Call Your Senators to Stop [Mass] Extinction

Cecile Pineda
7 min readAug 26, 2018

You may wonder if I’ve lost my mind. But no, let me reassure you. My mind’s intact or reasonably so, and my sense of humor hasn’t yet evaporated. This message was one of the 500 or so I received August 10th. I was going to include it under my Sunday Funnies, but I had to save it because it deserves a headline all its own. And besides, the newsletter doesn’t have a Reverse Chutzpah section yet.

Your senators are probably the very people whose greed and insouciance may have put us on track to trashing all life forms on this little speck of dust in a universe that’s probably full of other such specks of dust, with — hopefully — more rational creatures inhabiting them.

How else to explain the headlines culled from the past fortnight:

Rivers have become too warm to effectively cool Electricite de France reactors

Degrading plastics revealed as source of greenhouse gases

Sea water used to cool Finland’s Loviisa nuclear reactors has become too warm

Pacific Ocean Warming and Possible California hurricanes

Wild Science: The startling New Science of permafrost..and more

Help Support Those Impacted by the Wildfires

Arctic’s Strongest Sea Ice Breaks up for the First Time on Record

Hothouse Earth Risks Even if CO2 Emissions Slashed

Trump’s Coal-Friendly EPA Rule Decried as “Sheer, Reckless

Folly” and “All-Out Assault on Our Climate and Communities”

Going to War on Climate Change

“A smokestorm is Imminent”: Spokane’s hazardous Air Now Worse then Beijing and Delhi combined

Greenhouse Gasses Continue Their Massive Rise.

Hurricane Lane is Heading for Hawaii as a Dangerous Category 5 Storm

“A Global Emergency.” (Dahr Jamail writing for Truthout.)

We Are Climbing Out of Humankind’s Safe Zone: New Report Warns

Your Climate Change Survival Plan

Dire Climate Warnings Not Be Dire Enough (look it up in Common Dreams) and

Writing a New Chapter, Not an Obituary for the Planet.

If you’re on the same page I am, you might want to express outrage: how can humanity trash its own 4.58 billion-year-old planet in a mere 350 years? And while you might not grab the Polyannish straw of the last headline, you might want to entertain some shred of hope, install solar panels, maybe stop driving, maybe take up walking, maybe stop heating your home, maybe use sweaters instead. I thrive on telling stories, and here’s one I offer:

Every tree that is here is a seed I planted. Here began the history of Pouso do Rochero, Brazil. My name is Antonio Vicente. I am 83 years old. When I was a child, I used to tell my neighbors that the water was going to run out. In 1973, when I bought [land] here, this was all cattle pasture. The water springs [had] dried up and never returned. So what did I do? I left the countryside to go to the city. I worked very hard to buy this land. And I started replanting, and then the water springs started coming back.

Today I have 76.7 acres of land here all reforested with native plants. [Today] there are eight waterfalls here that have all been recovered.

So this was what I wanted to do. This is my family!

This is our Family, too: the water, the soil, the trees, the animals, even if some of them are human beings who need drastic psychotherapy right about now to help them deal with their delusions.

Oppose militarism.

Oppose Urban Shield in your city.

Turn out against Kavanaugh nomination.

Divest from fossil fuels.

Small Iowa town, hosting one of 15 immigration bond projects nationwide, frees 21 immigrants.

Massachusetts’ Sanctuary in the Streets supports dozens of families and individuals facing deportation.

Scientists discover way to accelerate formation of magnesite which stores carbon as it crystalizes.

California prisoners help develop a remedy to unjust detention conditions.

San Francisco becomes first city on U.S. to open a Safe Injection Site.

San Antonio becomes 33rd U.S. city to vote 9–2 to pass a sick leave ordinance.

As part of a broader effort toward economic and racial justice, Public Bank, N.Y.C. launches campaign to create municipal public bank.

Incarcerated People declare national prison strike to demand humane living conditions and an end to slavery in prisons throughout the U.S.

After years of advocacy, NYC’s Council’s Environmental Committee Chair announces he will push toward reducing pollution from large buildings by over 60% by 2050.

Top-ranking Michigan official order to do jail time over Flint water crisis.

Landmark Seventh Circuit decision says fourth amendment applies to smart meter data.

Amid backlash, Georgia officials defeat racist plan to eliminate polling places in Randolph County, a black-majority county.

