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  • Tell Congress Not to Sell Our Wilderness to the Highest Bidder

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    GOAL: 2,832 signatures

    For every 1000 signatures, NationofChange will send a letter to Congress asking them to block any legislation that would allow for America’s shared public lands to be eligible to be sold.

    [Update: We have surpassed 2,000 signatures! NationofChange is sending a letter to Congress with your signatures attached, asking them not to sell our wilderness. We will continue to send letters for every 1000 signatures.]

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    New findings have shown catastrophic declines in Earth’s wilderness over the last 20 years.

    Researchers reporting in the journal “Current Biology” have presented new findings that show an area twice the size of Alaska and half the pie of the Amazon has disappeared from Earth’s wilderness since the 1990s. This is equal to about 10% of global wilderness.

    As Dr. James Watson of the University of Queensland in Australia states, “Without any policies to protect these areas, they are falling victim to widespread development. International policy mechanisms must recognize the actions needed to maintain wilderness areas before it is too late. We probably have one to two decades to turn this around.”

    Although there has been efforts to preserve the loss of specific species, there are few policies that actually deal with large-scale lose of entire ecosystems and wilderness areas that haven’t been studied heavily.

    Dr. Watson says that “If we don’t act soon, there will only be tiny remnants of wilderness around the planet, and this is a disaster for conservation, for climate change and for some of the most vulnerable human communities on the planet.”

    In the United States wilderness areas have been given to states to do with what they want. Many times this means that our recreation lands are sold to mining, oil and gas and other development - in other words the “highest bidder.”

    We must take action before this gets further out of hand. Tell Congress that you do not support legislation that will allow America’s shared public lands to be sold to the highest bidder.

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  • End Dark Money: Tell the FEC to Require the Disclosure of Secret Donors During Political Campaigns

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    GOAL: 1,337 signatures

    WATCH THE VIDEO

    It's no secret that dark money is taking over our elections. And the result: "America's government is bought."

    With corruption seeded in Watergate, it grew to take over the next generation with McCain-Feingold and eventually led to the Supreme Court's decision—limiting campaign spending violated the First Amendment—in 2010, according to National Journal.

    "You shouldn't have to buy access to your own government." —Represent.Us

    Five years after the Supreme Court's decision in the Citizen's United case changed the landscape for money in politics, we are faced with the worst—our leaders are answering to lobbyists and special-interest groups rather than we, the people. From buying access to and influence over Democratic and Republican candidates' campaigns with little transparency to reaping the benefits when it's all said and done, dark money has "perverted" the election process and changed our political system. 

    Now more than ever, American's have little confidence in their government. And 2016 is set to be the next big wave of dark money as the Koch brothers "pledged" to spend nearly $889 million in the upcoming presidential election.

    It's time, as Americans citizens, to fight back and "put the power back in the hands of the people." 

    We must demand greater transparency and accountability. Many leaders claim to back an "open and honest government," now it's time we hold them to it. Let's get money out of politics and force people to vote their conscience.

    Tell the FEC to write a new set of rules that better fit with the time and require the disclosure of secret donors during political campaigns—it's time we get money out of politics.

     

     

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  • Fight Pollinator Decline: Tell the EPA to Save the Bees

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    GOAL: 4,826 signatures

    For every 1,000 signatures, NationofChange will send a letter to the EPA demanding it "blocks the increased use of thiamethoxam and sulfoxaflor and get all neonicotinoids out of U.S. agriculture as soon as possible."

    [Update: 12/11/2016: We have reached over 4,000 signatures! We have sent a letter to the EPA. NationofChange will send a letter for each 1,000 signatures we raise.] 

    Pollinating insects and animals are vital to the world. Not only do bees, birds, butterflies, bats, beetles and many other such pollinators support the ecosystem, they provide healthy watershed and maintain terrestrial productivity.

