What the President just did for Bristol Bay, AK


The White House, Washington

Just now, the President took action to protect a place called Bristol Bay, Alaska. Here’s why that matters:

It places a national treasure — and one of the nation’s most productive fisheries — off limits for oil and gas leasing. Alaskans have been fighting to preserve Bristol Bay for decades. Today, we got it done.

Bristol Bay helps to produce 40 percent of America’s wild-caught seafood each year. It supports $2 billion every year in commercial fishing, and supports good jobs in sport-fishing and tourism.

These waters are beautiful and valuable, and today’s action will ensure that future generations will be able to enjoy their bounty.

It’s a big deal. Watch the President’s announcement, and take a look at these photos of the place this Administration just took definitive action to protect:

This is Bristol Bay, Alaska, a national treasure that President Obama is protecting for all of us.

This is Bristol Bay, Alaska, a national treasure that President Obama is protecting for all of us.

A humpback whale with shearwater birds in Bristol Bay.

A humpback whale with shearwater birds in Bristol Bay.

The beautiful Bristol Bay helps to produce 40% of America's wild-caught seafood every year.

The beautiful Bristol Bay helps to produce 40% of America’s wild-caught seafood every year.

Thanks,

Sally

Secretary Sally Jewell
Department of the Interior
@SecretaryJewell

Union of Concerned Scientists … Playground politics


A small group of lawmakers are dead set on stopping the EPA’s Clean Power Plan.Don’t let them get away with it.Fight for strong limits on global warming pollution with your tax-deductible gift.

Donate Now

Or read on to find out how we’re fighting on the state level this year.

 

Here’s what a Texas lawmaker recently said:

“What if we just said no [to the Environmental Protection Agency’s new rules on power plant pollution]? There is a precedent in Texas to say we’re not going to be under the federal government’s boot.”1

He might as well have said, No! We don’t have to follow the rules! That sort of thing is barely acceptable on the playground—as a way of setting national policy, it’s downright dangerous.

Yet it’s happening now: Twelve states are suing the EPA to block new rules on global warming pollution.2 And even if they lose, there are a string of bills in state houses around the country to gut progress on clean energy and protect fossil fuel interests—in effect, to roll back years of work and victories you and I have made possible.

That’s why UCS is launching an ambitious new campaign next month to make sure states make real progress on clean air and renewal energy.

States have to devise plans to comply with new EPA rules that cut global warming pollutants from power plants. If we don’t have the right resources now, our opponents will beat us to the punch, and we’ll miss out on this opportunity to move states forward. Please don’t let that happen.

Our analysts and outreach staff need resources to take our hard hitting, science-based campaigns to even more states—to beat back attacks on the EPA and pass proactive legislation to ramp up wind and solar development and energy efficiency. What you give now determines just how hard we can fight in the weeks and months ahead—for science, clean air, and our families’ health.

Here’s how UCS will use your support to make a difference. Here’s how we’ll win:

  • We’ll mobilize the 20,000 scientists and technical experts in our Science Network to collaborate on new research and share their findings with lawmakers and regulators.
  • We’ll organize more than 450,000 individuals who’ve signed on as activists across all 50 states to make sure elected officials know they’re being watched, and ask them to follow the science on global warming, clean energy, and more.
  • We’ll work in key states to help them adopt strong clean energy and climate policies to meet the Environmental Protection Agency’s new standards for power plant global warming emissions, and using the momentum to create a tipping point for national climate action.
  • We’ll expose misinformation from corporate and political interests in the media, in Congress, and in state houses—so decision makers know the difference between science fact and corporate fiction.

Those are the same ways UCS members helped secure landmark fuel economy standards for cars and trucks, impose limits on global warming emissions from coal-fired power plants, and cut sulfur pollution from gasoline—all in the last two years.

It’s also how we helped kill nearly every single legislative attempt to roll back support for wind and solar development in the states. We even beat the Koch brothers in their home state of Kansas.3

And it’s how we’ll convince key states to strengthen their reliance on clean and renewable energy. On January 1, we’re immediately ramping up our work in three states where legislators are poised to adopt stronger renewable energy policies—Illinois, Michigan, and Minnesota. That’s just the beginning of our state-based work in 2015. The number of states we can reach depends on your support right now.

