What Caused Nearly 50 PetSmart Grooming Deaths?

care2.com

Since 2008, there have been 47 documented cases of dogs dying during or after a PetSmart grooming appointment in 14 states, according to a disturbing new report published Sept. 20 on NJ.com. The number of deaths is probably even higher, since dog grooming is an unregulated industry.

After the December 2017 death of an English bulldog named Scruffles at the PetSmart in Flemington, NJ, reporters Sophie Nieto-Muñoz and Alex Napoliello began a six-month investigation into the company. They reviewed lawsuits, media reports and veterinary records, and interviewed 100 pet owners as well as PetSmart employees, lawyers, grooming experts and veterinarians.

The interviews with the owners of dogs who died as a result of being groomed at PetSmart are heartbreaking. Among them are Nick Pomilio, who in February 2017 took his English bulldog, Capone, to a store in the Philadelphia area for what should have been a simple nail trim.

The appointment lasted nearly an hour, instead of the usual 15 minutes. Afterward, Capone was unable to walk, so store employees wheeled him in a shopping cart to Pomilio’s car. Capone died on the way home.

“I’ll never forget that last look he gave me,” Pomilio told NJ.com, crying at the memory. “You don’t take the dog to get its nails clipped and it winds up dead as a doornail.”

PetSmart Response to Grooming Deaths

PetSmart refused to answer any questions for the report, but insisted in a response that it has “the highest grooming safety standards in the industry.”

The company refuted the number and cause of the dog deaths. It said it had no records of grooming some of the dogs mentioned in the report, while other dogs may have had underlying health issues that contributed to their deaths. “Any assertion that there is a systemic problem is false and fabricated,” it stated.

So, how many dogs have actually died, according to PetSmart’s official records? Although one of the company’s stated core values is transparency, it will not release the numbers.

Most of the documented deaths – 32 of them – occurred in 2015 or later. It’s probably no coincidence that PetSmart was bought by the private equity firm, BC Partners, in 2015. Since then, according to some longtime employees, there’s been growing pressure to increase the number of dogs groomed each day.

The causes of these deaths are difficult to prove, partly because of nondisclosure agreements signed by PetSmart customers and confidentiality agreements signed by pet owners who reached court settlements with PetSmart. These are some of the potential reasons cited by the NJ.com report:

Nearly half the dogs were English bulldogs and other short-nosed breeds and mixes that can have difficulty breathing in stressful situations and hot environments, such as a dryer.
Trainees with little experience are sometimes put to work due to short staffing.
Groomers, pressured to meet sales quotas, believe there is retaliation for speaking up about safety issues.

In response to media attention to the death of Scruffles, PetSmart announced an action plan for improvement that went into effect in February. The company said an independent task force of grooming industry experts would review its training and safety standards. It would install cameras in grooming salons and and hold open houses, so pet owners could meet groomers and inspect the facilities. The company would offer specialized care for short-nosed breeds.

Despite these promises, one month later, a corgi named Abby died during a grooming appointment at the PetSmart in Toms River, NJ. An employee called Abby’s owner, Chuck Crawford, and coldly told him his beloved dog was dead and where to pick up her body.

Pet owners might want to consider Crawford’s pledge. “I’ll never take my dog to a PetSmart or Petco or any of them ever again,” he told NJ.com in April. “I’ll give them a bath in my garage.”

How to Find a Safe Groomer

You may be surprised that, unlike beauticians and manicurists who work on humans, pet groomers are not required to be certified or licensed (aside from a business license) in any U.S. state. Pet groomers are regulated in Miami and New York City, but there are currently no statewide or federal laws regulating this industry.

Due to this lack of regulation, “there’s a lack of transparency of safety records, enforced standard training and little public accounting when things go wrong,” according to the NJ.com report. “Causes of death can be hard to prove, lawyers are hesitant to take cases and, because pets are considered property, owners can recoup very little money in court. As a result, exactly how many pets die, and why, remains largely unknown.”

To ensure your pet doesn’t become a statistic, the Humane Society of the United States, PETA and other animal welfare groups recommend you ask a groomer the following questions before leaving your pet in their care:

Ask if the groomer has completed a training program and belongs to any professional groups, such as the National Dog Groomers Association of America.
Make sure the groomer has several years of experience and can provide references.
Check out the grooming facility to see if it looks and smells clean, is well-lit and the cages are the appropriate size.

https://www.care2.com/causes/why-have-nearly-50-dogs-died-when-groomed-at-petsmart.html

Take Action!

Please join more than 76,000 people who have signed this Care2 petition demanding a temporary halt to all PetSmart grooming until the company meets safer pet grooming standards.     https://nackpets.wordpress.com/2018/04/10/petition-close-petsmart-grooming-too-many-dogs-are-dying-there/

If you want to make a difference on an issue you find deeply troubling, you, too, can create a Care2 petition, and use this handy guide to get started. You’ll find Care2’s vibrant community of activists ready to step up and help you.

Photo credit: KaraSuva

Live Animals Shouldn’t Be Mascots — Save Mike the Tiger Now

thepetitionsite.com
Live Animals Shouldn’t Be Mascots — Save Mike the Tiger N

by: Care2 Team
recipient: LSU President F. King Alexander

98,947 SUPPORTERS – 100,000 GOAL

For the past few weeks, students all across the country have been heading back to school to embark on a brand new semester. But at Louisiana State University (LSU), the first day of school wasn’t just for students — it also marked the first day for Mike VII, the school’s most recent live mascot.

Please sign this petition if you believe animals should be free, not held captive to be used as mascots.

Mike VII isn’t the first tiger mascot LSU has used. In fact, he’s the seventh tiger — hence the name. His predecessor died last year from terminal cancer after living his last years confined in a limited space only to be allowed outside for display at football games.

While the university has made efforts to improve the quality of the tiger’s enclosure, increasing its size and adding a variety of outdoor activities, it is cruel to sentence a tiger to such captivity. Animals are not here for our amusement.

Please sign this petition urging Louisiana State University to end the use of live tigers as mascots and release Mike the Tiger now.Photo credit: Facebook

Sign Petition

https://www.thepetitionsite.com/454/677/694/animals-arent-mascots-mdash-save-mike-the-tiger-now/

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Live Animals Shouldn’t Be Mascots — Save Mike the Tiger Now

Are Plant-Eaters Smarter and More Empathetic Than Meat-Eaters?

ecowatch.com
Are Plant-Eaters Smarter and More Empathetic Than Meat-Eaters?
Independent Media Institute
10-13 minutes

By Matthew Ponsford

Human, monkey, pig.

Wrapped inside the giant magnetic coil of an magnetic imaging resonance (MRI) scanner, three silent animal videos flash up and then disappear in front of a test subject’s eyes.

Each animal moves their mouth, contorting into shapes, which could be speaking, or not.

Five years ago, in the spring of 2013, a total of 60 subjects took turns to face functional MRI scans, a technique giving new insights in the workings of the mind, which feeds out images of brain slices showing when mental activity fills areas of the brain with oxygen or empties them out.

Twenty meat-eaters, 19 vegetarians and 21 vegans were put to the test.

Analyzing the results, the team led by Italian neuroscientist Massimo Filippi aimed to figure out if the three groups’ brains responded differently to these videos. Filippi’s previous study had tested whether people with different diets responded more or less strongly to animals that appeared to be in pain. But he wanted to find out something different, said Maria Rocca, another scientist on that team.

“Processing and understanding actions performed with the mouth by other individuals contribute to infer[ing] other people’s emotional states and intentions, which is a hallmark of social interaction,” explained Rocca. Roughly speaking, they wanted to know if meat-eaters’ and vegetarians’ brains were attempting to understand what the animals were trying to say.