    Yet pollinators are in a state of decline, especially the bee, which puts human life in danger, threatens global food webs and concerns the integrity of biodiversity. And the EPA is doing nothing to save the bees and stop companies, such as Bayer, Monsanto, Dow and Syngenta, from increasing the use of pesticides on crops that rely on pollination. 

    There is a great deal of evidence that uncovers the dangers of genetically modified crops, which release Bt toxins, require increased pesticide use and demand neonicotinoid seed treatment, to both bees and human. But the EPA is letting biotech companies get away with murder.

    While more people are becoming aware of the decrease of bees and are concerned about the link between GMOs and toxic pesticides in the environment, it is time we stand up to the EPA and demand it "blocks the increased use of thiamethoxam and sulfoxaflor and get all neonicotinoids out of U.S. agriculture as soon as possible."

    We must take down the companies that are contributing to the pollinator decline and help save the bees.

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  • Raise the Federal Minimum Wage for Tipped Workers

    Raise the Federal Minimum Wage

    GOAL: 1,228 signatures

    For everyone 1,000 signatures, NationofChange will send a letter to the Department of Labor demanding a raise for the federal minimum wage for tipped employees.

    [Update 1/25/17: We are sending the first letter to the Department of Labor with 1,000+ of your signatures. We will continue to send letters every 1,000 signatures. Thank you!]

    Tell the Department of Labor to Raise the Federal Minimum Wage for Tipped Employees

    While other federal minimum wages have increased throughout the years, the minimum wage for tipped employees remains the same.

    Since 1991, the federal minimum wage for tipped employees is $2.13 per hour, according to the Department of Labor.  While servers struggle to make ends meet earning poverty-level wages, discrimination and inequality continue to plague the restaurant industry. 

    The Department of Labor justifies the minimum hourly wage with tips claiming that servers will make up the difference in their wage to that of the current federal minimum wage. And the National Restaurant Association is doing nothing to support the tipped employees; instead the association is reaping the benefits.

    With more than 13 million restaurant workers in the U.S., most tipped employees are living below the poverty line while the National Restaurant Association is pocketing around $660 billion in revenue.

    Employment in food services has been growing at a much faster rate than employment in general and the restaurant industry has continued hiring despite the recession.

    Let’s get with the times and make a change – tell the DOL to raise wages for tipped employees!

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  • Sea Turtles: Stop the Illegal Poaching in Mexico

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    GOAL: 7,968 signatures

    For every 1,000 signatures, NationofChange will send a letter to Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto, demanding that Mexico promote and support coastal communities’ ecotourism and sustainable travel.

    [Update 12/11/2016: We have sent our first letter, with over 7,000 signatures to President Nieto]

    Poached and hunted for their shells, meat and eggs, sea turtles are considered a lucrative commodity on Mexico’s black market.

    With more than 35,000 “slaughtered” off the coast of Baja California Sur each year, six out of the seven subspecies of sea turtles are endangered, according to WILDCOAST—an international ecosystems and wildlife conservation team. 

    But we can stop the illegal harvesting of sea turtles through ecotourism. We need to focus on supporting sustainable travel companies, who aim to bring people to the center of conservation and make local people the “solution to long-term environmental issues.” 

    As sea turtles continue to decline at an “alarming rate,” we must create sustainable economic alternatives to poaching and hunting sea turtles in local communities before they go extinct.

    Take action and help protect sea turtles against illegal poaching by asking the Mexican government to promote and support coastal communities’ ecotourism and sustainable travel.

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  • Let Third Parties Debate: Lower the Polling Limit Requirement

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    GOAL: 765 signatures

    For every 1,000 signatures, NationofChange will send a letter to the Commission on Presidential Debates, demanding that they lower their polling limit requirement so that we can hear from alternative political parties.

    Our election system is broken. More than ever this election cycle voters are calling for more attention to third party candidates.

    Currently, the Commission on Presidential Debates caters to the simple two party system, not allowing any candidates that poll under 15% to be a part of the debates. This does nothing but further the Democrat-Republican two party system and cut off Americans from hearing from alternate political views that don’t fall neatly into this political dichotomy.