Sierra Club launches ad campaign against Trump administrations effort to bail out dirty coal plants.

Internet activists turn up the heat on Salesforce over border patrol contract.

Judge slams Energy Transfer Partners for baseless lawsuit against Earth First!

Yemeni man granted Muslim B an waiver, reunites with family after 17 years.

Wales lets people build their own eco-homes in the countryside.

Center for Biological Diversity wins restraining order to save wolf’s life from Washington State officials.

Mudgirls work to spread the word that even new mothers can build their own home off the grid.

Hundreds of immigrant kids and parents join rapper Logic onstage to shine a light on the struggles of separated families.

Militant N.Y.C, taxi drivers union wins landmark legislation forcing Uber and Lyft to pay drivers a living wage.

Supreme Court declines to suspend proceedings in landmark case pitting a group of youth plaintiffs against the federal government for dragging its feet re: climate change.

L.A. tenants lead largest rent strike in history.

University of North Carolina students topple monument to white supremacy.

As Trump military parade canceled, peace parade goes forward.

Lucas Aerospace plans conversion from military to peaceful production.

National Association of Letter Carriers urges congress to pass legislation reducing pollution of the atmosphere causing global warming.

AB2772, creating a statewide grant program for school district to pilot ethnic studies, moves our of Senate Appropriations Committee to go on State Senate floor.

Berkeley’s 1951 Café helps refugees by allowing them to practice English while serving customers, and placing them in job after their training.

Court stops North Carolina GOP from stripping candidate of party affiliation just to win judicial race.

Urged by advocacy, senators pass AB 2923 out of committee helping to insure denser housing is built next to transit hubs.

Circuit Court orders EPA to stop delaying and implement the chemical disaster rule.

Chase Iron Eyes, one of the Native leaders of Standing Rock, has his serious charges dismissed, and will not face six years in prison.

Federal Court rules against Ohio’s gerrymandered districts.

Legislative committee indefinitely postpones hearing on extending the California State Water Project contract.

In Vermont governor’s Democratic primary results transgender candidates win.

Gaza fisherman battles poverty (and Israeli restrictions) with plastic bottle boat.

Israel allows Gaza mom to accompany toddler to cancer treatment.

Demonstrations in solidarity with the prison strike take place in Tacoma, Washington as supporters march through the University of Washington which has contracts with Correctional Industries.

Activists try successful anti pipeline strategy developed in N.Y. State in Oregon.

California net neutrality bill SB 822 clears committee hearing to speed to gull Assembly vote.

Women win the Democratic primaries at twice the rate of men.

Under legal pressure from the Center for Biological Diversity, Siskiyou County suspends its contract with Wildlife “Services”, an entity that managed to kill 28,000 animals in the county over the past decade, and 3 million nationwide every year.

Ninth Circuit rules that U.S. Fish and Wildlife Services refusal to protect the grayling is unlawful, failing to consider climate impacts.

The Trump administration agrees to a settlement with the Center for Biological Diversity requiring federal agencies to prepare management plants to keep California rivers free-flowing and wild within three years of their designation.

A new set of principles known as the Toronto Declaration aims to put human rights front and center in the development and application of machine learning technologies.

Full U.S. Senate approves fiscal year 2019 public media funding.

After fatal shooting of Antwon Rose, East Pittsburgh ponders eliminating entire police force.

Ride-sharing app teams up with nonprofits to provide discounted election day rides to the polls.

Jackie Hill is the first African American woman in history to be elected in Blount County Tennessee.

More than 20 U.S. cities issue IDs to protect undocumented immigrants.

Floating tidal stream turbine off Orkney produces more green energy in year than Scotland’s entire wave and tidal sector produced in the 12 years before it came on line.

Young Kerala girl give up all her savings to help Kerala flood victims.

Last week in L.A., the national TPS Alliance along with Mayor Garcetti, launched the TPS journay for Justice,, a bus traveling cross country visiting over 50 cities in 12 weeks to save TPS.

Federal judge orders Trump to restore DACA.

Federal court rules that unaccompanied children immigrants should be able to apply for visas without the participation of their absent parent.

Jury wallops North Carolina hog farm again for its negative impact on neighboring residents.

Portuguese administrative court rules in favor of the Algarve Fossil Free platform’s injunction, and suspends license for ENI/GALP consortium to drill for oil off Aljezur.

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