Your Choices Matter: Citizen Action Alerts

For consumer choices to protect your health, the environment and social justice, see Do Not Buy List.

Climate change action:

Help Make Paris climate talks effective:

Support climate champions rather than climate change deniers in the US Congress.

Support US bill to keep fossil fuels in the ground: 

This also means that we should prohibit new oil transport terminals in the Pacific Northwest, not only to stop climate change,but to protect sensitive communities and environments from potential oil spills and other pollution coming from the transport of oil.

Investigate Exxon Mobil’s Climate Change Deceptions: Evidence indicating that Exxon Mobil has been working to cover up scientific data on climate change for the last forty years should be investigated and made public.

Ban for-profit prisons in the US.

Profit-making prisons have resulted in prisoner abuse, poorly trained guards, and the building of more prisons (since profit-making corporations work to increase their market).

See the Oregon Sustainable Beekeepers site for ways to stop the sale of “neonic” pesticides that are poisoning honeybee populations. Latest alerts include problems with sales at Oregon Bi-Mart and Ace/True Value nationwide.

Tell Oregon Governor Kate Brown to scrap deal with Nestle to sell Oregon bottled water.

Deadly wildfires are burning lands effected by drought throughout the Northwest; reservoirs that supply major cities are at an all time low; western Oregon communities such as Westfir are rationing water use (prohibiting outdoor water use), and Nestle plans to bottle and sell Oregon water. Tell Governor Brown this is a terrible idea.

Insist that Fisher-Price stop fighting right to know legislation.

Parents have a right to know what’s in their children’s toys– and they certainly can’t trust toy makers trying to stall this right in the political arena.

Help free Vietnam Prisoners of Conscience

Sign on to David Suzuki’s campaign to help save the Monarch butterfly (and other pollinators).

Note: if you don’t think you can do ALL of these (none of them takes more than a few minutes), any one will help!

A hemline should not be a crime anywhere in the world. 

Support women in danger of being flogged for wearing pants and “indecent” skirts.

Record breaking heat and drought.  We must do all we can about this:

Tell the US Congress we need to combat global warming in every way possible– support the 2015 Low Income Solar Act.

LG: Enforce labor safety in electronics manufacture

Workers making flatscreen TVs are being mutilated because of failure to enforce safety conditions in the electronics manufacture supply chain.  Tell LG you refuse to allow workers to have their hands cut off for the sake of profit for some and entertainment for others.

Protest US lease of sacred Apache land to mining companies

These lands belong to the Apache to protect and respect; mining companies should not be allowed to destroy them for corporate profit.

Sign condolence card for Charleston community

Join the 125,000 and growing number who stand with the Charleston AME church in the unspeakable tragedy.

Insist US Department of Interior not allow Peabody Coal to pass the billion dollar bill to the public for clean-up necessitated by its actions.

Peabody Coal is responsible for deadly pollution throughout the US.  It is time it cleaned up its own mess– we can only hope the expense would give them second thoughts about their environmentally-hazardous operations.

Tell US Attorney General to enforce prosecution of CIA torture according to law

The CIA is calling use of terror-inducing drugs on prisoners “experimentation”– but human experimentation of this type deserves prosecution under the law.

Oppose “Fast Track” Trade agreement

These agreement are set to undermine environmental and social justice choices globally–and do it behind closed doors, without public scrutiny.  If you are in the US, call your Congressional Rep and register your opinion on Fast Track.  If you are elsewhere, contact your governmental trade minister and register your dismay at the secrecy of Fast Track Trade Agreements.  This link will allow you to contact your minister and register your support of an open internet instead.

Wear orange on June 2 for gun violence awareness day

What victims of gun violence are you honoring? Show that you care.

Kick big polluters out of climate talks

Add your name to a coalition of citizen action groups that care about making climate change talks effective.

Stop big cable companies from blocking free municipal internet

Time to shine a light on US Pentagon budget negotiations

And time to audit Pentagon spending as well.

Close uranium mines by the Grand Canyon

Uranium mining is polluting the Grand Canyon watershed with radioactivity and causing serious health problems for local indigenous peoples– even decades after mines are abandoned. Support the closure of current mines and clean up of all mines, past and present. 

Tell US Congress NO Fast Track Trade Agreement

Such agreements must at the very least be carried out with public transparency–giving citizens to respond to their provisions.  What is known about this trade agreement makes it especially important to respond, since it is counter to both social and environmental justice.  Indeed, it would pressure some countries to lower their current environmental and labor standards.

What not to do in severe drought

Nestle is currently bottling water from ten natural springs throughout California, paying pennies a gallon for it, and selling it away, while NASA predicts California has only one more year of water left in the midst of its severe drought.  Tell Nestle this is unacceptable.

Get this poison off our shelves

A recent post on this site explained why Roundup should be banned. This petition indicates that well over 900,000 citizens agree.  Help make it a million!

Tell science museums: keep Koch brothers off their boards

Support the scientists (including Nobel Laureates)  who, in an unprecedented letter, asked US science museums to refuse monies and board membership from the Koch brothers who have been instrumental in denying scientific findings (including climate change) that might cut into their profits.

Thanks to all of you who levied pressure on Lowe’s and signed the petition below, they just (4/9/15) )announced a phase out bee-killing pesticides.

Tell Lowe’s to stop selling bee-killing plants

Though garden stores in many countries have responded to the concerns about pollinator well-being by refusing to sell plants with systematic “neonics” applied, Lowe’s has not. Neonics are toxic to bees, and plants containing these pesticides should not be sold to consumers– especially without their knowledge.

Ban child labor in tobacco fields

Children as young as seven are suffering nicotine poisoning from working in US tobacco fields.  Big tobacco has promised to stop child labor practices:  hold them to their word by making this against the law.

US government contractors should disclose campaign contributions

As it stands, contractors can give secret contributions to those controlling their potential contracts. This is all too easy a set up for bribery.

Spend time outside in the natural world we are working to protect

A new study published in the Journal of Environmental Psychology, spending time outdoors makes you more likely to undertake sustainable actions.  Nature is speaking to all of us–it is up to us to listen.

Protest use of rape survivors’ therapy records in rape trials

Tell US Congress: don’t let lawyers use confidential therapy records against rape survivors.

Tell your state legislators and governor: enact Shareholders United

This is an important and workable way to combat the money flow into US politics with the Supreme Court’s Citizens United decision. Ask your state government to enact legislation on the Maryland model that exerts public shareholder leverage against corporate political spending.

Keep the internet free and open

So far money has not been able to buy the internet, but certain businesses have been lobbying to allow “slow lanes” to slow down unpaid messages and services.   Keep the internet as the place you can express your voice by telling the US Federal Communications Commission the internet must remain free and open.  Their vote is coming up February 26. This vote was won with your help!

Help get big money out of US politics

Urge your congressman to co-sponsor this bill.

Demand oversight at the US meat testing center

If you have questions about why you should sign this petition, check out the New York Times story on the abuses at this center, which include the deaths of 6500 animals without any scientific benefit.

Tell the US FDA to crackdown on unsanitary conditions in food warehouses

In 2014 the FDA found 90 food warehouses that harbor the US food supply with grossly unsanitary conditions. This is a call for enforcement of a clean up of mice, rats, insects, and animal feces from the food supply.

Demand Accountability for Torture by the US Central Intelligence Agency

New information has recently come out concerning the use of torture by the CIA during the Bush-Cheney administration.  We cannot sanction this violation of the US War Crimes Act and the U.N. Convention Against Torture—which President Ronald Reagan signed.

This petition requests Attorney General Eric Holder appoint a special prosecutor for such crimes, and the Obama Administration dismiss CIA head John Brennan and CIA employees involved in torture.

Stoning women for adultery is not an option

Join Ghanaian-American citizen Malaka Grant in protesting the statement by a member of the Ghanian Parliament that women (and women only) should be punished for adultery by stoning.

Chevron should pay for waste water dumping in the Amazon

Support indigenous peoples and peasant farmers who are working to clean up their homelands of some 18 billion gallons of toxic waste water Chevron dumped there.  Let Chevron know the international community supports Ecuador in its fight for environmental justice.

