ACTION ALERTS: Stop War on Marine Mammals; Don't Nuke the Climate
November 5, 2017
C.T. Harry / International Fund for Animal Welfare & the Nuclear Information and Resource Service
The oceans aren't big enough to protect marine mammals from human dangers. Despite the great successes of this bedrock environment law, the Marine Mammal Protection Act has faced threats several times, and it is being attacked again -- through a new proposed bill, HR 3133. Meanwhile, under the expiring Kyoto Protocol, nuclear energy is rightly excluded from the possible solutions available to reduce greenhouse gas emissions -- but the powerful nuclear industry is trying to change this.
ACTION ALERT: Marine Mammals Under Attack
SEA ACT of 2017 --
Good for Oil and Gas Companies,
Bad for Marine Mammals!
CT Harry / The International Fund for Animal Welfare
(October 31 2017) -- Well, Congress is back at it again with another attempt to put industry demands ahead of protecting wildlife. Unfortunately, this seems to be the prevailing theme these days with Congress, so at least they're consistent . . .
Let me introduce you to the SEA (Streamlining Environmental Approvals) Act of 2017, or H.R. 3133. The goal of this bill is to "streamline" the Marine Mammal Protection Act (MMPA) by altering the regulatory process of how Incidental Harassment Authorizations (IHAs) to marine mammals are reviewed and authorized when various industrial activities (mainly during seismic exploration for offshore oil and gas) are proposed within US waters.
Specifically, the most notable issue with altering IHA provisions would be that the proposed seismic exploration occurs within the breeding and calving grounds of the highly endangered North Atlantic right whale.
With a population dangerously close to tipping into "unrecoverable" status (approx. 450), combined with the extremely high number of mortalities this year, the absolute worst thing that could happen to right whales now would be to weaken IHAs.
Evidently, some legislators feel that it is just too difficult for industry to abide by basic, common sense protection measures when operating around critical marine mammal habitat.
Make no mistake; this proposed bill is an oil and gas industry wish list that would gut many of the legal standards by which IHAs are issued and prevents almost any type of mitigation strategy to reduce impacts to marine mammals during industry operations.
Below are a few examples of how MMPA protection provisions would be altered:
* removal of current procedure to restrict industry activities to a specific geographic range
* automatic extension of existing permits after only an absurdly unrealistic timeframe of 14 days for determination if extension is even warranted
* not requiring any baseline assessment before or long-term monitoring of cumulative impact after the activity has occurred
* removal of the permit condition that any activity must have the "least practicable impact" on marine mammals
Marine mammals need these protections in order to survive and flourish against the ever-increasing industrialization of our oceans.
ACTION: Please join us in making sure the MMPA remains an essential bedrock environmental law. Let your US Representative know that he or she should stand up for marine mammals and their habitat and oppose H.R. 3133!
ACTION ALERT: Don't Nuke the Climate
The Nuclear Information and Resource Service
Sign our Petition: We ask all kinds of organisations to sign this petition. It will be handed over to the UNFCCC (host of the COP23) and the Government of Fiji (Presidency of COP23) during COP23, in Bonn.
BONN, Germany (October 30, 2017) -- The climate crisis belongs to the defining issues of our time.
In November 2017 we will join movements for climate action, sustainable energy, and environmental, gender and social justice in Bonn, Germany. As a Nuclear-Free and Carbon-Free Contingent, we demand immediate action from all of the governments of the world at the COP23 Climate Conference.
Under the expiring Kyoto Protocol, nuclear energy is rightly excluded from the possible solutions available to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Yet the nuclear industry, in collaboration with certain nations, is lobbying for their dangerous and polluting technology to be seen as a climate-friendly option. This would obstruct real progress in protecting the climate.
The solutions to the climate crisis are evident and can be brought to scale through international cooperation and investment now. We must transition to an energy system that no longer depends on antiquated energy models of the 20th century and their polluting nuclear power and fossil fuel technologies, but instead rely on safe, clean, affordable and sustainable renewable energy, energy efficiency, conservation and modern grid technologies of the 21st century.
Nuclear power manifests a wide range of human rights violations, from the rights to life and health, to disproportionate impacts on indigenous peoples, women, children, and future generations. In addition, nuclear power is unacceptable because it is:
* Too dangerous: the use of nuclear power will inevitably lead to more Fukushimas and Chernobyls. The technology and materials needed to generate nuclear energy can be diverted to nuclear weapons programs. These risks remain with any new reactor designs.
* Too dirty: nuclear reactors and the nuclear fuel chain produce vast amounts of lethal radioactive waste, which grow whenever nuclear power is used. The nuclear fuel chain is responsible for far more carbon emissions than renewable energy generation and improved energy efficiency. All reactors routinely emit toxic radiation.
* Too expensive: building new reactors is the costliest means possible of reducing carbon emissions. The world's existing reactor fleets are aging and becoming economically uncompetitive; and the continued use of nuclear power crowds out investment in clean energy sources.
* Too slow: use of nuclear power to reduce fossil fuel emissions would require an unprecedented nuclear construction program, beyond the capability of the world's manufacturers within an acceptable time frame. Existing reactors should be phased out consistent with climate action imperatives.
All that is lacking is the political will! In Bonn we will march, demonstrate and rally to break the gridlock and show the world the necessity to leave the unsustainable path of nuclear energy now.