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Congress Should Ban Brazilian Products Linked to the Amazon Wildfires

October 15, 2019
Burning for meat: This NASA satellite image shows numerous wildfires burning across the Amazon rainforest on August 11, 2019. The space agency began to detect heightened fire activity in the region in July. (Photo credit: NASA)

Mercy for Animals: The Amazon rainforest is burning. A cloud of smoke covered São Paulo, Brazil, shrouding the city in darkness for a day. What’s driving the rapid increase in fires? Experts point to the clearing of forest for farmland to raise cattle and grow soybeans to feed farmed animals. The Amazon is the largest rainforest in the world and helps buffer against global warming by absorbing carbon dioxide—2 billion tons of it per year, holding a total of around 150–200 billion tons of carbon. When they burn, trees and plants release stored carbon. Destroying large blocks of rainforest accelerates climate change by releasing massive amounts of carbon into the atmosphere. The entire world will feel the effects of these fires, and we are all culpable for the destruction they cause. The United States is Brazil’s third-largest export market. In response to the fires, lawmakers in Congress recently introduced H.R. 4263, the Act for the Amazon Act, federal legislation calling for a prohibition on importing certain Brazilian products from industries linked to the fires.
>>>Urge your representative to cosponsor H.R. 4263.

NRDC: Are you flushing Canada’s boreal forest, one of Earth’s greatest defenses against climate change, down the toilet? The majestic forest stores huge amounts of our climate-busting carbon pollution, but it’s being cut at a dizzying rate—much of it for toilet paper. Toilet paper brand Charmin uses absolutely no recycled paper in its toilet paper—just 100 percent virgin forest fiber from the boreal forest. This destroys its trees, hurts the livelihood of hundreds of Indigenous communities, and threatens the iconic boreal caribou, billions of songbirds, and other wildlife who call this ancient forest home.
>>>Tell Procter & Gamble to make Charmin planet-safe.

Compassion Over Killing: An undercover investigation at Cooke Aquaculture, an industrial Atlantic salmon hatchery in Bingham, Maine, that supplies to Martha Stewart’s new True North Seafood line, has revealed putrid conditions breeding disease and parasites, intensive crowding, and widespread cruelty to fish. The plight of fish often goes unseen and unheard, but this new exposé brings to light the dire lack of protection for millions of animals raised for food. Just as billions of land animals suffer inside factory farms, so too do farmed fish. And like land animals, fish have the ability to suffer and feel pain.
>>>Tell Martha Stewart to cut ties with Cooke Aquaculture.

Cause for concern…

Rivers in retreat: A new study has found that groundwater pumping is depleting rivers and streams across the world, threatening water systems already stressed by global warming and overuse. The flow of the Colorado River (above, seen in Lake Powell, Utah) could be decreased by up to 20 percent by 2050 due to climate change alone. (Photo credit: Fred Moore/Flickr)

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Round of applause…

Putting a cap on it: California has passed a law that protects public land from Trump’s oil and gas development plans. The law, signed by Governor Gavin Newsom on Saturday, sends a “clear message to Trump that we will fight to protect these beautiful lands for current and future generations,” said Democratic Assemblyman Al Muratsuchi, who introduced it. (Photo credit: California Water Boards)

Parting thought…

“We are no better or more evolved than any other living being.” —Ricky Gervais

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