Legislative sessions open up in early January. We either get ahead of the fossil fuel industry or we don’t.

The only disadvantage we face when compared to the people who protect corporate interests and deny climate science is resources. It’s just that simple. We’ve got the science, the experts, the everyday people fighting for their futures and their families’ health. We’re making a difference, but with your extra generous support right now, we can—we will—do so much more.

A lot of groups have a role to play in fighting global warming. Ours is unique. We are the leading national organization built by and for scientists and people like you who look to science first when faced with threats like sea level rise, persistent drought, and toxic pollution. We are the trusted experts on climate science and clean and renewable energy. And you are the power behind each of our campaigns.

The new year is just around the corner,

Ken Kimmell Sincerely,
Ken Kimmell
Ken Kimmell
President
Union of Concerned Scientists

 

P.S. As a UCS member, you should know you’re well respected by leaders in the climate movement. Just recently, Senator Ed Markey (D-MA) said he “always follows UCS because they’re always right.” We appreciate that, and I can tell you—with your support—we always strive for accuracy and integrity in the defense of science. I’m proud of that, and hope you are too.

1. http://www.dallasnews.com/business/energy/20140929-litigation-looms-over-state-co2-hearings.ece
2. http://www.ok.gov/oag/documents/Section%20111d%20Settlement%20Filing.pdf
3. http://www.kansas.com/news/politics-government/article1138361.html

Sony thinks Black America is one big, lucrative joke


Amy Pascal’s racist emails are confirmation of the manipulative, exploitative relationship corporations like Sony have with Black folks. Universal PSictures logo

Demand Amy Pascal be fired from Sony Pictures Entertainment immediately.

Take Action

Rashad Robinson, ColorOfChange.org

What is it about the culture over at Sony Entertainment, that made its co-chair Amy Pascal think her racially charged email exchanges would be not only tolerated, but endorsed by other Hollywood power players? We bet Pascal never thought her racist sentiments — at the expense of President Obama, Black Hollywood, and essentially all of Black America — would escape the halls (and computers) of Sony.

She was wrong. Leaked email exchanges unearthed last week feature Pascal and producer Scott Rudin guessing what the President’s favorite films are: “Django,” “12 years,” “Or the butler. Or think like a man?,” “Ride Along. I bet he likes Kevin Hart.”1 In a separate email chain, another Sony executive labels Hart — one of the most successful comedians in America — a “whore” for daring to ask for a salary increase for his next film, a standard practice for successful actors. In an even more troubling exchange, Pascal asserts that for celebrities, getting their own TV show is “the new Black baby,” in essence likening Black children to some disposable, fad accessory like a trendy watch or the latest iphone.2

Send a message to Sony that this kind of behavior should not be tolerated by joining us in demanding they fire Amy Pascal today.

Contrary to what Amy Pascal and her pals in Hollywood seem to believe, Black babies are more than some fad or trendy accessory, as are the incredible efforts of our Black entertainers, the stories that result from their hardships, and the hard-earned money Black audiences spend in movie theaters nationwide. And running to Reverend Al Sharpton to start a “healing process” (and save her job) doesn’t even begin to address the larger problem.3 Pascal’s comments are confirmation of the manipulative, exploitative relationship corporations like Sony have with Black folks. Our genius, our cultural products, and our $1.1 Trillion in buying power are not given the respect they deserve, regardless of the massive sums of money they result in for people like Amy Pascal.

We must hold Amy Pascal accountable here; not just for her horrendous comments, but also for her role at the helm of a corporate agenda that views Black America as one big, lucrative joke.

Join us in demanding that Amy Pascal be relieved of her duties at Sony Pictures Entertainment immediately.

Though we think Amy Pascal’s behavior is reprehensible, make no mistake — this isn’t just one employee’s problem. Sony has an institution-wide issue. The disturbing sentiments expressed in emails by Pascal and others convey a deeply problematic workplace philosophy and environment that can have far reaching implications and consequences. Another leaked email, penned by an unnamed Black woman formerly employed at the company, involves accusations of rampant workplace racism and sexism at Sony.4 Her complaints were ignored, an unsurprising decision from a company where racist jokes are acceptable content in work emails.