Among their findings of the paper, called The ‘Vegetarian Brain,’ there were striking differences. On almost every area of the brain examined—parts associated with empathy, lip reading, comprehension—there were discernible variations between those who ate meat and those who didn’t.

In certain brain areas associated with empathy, meat eaters’ brains responded less to seeing humans make speech-like movement, echoing findings from other tests that showed increased activity in empathy circuits among people who do not eat meat for ethical reasons.

But figuring out where the human brain reacts was the easy part. The hard part: what—if anything—does it tell us about who we are?

Viral Gold

Compare the qualities of meat-eaters and vegetarians and, as far viral internet content goes, you’ve got gold. If it shows eating meat is better for your IQ, that’s gold. If it shows vegetarians are happier—pure gold. If it shows “aggressive” vegans are harming the cause, that’s gold.

Barely a month goes by without some new study making a claim about the link between meat consumption and human qualities. While there’s little doubt left that a vegetarian diet would be better for the environment and (generally speaking) better for our health, there’s less to say what it does to ourselves, or shows about the people we already are.

Trash science is a pound-a-penny, and there are few examples reaching the status that experts would see as providing real insight. Trace back any listicle on a vegan blog or YouTuber’s rant about vegetarians’ greater caring credentials, and you’re likely to find just a handful of trustworthy tests. Again and again, this small collection of science papers resurfaces.

Vegetarians have higher IQ, according to a British study still being ground up and churned out as new 12 years after it was first reported by the BBC in 2006.

The study, which spanned over 20 years, found intelligent 10 year olds, measured in 1970, were more likely to become vegetarians by the time they turned 30.

Hailed as a breakthrough longitudinal study indicating that intelligence and vegetarianism are linked, it’s unlikely that the scientific rigor of this study is what explains its longevity and interest. A less well-publicized U.S. study, released months later, flew in its face, finding no connection whatsoever.

“What makes information engaging is not the same as what makes information true,” explained Michael Dahlstrom, a professor at Iowa State University and an expert in science communication.

Stories about food are rarely just about our mealtime preferences. Food intersects with identity for a lot of people, said Dahlstrom.

This may be one reason why it has become such a magnet for dubious science. An investigation by Buzzfeed News claimed Prof. Brian Wansink, who led Cornell’s food psychology research unit, the Food and Brand Lab, found that it had played fast and loose with statistics, shuffling data about pizza-eating, snacking and vegetarian diets for kids to create good headlines.

Emails leaked to Buzzfeed showed Wansink wanted to “go virally big time.”

Many of Wansink’s papers extolled the virtues of healthy diets and were written to prove irresistible to online audiences. Wansink said he stands by his studies but is “re-analyzing” the data in a string of papers, after seven were retracted and 15 corrected, according to the Seattle Times.

The Austrian Study

This same effect has worked in reverse, with readers’ antipathy to findings being used to cast doubt on sound studies. A 2006 cross-sectional survey by the Medical University Graz in Austria reported people with vegetarian diets suffered higher rates of cancer, chronic allergies and mental illnesses, such as anxiety and depression.

Heralded as vindication for some omnivores and cause for cautious introspection by some vegetarians, it has since then taken its own place in the online world of dietary mudslinging. Its plant-eating detractors slammed its credibility with the same force they boost pro-vegetarian content.

Known as “The Austrian Study,” it has been lambasted by animal rights blogs as “quackery.” That’s overstating things, yet—as its authors acknowledge—the study is partial, incomplete and open to misinterpretation.

The British National Health Service intervened with its own analysis, highlighting the survey’s limitations—allowing people to self-report their diets, only including Austrians, saying nothing of cause and effect—and refuting newspaper reports that vegetarian diets caused disease.

Why do some food-based science stories elicit such a strong response?

“Being a vegetarian or being a meat-eater means more than just the food I eat, or the health effects or the price I pay—it means what kind of person I am,” said Dahlstrom. “Any story that affirms identities around these topics will be very engaging to the people who hold them. Science therefore gets pulled into these identify affirming stories even though the truth behind them is irrelevant.”

Empathy

One claim stands out head-and-shoulders above the rest for plausibility: that vegetarians are more empathetic and thoughtful than their meat-eating counterparts.

This tends to get believed right out of the gate, at least by those who refuse to eat meat on moral grounds. It makes sense of the causal link—explaining why they are vegetarians in the first place.

The monkey, pig, human experiment was of this sort, but it was Filippi’s earlier study that went viral.

His test showing by functional MRI that vegetarians and vegans respond differently to images of animal pain than meat-eaters is among the most oft-repeated in online debates.

This study “provided the first scientific evidence of the dietary habits influences on brain circuits, where dietary choice was based on ethical reasons,” said Rocca.

For scientists who really care if vegetarians’ brains work differently from those of meat-eaters, new tools are getting closer to insights that circumvent the issues they’d had using more basic tools like the ones used in the Austrian survey. But in 2010, as functional MRI was giving neurological insights, something else was taking off: Social networks were becoming our primary forum for debate.

“Science is usually seeking truth while general audiences are usually seeking engagement, and this creates a mismatch,” said Dahlstrom.

Dahlstrom says good science communicators bridge this gap by presenting truth in ways that earn engagement, but other communicators use engaging tactics to persuade untruth. “General audiences can use social media to share what they find the most engaging, regardless of truth,” he added.

Many of us non-scientists now get most of our science news through social media, so some understanding of where that news comes from is vital.

If you’ve ever clicked “Tweet” or “Share” on an article you’ve not really read, you’re not alone. A study of links shared on social media found 59 percent of them have never actually been clicked. In other words, most people appear to retweet news without ever reading it, and this the overwhelming norm for social media. Numerous studies have found that there is almost no correlation between what people share and what they actually read.

In a 1,700-word feature like the one you’re reading right now, perhaps less than 5 percent of readers will get to this point. If you have, congratulations—it’s a sign you’re more of a “truth-seeker,” to use Dahlstrom’s phrase, about your diet than most.

Which is why I’ve kept it to down here to say: The pig-monkey-human test is one example of the kind of study that could show us that dietary choices are linked to brain function. But it’s also the kind that has proved to vanish online, with no easy social media post.

Still, there remains the unanswered question of what exactly is more revealing about positive personal traits, like empathy: a functional MRI scan showing more activity in empathy-related brain areas in response to a pig in pain, or your broadcasting the findings of a scientific study you’ve barely looked at because you think it makes you look good?

After all, it’s worth asking what makes people share the findings of studies they haven’t even read, which is key in itself.

“For the group that does not have this need [that scientists have] to learn, what the study really suggests is irrelevant—what matters is how the story can benefit the individual to maintain or strengthen personal and social needs that they find more important than the truth of the topic at hand.”

Dahlstrom is sympathetic to people sharing on social media, saying regular people don’t have the same responsibility as journalists or professors, but also suggests we could become better seekers of the truth about diet and morality.

“It is important to note there is no distinct group between truth-seekers and not,” he added. “We all have topics that serve us individually in some way and we become truth-seekers for that topic. There are a much larger number of topics that have weaker connections to how we live our lives, and we do not devote the time to become truth-seekers for those topics. With only so many resources to invest in truth—financial, mental and social—we all have to prioritize.”

Matthew Ponsford is a London-based journalist and producer who has written for Thomson Reuters, CNN International, Financial Times, the Guardian, the Independent and Vice. Follow him on Twitter @mjponsford.

https://www.ecowatch.com/plant-eaters-vs-meat-eaters-2606310401.html?utm_source=EcoWatch+List&utm_campaign=be49481189-EMAIL_CAMPAIGN_COPY_01&utm_medium=email&utm_term=0_49c7d43dc9-be49481189-86074753

This article was produced by Earth | Food | Life, a project of the Independent Media Institute.

