Many thanks to the Alliance for Arts + Culture for their Election Toolkit, which arrived in my email box just now. I couldn’t wait to share it with all of you.
Although I realize that most of us would rather chew off our own arm before we’d mark a vote for Harper on our ballots, this sentiment is useless unless we get out and vote for Arts, Culture and the Environment. It’s so important to spread the word to friends, colloquies and family. Usually my mantra is “Show up at the page,” but today it’s “Show up at the Polling Station on October 19th, 2015.
Remember to vote with ABC in mind: Anything but Conservatives (Harper). Both the NDP and the Liberals have some amazing candidates and they need your support.
Even writing Harper’s name makes me feel nauseous…
Audubon is asking that everyone acknowledge this day by walking to work or carpooling or hoping on your bike or taking transit.
They are dedicating this week to “taking action to restore the Gulf to health, to help prevent future disasters, and to reduce our dependence on fossil fuels.”
From their email:
The Gulf Still Needs Us
The birds, other wildlife, and local communities along the Gulf are still struggling to recover. The full impact of the disaster is yet to be known. What we do know is this: billions of birds migrate through the Gulf region every year. It is home to a vast diversity of wildlife and, of course, millions of people. We owe it to the people and the wild creatures of the Gulf to:
Make sure BP’s fines are dedicated to restoring the Gulf ecosystem;
Apply the lessons from the disaster to future drilling endeavors; and
Work as a nation to reduce the need for drilling by cutting our fossil fuel use.
This message is especially important to those of us in BC who are determined to not see oil tankers in our pristine coastal waters. The images of the BP oil spill remain burned in my mind, and as disturbing as they are, I hold on to them because I know that Joe Oliver, and the Alberta and Harper government have a huge PR machine and are spending countless dollars on pushing the Endbridge Project through.
We can’t let this happen, and if you need a reminder as to why, think BP.
BP gave 30 million to their PR campaign…and continue to lie to people around the world: BP Oil Spill Two Years Later
Audubon’s bird scientists have identified the top bird species at risk from the BP Gulf Oil Spill. Lack of food, lack of clean habitat and toxic oil are added threats that put the survival of some of these these species in even greater peril.
The top ten breeding species at risk in the Gulf of Mexico:
1) Brown Pelican
2) American Oystercatcher
3) Wilson’s Plover
4) Reddish Egret
5) Least Tern
6) Black Skimmer
7) Roseate Spoonbill
8) Clapper Rail
9) Seaside Sparrow
10) Mottled Duck
The top ten nonbreeding (migrating) species at risk in the Gulf of Mexico:
1) Lesser Scaup
2) Blue-winged Teal
3) Common Loon
4) American White Pelican
5) Northern Gannet
6) Peregrine Falcon
7) Northern Harrier
8) Piping Plover
10) Red Knot
For more on some of these species, visit Audubon’s oil spill birds at risk. Your sightings of these species in particular in eBird can help us map a successful road to recovery in the Gulf.
Visit ebird.org to learn how to observe, record and submit your observations about birds. According to Audubon, whether you are new to birding or an expert, “everyone can help with Gulf restoration efforts by recording bird sightings and adding to the body of information we have about breeding, migration and other bird data to help Audubon scientists and others with recovery plans. Knowing how the spill is affecting bird populations is critical to how we ensure their ultimate recovery from the disaster. Even data from outside the Mississippi River corridor is useful, so whether you are on the East coast, the West coast or somewhere in between, your citizen science efforts are important.”
As a Canadian, I wonder how many of our birds will return next year. Also, as a Canadian, I am deeply concerned about the Enbridge oil spill in Michigan.
Last week, a young girl I know asked me if I really thought we could make a difference in the world. After all, she said, we are only two people. We were on our bikes coming home from an afternoon at the beach. It was hot and a long slog up the hill – one of those times when a car seemed so quick and inviting. I understood her question though and her frustration too.
“Look at it this way. We are only two people, but if each get one of our friends to choose bikes over cars and they do the same thing, we can start to make a difference.”
It’s summer. I challenge all of you to try to leave your car in your driveway – even if for only one or two days per week. It’s only when you start believing you can make a difference that you do – the banning plastic bags campaign is a great example of this.
Audubon in my inbox:
On Wednesday, Audubon and its Louisiana Coastal Restoration partners released a plan to restore wetlands—a critical step forward that will benefit birds, wildlife and people of the region. The recommendations included in the report, entitled “Common Ground: A Shared Vision for Restoring the Mississippi River Delta,” by Environmental Defense Fund,
National Audubon Society and the National Wildlife Federation, outlines the necessary steps to restore and rebuild an ecosystem that has lost more than 2,300 square miles of wetlands—an area larger than the state of Delaware—since the 1930s. The three environmental organizations came together to seek solutions to one of our nation’s most pressing environmental challenges. According to the report,” The loss of coastal wetlands to oil contamination may speed up today’s alarming land loss, leaving an already weakened ecosystem even more vulnerable to storms and other man-made assaults.” The good news is that the collaborative effort is bringing together the expertise, knowledge and supporters of all three organizations. Learn more.
Hands across the Sand is a nationwide event that takes place this June 26.
Hands across the Sand is coming to a beach near you!
At noon, thousands of Americans and Canadians across the country will join hands for 15 minutes to bear witness to the ongoing environmental tragedy in the Gulf. If you want to join hands with your neighbors, look for events in your area at HandsAcrosstheSand.org
Stickshift Bio Car
11am, 15 minutes, wherever you happen to be…if there is no Hands Across the Sand at a Beach near you, go to the website and find out how to create the even for your community.
Today is World Ocean’s Day. When I woke up, my thoughts, like so many others turned to the Gulf and the BP Oil Spew (leak, I think, might be too tame a word to describe the thousands of barrels of oil spewing out of the ocean floor).
I saw a photo (I think in La Presse) but I’m not sure that continues to haunt me: a brown pelican being pulled from the sludge completely and utterly covered in thick coat of oil. He was terror-stricken and it made me sick to the stomach. This cannot be allowed to happen again. Little changes can make a difference. Do you really need to drive two blocks to the store? Don’t want to turn this into a rant…
Celebrate World Ocean Day by doing something proactive. Here are some suggestions big and small:
-The Ocean Projects asks that you wear blue and tell two to celebrate.
– Get outside and walk, bus or ride your bike
-Let your local and federal politicians know your thoughts on Off Shore Drilling – send an email or a letter
-Don’t buy fish/shellfish that have not been harvested in a sustainable way. Ask restaurants and stores before you order or buy seafood and then vote with your feet and your wallet.
-If you live near a beach or have a boat, go play on the ocean.
-Talk to people about the ocean
What a sad day in so many ways. In Japan, the movie “The Cove” has been banned. In the Gulf, marine mammals and creatures large and small continue to be poisoned by oil, and somewhere in the middle of the ocean an toxic plastic island claims victims every day. The Japanese continue to slaughter 100s of whales every year and sustainable fishing practices are in the fledgling stage.
Let’s change this! Start today on World Ocean’s Day.