Tell Starbucks to drop affiliation with Monsanto over gmo labeling

Starbucks has joined Monsanto’s suit against the state of Vermont. Tell them that is not ok– and until they drop the suit, you won’t patronize them.

Monday December 1 deadline:  Tell Obama to slash carbon emissions from power plants

Tell US National Public Radio to Change its Decision Not to Cover Climate Change

We need more not less climate change awareness and our public media ought to bring that to us.  Urge NPR to change its short-sighted decision to cut back on climate change coverage.

Direct US Pollinator Task Force to Ban Bee-Killing Pesticides

We can no longer delay in protecting the pollinators essential to so many of our food crops.

Tell US meat producers to stop using antibiotics to stimulate growth

Tell Smithfield to stop using Ractopamine, banned or limited in use in 160 other countries.  We do not need the dangerous human and environmental effects of feeding such antibiotics to animals in order to force them to gain weight quickly.

Get Cancer Off the Couch

Urge your US Senator to support the Children and Firefighters Protection Act to counter the use of hazardous fire retardants in furniture and bedding that are especially dangerous for children and ironically, for firefighters when these chemicals are burned.

Tell Proctor and Gamble to Remove Known Carcinogens from their Products

For more information on this topic as related to other manufacturers as well, see the Campaign for Safe Cosmetics.

Sign Senator Wyden’s petition to reform the US NSA

The National Security Agency’s over-surveillance is not just costing the US national integrity but damaging our economy.  Support real reform of this agency– after all, the US is a democracy!

US should stop opposing the UN resolution to  deal with depleted uranium in Iraq

The US is almost alone in opposing the UN resolution to address the issue of depleted uranium in Iraq.  Tell the US to get on board with the rest of the global community.

 Stand in Solidarity with Pacific Islanders and Other Global Activists

On 10.17.2014 Pacific Islanders in 30 traditional canoes will block Australian coal trains. Sign this petition to stand in solidarity with these climate activists and others across the globe. Help these traditional peoples keep their home above water by signing on to this statement at the link above:

“The Pacific Climate Warriors are not acting alone. I stand in solidarity with them and frontline communities around the world. The Pacific Climate Warriors are speaking for frontline communities around the world who will be hit first and worst by the catastrophic climate change. I will not let them drown. I am fighting alongside them.”

In the face of EPA’s approval genetically engineered crops that can “take” 2-4 D…

Consumers must take the responsibility for protecting their health and that of their families and the environment and by undercutting the bottom line of Monsanto and Dow Chemical who propose to manufacture “2-4 D ready” crops. Take the pledge not to buy these– or any other “factory-farmed” foods– at least one day a week.  See “Do Not Buy list for more info on 2-4 D– which is outlawed in certain other countries– and the health disasters associated with the “Round Up Ready” crops 2-4 D crops are replacing because the use of these crops has created resistant weeds while placing an economic burden on farmers and health hazards on humans and other natural lives.

Sign Representative DeFazio’s Petition to Help End Illegal Ivory Trade

Direct US Congress to pass the Tusker Act without delay.

Reform US student loan collection

Fair is fair.  Students who must borrow to complete their education deserve courtesy and clarity as they pay back their debt– rather than being turned over to sleazy debt collection agencies where they cannot even rely on their payments to be properly credited.

Kick Ronald McDonald out of Schools

No one really believes that junk food ads should be part of school curriculum, including the CEO of McDonald’s– at least that is his presumed stance at a recent shareholders’ meeting where this issue was raised.  But he actually lied about the Ronald McDonald school ad campaign– which is currently going strong. Tell McDonald’s this is unacceptable.

Tell Rush Limbaugh’s Advertisers NOT to support rape 

Sometimes no means yes?   That’s what Limbaugh recently said on his radio program in response to the Ohio State program implicating rape prevention  Tell his advertisers you don’t buy this!

September 23 is US National Voter Registration Day

Women and people of color have risked their lives for your right to vote:  don’t pass up the chance to honor their commitment.  We especially need citizens to vote to balance the “Citizens United” Supreme Court decision allowing unlimited corporate campaign financing!

September 21: join the global people’s climate march

Gather with others to register your concern about global warming.  For the sake of future generations, find an action near you in which to participate.

Here is the list of global partners and more ways to get involved.

310,000 marched in New York for climate justice in conjunction with demonstrations around this earth we share.  Thank you to all those who participated in this historic day. On to the UN meeting on September 23 and laying the groundwork for an agreement to cut carbon emissions.

Support US Congressional bill overturning unlimited corporate campaign financing

If you are in the US, the Senate voted this past week on an amendment to overturn the Supreme Court decision allocating the status of “persons” to corporations.

Call toll-free now to be connected to your senators’ offices:

Consult the list below, ordered alphabetically, to find out how your senators voted.

It’s critical that your senators hear from constituents like you, who are invested in the fight to overturn Citizens United and restore integrity to our democracy. Please, take a few minutes to call them now.

Roll Call Vote:

Ayotte (R-NH), Nay
Baldwin (D-WI), Yea
Barrasso (R-WY), Nay
Begich (D-AK), Yea
Bennet (D-CO), Yea
Blumenthal (D-CT), Yea
Blunt (R-MO), Nay
Booker (D-NJ), Yea
Boozman (R-AR), Nay
Boxer (D-CA), Yea
Brown (D-OH), Yea
Burr (R-NC), Nay
Cantwell (D-WA), Yea
Cardin (D-MD), Yea
Carper (D-DE), Yea
Casey (D-PA), Yea
Chambliss (R-GA), Nay
Coats (R-IN), Nay
Coburn (R-OK), Not Voting
Cochran (R-MS), Nay
Collins (R-ME), Nay
Coons (D-DE), Yea
Corker (R-TN), Nay
Cornyn (R-TX), Nay
Crapo (R-ID), Nay
Cruz (R-TX), Not Voting
Donnelly (D-IN), Yea
Durbin (D-IL), Yea
Enzi (R-WY), Nay
Feinstein (D-CA), Yea
Fischer (R-NE), Nay
Flake (R-AZ), Nay
Franken (D-MN), Yea
Gillibrand (D-NY), Not Voting
Graham (R-SC), Nay
Grassley (R-IA), Nay
Hagan (D-NC), Yea
Harkin (D-IA), Yea
Hatch (R-UT), Nay
Heinrich (D-NM), Yea
Heitkamp (D-ND), Yea
Heller (R-NV), Nay
Hirono (D-HI), Yea
Hoeven (R-ND), Nay
Inhofe (R-OK), Nay
Isakson (R-GA), Nay
Johanns (R-NE), Nay
Johnson (D-SD), Yea
Johnson (R-WI), Nay
Kaine (D-VA), Yea
King (I-ME), Yea
Kirk (R-IL), Nay
Klobuchar (D-MN), Yea
Landrieu (D-LA), Yea
Leahy (D-VT), Yea
Lee (R-UT), Nay
Levin (D-MI), Yea
Manchin (D-WV), Yea
Markey (D-MA), Yea
McCain (R-AZ), Nay
McCaskill (D-MO), Yea
McConnell (R-KY), Nay
Menendez (D-NJ), Yea
Merkley (D-OR), Yea
Mikulski (D-MD), Yea
Moran (R-KS), Nay
Murkowski (R-AK), Not Voting
Murphy (D-CT), Yea
Murray (D-WA), Yea
Nelson (D-FL), Yea
Paul (R-KY), Nay
Portman (R-OH), Nay
Pryor (D-AR), Yea
Reed (D-RI), Yea
Reid (D-NV), Yea
Risch (R-ID), Nay
Roberts (R-KS), Nay
Rockefeller (D-WV), Yea
Rubio (R-FL), Nay
Sanders (I-VT), Yea
Schatz (D-HI), Yea
Schumer (D-NY), Yea
Scott (R-SC), Nay
Sessions (R-AL), Nay
Shaheen (D-NH), Yea
Shelby (R-AL), Nay
Stabenow (D-MI), Yea
Tester (D-MT), Yea
Thune (R-SD), Nay
Toomey (R-PA), Nay
Udall (D-CO), Yea
Udall (D-NM), Yea
Vitter (R-LA), Nay
Walsh (D-MT), Yea
Warner (D-VA), Yea
Warren (D-MA), Yea
Whitehouse (D-RI), Yea
Wicker (R-MS), Nay
Wyden (D-OR), Yea

Register your concern with organic producers who have helped fund the campaign against labeling genetically food.