By Nancy Posted in Uncategorized Tagged

Glyphosate Could Be Factor in Bee Decline, Study Warns

ecowatch.com

Olivia Rosane

Another study has cast doubt on the environmental safety of glyphosate, the active ingredient in Roundup, the most frequently used weedkiller in the world.

Researchers at the University of Texas at Austin (UT) exposed bees to glyphosate and found that it reduced the beneficial bacteria in their guts, making them more susceptible to disease.

“We need better guidelines for glyphosate use, especially regarding bee exposure, because right now the guidelines assume bees are not harmed by the herbicide,” UT graduate student and research leader Erick Motta said in a UT press release. “Our study shows that’s not true.”

The study, published in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences Monday, exposed bees to glyphosate amounts that occur on crops and roadsides and then assessed their gut health three days later.

Of eight common gut bacteria, four were reduced following exposure to glyphosate. The exposed bees also had higher mortality rates when subsequently exposed to the widespread pathogen Serratia marcescens.

The study’s authors wondered if glyphosate exposure could be a factor in the decline in U.S. bee populations and recommend that farmers and gardeners stop using glyphosate on flowering plants favored by pollinators.

“It’s not the only thing causing all these bee deaths, but it is definitely something people should worry about because glyphosate is used everywhere,” Motta said.

Monsanto, the company that made Roundup before being acquired by Bayer AG, disputed the findings.

“Claims that glyphosate has a negative impact on honey bees are simply not true. No large-scale study has found any link between glyphosate and the decline of the honeybee population. More than 40 years of robust, independent scientific evidence shows that it poses no unreasonable risk for humans, animal, and the environment generally,” a Monsanto spokesperson said in a statement reported by The Guardian.

RMIT University in Melbourne chemist Oliver Jones also expressed skepticism that the study meant glyphosate was actively harming bees in the environment.

“To my mind the doses of glyphosate used were rather high. The paper shows only that glyphosate can potentially interfere with the bacteria in the bee gut, not that it actually does so in the environment,” he told The Guardian.

Other studies have shown that glyphosate can harm bees and other animals, however.

A study published in July found glyphosate exposure harmed bee larvae and another, published in 2015, found bees exposed to levels present in fields had impaired cognitive abilities that made it harder for them to return to their hives, The Guardian reported.

A further study of rats also showed glyphosate exposure harmed gut bacteria.

“This study is also further evidence that the landscape-scale application of large quantities of pesticides has negative consequences that are often hard to predict,” University of Sussex Professor Dave Goulson told The Guardian.

Glyphosate’s impact on human health has been in the news in recent months after a jury decided in favor of a California groundskeeper who claimed that Roundup exposure caused his cancer and ordered Monsanto to pay him $289 million in damages.

Glyphosate is making its way into human guts too. A recent study found Roundup traces in popular oat-based snacks and cereals.

https://www.ecowatch.com/glyphosate-bees-gut-health-2607802153.html

Yellowstone Area Grizzlies Regain Endangered Species Protection

By Olivia Rosane

A grizzly bear in Yellowstone National Park. Jim Peaco / National Park Service

A federal judge restored endangered species protections for grizzly bears in and around Yellowstone National Park on Monday, The Huffington Post reported, putting a permanent halt to plans by Wyoming and Idaho to launch the first Yellowstone-area grizzly hunt in four decades.

U.S. District Judge Dana Christensen had already placed a temporary restraining order on the hunts, which would have started Sept. 1 and allowed for the killing of up to 23 bears, while he considered the larger question of whether Endangered Species Act protections should be restored. The bears’ management will now return to the federal government.

Christensen wrote in his ruling that his decision was “not about the ethics of hunting.” Rather, he agreed with environmental and tribal groups that the Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) had not considered the genetic health of other lower-48 grizzly populations when it delisted the Yellowstone area bears in 2017.

“By delisting the Greater Yellowstone grizzly without analyzing how delisting would affect the remaining members of the lower-48 grizzly designation, the Service failed to consider how reduced protections in the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem would impact the other grizzly populations,” Christensen wrote, according to The Huffington Post. “Thus, the Service ‘entirely failed to consider an important aspect of the problem.'”

Bear advocates said the Yellowstone population was growing large enough to merge with other populations, which would be a win-win for the genetic diversity of all bears involved.

A grizzly bear and cub in Yellowstone National ParkJohn Good / National Park Service

“The Service appropriately recognized that the population’s genetic health is a significant factor demanding consideration,” Christensen wrote. “However, it misread the scientific studies it relied upon, failing to recognize that all evidence suggests that the long-term viability of the Greater Yellowstone grizzly is far less certain absent new genetic material.”

Native American and environmental groups applauded the decision.

“We have a responsibility to speak for the bears, who cannot speak for themselves,” Northern Cheyenne Nation President Lawrence Killsback said in a statement Monday reported by The Huffington Post. “Today we celebrate this victory and will continue to advocate on behalf of the Yellowstone grizzly bears until the population is recovered, including within the Tribe’s ancestral homeland in Montana and other states.”

The FWS told The Washington Post it was reviewing the ruling.

“We stand behind our finding that the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem grizzly bear is biologically recovered and no longer requires protection. . . . Our determination was based on our rigorous interpretation of the law and is supported by the best available science and a comprehensive conservation strategy developed with our federal, state, and tribal partners,” the FWS told The Washington Post.

The FWS first attempted to delist the bears in 2007, but that move was also blocked in federal court over concerns that one of the bears’ food sources, whitebark pine seeds, were threatened by climate change.

In its 2017 ruling, the FWS said that it had reviewed the case and found the decline of the whitebark pine seeds did not pose a major threat.

Grizzlies in the lower 48 states were first listed as endangered in 1975, when their historic range had been reduced by 98 percent.

The Yellowstone grizzlies numbered fewer than 140 at the time. The population has since rebounded to about 700, according to The Washington Post.

https://www.ecowatch.com/grizzly-bears-yellowstone-endangered-species-2607784220.html?utm_source=EcoWatch+List&utm_campaign=17945923b5-EMAIL_CAMPAIGN_COPY_01&utm_medium=email&utm_term=0_49c7d43dc9-17945923b5-86074753

Fukushima Radiation causing U.S. Insurance Companies to EXCLUDE all Coverage for Radiation Claims

nuclear-news

REPOST from February 2014
February 2, 2014 — (TRN) — Insurance Companies in the United States have begun notifying customers they will no longer have ANY coverage whatsoever for anything relating to nuclear energy claims. Fallout, radiation sickness, property damage from radiation – all EXCLUDED. This begs the question: If the nuclear disaster at the Fukushima power plant in Japan is as harmless to Americans as the government and “scientists” are telling us, why are Insurance companies specifically EXCLUDING coverage for nuclear energy related claims? (Hint: The government is lying about the danger.)
TRN has a PDF of one such notice being sent by Traveler’s Insurance Company. You can read it for yourself below.
Radiation-effect-1x2t1kn.jpg
 
Letters being sent by U.S. Insurance companies are notifying policy holders of an important change to their coverage. Letter sent by one major insurance company read as follows:
 
Dear Policyholder;
Thank you for choosing…

View original post 862 more words

Japan Has Enough Nuclear Material to Build an Arsenal. Its Plan: Recycle.

nuclear-news

merlin_142875483_a91b924d-793a-4f8a-b812-4142e842f98c-jumbo.jpg
After decades of delays, a plant in Rokkasho, Japan, is almost ready to start turning nuclear waste into nuclear fuel, its builders say. But Japan doesn’t use much nuclear power any more.
 
