Environment

Today, the world’s top scientists published a devastating report on the impacts of climate change. Climate change is already making it harder for millions to feed their families. Wild weather and unpredictable seasons are causing chaos for farmers. Food prices are going up. Food quality is going down. Oxfam calculates climate change could put the fight against hunger back by decades. If we continue to let greenhouse gas emissions and temperatures rise we will hit a threshold – in our own lifetimes - beyond which the chance of ending hunger worldwide may be lost forever. We will not stand by and watch this happen. People all over the world are doing their bit to tackle climate change. Now governments and big business need to step up and play their part: reducing harmful...
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Dear Mr. Jelinek, I’m writing on behalf of my friends at Farm Sanctuary and animal protection supporters across the country to ask that you stop selling eggs from hens confined in tiny cages. I join Ryan Gosling, Bill Maher, and countless others in urging Costco to sell exclusively cage-free eggs. Nearly a decade ago, Costco indicated that its next step on this issue would be creating a timeline for getting those cages out of your egg supply, and yet today, you appear to have made no progress at all—even as you have set timelines for getting pigs and calves out of cages. As you know, these birds producing eggs for your shelves are crammed five or more into cages that are not large enough for even one hen to spread her wings. In these cruel cages, the animals’ muscles and bones...
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Dear George, I am a long-standing fan and an admirer of the stances you have adopted on many key environmental issues, so I hope you won't mind if I take public issue with you on some of the points that you made in your recent Guardian article about Allan Savory and his advocacy of holistic grazing management systems. I should first declare my various interests: I am a farmer of ruminants myself, with 85 Ayrshire milking cows, plus their various offspring on my mainly, but not exclusively, grassland farm in West Wales, (which you visited very briefly back in 2007); I have a long-standing interest and engagement with developing improved systems of pasture management, although none of these experiments have been monitored; and, while you were in...
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Dear Mr. Gore and Mr. Wall, I'm writing to ask you to do the one thing that will do the most good for the planet and the majority of its inhabitants: not serve meat or dairy products at Live Earth 2015. I don't mean offering a vegan option, I mean not serving animal products at all. Otherwise, the event will make no sense – it'll be "greenwashing." Serving meat and dairy products at an event to combat Climate Change is like selling pistols at a gun-control rally. Your responsibility is to alert people to a crisis, not sell out to the vendors responsible for it. Not only is it possible for venues to provide a 100 percent meat-free menu – as is done now at every concert venue in which I perform, including Madison Square Garden, where I have a show at the end of June – it's...
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Dear President Dunn, My coccyx hurts. Normally this isn’t how you begin a letter, complaining about a pain in the rear, but it is because of this pain that I feel compelled to write this to you. The controversy surrounding the student consensus of “we should have had a snow day,” on Tuesday Jan. 28 is in the past. Nevertheless, it is an experience that transcends to today’s incident involving my coccyx. Yesterday, WMU News issued a cold weather warning advising students to take appropriate precautions (such as wearing suitable clothing) and to use the Bronco Transit and Kalamazoo Metro Transit system. Taking this advice I wore two pairs of gloves, and several other layers as I made the four block walk to the bus stop. There, I waited for over half an hour while wind and blowing snow...
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Dearest New York City, Do you like roller coasters? I do. Love ’em, actually. So much so that I’m willing to withstand wait times that are well over an hour just for a thrill that’ll only last for two minutes at best. But you’ve been taking me and the rest of New York for a ride as of late, one that I definitely did not sign up for. Nope, I am not here for this roller coaster weather. Not. One. Bit. It was all good just a week ago. The high was at around smooth 60 degrees, the sun was beaming, and so too was the smile on my face, because for what seemed like the first time in a while, I could walk out of the house without a scarf and/or gloves. Ahhh. Life was great. Cut to this past weekend: 70 degrees. Finally, weather worth shaving my legs for. And that I did. It seemed like it was...
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Dear Weather Channel, It’s me again. I had spoken out back in March about your long-form programming choices, integration of seemingly-unrelated NBC news into your weather products, and naming of winter storms. I don’t need to beat that dead horse. But now I’d like to ask you to listen to your audience just a little. It’s apparent when you’re asking for more money for DirecTV to air your network that you’re living in a dream world. It seems to me that with all the media rhetoric about your programming choices and naming of winter storms, you’d get the hint: The public wants The Weather Channel to show…wait for it…wait for it…the weather. I understand that it’s expensive to do that. And that advertisers are resistant to offering you money on a gamble that their purported...
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Dear Nigel, I was concerned for you on the news the other night. I’ve never seen you looking uncomfortable in front of the camera before. Answering questions about climate change with water all around you left you short of breath and a bit panicky, I thought. A pint in your hand would have helped settle the nerves. I’ll buy you one – it would give me a chance to talk through a couple of things (I’m with you on the straight glass thing by the way). You said to the journalist: “I have no idea whether CO2 emissions are contributing to climate change.” Well, I’m an academic at the Open University, a social scientist working with climate scientists and technology specialists, so I can help you with that one. In the mid 1980s it was agreed by governments and the top science...
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Dear weather, On behalf of all the students at this university (and other schools in the area), I would like to thank you for the recent snow days you have provided us. Your fluffy white excuse to stay home from classes was a blessing to all. For those who have been struggling to find time for friends, these two days off were just what the doctor ordered: time to catch up and enjoy one another’s company over a hot chocolate or an Irish coffee, time to plop down on the couch and watch a nostalgic movie. These snow day memories will always be cherished; they help complete the college experience. Two days off allowed for stress-free studying for those of us behind on our homework. Just when readings and assignments began to pile up, you threw a wrench into class schedules and cut us all a...
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Dear Premier Wynne, I’m writing to you on Earth Day to request that your government take action to protect the places we love in Ontario. Specifically, I’m requesting that tomorrow’s budget reverse cutbacks to the Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry and the Ministry of Environment and Climate Change. These two Ministries are responsible for protecting our natural heritage and environment while managing our valuable natural resources. Although we live in a more complex world with increasing demands and threats to our environment and natural resources, these Ministries receive less funding today than in 1992. As a matter of fact, according to the Environment Commissioner of Ontario (ECO), Ontario consistently spends less on environmental protection and natural resource...
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