These email exchanges also underscore a larger marginalization of the talents of Black entertainers and the exploitation of Black audiences by Sony. Recent films released by Sony starring predominantly Black casts or Black actors and actresses in lead roles have netted the company a profit of over $1 billion worldwide since 2011. How lucrative do Black films need to be — and how loyal do Black audiences need to be — for executives like Amy Pascal to treat them with the dignity and respect they deserve, both on and off screen?

Tell Sony Pictures Entertainment to fire Amy Pascal. It will only take a moment.

This story of exploitation and marginalization is not foreign to some of Black Hollywood’s heaviest hitters, who’ve reacted with a knowing dismay at Pascal’s sentiments. Ava DuVernay, who just last week became the first Black woman nominated for a Best Director Golden Globe for the upcoming film “Selma,” told the Daily Beast, “I thought it was a great gift to me to be reminded of that kind of sad, limited, crass view of the work that people do in this industry who are not from the dominant culture.” TV writer and creator Shonda Rhimes also weighed in on Twitter, asserting, “Calling Sony comments ‘racially insensitive remarks’ instead of ‘racist’? U can put a cherry on a pile of sh*t but it don’t make it a sundae.”5

This issue extends far beyond Sony. The images of Black folks we see across our media landscape shape the perceptions of viewers. When those perceptions are acted upon, they can mean real-life harm for Black people; less attention from doctors, harsher sentences from judges, and discriminatory practices in the workplace, just to name a few.6 Judging by what these tasteless jokes say about Amy Pascal’s attitudes towards Black people, we don’t think she has any business sitting at the top of an influential, media juggernaut like Sony Pictures Entertainment.

Stand with us and demand Amy Pascal be fired from Sony now.

Thanks and Peace,

–Rashad, Arisha, Matt, Brandi, Dallas and the rest of the ColorOfChange team.
December 16, 2014

Help support our work. ColorOfChange.org is powered by YOU—your energy and dollars. We take no money from lobbyists or large corporations that don’t share our values, and our tiny staff ensures your contributions go a long way.

References

1. “Film Executives apologize for racially-tinged emails about Obama,” New York Times, 12-11-14
http://act.colorofchange.org/go/4433?t=9&akid=3983.1174326.HKVmTs

2. “Sony exec Amy in ANOTHER race row for saying TV deals are so popular they’re the ‘new black baby’ that everyone wants,” Daily Mail, 12-15-14
http://act.colorofchange.org/go/4434?t=11&akid=3983.1174326.HKVmTs

3. “Al Shaprton will meet with Sony exec who sent racist emails about Obama,” Business Insider, 12-13-14
http://act.colorofchange.org/go/4435?t=13&akid=3983.1174326.HKVmTs

4. “Sony employee alleges rampant workplace racism in leaked email,” Daily Mail, 12-12-14
http://act.colorofchange.org/go/4436?t=15&akid=3983.1174326.HKVmTs

5. “‘Selma’ Director Ava DuVernay Calls Racist Sony Emails ‘Sad, Limited, Crass,” Huffington Post, 12-15-14
http://act.colorofchange.org/go/4437?t=17&akid=3983.1174326.HKVmTs

6. “Media Representations and Impact on the Lives of Black Men and Boys,” The Opportunity Agenda
http://act.colorofchange.org/go/3685?t=19&akid=3983.1174326.HKVmTs

