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April 17, 2010

WYCD #18 - Become an Activist

What You Can Do #18 - Become an Activist.

Becoming an activist is as easy as 1. click, 2. type, 3. send.  For example:
  • 1-2-3: Tell Congress to oppose efforts to weaken the clean air act.
  • 1-2-3: Ask your representative to cosponsor the Multinational Species Conservation Funds Semipostal Stamp Act.
  • 1-2-3: Help tighten regulations to protect captive tigers and prevent increased demand for tiger products that put wild populations at risk.
  • see the rest.
Join WWF's Conservation Action Network and they'll send you email action alerts on breaking issues and let you send free personalized messages to policy makers.  You can track which actions you've taken and learn about your victories. 

Why should I become an activist?

Our living planet needs your help.  By participating you will be playing an important role in protecting the Earth from the enormous threats it faces.  Decisions made today will have far reaching effects on which plants and animals survive into the future.  Yet decision makers are not hearing enough voices calling for protection of the natural systems on which all life depends.  As a result, important laws and programs are at risk.  And not enough consumers are using their enormous power to reduce environmental impact and change business behaviors. 

How does it work?

Review the list of current campaigns and click on the ones that interest and inspire you.  You'll be given backround information about the issue and why your help is needed.  With your authorization, the Conservation Action Network will send emails or faxes on your behalf to decision makers at no cost to you.  But the most effective, and you're encouraged to do it this way also, is to edit/personalize the original letter and mail it.  Emails are sent all the time and officials are overrun with them, leaving most of them unread.  They show more respect and attention to a cause where someone took the time (and the cost of postage)  to deliver their message.  However, sometimes time is of the essence and needs to be delivered via email or fax.  And, not all government officials ignore emails.  For example, South Carolina's Senator Lindsey Graham always responds to my emails... and I don't even live there. 

Some of the most recent major victories:
  • Sumatran elephant and tiger habitat protected - The government of Indonesia commited to more than double the size of Sumatra's Tesso Nilo National Park, one of the last havens for endangered Sumatran elephants and critically endangered Sumatran tigers.
  • Clean energy tax incentives extended - Congress extended tax incentives that encourage individuals and businesses to install renewable energy systems and build energy-efficient buildings, which will help slow climate change.
  • Illegal logging ban enacted - The United States became the first country in the world to prohibit the import and sale of illegally-sourced wood and wood products.  Orangutans, Siberian tigers, and many other species around the globe that depend on forest habitat will benefit from this legislation. 
  • see the rest.
Decisions made today will have far-reaching effects on which plants and animals survive into the future.

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