Your right to know is at stake, as is the load of toxics in the environment linked to various pesticide-ready genetically engineered crops.

Tell US EPA to stop the poisoning of farmworkers

The protection of those who harvest our food is an essential aspect of justice:  and linked to the protection of consumers, as well as insect pollinators such as honeybees.

Use science on chemical drift to protect children and the environment

We know that some pesticides become volatile and drift into the air and spread days or even weeks after application.  The US EPA is finally considering designing regulations to account for this considerable source of pesticide exposure. Tell them to make serious rules appropriate to the current science on drift.

Stop Slavery in Shrimp Harvests

“They kept me chained up, they didn’t care about me or give me any food…They sold us like animals, but we are not animals – we are human beings.”

These words of a shrimp harvester in Thailand should motivate us NOT to buy prawns for sale at Costco, Walmart and Carrefourl. And tell these big three purchasers of shrimp harvested by slaves to take concrete actions to end slavery in their supply chains.

Weigh in on Dow’s EPA Application to Expand the Use of Bee-Killing Chemicals

Using proven bee-killing chemicals on more domestic crops is the last thing we need. We also do not need Monsanto’s proposed genetically engineered crops to accept 2-4 D. As if Roundup Ready’s resulting increase in Round was not bad enough, these crops are engineered to accept Agent Orange.  Tell the EPA how you feel about this!

Insist Walmart and Children’s Place Pay Compensation They Owe to Bangladesh Survivors

These two large corporations have paid less than 6 per cent of what they owe in compensation to the families of the 1138 workers killed or injured in the Rana Plaza building collapse. Let them know consumers are paying attention.

Call  FCC Chair Tom Wheeler to Insist the Internet Remain Free

The proposed higher fees for using higher speed internet service will hamper free speech on the internet.  Register your protest:  here is a sample outline  of what to say in a brief sentence or two.

Update 7.16.2014.  The public comment period ended July 15, 2014, and there were so many comments that it crashed the FCC website!  Now let’s see if the FCC does the right thing!

Transpacific Partnership Negotiations Public

International trade agreements should be public

— especially an agreement that has as much potential to effect climate change and social justice as this one.

No Special Treatment for Duke Energy and its Coal Ash Spills

Insist Duke Energy (the US’ biggest utility) make campaign contributions public–those contributions implicated in Duke’s flouting state and federal regulations in its North Carolina operation– which included a massive spill of coal ash.

Support Winnemem Wintu Cultural Survival

This tribe in Northern California would like you to support their petition to Congress to protest the  raising of the Shasta Dam that would flood their traditional territory.

Protest billion dollar suit brought by Infinito Gold subsidiary against Costa Rica for protecting its rainforests

A subsidiary of Infinito Gold has announced a $1 billion lawsuit against Costa Rica is “imminent” — because Costa Rica has stood up against a toxic gold mine that would destroy its environment.  Support Costa Rica against corporate bullying.

Tell Bill Gates to Divest G4S stock

The Gates Foundation publicly declares its purpose as supporting human rights in global initiatives.  Holding stock in the British “security” industry responsible for the capture and torture of Palestinian citizens counters this purpose.  Tell Bill Gates to get out of the business of supporting the enforcement of the Occupation declared illegal by the United Nations.

Make US Campaign Funding Transparent

Sign Senator Jeff Merkley’s petition to the US Security and Exchange Commission to making corporate campaign funding public.

Sign Congressman DeFazio’s petition to protect the gray wolf

Follow the science and keep the gray wolf on the endangered species list.

Tell EPA to protect pollinators

The EPA must protect pollinators against the “neonics” that are particularly toxic to these insects necessary to our crops.  The EPA should protect pollinators by following the lead of the state of Oregon, city of Eugene–and a number of European Union countries.

Close dated alert-Act soon!

Tell the USDA:  Dow’s Genetically Engineered 2-4D Corn and Soy is a Bad Idea

We do not need seeds genetically engineered to withstand the herbicides prohibited in parts of Canada due to their human health effects.  Many US citizens agree.   Thanks to public pressure, USDA extended the comment period for Dow’s controversial new genetically engineered (GE) seeds. Notably, Dow also manufacturers this pesticide.  Take advantage of the extended comment period to tell the USDA no to corn and soy engineered to take 2-4 D.

Note:  the comment period for this is now closed.

Support Monsanto Shareholders Questioning Costs and Risks of Corporate Policies at Upcoming Shareholder Meeting

A handful of brave Monsanto shareholders are headed to the St. Louis shareholder meeting with a resolution in hand demanding that Monsanto reveal the costs and risks of its policies (in particular, genetic engineering) to shareholders.

Monsanto needs to know that it cannot quietly table this resolution.  Join the others signing the petition to make this information public.

Protest the TPP (TransPacific Partnership) Corporate Power Grab

If approved by Congress, this “partnership” bolstering corporate interests will create international law that supports profit over ethics, forcing nations to rescind environmental and labor standards that interfere with profit.

For instance, the TPP would allow big Tobacco to spread its influence globally.   

Here is a bipartisan letter signed by 45 state’s attorney generals citing the inability to enforce current legislation limiting tobacco industry actions if TPP passes. It seems that the only ones who want TPP are a few big corporations– and President Obama.  Contact  the white house and tell him you do not approve.

Here is a copy of the letter I wrote to Vice President Biden:

“With your solid record of support for labor, I am hoping you will talk to President about citizen concerns regarding the TPP.  

It would be a disaster to labor interests.  And 45 state’s attorney generals oppose the TPP as undercutting the enforcement of Tobacco Industry legislation. Further, trade with Pacific Rim partners must not include undercutting of EU tar sands pollution classification.  As Obama himself has publicly stated, we need strong carbon cutbacks to inhibits climate disasters everywhere.
Obama must not in good conscience stand for an agreement that violates his public policy.

Please let me know where you yourself stand on this issue. “

Copy this freely or send one in your own words.

Sign a petition to Congress to protest the TPP  here.  

Call Rep. Levin’s office at (202) 225-4961 (he has a central role on the Ways and Means Committee) to register your support of his concerns for the “fast track” of the TPP trade agreement.

If you are in Oregon, thank Senators DeFazio and Merkley for their stands against TPP and pressure Senator Wyden (541 431 0229) to join them.  Wyden holds a key committee position and is publicly on the fence on the TPP.  He needs to know that his constituency does not support this.

Tell the US Environmental Agency to Create Strong Carbon Emission Standards

We cannot afford the economic, much less the human, cost of climate change. As part of a nation that emits a quarter of all current carbon emissions, US citizens have a chance to make a real difference.  Tell the EPA so. There is more you can do as well:  check out these actions on the site of the Union of Concerned Scientists.

Support Alta Gracia clothing

Look for this union label in the garments you buy– tell the stores you visit you want to see it. This is especially effective on university campuses, where garments made by Alta Garcia now compete in price with those made by Nike.  Alta Gracia workers, however, are earning a living wage.

And a unique opportunity:  “Solidarity Immersion”

For those of you able to take time  off, here is an opportunity to visit the workers and get to know the country at the anti-sweatshop company, Alta Garcia.  There are scholarships and fundraising to help low income participants.

Support striking Walmart workers:

Walmart stores in Washington State had non-violent demonstrators arrested.  DO NOT BUY Walmart products until they treat their workers fairly.  Bargains are not worth the well-being of workers.

Walmart workers throughout the US are staging actions in support of fair wages and treatment on the job.  Findings by the Labor Relations Board on November 19.2013 confirms the legitimacy of Walmart worker complaints. Support those arrested for non-violent demonstrations on behalf of their legal rights.

And don’t shop Walmart until they treat their workers decently.

Support Naderev “Yeb” Saño in his hunger strike for climate justice at the Warsaw talks
Saño has put his own petition on Avaaz, presented to the Warsaw talks by

The per capita output of carbon in the US is close to 20 times the carbon output of the Philippine citizen now suffering from the greatest storm ever recorded. If we got the carbon emissions of the US and other developed nations down to the Philippine level,  none of us would be suffering from climate change.