    Help us tell the Commission to lower its polling requirement so that other presidential candidates like Jill Stein can participate in nationally televised debates in the 2016 election and in the future.

    Although multiple lawsuits have been filed the 15% policy, none of succeeded. How are millions of Americans going to hear from alternative candidates and raise them above a 15% rate if they don’t receive coverage and aren’t allowed to participate in national debates?

    Please sign the petition and tell the Commission on Presidential Debates to lower their polling limit requirement so that we can hear from alternative political parties.

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  • Tell the NYPD: Release Records of Undercover Operations at Black Lives Matter Protests

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    GOAL: 467 signatures

    For every 1000 signatures, NationofChange will send a letter to NYPD Police Commissioner James P. O'Neill asking for him to release the NYPD records on their undercover operations at Black Lives Matter events.

    According to legal papers filed by the New York Police Department, the NYPD sent, and is probably still sending, undercover officers to Black Lives Matter protests after the death of Eric Garner.

    As reported by The Guardian, NYPD was asked to disclose these undercover operations when requested to do so by a “group of New York attorneys requesting records under the state freedom of information law.” But the NYPD is refusing to release the records.

    • The first set contains “multimedia records” relating to the petitioners’ request for “pictures, videos, audio recordings, data, and metadata” collected or received by the NYPD at the Grand Central Station protests, which Black Lives Matter groups are still leading, according to the NYPD response.
    • The second “consists entirely of communications between and among NYPD undercover officers and their handlers”, pertaining to the protests. According to a 22 August NYPD Memorandum of Law, these undercover communications “consist primarily of immediate impressions concerning ongoing events”.
    • The third “consists of a single record, which is a communication from an NYPD officer working in an undercover capacity and his base”, pertaining to the protests, the response indicates.

    The records request is the same one that led The Intercept to release documents a year ago detailing the MTA and Metro-North transit police sending their own undercover officers to spy on Black Lives Matter protesters in and around Grand Central. Officers in plainclothes monitored the protestors and took photos of the activists. The outcome of their observations determined that the protests were “peaceful” and “orderly.”

    The attorneys involved in the request for the records say that the NYPD’s undercover operations are potential constitutional violations. MJ Williams, one of these attorneys, stated:

    “The fear and disarming effect caused by undercovers being assigned to what were and continue to be extraordinarily peaceful protests is disturbing. To the extent that it would influence individuals not to participate and get individuals to censor what they say because of a fear of undercovers – that’s a basis for a first amendment violation.”

    “As someone who was present at the protests, it’s disturbing to know the NYPD may have a file on me, ready to be used or to prevent me from getting a job simply because I’ve been active in some political capacity. That’s potentially a fourth amendment violation for unlawful seizure, but on the other hand, we’ve seen law enforcement agencies have all sorts of justifications for data collection for public safety that the courts have allowed.”

    Help us tell the NYPD to release their records and provide transparency for the undercover operations in peaceful protests.

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  • Get the Fossil Fuels Out of Climate Policymaking

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    GOAL: 2,047 signatures

    For every 1,000 signatures, NationofChange will send a letter to the Trump administration, demanding that the fossil fuel industry play no role in climate policymaking.

    [Update 2/16/17: We have sent your letter to the Trump administration with 1,000+ of your signatures. We will continue to send letters every 1,000 signatures. Thank you!]

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    Corporate influence has pervaded climate negotiations over the years in an effort to protect corporate profits. And now, the climate crisis is closer to the brink.

    Not only has the fossil fuel industry interfered with climate progress, these big polluters have pushed false solutions and committed numerous environmental and human rights violations.

    Scientists have warned of the “irreversible damage to our plant due to climate change” and it's time world leaders take bold action to ensure we stop extracting fossil fuels and reduce greenhouse gas emissions among other solutions.

