Eating to Save the Earth

Endangered Earth: The weekly wildlife update from the Center for Biological Diversity.
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Curbing Climate Change Means Eating Less Meat

New research supported by the Center for Biological Diversity found that replacing 50% of animal products eaten in the United States with plant-based foods would prevent upwards of 1.6 billion tons of greenhouse gas pollution by 2030.

Reducing beef consumption by 90%, on top of the 50% reduction in other animal products, would prevent more than 2 billion tons of climate pollution. That's like taking nearly half the world's cars off the roads for a year.

"Moving the American appetite from our burger-heavy diet to plant-based eating is a powerful, necessary part of curbing the climate crisis," said the Center's Stephanie Feldstein. "The COVID-19 pandemic has exposed the meat supply chain's vulnerabilities, but climate change is a far greater threat to our food security. We desperately need policymakers to tackle that threat by supporting sustainable diets."

Get more from Common Dreams. And stay informed about the Center's sustainability and population work by subscribing to our monthly Pop X newsletter.

American marten

Suit Filed to Protect the Last 400 Humboldt Martens

Fewer than 400 Humboldt martens are left, living in four isolated populations along a narrow strip of coastal habitat in Northern California and southern Oregon. The Center and allies petitioned to protect them more than a decade ago, but delays and denials have stopped them from getting the help they need.

So this week we sued the Trump administration to force it to finalize Endangered Species Act protection for these secretive forest dwellers.

"It wasn't long ago that we thought Humboldt martens were extinct, and the Trump administration's inexcusable delays mean we could lose them for good this time," said the Center's Quinn Read. "It has to act now to make sure martens live on in our ancient forests."

Read more in the Eureka Times-Standard and consider helping to save martens through a gift to our Saving Life on Earth Fund. Thanks to a generous member, any gift today will be matched dollar for dollar.


Win for the Wild: Colorado Bans Wildlife-killing Contests

Joining five other states that prohibit cruel, competitive killing of wildlife, the state of Colorado has just voted to ban killing contests for coyotes, foxes and other animals.

Winners of wildlife-killing contests often proudly post photos and videos on social media that show them posing with piles of dead animals; they then dispose of the animals' bodies in "carcass dumps" away from the public eye.

"Coyotes and other carnivores play such important ecological roles, but across the nation they're mercilessly targeted by these barbaric events," said the Center's Collette Adkins. "We're thrilled that Colorado's banning these inhumane contests."

Learn more.


Save Arizona's Jaguars — Stop Trump's Wall

Despite the ongoing pandemic, more than 100 miles of Trump's border wall are under construction right now in Arizona — destroying protected wildlands, tearing communities apart, and pushing endangered wildlife closer to extinction.

If we don't speak up, it could be the end of jaguar recovery in the United States. The Department of Homeland Security is pushing forward with Trump's plan to build even more new walls that would seal off the remaining corridors jaguars use to move between the United States and the core breeding population in Sonora, Mexico.

Act now: Tell federal officials that you oppose Trump's destructive border wall through Arizona's jaguar country. They need to put a stop to all plans for its construction.

Border wall construction

Last week the Center's Laiken Jordahl traveled to remote U.S.-Mexico border country to document Trump's ongoing wall-building. The new wall portion will cut off migratory paths for any animals larger than pack rats, including endangered desert bighorn sheep. This $18.5 billion, racist boondoggle is a travesty and a horror for wildlife and wild places as well as borderlands people. Watch our new video on Facebook or YouTube.

Utility meters

Join Us: Fight for Power, Water and Broadband for the People

Soon Congress will begin negotiating the second coronavirus stimulus package, called CARES 2. Meanwhile many families are facing utility shutoffs, losing essential services like power, water and internet.

Congress needs to make sure the next stimulus package includes a temporary ban on utility shutoffs, plus long-term funding to improve our utility services, make them affordable, and keep them publicly owned.

Learn how you can help get these measures in the CARES 2 stimulus package by joining a virtual townhall hosted by the Center and allies on Tuesday, May 12, from 5-6 p.m. PT / 8-9 p.m. ET. We'll be joined by activists and officials leading the charge including Nayyirah Sharrif from Flint Rising, Brianna Knisley from Appalachian Voices and other speakers to be confirmed.

The Revelator: Antarctica's Fate Affects Us All

Antarctica melting

What happens in Antarctica doesn't stay in Antarctica. The rapid melting of this continent's ice is already raising sea levels and could dramatically flood global coastlines soon. As Tim Lydon writes in a new Revelator article, "If people receive — and believe — evidence that burning fossil fuels threatens the climate, we can come together to flatten the arc of rising temperatures."

Read more and follow The Revelator on Facebook and Twitter.

Center Opinion: The Wolf Who Was a Rockstar


In her latest opinion piece for The Mercury News, the Center's Amaroq Weiss memorializes the "rockstar" wolf OR-7, whose legacy won't burn out or fade away. State wildlife biologists in Oregon say he has likely died.

"Through his life and life story, the public learned that wolf packs are families," wrote Amaroq. "Wolves travel long distances in search of love … And most importantly, OR-7 showed us that the only way to ensure wolves can return to lands they once called home is through strong federal and state laws to protect them."

Pesticide spraying warning sign

Study: Drift-prone Pesticide Dicamba Increases Cancer Risk

A new study from the National Institutes of Health shows that dicamba — whose use has skyrocketed across millions of acres of the Midwest and South in the past three years — increases the risk of several cancers. Among them are liver and bile-duct cancers, acute and chronic lymphocytic leukemia, and mantle cell lymphoma.

Published in the peer-reviewed International Journal of Epidemiology, the study followed nearly 50,000 pesticide applicators in Iowa and North Carolina for more than two decades, documenting pesticide use and cancer incidence.

"This sweeping study exposes the terrible human cost of the EPA's reckless decision to expand the use of dicamba," said Center scientist Nathan Donley.

Read more in our press release.


Wild & Weird: Hitchhiking Birds Warn Rhinos About Poachers

Rhinos have terrible eyesight. Even when potential danger is nearby, the lumbering giants may fail to notice it. But oxpeckers — birds that hitchhike on rhino backs while feeding on ticks in a mutually beneficial relationship — can easily spot approaching predators from their vantage point. According to a new report in Current Biology, those predators include poachers.

In the study scientists noted that rhinos without oxpeckers aboard detected humans approaching only 23% of the time, while rhinos with oxpeckers detected humans every single time. That's because oxpeckers spied the humans and unleashed loud warning calls.

Read more at Science News.

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Photo credits: Cow via Pixabay; American marten courtesy USFWS; fox by David Cameron/Flickr; jaguar courtesy USFWS; border wall construction by Russ McSpadden/Center for Biological Diversity; utility meters by Gregory Wass/Flickr; Antarctica melting by Joshua Stevens/NASA Earth Observatory; wolf OR-7 courtesy ODFW; pesticide spraying warning sign by jetsandzepp/Flickr; oxpecker by wenzday01/Flickr.

Center for Biological Diversity
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