As the temperature rises here in Washington, DC and all over the country, people flock to beaches, pools, and anyplace we can find to splash around and cool off.
My son loves the water. He’s happy to run right in without a care in the world. But, as he plunges his face into the cool water and plays with little “treasures” he finds, I start worrying about what he’s being exposed to.
Our oceans, though vast and deep, are fast-becoming polluted from land-based sources. And, sadly, it’s turning our once-pristine ocean into a dumping ground. There’s an increasing number of beach closures due to pollution, not to mention the oil in the Gulf of Mexico that is still spewing and contaminating the Gulf and well-beyond.
Awareness and “action” is so important! We can’t sit around and let our oceans become contaminated cesspools. Instead, we have to work together to spread the word and speak up about ocean conservation.
One of my very-favorite bands has taken on the cause of protecting the oceans. Pearl Jam has launched a new website and dediced their “Amongst the Waves” video to ocean awareness and advocacy. The goal of this new venture is to provide all of us with a handy resource and an avenue to get involved. I crawled around this site and was happy to find easy ways for people to really help make a difference and take action to save the oceans.
Pardon me for switching songs, but I’d like to close with a line from my favorite Pearl Jam song, Rearview Mirror…
“So it feels so much clearer, once you look in my rearview mirror.”
It’s my hope that the disaster of the Gulf Oil spill and constant “spew” is that it serves as a rearview mirror for all of us. We look in the rearview mirror and say, “Never Again!” It’s a constant reminder that we’ve gone awry and will work together to set a new, “greener” path for our future. Our oceans deserve better, future generations deserve better and we can make it right by deciding to never let it happen again.
Twenty years ago, thanks to overwhelming public support, commercial whaling was banned worldwide. But, this wonderful victory that has fostered healthier whale populations and vibrant ecosystems is in serious jeopardy. Right now, the International Whaling Commission (IWC) is meeting in Agadir, Morocco. The fate of whales, worldwide, is in the hands of a few powerful individuals. What will they decide?
For decades, countries like Japan, Norway and Iceland have boldly ignored the ban on commercial whaling, exploiting loopholes and killing about two thousand whales per year.
And, now these pro-whaling countries are on the verge of mounting a major victory. A deal, proposed by the United States and others, would actually legalize commercial whaling for the first time in twenty years! If you’re jaw has dropped to your keyboard, you’re not alone. It’s astonishing, upsetting and totally unacceptable!
Let’s go over the rationalization for this whaling deal. The United States must have a good reason for reopening commercial whaling and encouraging other nations to vote for this deal. The proposed deal would grant commercial quotas to Japan, Iceland and Norway. These quotas would allow these three countries to legally hunt whales for a 10-year period in reduced numbers. The whaling countries in return would agree to tighter oversight of their operations, including participation in a whale DNA registry.
The justification is that the “quotas” for legally whaling is lower than the actual numbers these countries are already killing illegally. In essence, the Obama Administration says whales will be saved.
But, haven’t these three nations already proven that they cannot be trusted to follow the rules? Does anyone really believe these countries are going to adhere to the quotas and no longer catch “extra” whales illegally or under the radar? And what happens in ten years, when the deal expires and countries like Korea and China want to start killing whales too?
Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice, shame on me!
More than 200 scientists and experts have called on the IWC to maintain its ban on commercial whaling to ensure the future of species depleted by industrial hunting.
They have attested that, "There is no evidence that any of the few populations and species known to be increasing have reached, or are anywhere near, the levels that might justify non-zero catch limits."
The IWC should focus on closing loopholes and actually clamping down on illegal commercial whaling instead of pandering to the “law breakers” and allowing them to derail decades of conservation efforts.
President Obama is skating on very thin ice with environmentalists these days. The Gulf is still spewing oil with no end in sight. Does he really want history books to reflect that under his presidency commercial whaling was legalized and offshore drilling continued even as the biggest oil spill in United States history dragged on for months and months?
Speak up! Send a message to President Obama urging him to protect whales and not the whalers. We have an action alert that will deliver your message directly.
