Center for Biological Diversity
Pop X
No. 76, March 17, 2017
Will the Pope Help Tackle Population Growth?

While the Trump administration and Republicans are rolling back wildlife protections, efforts to address the sixth mass extinction crisis are being led by scientists, international political leaders and even the Pope. In late February the environmentally minded Vatican hosted a conference on biodiversity, and the guest list included population advocate Paul Ehrlich. While human population growth was on the agenda, a key part of the solution was not: contraception. The Catholic Church has become an important voice in the conversation about climate science and environmental stewardship, but its stance on birth control remains outdated.

Supporting universal access to contraception is critical at a time when conservative politicians in the United States are working to roll back access to birth control and reproductive healthcare. The newly unveiled Republican healthcare plan will result in steep hikes in the cost of contraception and cut funding for Planned Parenthood. That means family planning -- and reducing the pressure of our unsustainable population on the planet -- will be harder than ever.

It's exciting that the Pope is willing to take a strong stance to help protect our environment. If we're going to tackle population growth, access to reproductive health can't be ignored either.

For the wild,
Stephanie Feldstein Stephanie Feldstein
Population and Sustainability Director
P.S. Today's world population is: 7,502,417,000. We can still save room for wildlife -- spread the word and forward this email.

Amazon's Solar Promise

Amazon customer service centerYou can buy just about anything on Amazon and often get it delivered overnight. To get it to you that fast, all those orders need to be sorted and shipped from somewhere. And that somewhere is Amazon's massive fulfillment centers: warehouses with some of the largest land footprints of any buildings in the world. That expansive land use has an outsize effect on the environment -- which balloons when you consider what it takes to run the giant warehouses, especially when powered by fossil fuels.

That's why the Center launched our Amazon Shine campaign a year ago, calling on the company to install rooftop solar on its warehouses and utilize the space it's already taking up to power its operations. More than 23,000 Center supporters took action, and those messages were heard. Just a few weeks ago, Amazon announced it will install solar panels on 15 of its U.S.-based fulfillment centers by the end of the year. The company also committed to installing solar on 50 of its global facilities by 2020.

That's a solid first step toward an energy future that's better for wildlife, people and the planet. The job is far from done, of course -- Amazon has more than 250 additional warehouses across the globe. If it really wants to shine, it will build on its commitment until every one of its facilities has rooftop solar.

Detail of cartoon by Tom Toro Desert foxes
EPA Denier-in-Chief

Last week EPA Chief Scott Pruitt claimed there was "tremendous disagreement" about the degree to which humans affect the climate, so he didn't agree that human activity was a primary contributor to global warming. But there's about as much disagreement about the cause of climate change as is there is about the Earth being a sphere. Share this cartoon, drawn by The New Yorker cartoonist Tom Toro, to call out Pruitt's alternative facts on climate science.

Got Earth Day Plans?

On April 22 the Center needs your help to speak up for wildlife and wildlands. Help us take a stand against the threats our planet faces from the Trump administration by bringing the resistance to an Earth Day festival near you. We'll provide you with all the materials you need to help people in your community take action. Sign up today and one of our organizers will contact you with details.

Protect Water From Factory Farm Waste -- Take Action
Cows Agricultural waste Stream
Getting Away With Manure

Industrial animal agriculture is a leading source of water pollution in rivers and groundwater, yet it remains largely unregulated.

Dangerous Loopholes

Despite the threat to safe, clean water for wildlife and communities, most factory farms aren't required to have Clean Water Act permits.

EPA's Responsibility

Urge the EPA to regulate animal agriculture waste to protect our waterways, wildlife and our health from factory farm pollution.

Rogue Agency Kills Millions of Wild Animals for Big Ag

CougarsThe highly secretive arm of the U.S. Department of Agriculture known as Wildlife Services killed more than 2.7 million animals in 2016, according to new data the program released this week. Of the animals killed last year, nearly 1.6 million were native wildlife.

Why is the department tasked with overseeing federal school-lunch programs and dietary guidelines using taxpayer dollars to slaughter America's wildlife? Wildlife Services theoretically exists to help people and wildlife coexist, but in reality exists to do favors for the agricultural industry. As a result, predators such as wolves, cougars and bears that are perceived as a threat to livestock industry profits -- despite powerful evidence that they don't do much damage at all -- are killed under the guise of resolving conflicts.

The program uses barbaric and outdated tactics, including painful leg-hold traps, snares and poisons. Not only do its brutal killing sprees fail to effectively prevent conflict, but they upset the natural balance of ecosystems -- which then results in the need to indiscriminately kill prey like prairie dogs.

It doesn't have to be that way: The Center is working hard to shut down Wildlife Service's senseless extermination agenda. And you can help break the cycle of violence at least three times a day, every day, when you decide what to eat. Take extinction off your plate and reduce the power of the livestock industry by eating less meat and dairy.
Photo credits: Stephanie Feldstein staff photo; Amazon customer service center by Wvfunnyman/Wikimedia; detail of cartoon by Tom Toro; desert foxes by s_mueller/Flickr; cows by nedster/Flickr; agricultural waste courtesy USDA; stream by briangratwicke/Flickr; cougars by RobertMautz/Flickr.

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