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Endangered Species Condoms

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No. 41, April 18, 2014

In This Issue:

Reclaiming Earth Day: Putting Population Back on the Table
Condoms With a Cause
Legal Action to Save Pacific Bluefin Tuna
Uncle Sam's Dirty Little Secret -- Take Action
Driving Around the Earth 2,000 Times

Reclaiming Earth Day: Putting Population Back on the Table

It's easy to be cynical about April 22 when you see Earth Day festivals sponsored by car companies and big box stores holding sales on yard accessories and mass-produced "green" products. But Earth Day wasn't skewed toward just buying better products. We want to return it to its roots.

EarthOn the first Earth Day in 1970, one of the biggest concerns of activists, student protesters and Earth Day founder Sen. Gaylord Nelson (D-Wis.) was human population growth and what it was doing to the planet. Forty-four years later, there are 3.5 billion more people in the world (almost twice as many as that first Earth Day); our appetite for energy, land and meat has skyrocketed; and the discussion of our runaway population growth and overconsumption has all but disappeared from the environmental movement.

The Center for Biological Diversity is reclaiming Earth Day by celebrating its 44th anniversary with 44,000 free Endangered Species Condoms sent to cities and festivals across the country. More than 500 volunteers in 50 states will be spending the next week bringing population and the extinction crisis back into the Earth Day conversation.

Want to get involved? Check out our Earth Day toolkit for tips and downloadable materials to help you get people talking about the planet's biggest issues: population and overconsumption.

Condoms With a Cause

Panther Endangered Species CondomsSince 2009 the Center has given away more than half a million Endangered Species Condoms to highlight the link between human population growth and the plight of species like panthers and dwarf seahorses -- and also to directly encourage the use of contraception to prevent unintended pregnancies.

With nearly half of all pregnancies in the United States unintended and studies showing that the more people talk about contraception the more likely they are to use it, we're big fans of condoms that get people thinking about birth control and their family-planning choices in new ways. We're not the only ones, either: Grist recently wrote about the new trend in socially conscious condoms that encourage folks to be conscientious in their sex lives.

In addition to our Endangered Species Condoms, the article mentions newcomers to the field like Sustain Condoms, which are fair trade and nontoxic, and L. International, which distributes condoms to communities in Africa to help address the unmet need for modern contraception there.

Read more about socially conscious condoms in Grist.

Legal Action to Save Pacific Bluefin Tuna

Bluefin tunaPacific bluefin tuna are magnificent fish, capable of growing 9 feet long and swimming 50 miles per hour. But they're also a symbol of our tragic overconsumption of ocean resources. Since large-scale fishing began, their numbers have dropped 96 percent. Many of the fish are picked off before they reach adulthood, but fisheries managers continue to refuse to protect them from extinction.

The Pacific Fishery Management Council was recently supposed to recommend new rules for managing Pacific bluefin -- but the council declined. So the Center filed a legal petition with the National Marine Fisheries Service to ban fishing for Pacific bluefin tuna along the West Coast. We're calling for these tuna to be added to a list of imperiled species that must be released immediately if they're caught.

"Despite the bluefin tuna's great speed and deep-diving, it can't escape the world's insatiable appetite for sushi," said Center Attorney Catherine Kilduff. "Saving Pacific bluefin tuna requires drastic action at all levels, starting by protecting them in their feeding grounds off California and Mexico."

Learn more in our press release, then join the Bluefin Boycott.

Uncle Sam's Dirty Little Secret -- Take Action

Coal power plantMost people don't love tax time. Here's one more reason to grumble: Uncle Sam gives billions of dollars of taxpayer money to giant dirty-energy companies. These unfair government payments to some of the world's largest corporations make oil and coal cheaper, giving them an unfair advantage over clean, renewable power sources.

It's particularly galling to consider the taxes you just paid might be used to line Dirty Energy's pockets and fund climate change when, this same week, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change released its report on the increasing challenges to mitigating climate change.

What are the main causes of emissions? According to the IPCC, "Globally, economic and population growth continue to be the most important drivers of increases in CO2 emissions from fossil fuel combustion." Energy consumption has risen sharply over the past decade, and both consumption and population growth have outpaced efforts to reduce emissions -- a trend that the IPCC predicts will continue if additional action isn't taken to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

While the IPCC doesn't offer specific recommendations for action, we'd recommend starting with putting a stop to dirty-energy tax breaks and investing in sustainable energy policy.

Sign the petition to end tax breaks for oil and coal.

Driving Around the Earth 2,000 Times

Road tripLast month we asked you to start a journey with us to save more wildlife by eating less meat. Where has this roadtrip taken us so far? Virtually, we've traveled around the country, with news coverage from NPR to Shape magazine and countless conversations on social media.

Thousands of people have already signed the Earth-friendly Diet pledge to reduce their meat consumption by one-third, two-thirds or by adopting a meatless diet. If everyone who signed the pledge reaches their goal (and we'll continue providing resources to help you get there), a year from now, we will have collectively saved billions of gallons of water and thousands of acres of land. The emissions reduced by the Earth-friendly Diet community will be the transportation equivalent of not driving around the Earth about 2,000 times. That's one epic roadtrip not taken.

And the greenhouse gas savings can't come too soon. A new study released by researchers at Chalmers University of Technology in Sweden shows that rising meat and dairy consumption will make it nearly impossible to meet international goals for curbing climate change. The study shows that cutting meat and dairy consumption is key to bringing climate pollution down to safe levels.

Read more about the study and take the Earth-friendly Diet pledge.

Until next time,

Stephanie Feldstein

Stephanie Feldstein
Population and Sustainability Director

P.S. For more population and sustainability news, join us on Facebook and Twitter.

Center for Biological Diversity | P.O. Box 710, Tucson, AZ 85702-0710

This is an unmonitored email address; please do not reply. To sign up for Endangered Species Condoms, click here. If you'd like more information on the Center's human population campaign, visit our website. To make a donation, click here. Specific population-related questions can be directed to population@biologicaldiversity.org. Please allow a few days for a response. To stop receiving Pop X, click here.

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Photo credits: Endangered Species Condoms photo courtesy Center for Biological Diversity, design by Lori Lieber, artwork by Roger Peet © 2012; Earth courtesy Wikimedia Commons/NASA; panther Endangered Species Condoms courtesy Flickr/AIDS/SIDA NB; bluefin tuna courtesy Flickr/Aziz T. Saltik; coal power plant courtesy Flickr/davipt; road trip courtesy Flickr/Nicholas A. Tonelli.