    But with the fossil fuel industry and other transnational corporations standing in the way, we must remove fossil fuel industry lobbyists from climate policy.

    Take action today and sign the petition to create a “precedent-setting treaty mechanism” to get a behemoth industry out of the way. Help us save the planet!

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  • Support Stronger Air Pollution Standards

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    GOAL: 1,102 signatures

    For every 1000 signatures, NationofChange will send a letter to the EPA asking them to impose stronger air pollution standards.

    [Update 3/16/17: We have sent the first letter to the EPA with 1,000+ of your signatures. We will continue to send letters every 1,000 signatures. Thank you!]


    Over 90% of the world’s population resides in areas where air pollution levels are alarmingly high. Air pollution has become a public health emergency.

    According to a new study by the World Health Organization (WHO), millions of people die annually because of exposure to pollution. “To date, air pollution — both ambient (outdoor) and household (indoor) — is the biggest environmental risk to health, carrying responsibility for about one in every nine deaths annually,” the report states. “Air pollution continues to rise at an alarming rate, and affects economies and people’s quality of life; it is a public health emergency.”

    But a new report released by the American Thoracic Society and the Marron Institute of Urban Management at New York University shows that stricter air pollution standards could have health benefits.

    The standards advocate 60 parts per billion (ppb) 8-hour standard for ozone (compared with the EPA’s standard of 70 ppb). They suggest a standard of 11 micrograms per cubic meter (µg/m3) annually for PM2.5, rather than the EPA’s 12 µg/m3 annual standard.

    The report calculates that adhering to these stronger pollution standards could save 9,320 lives in the United States per year, could reduce serious health events (morbidities), such as heart attacks, hospital admissions and emergency room visits, by 21,400; and decrease “adverse impact days,” during which people may not be able to work, go to school or otherwise be physically active because of severe breathing problems, by 19,300,000 days.

    This new report shows that tighter standards for air pollution could save lives. Sign the petition to tell the EPA to adopt stronger air pollution standards to combat this public health emergency.

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  • Tell Congress: Give Regulatory Agencies Enough Funding to do Their Jobs

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    GOAL: 1,250 signatures

    For every 1000 signatures, NationofChange will send a letter to Congress, demanding that the Justice Department and other regulatory agencies receive enough funding to do their jobs.

    [Update: We have surpassed 500 signatures! NationofChange is sending the first letter to Congress with your signatures attached. We will continue to send letters for every 500 signatures.]

    As Robert Reich says, “It’s easy to holler at CEOs. It’s time for Congress to stop hollering and take action.”

    Congress can grill CEOs about bank fraud, such as their latest questioning of Wells Fargo CEO John Stumpf, or condemn CEOs of pharmaceutical companies for price gouging, like Mylan’s Heather Bresch, all they want but it isn’t going to change a thing.

    Republicans can rage at CEOs all they want, but that doesn’t stop them from getting paid millions of dollars for hitting certain profit targets, often in shady ways.

    The Justice Department needs to be given enough funding to pursue criminal charges against corporations and executives who violate the law. Other regulatory agencies, such as the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, needs more funding in order to police the market.

    Help us tell Congress that these agencies need more funding to stop things like price gouging, fraud, and shady business practices from happening.

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  • Tell Congress: End Tiger Poaching

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    GOAL: 1,913 signatures

    For every 1,000 signatures, NationofChange will send a letter to Congress asking them to draft legislation that will put protections for wild tigers in place.

    [Update 1/25/17: We are sending the first letter to Congress with 1,000+ of your signatures. We will continue to send letters every 1,000 signatures. Thank you!]

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    Did you know that there are only 3,200 wild tigers left on Earth? Poaching is the number one threat to wild tigers. They are hunted for everything from wallets to medicines.

    Currently there is legislation that can help put a stop to most of the trade of tiger products. If Congress were to pass the Eliminate, Neutralize, and Disrupt Wildlife Trafficking Act there would be serious consequences and protections put into place against poachers and traffickers, thus seriously limiting the illegal trade of tiger products.