If you feel like calling the White House, you can leave a message for the President at the following phone number: 202-456-1414
Join us as we take an insider look at leading supermarkets to see how they’re coping with their status as ocean destroyers. Will their support group help them realize they have a problem and begin to make improvements? Or, will they spiral further towards the bottom of the barrel? In the latest edition of Ocean Destroyers Anonymous, the group focuses on the ‘Six Steps to Recovery.’ Trader Joe’s attempts to mentor Costco and Meijer reveals a secret ‘embrace.’
Recent scientific studies have shown that 90 percent of the world’s top predatory fish have disappeared, and that unless current fishing practices change, global fish stocks will collapse by the middle of this century. Supermarkets ring up nearly $16 billion in seafood sales every year, and much of it is caught or raised unsustainably. Supermarkets have a responsibility to their customers and the environment to avoid trading in seafood from destructive fisheries and fish farms.
By encouraging supermarkets to keep red listed seafood off the shelves, the oceans can become healthier and more robust.
We deserve to purchase seafood from supermarkets that care about the condition of our oceans. The days of selling fish with no regard for the environment are over. As a consumer, you can help support seafood sustainability and ocean protection. Flex your power as a consumer. Tell the largest U.S. supermarket retailers to adopt sustainable seafood policies, stop selling destructively fished seafood, and provide informative labeling so customers, like us, can choose the most sustainable seafood and avoid the most imperiled fish.
The Tokyo Two trial has just come to end in Japan today with the prosecutor asking the judge to sentence Junichi and Toru to 18 months in jail. This would be the longest jail term for any Greenpeace activist in the organisation’s forty-year history.
Junichi sent this email out to all of our supporters for World Oceans Day.
I am happy to be able to send this message from Tokyo to you today and thank you for your support.
Greenpeace has been peacefully protesting for environmental protection for decades. What started in one man’s front room in Vancouver, before I was even born, is now a global force for good.
You’re helping to keep that history and tradition alive. But as my colleague Toru Suzuki and I know all too well, speaking up for our fragile earth can pose serious risks.
June 8th is World Oceans Day. We can celebrate the fact that we know so much more about our Blue Planet than ever before. We have sent submarines to the deepest canyons and sailed every part of the world, discovering new species and ecosystems – and how they are connected. We have seen how overfishing just one species can have devastating effects on an entire ecosystem and we understand the urgent need to protect our oceans. With your help we have been taking direct action and campaigning to save our seas.
In Japan we have been working to end whaling since our office opened 20 years ago. Japanese whaling is one of the most extreme examples of the needless waste of ocean life. Two years ago along with my colleague Toru, we took action to turn the tide on whaling here at home in Japan. And for the last two years we have paid the price for that peaceful protest. We were arrested and held without charge for 23 days – tied to chairs while we were interrogated, without our lawyers present. We have been charged with theft and trespass for taking action to secure the evidence of organized theft and embezzlement at the highest levels.
I know what I did was right. Our prosecution is political and our human rights have been abused. Despite that, and despite countless protests worldwide, Toru and I may still go to jail, for up to ten years.
We’re in court again on World Oceans Day – for the final part of our trial. So, I reach out to you, my fellow Rainbow Warrior, to make sure that your voice is heard loud and clear here in Tokyo. Please take action.
On April 20, 2010, a BP offshore oil rig exploded, killing workers on the rig and spilling tens of thousands of barrels of crude oil into the Gulf of Mexico. BP’s Deepwater Horizon oil well, located 5,000 feet below the ocean’s surface, is now leaking between 5,000 – 60,000 barrels (210, 000 – 2,520,000 gallons) of crude oil into Gulf Coast waters each day, with devastating consequences for Gulf Coast communities and the fragile wetlands, bayous, and coastal waters on which they depend.
We’ve put together a timeline dating back to July 2007 when the Department of Interior released a report finding that there is a history of accidents, fires and even deaths at offshore oil drilling projects.
It’s time for history to stop repeating itself. Let’s put an end to this sort of diaster so that our future will be safer. Take action and tell Congress that the time for action is now. Congress must put a ban on new offshore drilling that prevents this threat from spreading to other areas of the country.
The Deepwater Horizon accident continues to spill millions of gallons of oil into the Gulf of Mexico. Echoing the sentiment of concernced people all across America, Greenpeace activists delivered a strong message to Congress, “Choose a clean energy future now.”
The disaster in the Gulf is a tragic reminder of the impacts of America’s addiction to dirty and dangerous sources of energy like oil, and it must serve as a wake up call to Congress of the urgent need to immediately stop plans for any new offshore oil drilling.