In Saño’s words:

“To anyone outside who continues to deny and ignore the reality that is climate change, I dare them — I dare them to  get away from the comfort of their armchairs. I dare them to go to the islands of the Pacific, the Caribbean, the Indian Ocean, and see the impacts of rising sea levels; to the mountainous regions of the Himalayas and the Andes, to see communities confronting glacial floods; to the Arctic, where communities grapple with the fast-dwindling sea ice sheets; the large deltas of the Mekong, the Ganges, the Amazon, the Nile, where lives and livelihoods are drowned; to the hills of Central America, that confront similar monstrous hurricanes; to the vast savannas of Africa, where climate change has likewise become a matter of life and death as food and water becomes scarce — not to forget the monstrous storms in the Gulf of Mexico and the Eastern Seaboard of North America, as well as the fires that have raged Down Under. And if that is not enough, they may want to see what has happened to the Philippines now.”

         Donate to support emergency relief for the Philippines

If you can, donate $21.50 (the average amount the US family spends on food daily) to support the Philippine relief effort in solidarity with Saño’s hunger strike.

         Reduce your carbon footprint to help stop such disasters in the future

              Resist coal burning as an energy source in solidarity with the Philippine climate justice movement

Help the Philippines now and protect our future by supporting climate justice. We can change our reliance on fossil fuels — a course less expensive than attempting to repair the damage of climate change in the future, catastrophe by catastrophe.

Insist Nestlé stop expropriating Pakistani groundwater

Nestlé is taking Pakistani village groundwater and then forcing low income to buy their own water back.   Meanwhile the water grab depletes and pollutes village water source.  Dirty water kills more children around the world than AIDS, malaria, war, and traffic accidents combined — and Nestlé has a hand in it, as they did previously in hawking formula to poor nations, who then mixed it with dirty water as opposed to feeding babies with clean breastmilk.

Sign the petition to get Nestlé out of the water business. And meanwhile, do not buy Nestlé candies, since they have not yet taken action to prevent sourcing their chocolate produced by slave labor of children.

Demand Toys R Us Pull Ad Denigrating Environmental Education

Join thousands of others signing a  petition to Toys R Us CEO protesting the ad that cynically denigrates the natural world to sell plastic toys.  To view the ad in which a group of children of color on a bus to visit a natural area– and bored with the idea– are excited by a surprise visit to a toy store instead, click here.

Demand Justice for Drone Strike Victims

Civilian drone strike victims deserve compensation.  Join the global movement against weaponized drones.  Faceless violence is NOT the way to utilize US technological know how– and not the way to show our friendship to other citizens in the global arena.

Tell Democrats not to sabotage negotiations with Iran by instituting additional sanctions.

Congress should not interfere In the President’s delicate and hopeful negotiations with Iran by adding more sanctions while the negotiation process ensues.

Tell US Officials to Decrease Rather than Expand Global Arms Sales

We should not move the global weapons trade from the State Department to the Commerce Department– thus decreasing oversight on the weapons we sell the world. It is no distinction to be the world’s number one arms seller!

Support the “Stroller Brigade” against Toxics– and maybe even join them.

They are coming from 35 states– health professionals, mother and caring community members– to make the point to the US Congress that we need an update of federal Toxics regulations.

This march has now taken place:  see here for highlights in pictures and videos.

Support Peace and Environmental Reclamation in Palestine 

In the midst of the Occupation’s  terrible cost to local populations and the environment, this small collective of Palestinian farmers and tree planters is working to make a difference from the grassroots.

Wal-Mart and Gap; Sign the fire safety protocol for your Bangladesh workers

Don’t let workers that make cheap clothes for us die in the process as they have in the past when locked into burning factories.  Tell Wal-Mart and Gap that they must no longer hold out against signers safety contracts for these workers.

Tell Russia:  Release Greenpeace Demonstrators

This peaceful protest does not warrant a harsh sentence of up to 15 years in prison.

Stand with Indigenous groups in the Peruvian Amazon to stop oil drilling.

For forty years indigenous peoples in the Peruvian Amazon have been fighting oil company exploitation that has contaminated their land, ravaging environmental treasures that they rely on to survive.  Stand with the coalition of indigenous peoples at their “Regional Summit for the Defense of the Amazon” who met September 25.2013 and drew up this petition.

Tell the US Military NOT to make Pagan island a bombing range

Though Pagan Island may seem isolated to those of us in the US (just shows how much we have to learn about our earthly neighbors), it is inhabited by humans and many more than human species.  We don;t need to destroy it!

Tell Google: remove ivory trafficking from its shopping site

There are thousands of ivory items for sale on Google’s shopping site, which “swells overall demand for ivory, resulting in poaching, more deaths, and increased risk of extinction” for elephants. Though Google claims to take down ivory ads when detected, the same ads appear day after day. As it stands Google makes substantial profit on these ivory sales.

Tell Lowe’s and Home Depot to stop selling bee-killing plants

Recent research indicates that plants sold by these big box stores often contain bee-killing “neonic” pesticides–even when they are sold as bee friendly plants.  Let them know their cust

Protest Nestle’s Water Grab in British Columbia

Sign this petition to the BC government to stop Nestle from extracting and bottling 365 liters of fresh water for free.  Nestle’s chairman has stated only “extremists” see water as a human right rather than a market product. Show him he is wrong.

College Funding:

Support Senator Jeff Merkley’s College Finance Plan

We owe our future leaders more support in paying for their education– and allowing them access to higher education. The ability to attend college should be based on achievement, not class. as it is today, when approximately 8 per cent of those in the majority (2/3) of lowest income levels in the US do not receive a college degree, whereas 80 per cent of those whose families fall in the top 25 per cent receive a college degree.

Support the Department of Education’s effort to stop for-profit colleges from taking financial advantage of students

Urge your congressperson to oppose HR 2637 – the so-called “Academic Freedom Through Regulatory Relief Act” which would tie the Department of Education’s hands in regulating for-profit school’s treatment of students.

Tell the Tribune Company:  Don’t Sell Out Climate Change Coverage

Join the Union of Concerned Scientists in stopping the fossil fuel industry’s disinformation campaign climate change.

Stop the Anti-Women Gag Rule in Afghanistan

The Lower House of Afghan Parliament passed a bill that would ban certain testimony in court, stopping countless abused children and women from getting justice– as in the case of  Shar Gul, who was sold into marriage at 12.  Her in-laws chained her in the basement, beat her with red hot iron pipes, starved her and pulled out all her fingernails when she refused to prostitute herself for them.  You can register your outrage on this petition, joining over 500,000 others.  They are aiming for a million.

From the latest issue of YES Magazine:

Join the thirty day kindness challenge.

Exert alumnus power: write your school and tell them you are withholding      contributions until they divest in all fossil fuel stocks.

Follow suggestions about ways to “un-stuff”– and support justice for workers and the environment.  You might not only fuel the movement to be kinder to other humans and the planet– but to yourself.

Pesticide manufacturers have threatened lawsuits against those opposing their products, such as the corporate justice group, Sum of Us.  Support this group and local groups such as the Oregon Sustainable Beekeepers in speaking out against pesticides.  We need our pollinators more than they need their profits.

US readers:  call your representatives and ask them to co-sponsor the “Save the Pollinators Act” directing the EPA to prohibit the sale of “neonics” responsible for the die off of millions of bees–and incidentally, already banned by the EU.  You may also sign this petition (help bring the total to 250,000 signers), asking your congress person to support this act.

Tell Kelloggs to cut its recently announced ties to Wilmar, which Newsweek named  the “least sustainable corporation in the world”, releasing millions of tons of carbon into the air in its destruction of Southeast Asian rainforests to produce the palm oil that could be produced sustainably instead. Wilmar is also killing endangered tigers and orangutans in its wholesale forest burning polices.

In line with the most recent “Do Not Buy List” update, purchase only organic cotton to save the lives of producers and protect your health and that of your family.

Past Alerts


Independence Day Special

This is a good time to realize the thanks we owe to whistle blowers who have helped the US become a “more perfect union” by giving us the information we need to protect our personal health, our environment and our citizen rights.

Celebrate this 4th of July by sending a letter of support to Bradley Manning or John Kiriakou, CIA torture whistleblowers.