Sept. 22, 2018
ROKKASHO, Japan — More than 30 years ago, when its economy seemed invincible and the Sony Walkman was ubiquitous, Japan decided to build a recycling plant to turn nuclear waste into nuclear fuel. It was supposed to open in 1997, a feat of advanced engineering that would burnish its reputation for high-tech excellence and make the nation even less dependent on others for energy.
Then came a series of blown deadlines as the project hit technical snags and struggled with a Sisyphean list of government-mandated safety upgrades. Seventeen prime ministers came and went, the Japanese economy slipped into a funk and the initial $6.8 billion budget ballooned into $27 billion of spending.
Now, Japan…

View original post 108 more words

Enemies of the State: America’s Mustangs

Straight from the Horse's Heart

By Carol Walker  as published on Down to Earth.org

The nation’s wild horses are under siege by oil, gas, mining and other special interests, with total disregard for public lands

A herd of Mustangs in the western United States Credit: Carol Walker of Wild Horse Freedom Federation

The still-untamed, Wild West is part of the American fabric, which includes thousands of wild mustangs roaming free on public lands. However, these treasured animals—known as America’s wild horses—are under siege by oil, gas, mining and other special interests, with total disregard for public lands. To “Carbon Capitalists,” wild horses are public enemy number one and (through no fault of their own) find themselves at the top of America’s Most Wanted list.

This was not always the case, as back in 1971, the US Congress enacted the Wild Free-Roaming Horses & Burros Act, protecting America’s wild horses and burros in their historic herd…

View original post 467 more words

Over 400 animals saved from criminal traders

Dear Kitty. Some blog

This 2011 video says about itself:

The Pet Trade: Exotic Mammals

For seven months, PETA went undercover inside one of the top sellers of reptiles and mammals in the United States. Learn more about what happens to exotic mammals, such as wallabies and two-toed sloths, who are exploited by the pet trade. Learn more here.

Translated from Dutch NOS TV today:

More than four hundred animals have been rescued from smugglers off the coast of Malaysia. Among the animals were two young orangutans. The cargo ship came from Indonesia and was on its way to Thailand.

Customs received a tip about the smuggling operation and intercepted the boat. In addition to baby orangutans, customs found dozens of young saltwater crocodiles, rare birds and about 250 sugar gliders, small marsupials. The smugglers wanted to sell the animals as pets.

Three Indonesian…

View original post 16 more words

Donald Trump and nuclear weapons

Dear Kitty. Some blog

This video from the USA says about itself:

23 December 2016

Donald Trump tweeted out that he’s ready for a new nuclear arms race. Cenk Uygur, Ana Kasparian, Ben Mankiewicz, and Jimmy Dore, hosts of The Young Turks, break it down.

By Kate Hudson in Britain:

The orange finger on the nuclear button

Saturday 14th January 2017

Trump’s ignorance of the life-destroying capabilities of nuclear weapons and his cavalier attitude towards their use should be extremely alarming to everyone, writes KATE HUDSON

IN uncertain times the last thing anyone needs is the most powerful man on earth kicking off a new nuclear arms race.

But that’s exactly what president-elect Donald Trump did just three days before Christmas, tweeting that “the United States must greatly strengthen and expand its nuclear capability until such time as the world comes to its senses regarding nukes.”

There are so many ways in…

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Stop Belgian bank investing in nuclear weapons

Dear Kitty. Some blog

Banks and nuclear weapons

Translated from the Belgian peace movement today:

Dear activists

On Wednesday, 26 September, members of the Belgian Coalition against Nuclear Weapons will take action against the BNP Paribas Fortis bank in Brussels because of their investments in nuclear weapons.

The action will take place in Brussels at 12 noon (appointment at 11.30 am) and will last an hour. At the bank branch in Vooruitgangstraat 55, 1210 Sint-Joost-ten-Node. Place of appointment is at the roundabout where the King Albert 2 lane and the Simon Bolivarlaan intersect (if you leave the station with the stairs down and 200 meters in front of you). We will meet here at 11.30 am, action starts at 12 noon.

During the campaign we will address customers, passers-by and employees about the investments of BNP Paribas Fortis in nuclear weapons. Flyers are provided with the necessary explanation. Two people will be dressed as bankers (costume, top…

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Petition- Save Elephants Cora and Tembo From Horrible Topeka Zoo!

thepetitionsite.com

Animal advocates are mourning another tragic loss for captive elephants with the death of Sunda, a 58-year-old Asian elephant who died at the Topeka Zoo this week – but they’re also not giving up on the two surviving elephants there who should be immediately moved to an accredited sanctuary given the zoo’s inability to properly care for them.

Sunda’s passing marks the second elephant death in less than two years at the Topeka Zoo, following the death of Shannon last December. She was only 35-years-old, but the zoo left her unsupervised for at least 10 hours knowing she was chronically ill and needed monitoring, and that inexcusable negligence cost Shannon much unnecessary suffering and, most likely, her life.

Sadly, these heartbreaking deaths are part of much bigger problems at this zoo. In Defense of Animals (IDA) noted that the Topeka Zoo has been cited numerous times by the U.S. Department of Agriculture for violations of the Animal Welfare Act. Not only has the zoo proven it’s unable to properly care for its elephants, many of the health problems they are suffering are likely also made worse by a cold climate in Kansas, which isn’t appropriate for them.

The ongoing mistreatment of its elephants earned the Topeka Zoo the shameful distinction of being named the ‘worst zoo’ last year on IDA’s annual list of the 10 Worst Zoos for Elephants in North America.

While it’s too late to save Shannon and Sunda, there are still two survivors there who need our help – Asian elephants Cora and Tembo.

In the wake of this most recent loss, IDA and their advocates are calling on the Topeka Zoo to do the right thing by closing its elephant exhibit and retiring Cora and Tembo to an accredited sanctuary where they can finally get the care they need – and where they’ll be able to live out their days in a far more appropriate environment in a suitable climate.

Please sign and share this petition urging the Topeka Zoo to act immediately to secure a sanctuary retirement for Cora and Tembo before it’s too late.

https://www.thepetitionsite.com/529/336/449/topeka-zoo-send-your-surviving-elephants-to-a-sanctuary-before-its-too-late/?TAP=1732&utm_source=Green+Monster+Mailing+List&utm_campaign=14f17ead09-EMAIL_CAMPAIGN_2017_05_07_COPY_03&utm_medium=email&utm_term=0_bbf62ddf34-14f17ead09-106049477

Petition – Hyatt Hotels Must Waive Pet Fees for Families Fleeing Hurricane Florence!

thepetitionsite.com
by: Kelsey B.
recipient: Hyatt Hotels

40,613 SUPPORTERS – 45,000 GOAL

During an emergency, some folks display great humanity by helping out. But corporations are notorious for being heartless in these trying times. Last year after Hurricane Harvey, one hotel forced two family dogs to spend the night in their family’s car.

I don’t know about your dog, but mine is terrified of storms and I could never leave him in the car. After public pressure in the form of this petition, the hotel changed their minds and donated money for the mistake!

At the same time, evacuating is expensive and difficult and coorporations should do what they can to ease that for people.

That’s why I’m asking Hyatt Hotels to waive all pet fees to make it easier for people to evacuate and bring their pets along.Often times during natural disasters, families don’t bring their pets with them because they don’t know where they will be able to stay or they can’t afford it. While this is certainly a horrible choice to make, Hyatt is a huge successful corporation who could make it easier for folks to bring their pets! Hotels should not profit from this tragedy, they should do their best to offset costs and truly be a part of their communities.

Please sign my petition to ask Hyatt Hotels to waive all pet fees and accept pets in all their hotels where evacuees may stay.

