We Stand With Everyone Who Cannot Breathe

Endangered Earth: The weekly wildlife update from the Center for Biological Diversity.
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Black Lives Matter protest
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Answering the Call for Racial Justice

The murder of George Floyd by Minneapolis police officers was horrific — and unfortunately predictable. Thousands of African Americans have been killed by police due to institutional racism.

The violence doesn't begin or end with the police. Our culture of white supremacy causes African Americans to be reported to police for bird watching and murdered by racists while jogging. It causes African Americans, Latinx people and Native Americans to die of COVID-19 at much higher rates than whites. It causes them to have worse healthcare, more polluted neighborhoods, lower pay and less access to education. They suffer countless other oppressions hardly visible to those with white privilege.

The protests and riots that have spread across the country are a cry for justice. They ask us all to acknowledge the terrible, everyday danger of simply being black. They call on political leaders to bring the nation together to better understand the oppression and end it. Yet Trump has fanned the flames of racism by calling protesters "thugs" and threatening to shoot them — and this, too, was predictable.

All of us at the Center for Biological Diversity hear, and join, the call to end racism. We stand with those demanding an immediate end to police violence and racial violence of all kinds and a recognition and repudiation of white supremacy. We stand with everyone who cannot breathe.

End White Supremacy sign

This Fight for Justice Needs You – How to Get Involved

This is a crucial moment for seeking justice and to oppose systemic racism and police brutality across the country.

This morning the Center joined a public statement of solidarity with the Movement for Black Lives to take action to confront police violence, inequality and racism. You can join us in supporting the Movement for Black Lives' week of action. Earlier in the week we also joined with nearly 400 other groups in calling on Congress for swift and decisive legislation to address ongoing racist killings by police across the country.

No matter who you are or where you are, there's a place for your voice.

Here's a list of ways to get involved.

Izembek National Wildlife Refuge

Courtroom Roundup: The Wins and Fights of the Week

When a special-interest group financed by the Koch brothers attacked the heart of the Endangered Species Act, trying to strike down protections for intrastate species — which amount to 70% of species covered by the Act — we fought back, and this week we won our case.

We also filed a lawsuit challenging the delay in protecting a population of rare Nevada fish, the relict dace, which faces extinction due to a proposed gold-mine expansion. Our other new lawsuit this week challenges federal approval of Oregon's Jordan Cove Natural Gas Project, which threatens water, habitat, the local economy, human health and climate.

And we just won two victories against the Trump administration. Sparing vital protected wetlands, a judge struck down a federal plan to trade away land in the heart of Alaska's pristine Izembek National Wildlife Refuge to build a road. And the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 9th Circuit upheld an order blocking the Army Corps permit that pipeline projects like Keystone XL use to cross waterways. This decision protects habitat that people and imperiled species rely on while a full appeal of the order moves forward.

Learn more about these legal actions and all our recent work.

Study: The Sixth Mass Extinction Is Accelerating

Harlequin frog

A new study on the loss of terrestrial vertebrate species finds that the sixth mass extinction is speeding up as we destroy the natural world — and the crisis poses a threat not only to thousands of other species, but to our own existence.

"Extinction is a political choice," said Center scientist Tierra Curry. "Our future is at stake if we don't move away from fossil fuels and end wildlife exploitation."

Get more from HuffPost.

Southern California Wildflower Recovered

San Benito evening primrose

The Endangered Species Act just produced another success story.

Thanks to 35 years of federal protections from off-roading and other threats, the San Benito evening primrose now lives in 79 locations — up from nine in 1985. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service just proposed it be removed from the list of threatened species. Once that happens this small yellow flower will be the 48th species fully recovered by the Act.

Read more.

 

Solar panels

Take Action: Solar Energy Threatened Across U.S.

A shadowy group named the New England Ratepayers Association has petitioned U.S. energy regulators to dramatically change how our country manages rooftop-solar and community-solar programs. It seeks to strip states' ability to enforce their own net-metering policies — arrangements that fairly credit solar customers for the electricity their panels generate.

Granting the petition would jeopardize longstanding policies that support nearly 2.2 million households and 100,000 businesses across 49 states and five territories. This is unacceptable, especially in the pandemic, when families can't afford energy-bill hikes and are struggling with mass unemployment.

Tell the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission to reject this petition. Net-metering policies are crucial to the success of solar programs and the just transition to clean energy.

Center Scientist in the Spotlight: Tara Cornelisse

Tara Cornelisse

The emerald-green Ohlone tiger beetle, which lives only in California, is glamorous but endangered — and Center conservation biologist Tara Cornelisse has studied it for more than a decade. Recently she helped with a reintroduction project aimed at shoring up these shimmering insect predators against the possibility of extinction.

Read more about it in this feature story from the Fish and Wildlife Service.

Revelator Interview: How to Get to Green Energy Faster

Leah Stokes

In a newly published conversation with The Revelator, energy expert Leah Stokes talks about her new book Short Circuiting Policy — and the significant role electric utilities have played in the denial machine that has propped up fossil fuels and prevented us from moving forward to tackle the climate crisis.

Read the Q&A and sign up for The Revelator's weekly e-newsletter.

Wolverine

Wild & Weird: Beach Day for Wolverine

There may be only 300 wolverines left in the lower 48 states. These secretive carnivores tend to live in remote mountains and boreal forests. Yet last week one was spotted on the beach in Washington, chowing down on a washed-up marine mammal. Wildlife officials didn't believe the report — until they saw pictures.

Take a look for yourself, and then read this op-ed by Center Endangered Species Director Noah Greenwald on why it's so important to protect our wolverines.

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Photo credits: Black Lives Matter protest by Joe Brusky/Flickr; "End White Supremacy" sign by Joe Brusky/Flickr; Izembek National Wildlife Refuge by Lisa Matlock/Flickr; harlequin frog by Dave Huth/Flickr; San Benito evening primrose courtesy USFWS; solar panels by mrganso/Pixabay; Tara Cornelisse by Lynn Overtree, 2020; Leah Stokes courtesy Leah Stokes; wolverine by mieshahmo/Flickr.

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