Stop bee-killing pesticide use in Oregon

What more evidence do we need. In the wake of the kill of 50,000 bumblebees due to “neonic” treatment of linden tress at a shopping center in Wilsonville, Oregon, sign this petition urging the Oregon Department of Agriculture to ban neonic usage in Oregon.

The local level is a great place to follow the lead of the European Union that has banned neonics in the face of solid scientific evidenceThe US EPA should do no less. 

A Corporation to thank!

Ben and Jerry’s has announced it will phase out the use of genetically engineered ingredients in their products as soon as possible. This is no small decision. In the face of the fact that their parent company, Unilever, contributed hundreds of thousands of dollars to fight gmo labeling, Ben and Jerry’s has taken a courageous stand against gmos.  Note that this move comes in response to a petition asking that Ben and Jerry’s do just this!

And for those of you confused about who is who here, the small business that began as Ben and Jerry’s was bought out by Unilever several years ago.  This business deserves credit for still standing on some of the same values as the original Ben and Jerry’s.

The US Farm Bill passed the Senate with the Monsanto protection rider in it (see below) despite nearly 350,000 emails to Congress in protest.  Senator Jeff Merkely (D-OR) authored and fought for an amendment that would delete this provision in the bill.  But it was blocked from consideration by Senator Blunt (R-MO) – who has taken over $160,000 from Monsanto in campaign and PAC contributions since 2008.

The good news is that the bill’s funding is set to expire in September, when it will come up for debate again.  Senate Agriculture Committee Chair Debbie Stabenow (D-MI) committed on the senate floor to blocking the Monsanto Protection Act from getting renewed in the same way it was passed — anonymously, without debate.

Thank Stabenow and ask her to keep her pledge. And Jeff Merkley deserves your thanks as well.  Drop him a note to thank him for this leadership on this issue.

Require Corporations to Disclose their Political Spending 

Though Congress did not pass a recent bill on this point,  a Securities and Exchange Commission rule change can re-assert democracy in the face of unbridled political spending by making corporations report how much and to whom they are giving political contributions.  Transparency is a necessary aspect of the democratic process.

Support the Nomination of Gina McCarthy as EPA Director

Join the Union of Concerned Scientists in urging that this “science champ” be confirmed immediately.  This site linked above will also also allow you to support transparency in EPA decision-making.

Urge the EPA to ban bee-killing chemicals

Bee populations in the US are now plummeting. There is enough substantial science to support the link between the disaster to bees and a particular class of pesticides (the “neonics”– see Do Not Buy List here) to motivate the European Union to ban these chemicals. There is no reason the US should not follow suit.

You can also sign a national petition asking Lowe’s and Home Depot to stop selling these chemicals, or add your name to the  Oregon Sustainable Beekeepers petition to ask Jerry’s (Eugene, Oregon) to stop doing selling these chemicals.  There is also ample material on the latter site indicating the scientific support for the dangers of these chemicals.

Consider Changing to Clean Energy Wherever you are in the  US!

Fast and easy to switch your utility — you might be especially motivated if your utility is one of the “dirty dozen”.

Tell Mark Zuckerberg to stop his facebook support of tar sands development

Is your facebook page supporting environmental disaster and undermining indigenous rights?  Tell Mark Zuckerberg to withdraw his ad in support of the Keystone pipeline.

Protest the “protect Monsanto” rider in the US Farm Bill

Bioengineering does not need legal dispensation from culpability for its products.  This stands in opposition to the precautionary approach used by the European Union, which requires that corporations prove their products safe before their release.

Monsanto has spent millions of dollars to stop labeling of genetically engineered products, to harass small farmers who choose not to use genetically engineered products and save their own seeds, to force the European Union to accept genetically engineered products in contradiction to their environmental safeguards– and national choices– and to lock up a the global seed supply. The last thing we need as a society is to give Monsanto more power!

Support the Union of Concerned Science’s Alternative

This proposed amendment shifts the bill’s focus to local, environmentally sound and healthy food production.

For Mother’s Day, tell McDonald’s you are not loving it!

McDonald’s is a serious offender in the arena of fast food/unhealthy food ads geared toward children.

Tell your senators to get their information on toxics from pediatricians, not Dow chemicals

Your congressional representatives have an obligation to protect our children with respect to toxic chemicals rather than protecting the profits of chemical industries at the cost of human and environmental health. The link above has a brief and powerful essay on what a senator who succumbs to Dow’s lobbying states, why it is wrong and how to contact your senator with a different message.

Tell Exxon to put its money where its media campaign is

At the same time that Exxon is running a slick media campaign supporting US education, it is skipping out on its share of the taxes that would make added support for education possible.

Further,  Exxon Mobil has put its money  into lobbying against climate change remedies.  A decade ago, the Petroleum Institute, of which Exxon is a member, planned a 6 million dollar two year campaign to undermine public confidence in climate science.  The CEO of Exxon went so far as to visit China prior to the Kyoto agreement to argue that limiting greenhouse gases would be bad for Chinese economic development.

If Exxon cares about our children’s future, it needs to change it needs to show it.

Demand the release of memos concerning drone strikes.

Urge Senator Leahy to step up the pressure on the White House to release info on drone strikes.  And hey, if you click this link to read more about this issue, you will get to see Jon Stewart in a “code pink” t-shirt!

Monsanto yet again…

This time its the rider they placed in the US Farm Bill to exempt themselves from  federal regulations protecting human health and the environment.  Click here to register your protest against this move with your congressperson.

Tell Coca-Cola to stop its lawsuit attacking recycling in Australia.  Since it advertises its recycling stance, it needs to actually uphold it.

Demand a Plan to Counter Gun Violence in the US

Join 850 mayors from 44 states and 1.2 millions grassroots supporters in demanding a plan that will counter the epidemic of gun violence in the US.

Join over 100,000 others to urge Bayer to withdraw bee-killing chemicals from the market.

Join the “read your labels campaign” to be a responsible consumer and protect your health and the environment.


Boycott Walmart

Recently, it had over 200 suits in the US courts charging illegal labor practices.  These practices put it at the top of both the 2008 and 2009 Oregon Department of Human Services list of employers whose workers received food stamps and/or state subsidized medical coverage for the poor.

Wal-Mart is also a known polluter:  in Eugene, it has received several notices for violating allowable discharges.

Tell them why you are not shopping there.  Call Walmart’s labor relations hotline at 1-877-545-2267  

Or Call your local Walmart and talk to a manager about your concerns.

Disney: Don’t use kid’s cartoon figures to sell dangerously unhealthy body images

We have enough ads selling distorted body images without getting Disney into the arena with “glamorous” Minnie Mouses  that are now pencil thin.  As one critic pointed out,  a mouse that looked like this would be dead–unfortunately this is too much of a parallel to the prognosis of those with eating disorders in contemporary society.

Support Trevor’s Law

Stemming from the activism of Trevor Schaefer, a childhood cancer survivor diagnosed with brain cancer at age 13, this bipartisan bill (SB 76) would facilitate the collection and dissemination of information on “disease clusters” in particular geographical areas that indicate environmental causes of childhood diseases.

Support labeling of genetically engineered foods in Calfornia

It is a basic democratic right to know what we are spending our food dollars for.  Proposition 37 in California asserts this right for its citizens.  Sign this petition to stand with California citizens’ right to know against corporate interests that would manipulate our food–and then have us pay for this without out knowing.

Join Mayors against Illegal Guns in lobbying Congress to fix background checks in gun laws

Join 550 US mayors in signing this petition.  Also on the site of Mayors against Illegal Guns:  details of what we can and should do to fix our gun laws to help prevent more senseless shootings.

Tell IKEA: stop logging Russia’s heritage forests

Tell IKEA to make good on its statement, “We love wood” by stopping its logging of 600 year old trees in Russia’s heritage forests.

Fight Corporate Control of Congress

A citizen corporate watchdog has termed the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) the “most powerful organization you have never heard of“.  It writes legislation for state legislatures to pass verbatim– such as the “stand your ground” laws that support vigilante justice and the killing of Trayvon Martin and Arizona’s “show me your papers” immigration law sponsored by the private prison industry in the state. Other ALEC legislation written on behalf of its corporate sponsors has weakened environmental regulation, attacked unions, and given corporations millions of dollars in “perverse subsidies”.