Right now Hyatt Hotels are only allowing pets and waiving fees on a case-by-case basis. Let’s get them to make it a short-term corporate policy.more

Sign Petition

https://www.thepetitionsite.com/548/566/350/hyatt-hotels-must-waive-pet-fees-for-families-fleeing-hurricane-florence/?TAP=1732&utm_source=Green+Monster+Mailing+List&utm_campaign=14f17ead09-EMAIL_CAMPAIGN_2017_05_07_COPY_03&utm_medium=email&utm_term=0_bbf62ddf34-14f17ead09-106049477

 

Petition – This Person Wrapped Their Dog in a Garbage Bag and Abandoned Her Like Trash

thepetitionsite.com
by: Care2 Team
recipient: Richmond Police, VA

55,815 SUPPORTERS – 60,000 GOAL

Animals are not possessions. They are living beings that should be loved and cherished and treated with respect. When someone decides to bring a pet into their family, they are making a years-long commitment that is both rewarding and challenging.

Like a child, a dog, cat or rabbit cannot simply be abandoned once you have become a pet-parent, you can’t just toss it away into the trash.

Unfortunately, that’s what happens to thousands of animals around the United States every year. And it’s what happened to one tragic pup in Richmond, Virginia. Last week, a passerby noticed something strange: a small, female, white dog, with patches of hair missing all over its body and “crawling with infections.” Whoever abandoned the dog — assumed to be a Shih Tzu mix around five years old — had wrapped it in a plastic garbage bag as if to say she was garbage herself.

The Shih Tzu will require serious treatment to get back to health but hopefully, in the care of people who care for her, she will make it.

It is truly heartbreaking to know that her previous owner treated her like scum and just tossed her aside.
But the reality is that the owner themselves is the real scumbag.

That anyone can treat and then abandon an animal like this is shameful and it’s illegal. In Virginia it’s actually a crime and the person responsible should be sought out and punished.

Sign the petition and tell Richmond Police that you want this person found and brought to justice.more

Sign Petition

https://www.thepetitionsite.com/320/385/628/this-person-wrapped-their-dog-in-a-garbage-bag-and-abandoned-her-like-trash/?TAP=1732&utm_source=Green+Monster+Mailing+List&utm_campaign=14f17ead09-EMAIL_CAMPAIGN_2017_05_07_COPY_03&utm_medium=email&utm_term=0_bbf62ddf34-14f17ead09-106049477

 

Last Chance: Fight This Vicious Attack on Wildlife Petition

Bald eagle

Sept. 24 is the last day to let the Trump administration know that you firmly oppose its disastrous plan to gut protections for threatened wildlife at the bidding of industry.

Bald eagles, blue whales and alligators wouldn’t exist today without the Endangered Species Act. It’s our nation’s most successful environmental law and has prevented the extinction of 99 percent of the animals and plants in its care. But now the law itself is in danger.

If we’re going to stop President Trump and Secretary Zinke from destroying the Act’s key provisions, we all need to speak up with one voice.

Using the form on this page, tell Zinke and Trump to immediately withdraw their vicious proposal.

The Trump administration’s proposed changes would dismantle protections for polar bears, jaguars and hundreds of other endangered species, as well as the places they live.

It would also mean that hundreds of at-risk species waiting to be granted protection under the Act — like the monarch butterfly — would face delays or be denied help. We can’t let it happen.

Act now to help save the law that has saved bald eagles and scores of other iconic wildlife from disappearing. Let’s make sure this fierce and vital law remains so well into the future.

https://act.biologicaldiversity.org/onlineactions/TkeADTm-40qUeAp1iTfj1A2?sourceid=1004296&utm_source=action&utm_medium=email&emci=4bc40129-6bb8-e811-bce7-000d3a12b7e6&emdi=d9c7b3a2-e0bf-e811-af11-28187847c89e&ceid=111331&smartlinkdata=JmZuPU5hbmN5JmxuPUtlaXRlciZlbT1uYWNrcGV0cyU0MGdtYWlsLmNvbSZhZGQxPTIyNStIZWF0aGVyK0RyKyZjaT1IYXJyaXNidXJnJnN0PVBBJnBjPTE3MTEyJnA9TXJzLg%3d%3d

Center for Biological Diversity | Saving Life on Earth

Photo of bald eagle by Jerry McFarland/Flickr.

Petition: No more dogs sacrifices in the Canine Control Centers!

sosvox.org

A few years ago it was forbidden to kill dogs with electrocution, but we know that in some CCC like that of Tláhuac just a few months ago they have killed hundreds of dogs electrocuting them. They continue to kill them, painfully or without pain, injecting poisons or other things that we do not know they are, without respecting the Laws, they continue to kill them, since hundreds of thousands of animals die every year in these places.

We must fight so that there is no longer the sacrifice of dogs in the anti rabies centers of Mexico. We must fight to prohibit the sale of animals, if you want a dog, adopt it. We must fight so that stray dogs are sterilized so that they do not reproduce so their numbers will decrease. We must enforce the Laws so that abusers and murderers pay their crimes with prison.

Let’s fight to live in a better country, without sacrificing animals, where they are respected, where they are taken care of and where those who do not pay for it.

SIGN AND SHARE THIS PETITION

https://www.sosvox.org/en/petition/no-more-dogs-sacrifices-in-the-canine-control-centers.html?fl

Millions of Animals Have Died in Florence Flooding. End Factory Farming Now.

thepetitionsite.com

Thanks to industrial agriculture, a gruesome scene is unfolding in North Carolina where millions of drowned chickens, turkeys, and pigs are bobbing in the floodwaters surrounding factory farms. With hazardous weather conditions continuing, this toll is likely to rise.

It didn’t have to be this way.

Factory farms are a nightmare for everyone involved, from the animals housed there to the humans who work there. Chickens, pigs, and other animals are packed into tightly crowded barns and raised with minimal contact or affection. The sole goal is to fatten them up for market as quickly as possible with minimal “losses,” a clinical way to describe dead, downed, and ill animals.

Close conditions promote aggressive behaviors, foster the spread of disease, and lead workers to engage in cruel activities like debeaking chickens to reduce aggression. They also generate extremely large volumes of waste — before the storm, many were very worried about the manure lagoons where pig feces are stored, fearing (correctly) that they would rupture in floodwaters. The stench of factory farms can be unbearable, and the state legislature just passed a law making it harder for neighbors to take legal action.

For workers, being on a factory farm involves long, grueling hours with few employment protections, for extremely low pay. The money from the sales of animals at market doesn’t end up in the pockets of farmers, for the most part. It goes to the multinational companies they work for, like Pilgrim’s Pride and Foster Farms. Meanwhile, farmers may incur substantial debt as they make outlays of cash to invest in farming operations, running a risk of losing their farms if things go wrong.

With Florence, some farmers did try to evacuate livestock from low-lying areas — flooding of factory farms is a known issue. But they couldn’t move all their stock, and as a result, animals were left to drown in the waters. That’s not all, though. Some animals survived, but their farms were cut off, making it difficult to supply them with food, water, and other needs, with farmers fearing that their livestock may die before they can reach them.

We know that factory farms are bad for animals, bad for humans, and bad for the environment. And while some states have begun to pass legislation that covers specific aspects of factory farming cruelty — like laws mandating more space for laying hens or banning inhumane “gestation crates” for pigs — we need to think bigger.

What if we banned factory farming altogether, insisting on more humane conditions for farm animals and humans alike?

Tell the industry that we’re tired of the animal, environmental, and human costs of factory farming. It’s time for a meaningful alternative, and no more mass farm animal deaths in natural disasters.

https://www.thepetitionsite.com/175/413/963/millions-of-animals-have-died-in-florence-flooding.-end-factory-farming/

Photo credit: Farm Watch

Judge Jeanine GOES OFF on the Kavanaugh Accuser – Opening Statement 09/22/18

Kitten Reportedly Tied Up in Garbage Bag and Thrown in Dumpster Deserves Justice

A kitten was reportedly abandoned in a dumpster, struggling to fight for her life inside a sealed garbage bag. Demand justice for this poor abused animal.

