Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Introducing the Top Five!

This is an idea I’ve been ruminating on for a few years now but never had the gumption to get started with it. But now, I’ve hit a point where there is so much crazy shit going down that people seem ambivalent about …or feel helpless about… or just don’t seem to fully understand how ridiculous the world is. (I have to believe the latter because if people really understood what is happening there would be rioting in the streets.) So I’ve decided to narrow it down to the “TOP FIVE Big Issues of the Day”—bite sized chunks that hopefully will reach someone to stand up, sign a petition, speak out or not back down until real change is made.

Without further ado…today’s TOP FIVE:

1. Overturn Citizen’s United: There currently was a Supreme Court case (Citizen’s United vs. Federal Elections Commission) that gives corporations the same rights as individuals (also known as “corporate personhood”)—which has meant that corporations can give almost unlimited donations to political candidates  (want proof? individual political donations in 2010: $15m, 2012 (after Citizen’s United was enacted): $88 million.) What does this mean for you, me and the rest of the little guys? It means super billionaires (such as the conservative Koch brothers) can give as much money as they want to ensure that their candidates are elected. Money buys every election in America today. Legally. I don’t know about you, but that seems extremely unfair and undemocratic and shows money can buy you anything you want, especially climate change denial.

Learn more about the evils of Citizen’s United.

Sign a petition to tell Congress to support the overturn:

2. Western drought: The western U.S. is currently experiencing a drought of epic proportions, (Southern California is currently experiencing the driest year in 1,200 years…) and yet there are no usage bans (your local golf course and car wash can use as much water as they want without penalty). The effects of climate change are here and debating the science won't rehydrate America's farmlands. We need to start wide-scale conservation methods, ASAP.

Learn more about the California drought here:

Get POTUS & Kerry to address the mega-drought head on 

3. Ocean plastic. You may have heard about the Great Pacific Ocean Garbage Patch (a massive area of floating plastic trash in the middle of the Pacific Ocean), but what many people don’t realize is that in a single year, anywhere from 10.5 to 28 billion tons of plastic ends up in the ocean, most of it will never biodegrade, and that which does break down, just makes smaller pieces which are ingested by marine life. What’s the solution here? First and foremost, we have to curtail the purchase of plastic and support efforts to create more biodegradable options. Secondly, proper disposal is of utmost importance. Cigarette butts? They are plastic, that millions of people drop on the ground, the rain will wash down storm drains and most likely will be washed into coastal waters. Spend a day doing beach clean up and you’ll never look at plastic the same way. It’s time for citizens and businesses to move away from one-time use plastic for convenience.

I’m reading the great “My Plastic Free Life” right now and this quote sums up convenience plastic perfectly: “Seconds in the hand, forever in the landfill.”

Here’s a petition to ask Secretary of State John Kerry to make ocean plastic pollution a priority

4. Save the bees: No bees, no food. Well that might be an overstatement, but most people underestimate how important bees are to pollination of food crops. Unfortunately, bees are being killed off in massive quantities and for years, scientists were unsure exactly why. Now, they are learning that a class of pesticides called neonicotinoids (the most widely used insecticides in the world) are causing “causing impaired learning and navigation, increased mortality, heightened susceptibility to disease via impaired immune system function and reduced fertility.”
Sign a petition to POTUS to ban bee-killing pesticides:

5. Keep the pressure on killing Keystone XL dead. Anyone who knows me, knows that this has been my hot button for years now, and the only reason it’s #5 on the Top 5 is because POTUS just vetoed it yesterday. But politics being politics, even a veto does not signal the end of this fight. I never believe anything until pen is to paper. The other big issue is that while Keystone might have been the most visible pipeline fight, there are dozens of other oil pipelines that criss cross America and Canada (and most likely if Keystone fails, there will be a re-route effort).
Sign a unity letter to support the President’s veto here:
Or if you’re still not convinced that a 3,500 mile oil pipeline is humanity’s worst idea, read more here.