And who funds the ALEC?  Exxon-Mobil is high on the list, but so is Johnson and Johnson.

Add your name to the over 50,000 who are petitioning Johnson and Johnson to uphold their “family-friendly image” and drop their funding of the ALEC.

Support the EPA’s new nationwide carbon limits

On March 27, 2012, the EPA made its first ever ruling on nationwide carbon limitation. With worldwide flooding, drought, unprecedented temperature swings and winds, it is about time we did something about global climate change.  However, the new EPA standards are already under attack.

Don’t let this change in the right direction be undermined.  Register your support for the EPA decision.

Flood Congress with Support for Climate Action

In spite of the millions spent on a disinformation campaign by the fossil fuel industry, over ninety per cent of scientists concur that unstable weather patterns including floods and drought, melting ice caps and rising seas, can be stemmed if we reverse our unprecedented carbon output.  The United States, responsible for a disproportionate amount of carbon output with respect to its population is a good place to start.  Join the Union of Concerned Scientists and tell Congress that we want climate action now.

Safeguard our democracy by supporting people over corporations

The US democracy rests on the premise of one person/one vote, but when corporations get to spend unlimited dollars to support candidates favorable to them– and “invest” their money in lobbying Congress (thereby earning $200 in government favors for every $! they spend on lobbyists), our government reflects the interests of money rather than people.

To learn more about the hist0ry of how this came about, view a fun and informative video by Annie Leonard (“Story of Stuff”).

On the same site, you can also choose to join the 85 per cent of US citizens who feel corporations have too much power by adding your signature to a proposed constitutional amendment denying corporations the rights of human being (as our law currently has it).

An opportunity for students to become involved with the Union of Concerned Scientists

Here is an opportunity that comes with the new year.  Join the Young Scientists Initiative of the Union of Concerned Scientists, which works  relate the latest scientific data (unbiased by commercial concerns) to public policy choices.


A Holiday Gift of Safer Chemicals

Send Congress a holiday greeting with this wish. You can choose whether or no9t to attach a family photo.

Join the Union of Concerned Scientists in calling for the labeling of genetically engineered food

Here is a quote from the UCS website indicating what you should tell the FDA in your own words:

“Recent research sponsored by the Union of Concerned Scientists and others has shown that the widespread adoption of GE crops has led to increased herbicide use, while falling short of the biotech industry’s promises for higher yields and more efficient fertilizer use. More modern, scientifically advanced agricultural practices are achieving many of the objectives of GE crops, without many of the downsides.”

Urge your Congressperson to support the Safe Chemicals Act

This Thursday, November 17 is the date of the landmark Congressional hearing on the Safe Chemicals Act that would put health over profits by instituting the precautionary principle currently used in the EU. It is essential to lend our support to this act in the face of the assault on environmental standards by certain members of Congress.

Sign on to the National Climate Ethics Campaign

The latest study (last week) shows a shocking rise in US carbon emissions.  See Scripts Data for comparative measurements. We can expect unstable weather patterns, drought and flooding in the short term and climate change in the long term that will severely impact the ability of life (including humans) to survive in the ecosystems to which they have natural adapted in the long term.  Only the concerted ad and lobbying campaign of big oil and big coal keeps us from doing something about this.  Sign on to this climate change ethics statement to urge national officials to step up to their responsibility in this regard.

Urge Governor Kitzhaber to designate marine reserves

These reserves were unanimously recommended by the Ocean Policy Advisory Committee last December after 25,000 hours of volunteer effect.  Time to implement these recommendations.

Support safer chemicals for your family and the environment

Since the industrial revolution, industries have hidden dangers of chemicals: for instance, in the case of tobacco, lead, pvc and pesticides– and until the public gets this information, their health and that of the shared environment that sustains us have suffered.  (See The Secret History of the War on Cancer, and Deceit and Denial for more detail on these histories).  With increasingly persistent and toxic chemicals being manufactured, we can no longer afford the luxury of ignorance concerning the  over 60,000 human-made chemicals we have released into our environment.

Signing this pledge will put you in line to receive weekly emails from the Safer Chemicals coalition of health care workers, cancer specialists, environmentalists and concerned citizens that give you ways to protect both yourself and the environment with your choice of chemical usage.

Support local food production and marketing networks

In line with “Market Forces”, the recent report of the Union of Concerned Scientists indicating the cost effective and sustainable benefits of local food production, ask Congress to invest in the future of healthy, local produced food. Currently, industrial agriculture receives subsidies equal to 44 per cent of its costs to produce food in ways that are detrimental to both the environment and human health.  It is time to be smart enough to change this.

Posted 9.8.2011

Support clean air standards that protect human health and the environment

UPDATE 9.9.2011:  Unfortunately, Obama recently directed the EPA to void its suggested regulations for tougher clean air standards (which according to its own statistics would save 20,000 lives a year!)

Here is a suggestion for a response from the Union of Concerned Scientists:

Go to the White House Facebook Page and post the link and this image and a short message will load. Then you can add your own personal message expressing your disappointment and urging the president not to let science take a back seat at the White House.

Former action alert:  Urge President Obama to protect human health and curtail global warming gasses by directing the EPA to release and enforce strong clean air standards by curtailing emissions from our nation’s dirtiest coal fired plants and oil refineries.  According to data assembled by the Union of Concerned Scientists, unchecked global warming could increase ground-level ozone resulting in 2.8 million more occurrences of serious respiratory illnesses such as asthma attacks and $5.4 billion in health-related costs just nine years from now.

Posted 7.19.2011; updated 9.8.2011

Set mercury standards in line with scientific data about its harms

Mercury is one of our most toxic and persistent pollutants and one about which we have a good deal of scientific data on its role in nerve damage, in catalyzing diabetes (among native populations  eating fish in which mercury and pesticides are concentrated, for instance), and in inciting premature births. It is time to set strong standards with regard to the release of this heavy metal into our environment– as the European Union already has.  Urge the EPA to do this, standing strong against coal industry lobbyists who are putting profits–and real data– above health.  This is not a jobs versus environment issue:  for every $1 spent on the measures of mercury cut-back, it is estimated that the American taxpayer will see $13 in benefits, in addition to eliminating the need for expensive treatment of mercury-caused illnesses.

Posted 6.29.2011

Urge Congress to Properly Regulate Toxic Chemicals

Our Toxic Chemicals Regulatory Act is several decades old and not responsive to the vast majority of chemicals to which humans and other lives in our ecological communities are exposed.  Ask Congress to change that by bringing our regulations in line not only with contemporary science but with responsible citizenry as the European Union has done.

Posted 6.5.2011

Protest US Chamber of Commerce’s undermining of climate change action

The US Chamber of Commerce recently issued a public statement that climate change is no problem- since we can readily adapt to a “warmer climate”.  But the people currently hit by unprecedented tornadoes, floods and droughts know differently. Over 6,000 business and 32 local chambers of commerce have made statements asserting that the US Chamber of Commerce does not speak for them–and we need proactive strategies to cut back our carbon emissions and protect the climate in which all life on earth currently learned to flourish.  Here is your opportunity to address climate change in a specific and important way.

Posted 5.24.2011

Keep Anti-bioitics Working

80 per cent of antibi9otics in the US are currently used in poultry and beef  production.  Support the Preservation of Antibiotics for Medical Treatment Act (H.R. 965), to protect the efficacy of anti-biotics for human use.  Prohibiting the use of anti-biotics in the feed of animals raised on factory farms might also force such farms to use other ways to maintain the health of their animals, such as alleviating crowding and allowing animals daily exercise.

Defend Labor Education and Academic Freedom

Stand with labor educator Judy Ancel (University of Missouri) and against deceptive media meant to discredit her and undermine academic freedom. This is the current project of Andrew Breitbart, who circulated the  deceptive video that led to Congress de-funding ACORN before the deception was exposed.  Breitbart then turned his attention to USDA official Shirley Sherrod – nearly ruining her career before the NAACP and the Obama administration viewed the actual speech from which Breitbart had cut and pasted his misleading and inflammatory video.

Our democracy needs good information, not the defamation of these good people who work to tell the truth.