Source: Kitten Reportedly Tied Up in Garbage Bag and Thrown in Dumpster Deserves Justice

Pregnant Cat Reportedly Burned to Death in Dryer Deserves Justice

A pregnant cat was reportedly sealed inside of a public dryer, leading to her painful and horrific death. CCTV footage shows two men placing the cat into the dryer and then later inserting coins to start the machine. Demand justice for this innocent cat.

Source: Pregnant Cat Reportedly Burned to Death in Dryer Deserves Justice

Dog Who Reportedly Died of Over-Heating at Groomer’s Deserves Justice

A dog died after a groomer reportedly left him unattended under a hot dryer. He was confined to a crate, police stated, and had a noose tied around his neck. Demand justice for this poor dog.

Source: Dog Who Reportedly Died of Over-Heating at Groomer’s Deserves Justice

Punish Former Animal Control Officer for Allegedly Breaking Dog’s Jaw

A former animal control officer allegedly caused a broken jaw and multiple fractures to her Pomeranian. Demand justice for this innocent dog.

Source: Punish Former Animal Control Officer for Allegedly Breaking Dog’s Jaw

Do Not Punish Woman for Rescuing Pets Stranded by Hurricane Florence

A woman may face charges for sheltering over two dozen pets in a warehouse space following the devastation caused by Hurricane Florence even though she did not have a license to do so. Urge North Carolina officials not to punish this woman for this selfless act of compassion.

Source: Do Not Punish Woman for Rescuing Pets Stranded by Hurricane Florence

Estranged Wife Accused of Burning Dog While Husband Served in Iraq Must be Punished

A dog named Denali was critically burned when a woman allegedly set her home on fire in a marital dispute. Apparently, the woman confined Denali in a room so she would be consumed in the fire, but miraculously she survived. However, she is now facing only a 50% chance of survival due to her injuries. Sign this petition to demand justice for Denali.

Source: Estranged Wife Accused of Burning Dog While Husband Served in Iraq Must be Punished

Petition: Oil tankers or orcas? Keep tar sand in the ground!

rainforest-rescue.org

Tankers carrying tar sand oil are a serious threat to the habitat of endangered orcas. Yet Alberta is planning the world’s largest open-pit tar sand mine. If realized, it would wipe out 292 square kilometers of forests and wetlands and be a disaster for the climate. Tell Canada to keep tar sand in the ground!

News and updates Call to action

To: Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, Minister of Environment and Climate Change Catherine McKenna

Teck Resources’ planned Frontier Tar Sand Mine would be an ecological disaster with a global impact. Keep tar sand in the ground.

Read letter

The pipelines needed to export tar sand oil are environmental disasters waiting to happen: the Trans Mountain Pipeline crosses the Rocky Mountains to British Columbia’s Pacific coast. Oil spills are virtually pre-programmed, and a tanker accident could devastate the coastline and the habitat of 75 endangered orcas.

Further inland, the tar sand mining industry is turning swathes of northern Alberta, Canada, into a wasteland: Forests are being felled to make way for open-pit mines. Tailing ponds contain water laden with heavy metals. Refineries pollute the air.

Tar sand oil is the world’s dirtiest fossil fuel, and extracting and refining it requires far greater amounts of energy than conventional oil. This project would make a mockery of Canada’s commitment to protect the climate – leaving it in the ground is the only sane option.

UNESCO is alarmed by the prospect of the mine: the guardians of World Heritage Sites see grave danger for Wood Buffalo National Park at the mouth of Athabasca River. The river is already polluted by existing oil sand mines and its condition would become much worse.

Local people are also impacted by the environmental destruction. The Mikisew Cree and Athabasca Chipewyan First Nations reject the project and have declared the land north of Firebag River to be a no-go area. This has not stopped the mining company from running roughshod over the rights of the indigenous peoples.

There will be an official hearing for the pipeline project at the end of September. Together with our Canadian partners, we want to bring international pressure to bear against the dirtiest fossil fuel on the planet. Please sign our petition: Tell the Canadian government to keep tar sand in the ground!

Back­ground
Canada’s boreal forests

Canada’s forests cover an area of 347 million hectares. Of those, 270 million hectares are boreal coniferous forests. Only Russia and Brazil have more forest. 94 percent of all forests in Canada are on public land. Politicians have a great influence over whether they are protected or open to exploitation by business.

The boreal forests of pine, spruce, fir and larch are the habitat of caribou, wolves and numerous bird species. Countless lakes, rivers and mountain ranges form a diverse mosaic of natural spaces. The forests are also a crucial bulwark against climate change, storing twice as much carbon as tropical forests.

Between 1990 and 2015, Canada’s forest area decreased by 1.2 million hectares, mainly due to logging, mining and hydropower projects. In many cases, the ecological impact is greater than the immediate physical one. For example, relatively narrow strips of land are cleared for roads, but caribou generally do not cross them and thus lose large parts of their habitat. They also keep at least 500 meters away from any disturbances of their environment. While the tar sands themselves cover an area of 475,000 hectares, their full exploitation would thus impact an area of 12,5 million hectares.
Wood Buffalo National Park in danger

At 44,807 square kilometers, Wood Buffalo National Park is Canada’s largest national park and largest UNESCO World Heritage Site. It also encompasses the world’s largest inland delta at the mouths of the Peace and Athabasca rivers.

Wood Buffalo National Park was established in 1922 declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1983.

UNESCO describes the protected area as “the most ecologically complete and largest example of the entire Great Plains-Boreal grassland ecosystem of North America, the only place where the predator-prey relationship between wolves and wood bison has continued, unbroken, over time”.

The national park is also the only breeding habitat in the world for the endangered whooping crane (Grus americana). Experts estimate the population to be no more than 250 adult individuals.
Canada’s oil reserves

Canada’s tar sand deposits underlie more than 140,000 square kilometers of northeastern Alberta – an area larger than England. The country’s oil reserves are estimated at 170 billion barrels, putting it in second place after Saudi Arabia.

In 2016, Canada produced 2.8 million barrels of crude oil a day, 2.4 million of which come from tar sands. Current plans are to boost production to 5.1 million barrels a day by 2030, with 3.7 million from tar sands.
Three tons of sand – one barrel of oil

Tar sand is often called “oil sand”, a misleading term that trivializes the harmful chemical process required to extract oil from the bitumen in the sand. Two to three tons of sand are needed to obtain just one barrel of oil (159 liters). Processing the sand consumes up to five times more energy than the extraction of conventional oil. The fuel also emits 23 percent more greenhouse gases.

According to the Canadian Association of Petroleum Producers (CAPP), 12 billion barrels of tar sand oil have been extracted since 1967. As a result, 6.3 gigatons of carbon dioxide have been released into the atmosphere.

Strip mining tar sand not only devastates vast swathes of land, it also causes serious water pollution on a large scale. The contents of the tailing ponds, which presently cover 176 square kilometers, could bury London under a layer of toxic sludge nearly one meter deep. The muck contains heavy metals such as lead, mercury and arsenic, as well as carcinogenic polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons. A study by the University of Toronto has shown that up to 1,000 times more toxins evaporate from the ponds than previously assumed. According to the Pembina Institute, 11 million liters of the toxic brew seep into the groundwater and pollute the Athabasca River every single day.
Athabasca River polluted

Fish in the Athabasca river and delta show striking deformations. Among the indigenous Mikisew Cree First Nation living downstream, certain cancers occur at up to seven times the national average rate. Locals in the town of Fort Chipewyan put the numerous deaths down to heavy metals in the environment. The Canadian government does not see a connection. Critics have described the government’s cavalier attitude toward the plight of the indigenous peoples as racist.