    Sign the petition and help us tell Congress that you want this legislation, and future legislation for the protection of wild tigers, put into place.

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  • Tell Canada to Stop the Commercial Seal Hunts

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    GOAL: 3,485 signatures

    For every 1,000 signatures, NationofChange will send a letter to Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, asking him to help stop commercial seal hunts. 

    [Update 3/16/17: We have sent a letter to Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and the Minister of Fisheries and Oceans with 2,000+ of your signatures. We will continue to send letters every 1,000 signatures. Thank you!]

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    Baby seals are dying for no reason. Every spring, seal pups anywhere from 3 weeks to 3 months old are killed, their bodies left on the ice or in the ocean.

    Most commercial sealing in Canada can only exist with government subsidies. Seal products are not in demand, but sealing continues.

    Please sign the petition and help us tell Canada’s Prime Minister, Justin Trudeau, to put an end to commercial seal hunting.

    As Prime Minister, Justin Trudeau can work with the Minister of Fisheries and Oceans to buy out commercial sealing licenses and end commercial sealing.

    Sign the petition and help us end this cruel practice.

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  • Tell the FDA to Ban Artificial Sweeteners

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    GOAL: 1,204 signatures

    For every 1000 signatures, NationofChange will send a letter to the FDA asking them to ban the artificial sweetener aspartame until conclusive studies can be done on its effects on human health.

    [Update 2/2/17: We have sent first letter to the FDA with 1,000+ of your signatures. We will continue to send letters every 1,000 signatures. Thank you!]

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    Introduced into the European food supply 25 years ago, aspartame is in just about “every component of most diet beverages, sugar-free desserts and chewing gums in many countries around the world.” But no matter its name – AminoSweet, Equal, Splenda, Sweet-N-Low – the artificial sweetener’s health risks have long been debated.

    Aspartame has a particularly sketchy history as an artificial substance.

    Said to cause neurological brain damage, cancerous tumors and endocrine disruption, among many other health risks, aspartame was banned by the FDA before a Reagan appointee rigged a committee to approve it as a food additive in 1981. Aspartame, which was an accidental discovery by James Schlatter, a chemist who was trying to invent an anti-ulcer pharmaceutical drug back in 1965, is comprised of two amino acids—methanol and phenylalanine.

    But according to some studies, ingesting these chemically produced amino acids can lead to excess levels of phenylalanine causing emotional disorders, such as depression, while methanol is broken down into formaldehyde in the body, which is a toxin. Researchers studied the “adverse effects of aspartame” and found it to “trigger” or “worsen” brain tumors, multiple sclerosis, epilepsy, chronic fatigue syndrome, Parkinson’s disease, Alzheimer’s, mental retardation, lymphoma, birth defects, fibromyalgia and diabetes.

    Furthermore, the hyper-sweet additive has had adverse effects in the fight against obesity. Research proved that by creating foods with aspartame, it tricks our brains into over consuming and training the brain to crave sweets. Therefore, aspartame is contributing to the obesity problem that many countries face.

    As consumers, we need to be aware of the potential dangers of artificial sweeteners and know the heath risks associated with such products. It's time to stop aspartame from entering our foods. Join the fight against artificial sweeteners and tell the FDA to ban aspartame and protect the health of human beings!

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  • Tell Congress to Regulate Prescription Drug Prices

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    GOAL: 2,375 signatures

    For every 1000 signatures, NationofChange will send a letter to Congress, demanding that they pass legislation to regulate prescription drug prices and end price gouging. 

    [Update: We have surpassed 2000 signatures! NationofChange is sending a letter to Congress with your signatures attached, asking them to regulate prescription drug prices. We will continue to send letters for every 1000 signatures.]

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    Americans pay, by far, the highest prices for prescription drugs in the entire world. 