The oil industry’s stranglehold on our energy policy has protected oil company profits while sacrificing our health, local economies, and our environment. It’s past time for Congress to shut out the polluter lobbyists and urgently move us toward clean, renewable energy.
How much oil is flowing into the Gulf of Mexico from this disastrous oil spill? Our new counter will keep tabs as the oil continues to flow…
In the fourth edition of Greenpeace’s seafood sustainability scorecard, Carting Away the Oceans, we are noticing a trend emerging among the largest US seafood retailers. It’s becoming clear that several supermarkets—such as Wegmans, Target, and Whole Foods—are deeply invested in making better decisions and providing safer, more sustainable seafood options for their customers.
At the same time, there are many supermarkets that haven’t taken any responsibility for the seafood they sell, or for the damage they are doing to our oceans—such as H.E.B., Meijer, Costco, SUPERVALU, Publix, and Winn Dixie.
Join us as we take an insider look at these supermarkets to see how they are coping with their status as ocean destroyers. Will their support group help them realize they have a problem and begin to make improvements? Or, will they spiral further towards the bottom of the barrel?
In the 40 years since our first Earth Day, we’ve come a long way in understanding our environment and how our activities affect its health and wellbeing. We’ve passed laws, changed our habits and vowed to do better for the sake of future generations.
This Earth Day, I pose a challenge to you—go out of your way to save the environment in your daily lives. I’m sure you’re a dynamo at bringing canvas bags to the supermarket, taking public transportation as much as you can and only using compact fluorescent light bulbs in your lamps—but what else can you do?
It’s not enough to do “the easy” stuff to save the environment. Challenge yourself to do more this Earth Day. Think of all those “green tips” you’ve seen on websites or heard your friends talking about. Grab onto two or three new ways to save the planet and make them a reality in your life. Then, once you’ve perfected those—get moving onto more—and so on and so on! Keep learning about the world around you and don’t be afraid to dig deeper to find out the truth when you think there’s more to the story.
This is the only planet we have, let’s treat it right so future generations will have clean air to breath, fresh water to drink and biodiversity to discover.
I wonder what President Obama has against the oceans? Does he hate the saltwater? Maybe the thought of seaweed getting caught between his toes is too much to bear.
President Obama announced in March that he would allow exploration and drilling in 167 million acres of coastal waters that have been protected for decades. And, now President Obama’s Administration is championing a deal with with the International Whaling Commission that would re-open commercial whaling for the first time in over two decades. I’m shocked!
Millions of Americans love whales, me being one of them! Tell President Obama that this is outrageous! Commercial whaling is cruel and unacceptable.
Since Junichi and Toru were arrested in 2008 for exposing a scandal that rocked the Japanese whaling industry – over half a million calls for justice have been made in support of their actions.
After Junichi and Toru were arrested – nearly 300,000 of you called for their immediate release and demanded that the official investigation, into the corruption they exposed, be re-opened. 85,000 of you even went so far as to demand the Japanese government arrest you too for assisting Junichi and Toru in opposing the scandal and corruption of Japan’s whaling program in the Southern Ocean. You told Japan that if they are going to start rounding up political prisoners for the crime of defending whales – that they will need to arrest a great many people around the world!
And earlier this year we launched the "Whale Trial Pledge" – which has been signed by 200,000 of you as "co-defendants." In addition to calling for a fair trial – you asked again for the official investigation to be re-opened.
Today – as the Japanese whaling factory ship, the Nisshin Maru, returned from hunting whales in the Southern Ocean – all of these pledges were submitted to the Public Inquest Committee (PIC) in Japan. They were filed along with our request for the Japanese government to re-open its investigation into the whale industry’s corruption which our activists Junichi and Toru worked so hard and risked so much to expose.
We’re highlighting both the ongoing scandal of Japan’s whale hunt in an internationally recognized whale sanctuary and the international community’s failure to deal with Japan’s unscrupulous behavior at the International Whaling Commission.
We’re hoping the Japanese Government will hear the sound of over half a million global voices loud and clear! Junichi handed over all the names of people who signed the Whale Trial Pledge today to show the PIC that it’s not just a small group of activists in Japan who are calling for the re-opening of the whale meat investigation – it’s a whole lot more!