Center for Biological Diversity
Pop X
No. 61, Dec. 19, 2015
What Didn't Happen in Paris

The international climate talks in Paris captured the attention of world leaders, the media, activists and the public, spurring serious conversation about the climate and what it will take to avert a worst-case climate crisis. What Paris didn't capture, unfortunately, was the strong, just and binding treaty that's needed to protect the planet's most vulnerable people, and our web of life, from climate chaos.

It's up to us to make sure that the Paris talks don't wind up being just talk. We need to hold our government to its international climate promises -- and urge it to do much more. That means keeping fossil fuels in the ground, banning fracking and getting to 100 percent renewable energy by 2050. It also means tackling the issues that weren't center stage in Paris: increasing resiliency through universal access to reproductive healthcare, education and gender equality, and decreasing dietary emissions by promoting sustainable food systems and lower meat and dairy consumption.

Paris showed the incredible -- and growing -- power of a movement that's demanding climate justice. That movement will keep getting stronger. Thanks for being part of it.

For the wild,
Stephanie Feldstein Stephanie Feldstein
Population and Sustainability Director
P.S. Today's world population is: 7,390,549,722. We can still save room for wildlife -- spread the word and share the newsletter below.

Don't Be a Drip: Save Water for Wildlife

Water hogDespite all the drought headlines, most of the biggest "water hog" counties in the country are in our thirstiest regions. While the majority of overall water use goes toward industry and agriculture (particularly raising livestock and feed crops), more than 27 billion gallons of water drip through U.S. households every single day. Much of that residential water is wasted through unnecessary and inefficient lawn care and poorly maintained plumbing, and it's easy to forget that the water pouring from our faucets is a limited resource that we share with numerous other species, from Salt Creek tiger beetles to sandhill cranes.

"Don't Be a Drip" -- our latest education campaign, created in partnership with Levi Strauss & Co. -- aims to encourage household water conservation by highlighting the nation's top water-hogging counties and common activities around the house that may waste more water than you realize. Check out our new website to see how your state ranks in average household water use, and share our new infographic and social media badges to show off how you save water for wildlife.

 
 
Squirrel Indecision
#InviteWildlife to the Holidays

The overconsumption and waste between Thanksgiving and New Year's creates an environmental footprint that would back up the Grinch in his crusade against Christmas. And it's not entirely about shopping, either -- this is also the busiest time of year for getting busy, with more babies conceived during the holidays than any other time of year. That's why, in addition to giving away 40,000 Endangered Species Condoms for year's end, we're asking people to #InviteWildlife to the holidays by choosing to consume less, celebrate nature, eat sustainably and use contraception. Follow the #InviteWildlife hashtag on social media to share our images and post your own wildlife-friendly traditions.

The "Both-and" Approach

The Guardian is the latest major media outlet to present human population growth and overconsumption -- in this case, specifically meat consumption -- as issues that demand an "either-or" approach. This false dichotomy -- the idea that we have to choose whether population or consumption is more important to act on -- is one I've written about before; the reality is that these issues are intricately tied together and we can, and must, address the full picture of human population, consumption and production. Read my letter to the editor, co-authored with Joe Bish from the Population Media Center, about why a sustainable future demands a "both-and" approach.

 
Stop Holiday Plastic Bag Waste -- Sign the Petition
Plastic bag Green sea turtle

Thousands of times a day this holiday season, Target will send shoppers home with single-use plastic bags that end up in landfills or polluting our oceans.

Plastic bags are particularly dangerous for marine life and seabirds, often mistaken for food and contributing to more than a million deaths caused by plastic pollution each year.

Tell Target, a leading retailer that gives away a billion plastic bags a year, to step up for wildlife and eliminate single-use plastic bags from its stores.

 
 
Raising an Environmentalist: An Interview With Tom Toro

CartoonTom Toro is a cartoonist for The New Yorker, with more than 140 cartoons published by the magazine since 2010. He's also a new father who's concerned about what the planet will look like in his son's future. "My greatest concern is that unchecked population growth and depletion of the Earth's natural resources will lead to a desolate planet ... where all the wonder and mystery and diversity of nature has been erased and there's no place left to step off the concrete and stand in awe of all creation. I can't imagine a worse home for our species than one in which we live alone."

Tom's love of nature and awareness of unsustainable overconsumption started when he was growing up in Northern California. "It's possible to see the entire Bay Area spread out like an enormous butterfly wing: the glittering metropolis of San Francisco and the hazy skyline of Oakland mingling with expanses of ocean and forest, and right at the center of it the Golden Gate Bridge suspended amidst fog like a fulcrum holding city and nature in tenuous balance." Now, as a prolific visual artist and writer, he uses his art to focus his own thoughts and feelings and draw attention to issues, including population and sustainability, in an amusing and evocative way. Read my interview with Tom and share the new cartoon he created for the Center.
 
Photo credits: Stephanie Feldstein staff photo; water hog graphic by Shawn DiCriscio; squirrel courtesy Flickr/Petful; indecision photo courtesy Flickr/Madame Psychosis; plastic bag courtesy Flickr/Daniel Oines; green sea turtle courtesy Flickr/swiftjetsum626; Target store courtesy Flickr/Sanford Kearns; cartoon by Tom Toro, created for the Center for Biological Diversity.
 

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