03/03/17. People might not realize that World Wildlife Day is the 3rd of March this year. And what is that day might you ask? On 20 December 2013, at its 68th session, the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) proclaimed 3 March, the day of signature of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES), as UN World Wildlife Day to celebrate and raise awareness of the world’s wild animals and plants. This year World Wildlife Day is celebrated in 2017 under the theme “Listen to the Young Voices.” Given that almost one quarter of the world’s population is aged between 10 and 24, vigorous efforts need to be made to encourage young people, as the future leaders and decision makers of the world, to act at both local and global levels to protect endangered wildlife. Read more... 03/03/17. Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke Brings Back Lead Ammo In Parks And Refuges, although lead poisoning from ammunition and tackle kills up to 20 million birds and animals a year -besides also contaminating our food... What does it mean for conservation then? And what can we do instead? 03/04/17. Bill McKibben Talks Climate Change (RollingStone). On a particularly bad day for Earth's wellbeing – the EPA revealed massive budgetary cuts while the Trump administration waffled on the Paris Agreement on climate change – environmentalist and 350.org founder Bill McKibben appeared on Real Time With Bill Maher to discuss the dire situation and how the American people can fight back. 03/05/17. It's not the first time in recent political history that the environment is under the knife, but this time is a bit different. So... a little explanation about whyTrump's assault on the EPA will be worse than Reagan's or Bush'sseems important to share.
Want to know what's going on in the Congress? Check my Congress Watch page–This page highlights urgent issues (bills) with actionable items.
Meanwhile in Massachusetts
Baker Administration Takes Steps to Weaken Water Protections. Conservation Law Foundation (CLF) released the following statement today in response to a proposal from Massachusetts Governor Charlie Baker to transfer control over the National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) permitting process from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to the Commonwealth. This proposal would allow a local process that has historically favored large polluters to control who is susceptible to Clean Water Act regulations. As a follow-up note, few of us called (617.725.4005) and were received with sighs when not simply dismissed. It is not acceptable that a government official and his aides behave this way!
MIT Professors Are Lobbying Trump — Against Their Former Colleague. MIT professor Richard Lindzen's contrarian views about climate change, which have long provided the appearance of credibility to those who deny human activity is causing the planet to warm, have caused deep angst among his colleagues at the university... Report: Colleges and Universities Can Lead America’s Shift to 100 Percent Renewable Energy. America’s colleges and universities are positioned to lead the transition to 100 percent renewable energy, according to a report released today by Environment Massachusetts Research & Policy Center. The report stresses that a complete shift to clean, renewable energy is the best way for colleges and universities to achieve their carbon reduction goals and highlights schools across the country that are taking measures to make the transition to renewable energy.
Local Environmental Conferences-Trainings-Events
03/05/17 (Sunday) The Sierra Club hosted an activist training this past Sunday March 5h in Boston, providing an overview of Clean Energy and the Renewable Portfolio Standard (RPS) –a legal mandate setting the lower limit of renewable energy that electric utilities are required to purchase. People should consider supporting the State bill - Clean Energy Purchasing Requirement HD.2103 (still a docket at this time). Sponsor: Rep. Kay Khan. Bill that would increase the rate of increase in the Renewable Portfolio Standard (RPS), from the current 1% to at least 2% a year, and require municipal electric utilities – currently exempt - to begin complying with the RPS. Our state wants to reach a target of a decrease of green house emission by 80% by 2050 (w/ 25% by 2020). We are not on target, and increasing our RPS would contribute greatly to meet this goal. The second part of the training comprised of a few lectures informing on how to best reach your State legislators and prepare for meeting with them (These are my training notes that I shared with and published in Indivisible Somerville). 03/05/17 (Sunday) The Local Environmental Action 2017 Conference took place this Sunday at Northeastern (03/05/17). I was there! And what a day it was! The 2 keynote speakers (Kandy Mossett and Lois Gibbs) shared powerful and emotional stories of activism, which made me understand more about the level of environmental criminality ramping in the offices of our government. More than emotions those stories are backed up by scientific evidence, reproducible data. That the government chose in those cases (and still do) to ignore, dismiss, hide facts is unacceptable, unthinkable... Besides these 2 great speeches, this was a great opportunity to understand global and local environmental issues, to meet with local activists and to learn how to organize with experts activist in the field. 03/11/17 (Saturday) How about joining this Saturday's Charles River Conservancy Clean-up event. The plan? Pruning trees and shrubs, removing litter and leaves in Herter Park. A great way to be involved and meet alike people. I'll be there!