    Access to health care is a human right, and that should include affordable prescription drugs. Yet we have companies like Mylan, Turing Pharmaceuticals, and Ariad Pharmaceuticals that love to hike drug prices up. This means that many life saving drugs have become unaffordable for the average American family.

    Last year, the former CEO of Turing Pharmaceuticals raised the price of an AIDS drug from $13.50 per pill to $750.00 — overnight. 

    Prices for drugs overall have increased more than tenfold between the year 2000 and today. The average price of cancer drugs is increasing by over $8,000 a year.

    It is time for Congress to pass legislation to regulate pharmaceutical drug prices and end price gouging. This should also include things such as allowing Medicare to negotiate drug prices, allowing the importation of cancer drugs across U.S. borders for personal use, legislation that prevents drug companies from delaying access to generic drugs and extending the life of drug patents, and creating an FDA approval group or mechanism that can estimate and propose a fair price for new treatments.

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  • Tell Governor Snyder to Stop Making Flint Residents Pay for Contaminated Water

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    GOAL: 1,363 signatures

    For every 1,000 signatures, NationofChange will send a letter to Governor Snyder demanding that he cease charging Flint residents for contaminated water.

    [Update 3/16/17: We have sent the first letter to Governor Snyder with 1,000+ of your signatures. We will continue to send letters every 1,000 signatures. Thank you!]

    The situation in Flint has gotten out of control. The National Guard has finally been called in to deal with a major water crisis that has left hundreds sick or dead. The emergency level of lead in the water has rendered it undrinkable, yet residents of Flint are still being charged for the poisoned water.

    What’s even worse, is if residents don’t pay for the undrinkable water, they are threatened with a shutoff. Residents feel that not only should they be given a pass on water shut off but that they shouldn’t have to be for contaminated water that they can’t even use. Michigan officials were able to pay for clean water for state officials a full year before they started providing clean water to the public.

    Officials in Flint had illegally hiked water rates several years ago, and ignored a judges order to halt shutoffs and revise customer’s bills. Residents are still receiving shut off notices regardless of the illegal rate hike and now the poisoned water. 

    We need to tell Governor Snyder to cease the shut off notices and stop charging Flint residents for undrinkable water until the crisis is under control.

    You can read more information about the water crisis in Flint here:

    For more information:

    Flint Water Study: http://flintwaterstudy.org/

    Water You Fighting For: http://www.wateryoufightingfor.com/

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  • Protect the Bats from Lethal Wind Turbines

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    GOAL: 1,057 signatures

    For every 1,000 signatures, NationofChange will send a letter to the American Wind Energy Association, asking them to adopt new voluntary guidelines to help prevent bat deaths from wind turbines.

    [Update 3/16/17: We have sent the first letter to the American Wind Energy Association with 1,000+ of your signatures. We will continue to send letters every 1,000 signatures. Thank you!]

    In the last ten years there has been a major epidemic of bats disappearing due to fatal white-nose syndrome and wind turbine fatalities. 

    Scientists believe that bats are having a hard time confusing wind turbines with trees. Last year the American Wind Energy Association (AWEA) announced “voluntary guidelines to halt turbines at low wind speeds, when bats are most active, which would save lives.” These new changes were expected to help reduce fatalities by 30 percent.

    However, there could be more done. If the industry can hold the blades in check just a little longer bat fatalities could be reduced by 90 percent. To do this there only need to be two minor changes: feathering, or "turning the blades parallel to the wind so the turbines do not rotate," and implementing higher cut-in speeds, ideally between 5 and to 6.5 meters per second.

    Please sign the petition to tell the AWEA to make these changes so that we can save 90 percent of the bats rather than just 30 percent.

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  • Help Protect Rhinos from Becoming Extinct

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    GOAL: 2,731 signatures

    For every 1,000 signatures, NationofChange will send a letter to the South African government asking them to crack down on Rhino poaching.

    [Update 3/16/17: We are sending the first letter to the South African government with 2,000+ of your signatures. We will continue to send letters every 1,000 signatures. Thank you!]