Posted 5.7.2011

Tell the Obama Administration to Protect the Grand Canyon

Over 100 permits for mining near the Grand Canyon are currently being considered for approval by Secretary Salazar.  Let him know what US citizens think of this.  This action alert closes 5.4.2011.

Posted 5.2.2011

Natural Farming and Permaculture

Our current quote of the week refers to a report which finds that “natural farming” protects vital water resources, improves crop flavor and nutrition, and better protects crops against pests than does commercial agriculture. Want some ideas about how to try natural farming techniques in your own farm or garden, large or small?  The Permaculture Activist has a host of resources.

Posted 4.17.2011

Stop Testing of Pesticides on Human Subjects

Join the Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility Campaign to stop EPA approval of testing of new chemicals, especially pesticides, on human subjects. Under its latest rules, EPA not only endorses human testing with tax dollars, but is encouraging industry to conduct human subject experiments.  After-market exposure to pesticides is bad enough;  we do not need before-market testing of toxic chemicals on humans– especially those in areas of the globe who are desperate for any money at all to be earned by being such a test subject.

Posted 4.9.11

Make the next Farm Bill Responsive to Current Scientific Research

Urge Congress to support programs in line with a recent study by the Union of Concerned Scientists that indicates ways agriculture can support soil fertility and decrease carbon emissions. The Farm Bill should support these practices rather than those which may profit agribusiness but harm human and environmental health.

Posted 4.3.2011

Tell General Electric:  Pay your Taxes

While essential social services are cut from the national budget, corporations like General Electric not only escape responsibility for paying their share, but earn tax credits.  Here are some stats to ponder:  GE’s 2010 earnings:  $26 billion; federal taxes paid: zero;  money spent lobbying Congress to keep their tax free status:  tens of millions;  number of GE employees employed full time in avoiding taxes and designing and taking advantage of loopholes:  965; IRS tax benefit earned: $4.1 billion.  (“G.E.’s Strategies Let It Avoid Taxes Altogether,” David Kocieniewski, New York Times, March 24, 2011.)

Posted 3.30.2011

Demand States Use Best Available Technology to Cut Global Warming Emissions

In November 2011, the EPA released guidance about the kinds of pollution control technologies and best practices state agencies should consider when issuing these permits. Most states already intend to comply with the EPA’s recommendations because they are practical and affordable. Learn more about the steps the EPA must take to reduce global warming emissions.

Unfortunately, however, coal and oil industries are attacking the EPA’s guidance. Please urge your governor to ensure your state complies with the EPA’s technology guidance to helps create  real global warming emissions reductions.  The Union of Concerned Scientists has a letter you can modify and send online to do this.

Posted 3.19.2011

End production of “killer jeans”

Sandblasting jeans to soften denim before purchase causes deadly lung disease in workers. Sign the “manifesto against sandblasting” that a few companies with conscience have already agree to.  Turkey recently ended the manual sandblasting of clothing and the silicosis rate of their garment workers plummeted, though aftercare for known victims is still an issue.

Levi-Strauss, fashion giant Hennes & Mauritz (H&M), retailer C&A and many others have banned manual sandblasting, but a few conservative corporations employing third world workers continue it.

Garment workers  also deserve a living wage.  From the Clean Clothes campaign:

In Asia, where the bulk of garment production takes place, a growing coalition of local organisations has a concrete proposal on the table – a calculation for an Asia Floor Wage. Giant retailers can make a real commitment to ending poverty wages in the workplaces that supply their shops by working with the Asia Floor Wage alliance to take concrete steps to implement a living wage.

Posted 3.13.2011

Save the honeybees (additional actions and information)

Honeybees and natural pollinators are especially vulnerable to a new group of systemic pesticides called nicotinoids. At very low levels, exposure to nectar, pollen, and leaf dew of treated plants is implicated in Colony Collapse Disorder, which ravaged bee populations in the US to such an extent that bees needed to be flown in from Australia to pollinate crops. (Thirty per cent of current US crops are reliant on bees and natural pollinators.)   These chemicals have been banned in four European countries, and in France (where the ban came quickly) bee populations are recovering as a result.  See the “do not buy” list button for a list of the brand names for nicotinoids.

Posted 3.7.2011

Fix Gun Checks

Join with “mayors against illegal guns” to change the fact that 34 citizens die from gun violence daily in the US with two common sense points. Demand that previously violent persons, especially perpetrators of domestic violence, be put in a national computer data base and that this database be checked every time a gun is sold in the US.

Posted 2.28.2011

Make Corporate Tax Breaks Transparent

Help prevent dishonest corporations from abusing tax subsidy programs by asking your state legislators to make corporate tax subsidies transparent to the public.

Posted 2.13.2011

Stop Corporate Backed Attempts to Water Down the Clean Air Act

No corporation should be exempt from following the standards of the Clean Air Act, as a number of bills being prepared in Congress now propose.   Clean Air belongs to all of us; we need to fight the epidemic of children’s asthma and heart and lung disease linked to air pollution, not sell our rights to health to the highest bidder. Join Earthjustice in emailing your Congressional representatives on this issue.

Posted 2.5.2011

Sign bottled water free pledge

Join the Environmental Working Group’s pledge to boycott bottled water. Not only is bottled water responsible for large amounts of floating sea plastic, but bottled water companies are working to buy up Western water supplies, including those in traditional Winnemem territory, which would decimate the river that is their ceremonial home where they are working to restore traditional salmon stocks.  See here for an outline of the true cost of bottled water.

With a little thought (simply bring your own bottle when you are away from home), we can do away with this minor convenience for us and major burden on the environment.

Support municipal and nati0nal water bans in the US and abroad– wherever populations understand how precious clean water is to our lives.

Posted 1.30.2011

Ban bee-killing pesticide

Since 2006, honey bee populations have been in steep decline globally.  Locally, in the last year the Lane County Beekeepers surveyed beekeepers, they lost 47 per cent of their hives.  Especially troubling is “colony collapse disorder” when a hive of bees suddenly disappears (honey bees characteristically leave the hive to die).  An analysis of the honey bee genome indicated they may bee an indicator species, since they do not have the genetic ability to detoxify pesticides and they have body hairs that served them to collect pollen which causes them to trap chemical contaminants. A recent assay of bee bodies found residues of 98 different pesticides in a single bee.

At the same time, bees are essential to the pollination of the majority of US crops. There is enough evidence that neonicotinoid pesticides like clothianidin are especially toxic to bees that particular European countries have banned these pesticides to protect their honey population.  Tell the EPA to do the same in the US– in spite of industry pressure to ignore the data.

Posted 1.23.2011

End Corporate Personhood

Corporations are not persons and should not have the same rights. Giving these powerful entities such rights (rather than responsibilities) undermines the the equality between individuals essential to democracy.  Abuses in elections, legislation, and “perverse subsidies” result from handing over the rights of persons to corporations. Help change the legal precedent that makes corporations into “persons” with substantially more legal privileges and protections that the ordinary US citizen.

posted 1.16.2011

Submit your comment with respect to gmo alfalfa

And let the FDA know that what you think about gmos contaminating organics. Without labeling, in fact, buying organic is one of the few ways you can avoid gmos.  See here for others. It is time for federal regulators to put science (and the health of the public and the environment we depend upon) above Monsanto’s profits.

posted 1.2.2011


(These are listed in chronological order of the date posted).

Require labeling of genetically engineered food (Posted 8.8.2010)

Support house bill requiring labeling of genetically engineered foods.  For more information, see  top 10 reasons to label genetically engineered food

Support the Kid Safe Chemicals Act that would require that new chemicals be proven safe before they are released into the environment.  It is inexcusable to make our children guinea pigs in a massive chemical experiment.   Requiring knowledge of chemicals before their release is no more than what the EU has  already done.  (Posted 8.15.2010) Support the Kid Safe Chemicals Act now in Congressional committee.