To date, the United States has been the main consumer of Canadian oil. Demand is falling, however. The U.S. has been pushing the extraction of oil and gas via fracking with the aim of becoming independent of foreign oil, a policy that has received added impetus under President Donald Trump.
Oil pipelines crossing the continent

Canada is planning major pipelines to transport the crude oil.

The Trans Mountain Expansion Project of the Kinder Morgan Pipeline has already been approved and is supported by Prime Minister Justin Trudeau. The pipeline links Alberta’s oil fields to the Pacific Coast. However, the provincial government of British Columbia is trying to foil the construction with proposed environmental regulations.

The Enbridge Line 3 pipeline, which will head south toward the U.S., has already been approved. The planned 2,700 km Keystone XL pipeline would also link Canada’s tar sand fields to refineries in Texas.

The oil industry has been calling for a pipeline to the east to export tar sand oil to Europe. In late 2017, however, the TransCanada group bowed to public pressure and dropped its Energy East project to the Atlantic coast.

Letter

To: Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, Minister of Environment and Climate Change Catherine McKenna

Dear Prime Minister,
Dear Minister McKenna,

Canada is among the countries with the most extensive forests on the planet. The old-growth rainforests of British Columbia, the maple tree forest in Quebec, and the boreal forests in the North are habitat for countless plant and animal species. The forests and wetlands store huge amounts of carbon and play an important role in mitigating climate change on a global scale.

It is crucial that Canada protect its forests – yet you have not been living up to this responsibility.

The tar sand areas in Alberta are the most horrible and obvious example of this lack of responsibility. For many years, vast forest and wetlands areas have been destroyed for open-pit mines and the production of the dirtiest fossil oil in the world. The Athabasca river has been poisoned, caribou and bear habitat has been destroyed and First Nations rights have been violated.

Teck Recourse’s proposed Frontier tar sand mine would damage Canada’s climate change commitments. From the year 2026 on, Teck plans to produce 260,000 barrels oil per day – over the course of 50 years. The approval of this new project would perpetuate the burning of fossil fuels despite the urgent need for humanity to switch to renewable energy as soon as possible to avoid further damage to the climate.

Furthermore, the tar sand mine project would be harmful to the habitat of significant plant and animal species, to the Athabasca River and other water resources, and to the Wood Buffalo National Park UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Considering the existing and potential damage and harm, we ask you kindly to:

  • stop Teck Resource’s proposed Frontier tar sand mine and tar sand exploitation in general.
  • stop the construction of oil pipelines like Kinder Morgan Trans Mountain that are connected with tar sand exploitation.
  • protect the Wood Buffalo National Park, a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
  • protect Canada’s forests, wetlands, rivers and lakes.
  • respect the rights of First Nations and Métis communities who oppose tar sand mining and oil pipelines.

Your government was praised during the Bonn climate summit when announcing an end to burning coal. That pledge would be hypocritical, however, if you continue keep supporting tar sand exploitation. Canada can neither achieve its climate targets under the Paris Agreement nor its national climate plan if it exploits tar sand further.

Please live up to your responsibility to protect Canada’s forest and the global climate: keep tar sand in the ground!

Yours faithfully,

https://www.rainforest-rescue.org/petitions/1128/oil-tankers-or-orcas-keep-tar-sand-in-the-ground?mtu=356307983&t=3966

Dry Storage and Transportation of High Burnup Spent Nuclear Fuel – Comment Deadline Monday Night 11.59 PM Eastern (There Was Less Than 2 Months For Comments – Request Extension)

Mining Awareness +

This is a life and death important topic for future generations, as well as our own. And, the US NRC has given less than 2 months to comment on a 129 page document. Only 2 people have commented. Many have not heard. Please comment, spread the word, and ask for an extension to this deadline. We put some related information and the link for comments below. It’s easy and can be anonymous. You can, for instance, read a piece of the document and comment on that, while asking for an extension.

Introduction Loads on Fuel Rods, Billone 2013

HBU is High Burnup Nuclear Fuel.
Dry Storage and Transportation of High Burnup Spent Nuclear Fuel

This Notice document was issued by the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC)
Action Draft NUREG; request for comment.
Summary
The U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) is issuing for public comment a draft NUREG, NUREG-2224, “Dry Storage…

View original post 297 more words

Petition · Award the Cajun Navy the Congressional Gold Medal · Change.org

Campaigns Lab started this petition to U.S. Senate and 1 other

The “Cajun Navy” has worked tirelessly over the last few years to help tens of thousands of people who have been pummeled by some of the worst storms in American history. This volunteer group of private boat owners have put their lives on the line to help people in need during natural disasters.

They helped rescue survivors in Texas in the aftermath of Hurricane Harvey. They worked directly with politicians to rescue victims of Hurricane Irma in Florida.

And just this month they traveled to North Carolina to be on the frontlines during Hurricane Florence, rescuing countless people as flood waters and torrential storm conditions hit communities in the Carolinas hard.

Last year President Trump called out the work of the “Cajun Navy” during his State of the Union address. Now it’s time to go one step further, and honor this volunteer group of heroes with one of the highest civilian honors in the country — the Congressional Gold Medal. Sign this petition to support honoring the “Cajun Navy” with the Congressional Gold Medal.

Previous recipients of this honor include the Native American Code Talkers, the Tuskegee Airmen, Billy Graham, and the Women Airforce Service Pilots, among dozens of other men, women and groups who have made a direct impact on American history. What better way to honor a group that has literally saved thousands of American citizens in times of need than by giving them one of the nation’s highest civilian honors?

Let’s ask Congress to hold up the work the “Cajun Navy” has done during these last few years and continues to do each and every year during natural disasters. Their work can be life-saving, and Congress has a unique moment to thank these folks for volunteering to save their neighbors from floods, hurricanes, tropical storms and more.

https://www.change.org/p/award-the-cajun-navy-the-congressional-gold-medal/sign?utm_medium=email&utm_source=aa_sign_impact&utm_campaign=427878&utm_content=&sfmc_tk=Y65ELrEVwnOSO7%2bDYTtOcdk13J9MBpW9KMcC2bQ9x2gcexa0DjXb2c9w77aJT%2b0B&j=427878&sfmc_sub=61374949&l=32_HTML&u=65463576&mid=7233053&jb=554

Donald Trump just called himself an environmentalist. Wait, what? | Grist

At the rally, Trump said something that will shock the pants off of anyone who has been even remotely attuned to the myriad ways in which this administration has undermined environmentalist regulations. He said, AND I QUOTE, “I’m an environmentalist.” Sir! This actually isn’t the first time Trump has tried to tell people that he’s a champion of the environment. In 2017, he said, ” I’m a very big person when it comes to the environment.” Watch the Vegas clip:

https://grist.org/article/donald-trump-just-called-himself-an-environmentalist-wait-what/

Petition: Stop the Killing of New Jersey’s Mute Swans · Change.org

Sue Miller started this petition to Governor Phil Murphy and 2 others

NEW JERSEY VIOLATING THE MIGRATORY BIRD TREATY ACT BY KILLING MUTE SWANS AND OTHER BIRDS UNDER A BOGUS LAW

Without Public Notice, New Jersey has set out to reduce the Mute Swan population through a systematic killing of these magnificent birds. As in Michigan, Maryland and other states, the state and federal wildlife authorities do not want any public awareness of the killing of the Mute Swans, based upon NO SCIENTIFIC research.

In February 2014, the International Swan Symposium was held in Maryland. At this meeting, swan specialists and researchers from around the world met. Many expressed concern and even presented papers showing that the Mute Swans were Sentinel birds, not an invasive species. Sentinel means that the Mute Swans alert wetland and waterfowl biologists and researchers that something is wrong with the environment, such as the presence of high levels of heavy metals, such as copper, lead and the presence of micro-organisms that can affect other species.

