trump OKs 'Cyanide Bombs' Over 99.9% Public Opposition

The Trump administration has just reapproved the use of sodium cyanide in wildlife-killing devices called M-44s — even though 99.9% of those commenting on the cyanide-bomb policy asked the Environmental Protection Agency to ban them. M-44s kill thousands of animals cruelly every year. They've injured people, too.

"This appalling decision leaves cyanide traps lurking in the wild to threaten people, pets and imperiled animals," said the Center's Collette Adkins. "To truly protect humans and wildlife from these poisonous contraptions, we need a nationwide ban."

Read more in Time and consider making an emergency gift to the Center's Wildlife and Wild Places Defense Fund.


Demand Better Law Enforcement to Save Vaquitas

Time's running out for the world's smallest, most endangered marine mammals. Vaquitas have suffered decades of decline through entanglement in deadly gillnets in their only home, Mexico's Gulf of California. Now only about 10 of the precious animals remain.

Good news did come recently when scientists discovered a few vaquita mothers with calves. But it's overshadowed by the fact that the current ban on vaquita-killing gillnets remains unenforced. Shrimp boats and poachers of totoaba — an endangered fish — have been operating illegally inside vaquitas' refuge area. And that area is littered with lost and abandoned nets.

Send a letter today insisting that Mexico's government step up enforcement and permanently remove all dangerous gillnets from vaquita habitat.

Guam rail

IUCN 'Red List' Finds 1 in 4 Species Risks Extinction

More than a quarter of species assessed by the International Union for Conservation of Nature are threatened with extinction, says a report released Tuesday — 27% of the 112,432 species sampled.

On one positive note, the group changed the status of a flightless bird called the Guam rail from "extinct in the wild" to "critically endangered." The species has been reintroduced to Cocos Island — only the second bird in U.S. history, after the California condor, to be returned to its natural habitat after extinction in the wild.

"We're in the midst of a staggering extinction crisis," said the Center's Noah Greenwald. "The Endangered Species Act can save other species too, but we have to act fast and be bold."

Read more in The Guardian.

Endangered Species Act Success: Hawaiian Goose

Nene goose

In the latest of many success stories in the Endangered Species Act's history, this week Hawaii's state bird was rightly reclassified as "threatened" from "endangered," which is a higher-risk category. Hawaiian geese, or nene, now number more than 3,000 birds, compared to 30 wild birds in 1967.

"The successful efforts to recover the nene demonstrate how effective the Act truly is," said the Center's Hawaii Director Maxx Phillips.

Get more from The Maui News.

Impossible burger

Center Endorses Impossible and Beyond Veggie Burgers

Meat production is a key driver of the global extinction and climate emergencies. We need to rapidly, dramatically reduce meat and dairy consumption and production and shift toward plant-based diets. So on Wednesday the Center released a statement supporting plant-based meats, including Impossible and Beyond burgers.

"Impossible Foods and Beyond Meat are doing us all an important service by pushing meat alternatives into mainstream culture at a level we haven't seen before. By speeding up the transition we desperately need to make toward plant-based eating, they're helping to save people, wildlife and our endangered planet," said Kierán Suckling, the Center's executive director.

Read the whole statement for yourself.

Protection Proposed for Arizona Plants Near Mine Site

Bartram's stonecrop

Following a Center petition and lawsuit, two of the country's rarest (and most interestingly named) plants are closer to federal help. A beautiful succulent called Bartram's stonecrop and a sunflower known as beardless chinchweed were just proposed for Endangered Species Act protection.

Both are threatened by the planned Rosemont open-pit copper mine in southern Arizona. Said the Center's Randy Serraglio, "These rare, lovely plants are at ground zero for this devastating project, along with a dozen other imperiled species."

Read more.

Art by Zoe Keller

Revelator: Art as a Witness to Extinction

Artist Zoe Keller specializes in drawing species that may not be long for this world. Her pieces can sprawl across nine feet of paper and take 300 hours to complete. They depict animals in painstaking detail, often bearing witness to the wildlife extinction crisis unfolding around us.

"In darker moments, I think of my drawings as a 'mourning' ritual," says Keller. "So many of the species I have studied will be gone within my lifetime."

Read more in The Revelator and sign up for the weekly newsletter.

Pigeon with cowboy hat

Wild & Weird: The Case of the Cowboy Pigeons

Someone in Las Vegas has been sneaking around putting tiny cowboy hats on pigeons. Though this stealthy bird haberdashery is likely not welcomed by the pigeons, the Las Vegas Police Department has remained on the sidelines. But we gotta wonder: Who's the avian Mad Hatter?

Read more in The New York Times.

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Photo credits: Climate march in Washington, D.C., by Majunznk/Flickr; coyotes courtesy NPS; vaquita by Barbara Taylor/NOAA; Guam rail by Josh More/Flickr; nene by Anita Gould/Flickr; Impossible Burger by Ted Eytan/Flickr; Bartram's stonecropy (c) Alan Cressler; art by Zoe Keller; original photo of pigeon by Ivan Radic.

Center for Biological Diversity
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