When we started Care2’s PetitionSite, we had a simple mission – to empower any individual or nonprofit to create real change. At the time (nearly 11 years ago), there was no such service where individuals and nonprofits could create a petition, collect the signatures in one place and make sure that those signatures were delivered to their intended target. Three weeks later, one of our members created a petition to ask the Alaska Game Bureau to set up a buffer zone around Denali National Park to protect wolves that strayed outside the park boundaries. After a week, she hand delivered over 1,000 signatures to the Bureau, helping convince them to create the buffer zone to protect the wolves.
That was the first of countless victories. Every month, millions of people come to Care2 and ThePetitionSite to take action to protect animals, the environment and on other important causes. We’ve seen thousands of individuals create petitions for causes they care about, and those petitions have received over 60 million signatures. Recent victories include a new humane law passed in Utah to help deal with feral cats and 15,000 Care2 members signed a petition which led to the Governor of Guam signing a bill to ban shark finning.
But, there is more to be done. Here are 5 petitions that need your signature today.
1. Save Bristol Bay From Destructive Mining. Alaska’s Bristol Bay watershed is one of America’s last and most important wild places — an unspoiled Eden of vast tundra, crystal clear streams, and pristine lakes. Tens of millions of salmon support an abundance of bears, whales, seals and eagles as well as Native communities that have thrived here for thousands of years. Yet, a consortium of foreign mining companies is planning to dig one of the world’s largest open-pit mines — the Pebble Mine — in the heart of this pristine ecosystem. This 2,000-foot-deep, two-mile-long gold and copper mine would have colossal earthen dams that are supposed to hold back some 10 billion tons of mining waste — despite being built in a known earthquake zone. Tell Bureau of Land Management Director Bob Abbey NOT to open our public lands in Bristol Bay to hard rock mining.
2. Save Rosie From the Research Lab. Rosie the chimp was taken from her mother before she was just one year old. She spent her life in a San Antonio research facility, where she was anesthetized or immobilized 100 times and stuck with stainless steel needles for kidney biopsies. In 2000, Rosie was rescued from the lab and taken to a primate facility, where she was safe from cruel, invasive experiments. But last year, the National Institute of Health (NIH) ordered Rosie back into the research facility. Together we can save Rosie and 13 other chimps like her: Urge the NIH to permanently remove Rosie and these chimps from the San Antonio lab and transfer them to the safe Alamogordo Primate Facility in New Mexico.
3. Protect Drinking Water From Risky Gas Drilling. People who live in areas where “fracking” occurs can set their tap water on fire — it’s THAT toxic. They’re also dealing with explosions, quarantined livestock and radioactive wastewater. Fracking is a type of gas drilling that injects millions of gallons of fluids — a mixture of chemicals, water and sand — into a well to create pressure that causes the release of natural gas. Fracking can deplete and contaminate local water, damage the environment and threaten public health. Because of a legislative loophole, we can’t hold these gas companies accountable under the Safe Drinking Water Act and they don’t have to disclose the 596 chemicals that could be contaminating our water. Tell Congress to implement a national ban on fracking.
4. Don’t UnderMINE the Grand Canyon. In the coming weeks, the Obama administration will issue a decision that will determine the future of Grand Canyon National Park — for generations to come. The administration is to decide shortly whether to open the door to an onslaught of new uranium mining just outside of this iconic park. In response to the skyrocketing number of mining claims staked under a pioneer-era law, the administration issued a two-year moratorium on claimstaking on roughly 1 million acres of public lands surrounding the park borders. Now the President and his Department of the Interior must decide whether to extend that ban for the next 20 years. Please tell President Obama “Don’t Undermine the Grand Canyon.” Ask him to protect this timeless treasure for future generations by putting roughly 1 million acres of national forests and other public lands around its boundaries off limits to new mining claims.
5. Protect Our Health From Polluters. In the 40 years since Americans demanded its creation, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has saved millions of lives by enforcing clean air and water standards. More than 1.7 million asthma attacks and $110 billion in health costs were avoided in 2010 alone, thanks to the agency’s efforts. But polluting corporations want to dangerously water down EPA safeguards to put their profits above our health. Be part of the Sierra Club’s new Stop Polluters Campaign – we are going to hand deliver a petition with a 100,000 signatures to get the attention of the White House. We need President Obama to stand strong when it comes to the health of our families.
These are just five petitions currently on ThePetitionSite.com. You can find many more on the environment, animal welfare, human rights and other causes. And, if there is an issue or a cause you care about, start a petition and help make a difference.
Randy Paynter: Randy is the Founder and CEO of Care2.com. With 15 million members, Care2 is the largest and fastest growing online community of people making a difference in healthy & green living, human rights and animal welfare. Care2 empowers individuals to “Make a Difference” with daily actions, healthy living advice, news on causes, petitions, contests, groups and more. In 2008, Care2 became a “B Corporation” as a mark of its commitment to using the power of business to solve social and environmental problems. Randy holds an AB from Harvard University and an MBA from Stanford’s Graduate School of Business.