As the old saying goes, money talks.
Recent allegations that the US Chamber of Commerce is using funds donated by foreign based companies to run political ads are serious,and probably deserve their own post. They are also a sobering reminder that special interests remain a dangerously powerful force in our politics.
relationship between the cash politicians receive and their subsequent
policy decisions is as intimate and sinister as ever. Case in point,
the oil and gas lobby.
midterm elections this year will undoubtedly change the make up of
Congress.Be that as it may, one thing that won’t change is the influence
that the oil and gas industry has in Washington, and rightfully so. For
too long, both Democrats and Republicans have raked in campaign
contributions to the tune of millions of dollars.
This election cycle alone, incumbents and candidates have raked in over $18 million from companies like Koch, Chevron and Exxon. Again and again, our leaders choose to protect the interests of these cash-strapped polluters over the well being of our planet.
With numbers like these, it isn’t surprising that Congress and the White House have failed to take serious action on climate change, or that the Obama administration made the unfortunate decision to lift the offshore drilling ban put in place after the disastrous BP oil spill.
the ongoing disaster in the Gulf isn’t enough to make them change, what
is? Their allegiance to big oil is unwavering, continues to pollute our
planet, and contributes to global warming.
We need to put pressure on Washington to stop letting their dirty campaign contributions destroy our planet before it’s too late. We can do better by moving beyond oil and starting a clean energy revolution. 10/10/10 showed that people are ready for action from our leaders, but they need to be pressured.
You can help. Take a stand, tell Congress to end offshore drilling today!
Interested to know how much dirty money the people representing you are taking? Check out this easy to use tool and see the truth for yourself.
A new video is out today highlighting some of the great events that took place in Chicago, Portland, and LA. Citizens took a stand against dirty coal, and sent a clear message to their leaders that they are ready for a clean energy revolution.
While 10/10/10 was an incredible success, the fight for action on climate change is far from over, and it needs your help. Our leaders need to take action on climate change, and we need people like you to join the movement, to get involved, to spread the message. Through the power of numbers, we can make a difference, and give our planet a fighting chance.
Sign up to volunteer today!
I don’t normally spend my Sunday mornings cleaning rooftops, but yesterday I did just that. I had the pleasure of helping a wonderful group of local volunteers who, in anticipation of the 10/10/10 Global Work Party, did their part to address climate change.
Brooms in hand, they swept and cleaned the roof of a building in Queens, NY, getting it ready for the two coats of white reflective paint it is slated to get later this week. Why white? Most city roofs are tar black, which in turn causes them to soak up the sun's energy and drive up energy costs, not to mention carbon emissions.
The simple action of painting these roofs white is an easy way to lower both energy costs and carbon emissions. Energy Secretary Steven Chu said in July that it is “one of the quickest and lowest-cost ways we can begin the hard work of slowing climate change." By increasing these buildings' energy efficiency, we are taking important steps in reducing New York City's reliance on coal, the greatest contributor to global warming in the United States.
On 10/10/10, volunteers like the ones I met yesterday will be taking part in painting parties all over the city as a way of participating in the Global Work Party. On this day, people all over the world will join together to create the largest day of action on climate change to date. Thousands of events are planned in 140 countries. The goal is to send a messageto our leaders: “We’re getting to work, what about you?”
While the people I worked with yesterday all got connected to the cause in different ways, they had one obvious thing in common : they are passionate about helping in the fight to address climate change. I found it inspiring to hear their stories and to see them in action. By devoting just a few hours of their day, they took a step in the right direction.
Taking part in the White Roofs Project is only one example of how people are getting involved. Many diverse projects, from solar panels to community gardens, wind turbines to bike workshops, are planned all over the world.
So, where will you be this Sunday? You can get involved and help the movement by registering for a work party in your area.
We’ve all heard how rainforest destruction is threatening orangutans and tigers, but the Bornean sun bear, which currently lives in Indonesia, is equally at risk.
Scientists fear the worst for this smallest member of the bear family, and estimate that their population has declined over 30% in the last three decades, making them the rarest species of bear on the planet.
photo by Flickr user ucumari
These bears already suffer from the effects of illegal trade and poaching. However, it is the destruction of the Paradise Rainforests they call home that is putting them at risk of joining others on the endangered species list.
One company in particular, Sinar Mas, is doing more than its fair share of habitat destruction. This giant conglomerate is the largest palm oil company in the region, a notorious forest destroyer, and the major supplier of palm oil for none other than yours truly.
While companies like Burger King and Nestle have cut their ties with Sinar Mas, Pizza Hut continues to buy their palm oil, putting the sun bear's survival in jeopardy. They need to end their relationship with these irresponsible forest destroyers.
As sun bears lose their habitat, they begin to encroach on plantations in search of food where they are in turn persecuted by local communities. They are routinely killed because they feed on these palm oil plantations, destroying crops.
In the past ten years, Malaysia and Indonesia have been home to the largest conversion of rainforests to palm oil plantations in history. Indonesia has already lost 65% of its ancient forests.
Pizza Hut and other fast food chains have other options, and don’t have to purchase a product that destroys forests, puts animals in danger, and contributes to global warming.
Act now! Don’t let this rare bear be the next victim of reckless deforestation. Tell Pizza Hut to end its relationship with Sinar Mas, and to give this precious animal a fighting chance.
Follow Greenpeace on twitter @greenpeaceusa, and me @alvarez_alex
You’ve got to give it to the people at BP for their creativity with their latest project, Liberty Island. Through clever engineering, they have gone around the current drilling moratorium by building an artificial island from which they want to launch their latest drilling adventure in the Arctic. >>>>
It was just yesterday that officials were questioned for the first time on the findings of their internal probe into what caused their disastrous oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico this year.
Their lead investigator, Mark Bly, admitted that their investigation had serious limitations due to a lack of physical evidence and interviews with employees of other companies.
They cited eight failures responsible for the spill, but admittedly only looked at the immediate causes. Both the drilling rig, still at the bottom of the ocean, and the blowout preventer that was recently recovered from the waters, were excluded as evidence.
A hearing of the National Oil Spill Commission will be held today and tomorrow to discuss the government’s response to the spill and its impact on the environment and the economy.
Experts admit that we won’t know the full extent of the damage for some time to come. Despite all of this, BP is still seeking a government permit to drill in one of the most fragile ecosystems on Earth – the Arctic coast of Alaska. One man has the power to stop BP. Interior Secretary Ken Salazar can deny BP’s request for this permit.
Greenpeace will not stand for this, and our grassroots network has already taken serious action. Not only have they written some great blog entries, they have gotten involved by writing hundreds of letters and making thousands of phone calls to Secretary Salazar. One of our members even organized a campaign at her school using what she learned during her semester with the Greenpeace Organizing Term.
Yes, the same company whose spill has devastated the Gulf region has pumped $1 billion into a project that would allow them to drill below federal waters in the Beaufort Sea.
What they have cited as their “biggest challenge to date” is what many consider a risk too big to take. The area where they plan to drill is home to a vast range of Arctic species, including the endangered bowhead whale and the polar bear,that will be devastated should BP make another tragic mistake.
Want to learn more about BP’s new project? Check out this recent Rolling Stone article by Tom Dickinson.
Please join the fight by urging Ken Salazar to stop BP from another potential disaster. Take action! Tell him to say no to BP in their quest to drill in the Arctic!
Follow Greenpeace on twitter @greenpeaceusa and me @alvarez_alex
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