By Daniel de la Calle
We are still in January, the month of lists and resolutions for the remaining 11 months or the rest of our lives. Here I list of some of those lists:
•The Center for Biological Diversity announced their Top Ten priorities for 2012. Here is the list:
1 Save the Endangered Species Act.
2 Protect more species.
3 Save wolves.
4 Stop Arctic drilling.
5 Expand awareness of overpopulation.
6 Defend polar bears.
7 Fight Climate Change.
8 Stem the tide of Ocean Acidification.
Quoting what they write about Ocean Acidification:
“As oceans absorb carbon dioxide, or CO2, seawater chemistry changes and the water becomes more acidic. According to scientists, the oceans have become about 30 percent more acidic due to human CO2 emissions — and this spells trouble for ocean life. First of all, ocean acidification depletes seawater of the compounds that organisms need to build shells and skeletons, impairing the ability of corals, crabs, seastars, sea urchins, plankton and other marine creatures to build the protective armor they need to survive. To make matters worse, fish and other ocean organisms may be adversely affected from the rise in acidity in their ocean habitat. Fish are common ocean prey, and plankton are at the base of the ocean food chain, so when these animals suffer, so do the countless animals that eat them. Ocean acidification could disrupt the entire marine ecosystem.
Since ocean acidification is one of the gravest threats to marine biodiversity, the Center is tackling it head on, and has launched an initiative to protect our oceans from CO2 pollution. The Clean Water Act is the nation’s strongest law protecting water quality, and we’re using the tools provided by this law to stop pollution causing ocean acidification as well as to improve water-quality standards and monitoring for pH. In 2007, we petitioned eight coastal states to declare ocean waters impaired under the Clean Water Act due to ocean acidification, which would require those states to limit CO2 pollution entering waters under their jurisdiction, helping to reduce the devastating effects of ocean acidification. The same year, we also petitioned the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency to impose stricter pH standards for ocean water quality and publish guidance to help states protect U.S. waters from acidification. Finally, in spring 2009, the agency for the first time invoked the Clean Water Act to address the acidification crisis, calling for data to use for evaluating water-quality criteria under the Act. But when it failed to take action against ocean acidification in Washington state waters — which are in violation of the state’s already lax water-quality standard for pH — we were forced to sue the agency in spring 2009. Thanks to our landmark lawsuit, the next year the EPA recommended that coastal states begin addressing ocean acidification under the Clean Water Act.
We also advocate for the protection of species affected by ocean acidification, most notably elkhorn coral and staghorn coral, which comprise much of the rapidly declining coral reefs of Florida and the Caribbean. These corals were listed as endangered under the Endangered Species Act in 2006 as a result of a Center petition, and in September 2007, we sued the National Marine Fisheries Service to speed designation of critical habitat. While elkhorn and staghorn corals are the first species to be listed because of vulnerability to global warming, they unfortunately won’t be the last. The Center will continue to defend our ocean’s life and oppose the pollution that threatens it.”
9 Safeguard wildlife and people from pesticides.
10 Protect public lands from dirty energy projects.
Plus a link to their page on the Keystone XL Pipeline.
•Greepeace’s blacklist of irresponsible fishing operators and the companies behind them.
They say: “This database is a convenient tool for national fisheries administrators, and anyone interested to quickly check on the compliance status of a foreign vessel trying to unload its catch in port, seeking services in port, seeking a fishing license or to register or flag in a country. Greenpeace also encourages retailers and suppliers to use the database to ensure the fish they source do not come from pirate fishing vessels or from companies involved in such activities.”
•Vermont Law Top Ten environmental watch list 2012.
Vermont Law School, which has one of the top-ranked environmental law programs in the USA, just released its second annual Top 10 Environmental Watch List of issues and developments that should be closely followed in 2012.
1 With Republicans Attacking the EPA, 2012 Could Be a Turning Point for Environmental Regulation
2 EPA and White House Clash Over Ozone Standards
3 Powder River Basin’s Abundance of Coal at the Epicenter of Energy Development
4 Activists Claim Victory, Temporarily, on Disputed Keystone XL Pipeline
5 EPA, Transportation Department Step Up Sector-by-Sector Regulation of Greenhouse Gas Emissions
6 Federal Appeals Court Settles Roadless Rule…for Now
7 Fukushima Fallout Affects Global Energy Security, Cost, Safety, Grid Reliability
8 U.S. Supreme Court Rejects Bid to Regulate Greenhouse Gases Under Federal Common Law
9 Landmark Settlement Under the Endangered Species Act
10 Combating Climate Change Through Enforcement: EPA v. TVA
•The US Government list of popular New Year’s resolutions with some resources and personal encouragement to achieve your goals:
1 Drink Less Alcohol
2 Eat Healthy Food
3 Get a Better Education
4 Get a Better Job
5 Get Fit
6 Lose Weight
7 Manage Debt
8 Manage Stress
9 Quit Smoking
10 Reduce, Reuse, and Recycle
11 Save Money
12 Take a Trip
13 Volunteer to Help Others
•NOAA’s list of coastal counties in the USA (PDF).
If you read this far you deserve to know that a couple of the links are arbitrary when not preposterous.