A Strategy for Food Security
From Stephanie Feldstein, Population and Sustainability Program Director
The Biden administration’s new strategy on hunger, nutrition and health proposes several steps in the right direction, including universal school meals and increased plant-based options in federal facilities. And while it acknowledges the connection between food and climate, the only recommended action is further research. With less than a decade to slash greenhouse gas emissions, we must act on what we already know: The food system contributes a third of global emissions, with at least half coming from meat and dairy production and consumption. And climate change is disrupting agriculture as we know it.
Climate chaos is a threat to food and nutrition security. That’s why the Center for Biological Diversity released a list of 10 executive actions the Biden administration can take to advance a just, sustainable food system. As the White House begins to put its strategy in motion, we’ll hold it accountable to addressing the food and climate crises.
Read on for the latest about simplifying the holidays, climate-smart agriculture and reproductive rights.
After nearly 50 years of efforts to protect snail darters — including a famed U.S. Supreme Court case over the construction of a controversial dam — these small snail-eating fish have been declared no longer in danger of extinction.
Learn to Simplify the Holidays
Winter holidays are right around the corner, bringing a flurry of consumerism along with them. Americans generate 23% more waste in December than in other months of the year. And all the fossil fuels, trees and other natural resources that go into producing unnecessary plastic toys, novelty gifts and wrapping paper make the winter holidays dreary for wildlife and the habitat they need to survive.
Take our pledge to simplify the holidays. We’ll help you stick to it by emailing you resources on how to ask for — and give — creative, alternative gifts that will make the upcoming holiday celebrations less about stuff and more about fun.
Then join us for a free webinar on Tuesday, Nov. 1, at 9 a.m. PT / noon ET to learn tips, tricks and hacks for a low-waste holiday season that’s less stressful for you and the planet. Register today.
8 Billion Reasons to Talk About Population — Register Now
Next month, the world population is projected to reach 8 billion people. As we approach that milestone, there’s no denying that our rapidly growing human population places extraordinary pressure on the environment. Despite clear scientific evidence of the damage done by population growth, the issue’s complicated intersections with racism, injustice and capitalism can make it hard to tackle and even harder to talk about. By understanding the sensitivities surrounding the topic, we can more effectively advocate for the rights-based solutions we need.
Join us on Monday, Nov. 14, at 10 a.m. PT / 1 p.m. ET for a webinar discussing how to bring anti-racism and reproductive justice into population conversations. Register now.
USDA’s Corporate Climate Handout
When the Biden administration announced it would triple expected funding for the Partnerships for the Climate-Smart Commodities Program, it seemed like it was finally ready to take agricultural emissions seriously. But a closer look raises questions about whether the plan will truly fight climate change or if it’s just a ruse to line the pockets of Big Ag.
A total of $1.8 billion — the same amount as the program’s increase over its initial $1 billion budget — is earmarked for corporate polluters, including $90 million to Archer Daniels Midland and $60 million to Tyson Foods. The Center filed a filed a Freedom of Information Act request for records of communications between the USDA and meat and dairy industry representatives about the massive funding increase. Read Senior Food Campaigner Jennifer Molidor’s analysis of the climate-smart funding program.
How to Fight for Abortion Rights
Since the Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade, abortion bans are being fast-tracked from coast to coast. As a result, at least 66 clinics across 15 states have already stopped offering abortion care. It can be challenging to keep up as state and federal legislators reshape the landscape of reproductive rights in the United States, but there are ways you can help.
Population and Sustainability Campaigner Kelley Dennings writes about why reproductive justice is environmental justice, and how environmentalists can stand up for abortion rights. Read her op-ed in Earth911 to learn how you can take action.
With school back in session, it seems like some things haven’t changed much over the years. Unfortunately, one of those things is sex education. In fact, students today are less likely to receive instruction on key sex-ed topics than they were 25 years ago. Sex ed is only required in 32 states and the District of Columbia — and only 18 states require that their sex-ed curriculum is medically accurate. Considering this is a subject that affects everyone, it’s long past time to update the lesson plans.
Sarah Baillie, population and sustainability organizer for the Center, interviewed students and experts about their sex-ed experiences and how they envision a better future for educating young people about their bodies. They discussed the need for inclusive classrooms, addressing the positive side of sex, and making the connection between sexual and planetary health. Read about the interviews in Ms. magazine.
Wildlife Spotlight: Tricolored Bats
Tricolored bats are one of the smallest bat species in North America. They weigh less than a sheet of paper and hibernate longer than many other species, but each of these tiny bats eats up to a million insects per year. Tricolored bats often return to the same caves each year to hibernate and rely on lush old-growth forests for roosting and foraging. Like other bat species, millions of tricolored bats have been killed by white-nose syndrome.
In response to Center legal action, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service proposed Endangered Species Act protections for tricolored bats. But even though the agency identified habitat loss and climate change as key threats, it failed to designate any critical habitat for the animals.
You can help: Take action to protect these tiny bats’ habitat.