    Rhino poaching is on the rise and if the trend continues, the species could face extinction. Poaching has hit a new annual record, according to South Africa’s Department of Environmental Affairs (DEA).

    With a 5,000 percent increase in rhino poaching in the recent year, rhino’s horns are a big commodity on the black market. Rhino horns sell for up to $100,000 a kilo, which surpasses the price of gold. And selling at this hefty price, rhino poachers are attracting more impoverished people to join in the crime syndicate.

    Rhino poaching greatly increased after a story that a Vietnamese politician’s relative was cured of cancer from the horn even though science doesn’t support the claim. Cultural traditions in Vietnam, Thailand and China also make rhinos’ horns popular and therefore, increase their demand. And many of the poachers are cross the Mozambique border into Kruger National Park in South Africa where rhino killings are putting the animal in jeopardy of extinction.

    If no “effective measures are taken” to stop the criminal poaching, the South African government confirms the world’s rhino population will be close to extinct come 2026.

    Help StopRhinoPoaching.com in their global campaign to raise awareness about illegal poaching and help support provincial and private reserves in South Africa as their efforts toward protection before extinction.

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  • Tell the EPA: Stop Dumping Fracking Waste into the Gulf of Mexico

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    GOAL: 1,377 signatures

    For every 1000 signatures, NationofChange will send a letter to the EPA, demanding that they reject the proposal that would allow for unlimited fracking wastewater to be dumped into the Gulf of Mexico.

    [Update 3/16/17: We have sent the first letter to the EPA with 1,000+ of your signatures. We will continue to send letters every 1,000 signatures. Thank you!]


    NationofChange is standing with the Center for Biological Diversity in their efforts to convince the EPA to reject a proposal that would allow for unlimited dumping of fracking wastewater into the Gulf of Mexico.

    The proposed permit “violates the Clean Water Act because it causes an undue degradation of the marine environment.”

    We, along with the Center for Biological Diversity, believe that EPA’s consideration of the permit does not take into account how dumping wastewater containing chemicals from fracking and acidizing operations would impact water quality and marine wildlife.

    Here is the full release from the Center for Biological Diversity:

    Proposed Permit Threatens Sea Turtles, Fish, Other Gulf Wildlife

    ATLANTA— An Obama administration proposal to continue allowing oil companies to dump unlimited amounts of offshore fracking chemicals into the Gulf of Mexico violates federal law and threatens endangered marine wildlife, the Center for Biological Diversity warned over the weekend.

    In a letter to the Environmental Protection Agency on a proposed wastewater discharge permit for offshore oil and gas drilling activities in the eastern Gulf of Mexico, the Center explained that the proposed permit violates the Clean Water Act because it causes an undue degradation of the marine environment. “The permit allows the unlimited discharge of produced wastewater, including the unlimited discharge of chemicals used in offshore fracking and other well-stimulation treatments,” the letter noted.

    “The EPA is endangering an entire ecosystem by allowing the oil industry to dump unlimited amounts of fracking chemicals and drilling waste fluid into the Gulf of Mexico,” said Center attorney Kristen Monsell. “This appalling plan from the agency that's supposed to protect our water violates federal law and shows a disturbing disregard for offshore fracking’s toxic threats to sea turtles and other Gulf wildlife.”

    Today's letter also points out that the EPA is relying on a 33-year-old study of waste fluid produced by offshore platforms, despite the drilling of more than 450 wells in the area since 2010 alone. The letter urges EPA to adopt a zero-discharge requirement for produced water and fracking chemicals, as is required under other offshore drilling permits.

    At least 10 fracking chemicals routinely used in offshore fracking could kill or harm a broad variety of marine species, including marine mammals and fish, Center scientists have found. The California Council on Science and Technology has identified some common fracking chemicals to be among the most toxic in the world to marine animals.