During the Symposium, Larry Hindman (Maryland DNR) and Barb Avers (Michigan DNR) presented papers and made the following statements when asked if the public was ever notified of the killing of the Mute Swans in their respective states. Mr. Hindman’s response: “We surveyed 625 people.” Did more of the general public ever know Hindman was asked? Hindman’s response: “NO, We did not do any widespread information, kept it out of the media and away from the general public, got the endorsement of Governor Ehrlich. We did it under the radar, most people did not know how or what we were doing until it was over, we went in, did what we had to do and got out. Never announced and never appeared on 6:00 news.” Mr. Hindman was also asked if there was ever any research prior to the killing or after the killing when “The Maryland DNR reduced 60% hatchings, removed swans using lethal methods, 2 nesting pairs left at this time. Since 2011-2013 1,683 nests destroyed, 9,403 eggs destroyed.” Mr. Hindman’s answer was “NO”. In addition, the nitrogen levels attributed to the Mute Swans and one of the reasons for killing the birds, is still HIGH. The Mute Swan can no longer be blamed in the Chesapeake Bay for these nitrogen levels. This lack of science and Maryland’s abhorrent Mute Swan control program became the basis for killing Mute Swans nationwide.

In Michigan, according to Barb Avers, Michigan DNR, the Mute Swan program “is not financially sustainable.”

This after many thousands of Mute Swans have been killed nationwide and at substantial cost to taxpayers, in fact in the billions of dollars and New Jersey Division of Fish & Wildlife and other state and federal wildlife agencies plans to continue the killing of Mute Swans with no scientific justification.

After convincing the public, the media and politicians using misinformation regarding Mute Swans being invasive, non-native, and aggressive, and destroying the habitat with high nitrogen levels, the Mute Swan killings began in the late 80’s and continues today.

However, according to a non-partisan study conducted by Hudsonia in 2017, the study found that Mute Swans were no more detrimental to other wildlife or the habitat than any other waterfowl/wildlife species. According to Hudsonia, the government’s contention that Mute Swans are detrimental to the habitat, aggressive and increase exponentially is unfounded and no scientific research backs up any of these negative claims.

On April 4/17/2014, Sue Miller, a resident of New Jersey and taxpayer, contacted Mr. Ted Nichols (NJ Division of Fish & Wildlife (DFW) to speak with him about the state of New Jersey’s development of a plan to slaughter Mute Swans. Ms. Miller requested that Mr. Nichols inform her of the specifics of his plan to slaughter Mute Swans and was told that “ he is not obligated to give her any information about the State of New Jersey’s proposal. ” Ms. Miller reminded him of The Freedom of Information Act, that she is a tax payer in New Jersey and believed that she was entitled to be informed.

The authorities at the Environmental Protection Commission and The Division of Fish and Wildlife in New Jersey are following the same patterns as Maryland and Michigan by quietly collaborating with the assistance of the USDA to reduce and eventually eliminate all the Mute Swans in New Jersey.

In lieu of New York States failed attempt by the DEC to carry out a similar program it is obvious why New Jersey does not want the public to be aware of its recent actions in killing Mute Swans throughout New Jersey. As in New York State the same arguments that New Jersey is advocating as just cause to kill the Mute Swans are at best baseless and false without being substantiated by sound scientific research.

New Jersey is now on the front-line of killing Mute Swans.

On Thursday, October 26, 2017, the New York Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) held a Mute Swan Management Plan public hearing. During this meeting, many prominent people spoke against the DEC’s plan to kill New York Mute Swans. One of those people was NY Assemblyman Steve Englebright, Chair of Committee on Environmental Conservation and also a supporter of the DEC in the past. He expressed on record his deep dissatisfaction with the actions of the DEC and their Mute Swan Management Plan.

However, it was Regal Swan Foundation that provided the legal bombshell that the Reform Act of 2004 to the Migratory Bird Treaty Act of 1918, was entered into Congress inappropriately, and was never ratified by President Bush. Therefore, it is null and void. Therefore, any and all acts perpetrated against Mute Swans (and other birds covered by this Reform Act) are in violation of international law.

Hundreds of thousands of Mute Swans have been slaughtered throughout the United States, including New Jersey because they were removed from the Migratory Bird Act in 2004. With this new information, we want congress and our state legislators to place an immediate moratorium on all Mute Swan killings and to investigate the illegal way the Migratory Bird Treaty Reform Act of 2004 was pushed through Congress and also hold the New Jersey DFW, US Fish and Wildlife, USDA, and anyone else who has killed Mute Swans in New Jersey accountable for violating the original Treaty.

THIS BOGUS TREATY REFORM ACT IMPACTS ALL MUTE SWANS AND OTHER BIRDS IN EVERY STATE! PLEASE CONTACT YOUR SENATORS AND CONGRESSMEN AND ASK THEM TO STOP THIS OUTRAGEOUS HOAX THAT IS COSTING TAXPAYERS BILLIONS AND KILLING HUNDREDS OF THOUSANDS OF BIRDS ILLEGALLY.

Please call, write and email the following New Jersey State Officials to express your concern over the killing of the Mute Swans. Tell them you want this to stop immediately.

PEOPLE IN OTHER COUNTRIES CAN HELP US BY SIGNING AND SHARING THIS PETITION AND LETTING THE WORLD KNOW THAT THE UNITED STATES IS SLAUGHTERING MUTE SWANS AND OTHER BIRDS THROUGH A REFORMED TREATY THAT NEVER SHOULD HAVE BEEN REFORMED IN THE FIRST PLACE.

N.J.Gov Phil Murphy

phil.murphy@gov.state.nj.us

Tel 609 292 6000

https://www.change.org/p/phil-murphy-stop-the-killing-of-new-jersey-s-mute-swans?source_location=petition_footer&algorithm=promoted&original_footer_petition_id=13532431&grid_position=3&pt=AVBldGl0aW9uAMnTFgAAAAAAW6VCT71L4HYyMTEwNWIzYg%3D%3D

Petition · Allow California’s Prisoner Firefighters to Work Professionally After Release · Change.org

This year California saw its largest fire in state history, and more than 2,000 state prisoners volunteered to fight the flames. Paid just $1 an hour, the state encourages low-level prisoners to risk their lives and serve alongside professional firefighters. But once inmates leave prison, they often can’t work as firefighters because of their criminal records.

Despite their frontline experience, most counties in California require firefighters to become licensed emergency medical technician (EMTs) — and that credential is often denied to anyone with a criminal record.

Nearly 4,000 of California’s firefighters are state inmates, carefully selected to participate in the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation CAL FIRE program. At least three inmates have died fighting these fires.

It’s simply wrong to deny these men and women the ability to become firefighters after they have served their time. A steady job is one of the best ways to prevent re-offending. Restoring the right to earn an honest living is crucial for ex-offenders to regain a sense of hope and a new chance at redemption.

Since 2015, at least 16 states that have already eased or eliminated licensing barriers for Americans with criminal records. Sign our petition asking California to join them and make it easier for formerly incarcerated people to become firefighters and EMTs after serving their time.

https://www.change.org/p/allow-california-s-prisoner-firefighters-to-work-professionally-after-release/sign?utm_medium=email&utm_source=aa_sign_human&utm_campaign=429456&utm_content=&sfmc_tk=Y65ELrEVwnOSO7%2bDYTtOcaQVYx6Bf7WEpktm7g%2bvs4OTim1OxwHiGqvkExBtdvEj&j=429456&sfmc_sub=61374949&l=32_HTML&u=65485050&mid=7233053&jb=586