Wow. Thank POTUS and China, this climate deal is huge


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Last night the U.S. and China announced a major breakthrough on climate change– an agreement that could create important political momentum internationally. The U.S. committed to reducing its carbon emissions by 26% to 28% below its 2005 emissions and China promised to reduce its carbon emissions after 2030, a step it had previously refused to even consider. These commitments are sure to have an impact worldwide as all countries begin to set their new carbon reductions.

The US and China deserve to be recognized for this effort. Let’s applaud them but also let them know we need them to continue taking strong measures to address the threat of climate change. We ALL can help.

Click here to send a message of support to the White House.

Click here to send a message of support to the Chinese Embassy.

Now let’s keep the ball rolling! Click here to support EDN so we can continue our campaigns and mobilize to let these superpowers know that we want them to make real progress. It’s our turn to act!!

–The Earth Day Network Team

A Huge Victory for Forests and the Climate!


Tell the Fast Food Industry to Go Deforestation-Free!

Ask fast food chains to adopt a deforestation-free palm oil policy. There’s no excuse to use palm oil that drives climate change, tropical deforestation, and forest fires.

Take Action Today! a repost

In September, we had an incredible month full of successes—and we couldn’t have done it without your help. Together, we persuaded four food companies—Dunkin’ Brands, Krispy Kreme, ConAgra, and Hershey’s—to adopt zero deforestation commitments for their palm oil purchases.

These new commitments are a direct result of public pressure. The Union of Concerned Scientists and other groups rallied our supporters to voice their concerns at Dunkin’ Brands’ annual shareholder meeting in May and attend Krispy Kreme’s new store openings in Tennessee, Delaware, and Florida. What we have seen time and again is that when consumers speak, companies listen, and act.

But the fast food industry still has a long way to go. McDonald’s. Burger King. Taco Bell. Fast food chains are often the focus of negative attention for their effect on our heath, but they are also having a big effect on our climate.

This spring, the Union of Concerned Scientists exposed how these brands are buying palm oil, largely for their fried and baked goods. As tropical forests are cleared to make way for palm oil plantations, carbon is released into the atmosphere, driving global warming and shrinking habitat for endangered species. Most of the big brands have yet to make a commitment to purging deforestation from their palm oil purchases.

Fast food chains need a push, and that’s where you come in. The Union of Concerned Scientists has been in active dialogues with many of these fast food companies about palm oil—and a few are considering announcing new commitments this year. With your help, we can convince the fast food sector to take this issue seriously.

Send an email today urging the largest global fast food companies to go deforestation-free.

Take Action

Sincerely,
Sharon Smith signature
Sharon Smith
Campaign Manager
Tropical Forest & Climate Initiative
Union of Concerned Scientists

Tell Shell: Stop shelling pit for climate disinformation


UCSLOGOShell says “We’re not aligning with skeptics.”

Tell Shell that actions speak louder than words: Stop funding the American Legislative Exchange Council’s attacks on climate science.

Sea Lions Vs Climate Change


Voracious sea lions invade Columbia River

Pinnipeds are lured in record numbers by millions of smelt, and to the dismay of many they’ve taken over virtually every inch of dock space in Astoria basin

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California sea lions have flooded into the Columbia River in record numbers, thanks to a phenomenal abundance of smelt during a season in which food has been scarce for the voracious pinnipeds just about everywhere else.

The pinniped invasion has overwhelmed the East Mooring Basin in Astoria, Oregon, where 2,340 sea lions were counted recently. That shatters last year’s record count of 1,420 sea lions, and represents “a mind-boggling number,” Bryan Wright, a spokesman for the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife,” told OPB News.

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Sea lions have commandeered virtually every inch of dock space and are piling on top of one another, because there is not enough space to accommodate all of them, when they’re not foraging for smelt and salmon.

The blubbery mammals are said to be causing damage to docks and making it port authorities to rent or lease slips to boaters.

Some have come to the sea lions’ defense, saying they could represent a tourism boon if people will pay to see them.

Normal sea lion counts in the basin, from late March through May, average fewer than 300.

The Astoria invasion occurs at a time when young sea lions, who are not strong enough to travel long distances to find food, are starving in California, filling care facilities to capacity.

Unusually warm water in the Eastern Pacific, from Mexico to Alaska, is blamed for displacing bait fish populations the sea lions rely on for sustenance.

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The so-called “warm blob,” caused in large part by a lack of significant winds and the upwelling those winds typically cause, was blamed for last year’s heat-up, with sea surface temperatures during the spring and summer averaging well above normal.

The phenomenon appears to be evident again this year.

The older and stronger sea lions are lured to the lower Columbia River in part by the early stages of the salmon run, but also by millions of smelt that have returned to the river to spawn.

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Harbor seals also are foraging on the bounty. The accompanying image showing 6,000-plus seals grouped near the mouth of the river was captured last month by Steve Jeffries, a biologist with the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife.

The presence of so many sea lions and seals is cause for concern because the developing salmon run could be decimated by so many voracious pinnipeds.

(The Washington agency has a permit to euthanize a certain number of sea lions each year, to protect salmon entering the river mouth at the Washington-Oregon border.)

While many locals are unhappy with the problems being caused by the sea lions inside the basin, a group called the Sea Lion Defense Brigade tells KGW News that perhaps they will turn out to be a valuable tourist attraction.

“People that come to visit these guys are more than willing to spend money on tourism,” Defense Brigade spokeswoman Veronica Montoya said. “On seeing these guys, on visiting these guys.”

Perhaps, but more than likely, the waterfront community probably wishes it could have its docks back.

–Follow Pete Thomas on Facebook and Twitter