    Fracking chemicals raise grave ecological concerns because, among other factors, the Gulf of Mexico is important habitat for whales, sea turtles and fish, and contains critical habitat for imperiled loggerhead sea turtles. Dolphins and other species in the Gulf are still suffering lingering effects from the Deepwater Horizon oil spill.

     As explained in the letter, the EPA is proposing to allow oil companies to discharge fracking chemicals without even knowing how much fracking has, or would, occur in the Gulf by relying on data from 1988. Information recently obtained by the Center indicates that oil companies were permitted to frack more than 1,200 times from more than 600 wells from 2010 to 2014 alone. And the agency is relying on more than 30-year-old data to estimate the volume of produced water to be discharged.

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  • Pledge to Buy Non-GMO

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    Take Back Our Food System from Big Food—Sign the Pledge to Buy Non-GMO

    Have you ever asked yourself why our food is being produced and modified by the biotech industry?

    While the government isn't doing anything about it, it's up to consumers to take back our food system from "powerful industries with bottomless pockets." We have been made into science projects and it's time we take matters into our own hands. With no national mandatory labeling laws for GMO foods, both lobbyists as well as food companies are paying millions of dollars to make sure that it stays that way.

    GOAL: 1,717 signatures

    With H.R. 1599 or Denying Americans the Right to Know Act (DARK) close to Senate approval, consumers' Right to Know what's in our food under a GMO-labeling initiative is at stake. Our health is being compromised as our government sells out to "multi-million dollar public relations and lobbying campaigns built on lies and deception."

    Genetically-modified organisms have caused years of damage—recent studies show GMOs cause a multitude of health risks including tumors and organ damage, and contribute to climate change.

    As GMOs continue to invade our food system, you can do your part by buying certified organic products with the USDA Organic seal as well as looking for products that bear the “Non-GMO Project” stamp of approval (these products have been through a non-GMO certification process).

    So don’t be kept in the dark about what you're eating and misled by bogus marketing claims from Big Foods and the Grocery Manufacturing Association. It's our right to know what's in our food. 

    Starting now, we ask you to take the pledge to avoid Big Food companies and products that contain GMOs. It's time we vote with our wallets to take back our food system and our health.

    Please, click here to sign the pledge to Buy Non-GMO and use the list below for non-GMO product and brand verification:

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  • Tell the FDA to Routinely Screen Food for Glyphosate

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    GOAL: 1,355 signatures

    For every 1,000 signatures, NationofChange will send a letter to the FDA, demanding routine testing of U.S. food for glyphosate residue.

    [Update 3/16/17: We have sent the first letter to the FDA with 1,000+ of your signatures. We will continue to send letters every 1,000 signatures. Thank you!]

    The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has confirmed the presence of glyphosate in a variety of  oat products, including oat cereals for babies.

    Recently the USDA started testing U.S. foods for glyphosate, the active ingredient used in Monsanto’s Roundup and which has been linked to cancer. Last year the World Health Organization released a report by a group of international cancer experts that stated glyphosate is a probably human carcinogen.

    Despite these recent findings, Roundup continues to be the most heavily used weed killer in the world. The EPA still maintains that glyphosate is “not likely” to cause cancer.

    The current safe levels for glyphosate in oats, as suggested by the EPA, is 30 ppm. The levels detected in the findings fall within this range. In 2013 Monsanto requested and receive higher tolerances for many foods. In the European Union the tolerance levels are much lower, for example the tolerance for glyphosate in oats is 20 ppm.

    Monsanto and U.S. regulators maintain that all of these findings show that glyphosate levels in our food are too low to cause any health concerns, but many believe that food will need to continue to be routinely tested to maintain safe levels. Besides that, some foods in the United States do not have a legal tolerance level. For example, honey does not have a legal tolerance level, yet when tested earlier this year every sample came back with traces of glyphosate, some with residue levels double the limit allowed in the European Union.

    Help us tell the FDA that they need to routinely screen foods for glyphosate and maintain low levels of contamination regardless of their stance on glyphosate being linked to cancer.

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