Prohibit routine antibiotic use in food animals. Such antibiotics are routinely added to animal food for no other reason than to speed animal growth, in spite of growing scientific consensus that such use is a predominant cause of antibiotic resistance in increasingly virulent strains of bacteria.  Support FDA’s move to prohibit routine antibiotic use in food animal (posted 8.23.2010)

Support California’s progressive global climate change initiative. If the US Congress will not step up the plate on this issue of pressing concern to the survival of life on our planet, it is heartening that California has.   But the CEO of Valero oil has a plant to undermine this legislation through a corporate-funded initiative to recall it.  Tell him that you will boycott oil companies that make such a move.   Tell Texas oil companies that you will not buy from companies who use such tactics to boost their profit at the cost of life on our planet. (posted 8.28,2010)

Protest BP’s drilling permit for offshore Alaska. Hard to believe, but in the wake of BP’s protestations about its sincerity about making good on the repercussions of the Gulf Oil, it has put in a permit to drill off Alaska’s coast.  They certainly have not improved the technology that caused the Gulf spill– and we don’t need a repeat performance in Alaska.  Tell President Obama that BP should not be given a permit to drill in offshore Alaska. (posted 9.5.2010)

Make our tax structure more fair

The disparity between rich and poor in this country continues to grow along with our national debt.  We have had ample time to see the economic woes that Bush’s tax cuts for the wealthy have gained us .  Time to cut them loose.

And while we are at it, we might assess the lopsided salary differential between CEOs and their workers in the US, especially those responsible for the most worker layoffs and the 20 billion annually lost in tax loopholes.  (posted 9.13.2010)

Put human rights at the heart of UN millennium goals

Every 90 seconds, a woman – most likely living in poverty – dies giving birth.  We can change this with UN support for these women’s human rights  Add your name to the Amnesty International Petition to make human rights central to the UN agenda. Importantly, many of these women did not choose pregnancy, but are suffering from a type of abuse identified as  “pregnancy coercion” by two Pulitzer Prize winning reporters in Half the Sky. There is also an analysis of this issue, “Violence Against Women and Unintended Pregnancy” in the the Women’s Health Activist.

Giving these women economic and political rights also supports an environmental agenda, since, as the UN has consistently reported for the last ten years, the most effective way to lower global family size is to raise the economic status of women. See the UN report on women and violence for more information. .(posted 9.18.2010).

Plant at least one thing you can eat

Then tend and care for it.  It can be in a pot in your living room, in your backyard, or in a community garden (see the picture of the “common ground” garden of land reclaimed from what had been slated to be a paved street at the bottom of the left sidebar here).  Make just this one small move to improve your relationship with the natural world that sustains us all.   The authors of A Nation of Farmers ask, “What’s in your “victory garden”?

Stop social security cuts

The social security system is funded entirely by workers and their employers.  By 2023 the system will have a 4.3 trillion dollar surplus, which is necessary for stabilizing this system in the years to come.  Social security is the major form of retirement and disability security for those who are working without benefits , especially women and those in part time and minimum wage jobs.  These workers do not deserve to be labeled, as the Republican chair of National Commission on Fiscal Responsibility and Reform recently called them, “320 million tits” feeding off a “national cash cow”.  Stop the move to raise the retirement age, cut back benefits, or privatize social security (do you really want your future dependent on Wall Street?) while CEOs for Wall Street bailout firms are earning over 200 times their average employee. Posted 9.26.2010

Regulate coal ash as an environmental hazard

Use the comment period to weigh in on the alternative that fits the science in the EPA’s two choices of whether to regulate coal ash as a hazardous or non-hazardous waste.  As against the lobbyists of the mining industry, 250 health and environmental organizations are asking that the industry be responsible for cleaning up the hazardous waste it leaves behind. Join your voice with theirs.

Posted 10.2/2010

Get rid of the Senate filibuster

Join groups pressuring the Senate to update its rules and get rid of this antiquated and undemocratic process, which allows a single person to hold up the passage of important legislation by simply holding the floor.

Posted 10. 11.2010.

Support the Fair Elections Now Act

This bi-partisan act legislating full disclosure of campaign financing has recently passed out of House committee.  With the recent flood of corporate monies into US political campaigns, this reform is needed to guarantee the democratic process in electing our officials.  See the non-profit non-partisan site of The Campaign Legal Center for additional information on ethics, media, and campaign financing.

It never hurts to support this in as many ways as possible:  here is another.

Posted 10.17.2010/ 11.14/2010

Protest US Chamber of Commerce’s shady campaign ads

Demand an investigation into the sources of the Chamber’s $75 million in campaign ads and call 202 659-600 to tell Chamber CEO Thomas Donahue that pouring secret money into false and inflammatory campaign ads is no way to bolster the US economy.

Posted 10.24.2010

Protest violence at political rallies and voting booths member Lauren Valle suffered a concussion at a political debate after she was thrown to the ground and pinned there while a Tea Party member stomped on her head. Valle suffered a concussion as a result.  This assault was caught on film by a local newspaper reporter.

Stand with Lauren (and against Tea Party violence at political rallies and now, voting booths, in hysteria geared to discourage minority voters), by signing the MoveOn petition that says,  “You can’t stomp on us!”

See slideshow of the cross section of citizens holding signs with this message here. “Together”, as MoveOn says, “We can stop the violence.”

Posted 10.27.2010

Tell EPA to set strong smog standards

The EPA estimates that setting the standard at 60 parts per billion (ppb) would save between 4,000 and 12,000 lives per year.  There is no excuse not to follow the science and enact these standards.

Posted 11.2.2010

Help pass the DISCLOSE Act in this session of Congress

The only hope for fair elections is that the voting public know who is funding campaign ads.  This knowledge motivated the resoundingly defeat of two California state initiatives massively funded by Texas oil companies attacking California’s progressive climate change legislation.

In the wake of the Supreme Court decision allowing unlimited corporate campagin contributions, we must alert the US public as to the sources of the ads they are seeing.  And we must do it now.

Lend your energy to getting the Disclose Act through the Senate during this session of Congress.

Posted 11.4.2010

Tell Hillary Clinton: Stop Doing Business with Blackwater

A private “security firm” prohibited from doing business in Iraq because of scandalous histories of violence, criminal conduct and fraud should not receive a 10 billion dollar contract for work in Afghanistan.  We need more credibility with the Afghan people and more security for our soldiers.   Tell Clinton to stop doing business with Blackwater.

Posted 11.7.2010

Support Bread for the World’s Campaign to End Hunger

There are many ways you can support the work of this exemplary organization, from signing a pledge that automatically causes a dollar to be contributed to the cause, to learning how inappropriate subsidies and development exaggerate hunger on a global level.

Posted 11. 21.2010

Tell FDA to require labeling of genetically engineered salmon

Consumers deserve to be able to make a choice on this one for the sake of  their health and that of their  families, not to mention, the health of ocean ecosystems in the potentially disastrous interbreeding of gmo salmon with wild salmon that is bound to happen.

The genetic integrity of wild salmon also deserves protection on cultural grounds.  It is sacred to many of the Pacific Northwest’s indigenous peoples who have had an essential cultural relationship with salmon for thousands of years.

Posted 11.28.2010

Support the International Violence Against Women Act

Statistics cited on the THRIVE website indicate that one out of every three women globally will be beaten, coerced into sex or otherwise violently abused in her lifetime.  As the Pulitzer Prize winning authors ofHalf the Sky document, millions of women worldwide lose not only their freedom but their lives simply because they are women. Passage of this law would extend standards in the current US law against domestic violence to the international arena by making US aid contingent on upholding them.

Posted 12.5.2010

Join the Millions against Monsanto Campaign with a boycott of Kellogg’s

Even as the data concerning the adverse health and environmental potentials of gmo products continues to mount, Monsanto continues to use strongarm tactics against small farmers who do not use its seed.  This boycott is one part of the Millions against Monsanto campaign. Tell Kellogg’s PR person, Christina Calleras, how you feel about her claim that the safety of gmo foods can be derived from the fact that they have “become common in the open market”– since a market in which products are not labeled so that consumers know what they are buying can hardly be called “open.”

Posted 12.18.2010

Tell TIAA-CREF: divest funds that support the Israeli Occupation

Support this campaign on the part of Jewish Voters for Peace who see “two peoples, a common future” among Palestinians and Israelis through justice in the ancient Holy Land.  Join over 19,500 people of conscience who have already signed this petition to ask TIAA-CREF to stop investing in companies that profit from the Israeli occupation of the Gaza Strip and the West Bank, including East Jerusalem.

See the category “Palestine” here for posts relating my personal experience teaching under the Israeli occupation.

Posted 12.16.2010

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