Cecile Richards, Planned Parenthood ~~ Personal reasons for hope


Just yesterday we got some exciting news: the U.S. Supreme Court did the right thing by protecting women’s continued access to medication abortion in Arizona, at least for now.This win for women’s health is yet another reason I’m hopeful for the year to come — but to keep fighting dangerous laws like this one in Arizona, we’ll need people like you with us every step of the way. Please, make your tax-deductible year-end gift to Planned Parenthood today. Every dollar will be matched, up to $1 million, so your support will go twice as far in the year to come!At moments like this, I’m so proud to have you by our side. Thanks for all you do to protect women’s health and rights when it counts.Sincerely,
Cecile
Planned Parenthood
I’ve been at Planned Parenthood for eight years now. And I’ve been an activist my whole life. So when I say that the constant attacks and disturbing news for women, for rights, for whole communities over the last few weeks — and months, and years, really — are utterly devastating, that’s saying a lot.And yet…and yet…despite the terrible news, it might surprise you to know that I’ve never been more hopeful. Stick with me here — I’ve got darn good reasons.But first, Carmen, I want to tell you why I’m writing today. Truth is, this is the time of year when I ask you to donate, and it’s just about the most important time to give. Right now is when we make our plans for the next year. The money we raise this month determines our course for all of 2015. So, I’m counting on my reasons for hope being your reasons for hope — and your reasons to give.
You could say that it all comes down to these two (very tall) young men, Eladio and Robert. I met them in North Carolina, where they were canvassing. They drove an hour and a half to Raleigh each way, each day to knock on doors and talk about health care access and reproductive rights. Why? Because, they told me, it’s not enough to complain about what’s wrong. Planned Parenthood Federation of America gives them a chance to DO something about it.These two young men are remarkable. But they’re not alone. Far from it! Everywhere I go, I meet young people who are taking back this world of ours.Who see a chance for change, for good — and I’m so deeply proud to say they see it in Planned Parenthood.After a pretty depressing election for many of them and in the face of increasing attacks on women and rights, these young people are bringing astonishing hopefulness and energy and indomitable will to their volunteer and organizing work with Planned Parenthood. And lest you think it’s always been this way, it hasn’t. This is new. This is different. This is what hope looks like.Oh — and then there’s Texas. My home state has dealt just about the rawest deal to women I can imagine. You know — you’ve been with us through the few ups and many, many downs. But get this: Today we will cut the ribbon on a brand new health center in Dallas, TX. Because you cannot keep this organization, this movement, this family down.

Hope? Damn straight. They can try to limit access to affordable birth control and safe and legal abortion. They can push for dangerous laws that will roll back our rights. They can try to shut down Planned Parenthood health centers for good. All of these threats are all too real, and daunting indeed. They’re what we’re facing in 2015. We know this: Opponents of women’s health will try, again and again and again to keep women from getting the care they need.But here’s what else I know: Across the country, we’ve kept our doors open, no matter what, every day for more than 90 years and nothing, nothing, can stop us.Because we’ve got Eladio and Robert. Because we’ve got thousands of other young people who are stepping up like never before. And because, of course, we’ve got you. You and your unending support.Good reasons to hope? You bet. Good reasons to give? I’m counting on it. Literally! Thank you so much for believing in us, believing in these young people, and believing in hope today. Your support means the world to me, and to us.

Sincerely,
Cecile Richards, President
Planned Parenthood Federation of America
P.S. Right now, a generous donor has agreed to match all gifts up to $1 million, but only until December 31st — don’t wait to make your gift to Planned Parenthood Federation of America. This is the moment when you can make a difference.

Indigenous Peoples of the Amazon are Stronger with Our Support


Português | Español | Deutsch | [+]The indigenous peoples of the Amazon have long known this simple truth: what we do to the planet we do to ourselves. That is why Amazon Watch directly supports communities challenging massive industrial expansion like the Belo Monte Dam Complex and the proposed dams on the Tapajos River in Brazil. And why we supported indigenous women at the COP20 Climate Conference last week in Peru – generating media and grassroots support to make their fight central to the climate change debate. Your donations made that work possible.

Scientists have shown empirically that empowering indigenous peoples with the rights to their ancestral territories is the most effective way to preserve the Amazon rainforest. In fact, if indigenous communities successfully assert their land rights, over 200 million hectares of the Amazon could be protected.

The race to exploit the Amazon has already led to mass deforestation, sickness, death, the extinction of previously “uncontacted” communities, cultural disintegration, prostitution, and more. This is unacceptable. We need everyone to invest in the fight to end these abuses.

Amazon Watch will continue to advance the rights of our indigenous partners – the stewards of our planetary life-support systems. And you can directly help tip the balance in their favor for everyone’s benefit. Please support Amazon Watch today.