Tag Archives: dicaprio

“Let us not take this planet for granted” – Academy Award winner Leo DiCaprio, the environment, and you

 

“Climate change is real, and it’s happening right now,” DiCaprio said . “It is the most urgent threat facing our entire species, and we need to work collectively together and stop procrastinating. We need to support leaders around the world who do not speak for the big polluters or the big corporations, but who speak for all of humanity, for the indigenous people of the world…and for those people out there whose voices have been drowned out by the politics of greed.”
 

Photo source
Leonardo DiCaprio in The Revenant.                                                                             Photo Source

 
In Washington State, four legislators who consistently voted to dismantle legislation protecting the environment, wildlife, and use of public lands hope that they will get re-elected.  It is up to you whether or not they are allowed to block efforts to halt climate change for another term.
Washington Conservation Voters
“Despite the strong environmental ethos in much of the Washington delegation, overall 2015 will go down as the most anti-environmental Congress in our history.”
…“Once again, too many members of Congress were complicit in extreme attacks on both bedrock environmental laws and more recent progress to protect our air, water, public lands and wildlife,” said Shannon Murphy, President of Washington Conservation Voters. “Despite last year being the hottest year on record, Congressional leaders put polluters’ agenda ahead of the health of Washingtonians, environmental protections and climate action. This is particularly disappointing from members of the Washington delegation, where we have long had a bipartisan tradition of environmental protection.”
Will we have a healthy planet for future generations? (Photo source)
Will we have a healthy planet for future generations? (Photo source)

Washington State Delegation Scores On Environmental Issues:
Senate:
Cantwell 96
Murray 96
House:
1 DelBene, 94
2 Larsen, R., 94
3 Herrera Beutler, 6
4 Newhouse, 3
5 McMorris Rodgers, 0
6 Kilmer, 94
7 McDermott, 100
8 Reichert, 6
9 Smith, Adam, 89
10 Heck, D., 97
Newhouse, McMorris, and Reichert all voted to support H.R. 2406, the Sportsmen’s Heritage and Recreational Enhancement Act (SHARE Act), while Herrera refrained from voting on this measure.
From Born Free: One of the most devastating provisions contains several alarming rollbacks of long-standing federal environmental and public land laws including the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA), the Wilderness Act, and the National Forest Management Act. In the process, it reduces or eliminates important protections for America’s public lands that have been in place for decades. For example, the bill would including trapping under the definition of hunting, conflating two entirely different activities and thereby opening hundreds of millions of public lands to cruel trapping. In addition, the bill would force land managers to prioritize hunting and trapping above other outdoor activities, effectively excluding a large proportion of the American public from enjoying national spaces that belong to all of us. This and other changes in H.R. 2406 are in direct conflict with the stated purpose of the Wilderness Act, which is to establish areas “where the earth and its community of life are untrammeled by man, where man himself is a visitor who does not remain.”
Lek Chailert, founder of Elephant Nature Park
Lek Chailert, founder of Elephant Nature Park

The African Elephant Conservation and Legal Ivory Possession Act, rolled into H.R. 2406, would halt efforts by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) to crack down on the illegal ivory trade, particularly by undoing the restrictions on U.S. ivory imports and exports. African elephants are facing the greatest poaching crisis since the 1980s: more than 100,000 were killed from 2010 to 2012 – an average of one every 15 minutes. The appalling scale of poaching is intertwined with violent militias, organized crime, and government corruption in Africa. A crucial element of halting this ongoing slaughter is addressing the demand for ivory within our own borders. The regulations proposed by the FWS prohibit most imports and exports, and limit other commercial actions to ivory that was lawfully imported prior to 1990 (the date that elephants’ endangered status was elevated by the Convention on the International Trade of Endangered Species). Prohibiting FWS from implementing these vital regulations would be an enormous step backward in the U.S.’s response to the wildlife trafficking crisis.
These baby elephants were orphaned by ivory poachers. David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust)
These baby elephants were orphaned by ivory poachers. David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust.

“Other provisions in this huge bill would prevent the public from having a say in National Wildlife Refuge decisions, and waive important environmental reviews for this system as well.
Such blind dedication to implementing recreational killing is detrimental to both conservation efforts and the public interest.”
 

What Leonardo DiCaprio, President Obama, and Secretary of State Kerry Want You to Know

Leonardo DiCaprio has just cast both his fame and a small fortune  into solving ocean conservation problems and is counting on all of us to help.  On the political front, President Obama and Secretary of State John Kerry continue to put the ocean health high on their agendas, and there is a sense of urgency underlying their stance.

In some ways, it is the wild west out on the oceans, where greed exceeds rationality, but we may be on our way to doing something about it. The Washington Post reported Tuesday that President Obama plans to expand the Pacific Remote Islands National Marine Monument, a grouping of seven islands and atolls in the south-central Pacific Ocean. Secretary of State John F. Kerry is making ocean health a priority:

An online course called “Ocean Solutions”, taught by Professor Duarte at the University of Western Australia, is also sounding the alarm that we are nightmarish-ly close to destroying the wold’s remaining ocean fish populations. We are running out of time (but as promised by the class title, solutions are offered, some of which are fairly draconian but all of which have to happen now. I highly recommend the class if it is still open).
And after several visits in the pre-dawn hours to the Honolulu Fish Auction (where the fleet of long-liners sell their catch) I have learned that while the U.S. fisherman are highly regulated, others are not once they are outside of our territorial waters, causing economic hardship to local fishermen that eventually cascade into problems for whales and dolphins that are seen as competitors for the dwindling fish stocks of the more nearshore, smaller fish species.
Our taste for top ocean predators not only drives up the price, but as I have learned, has no equivalent among land animals in terms of the food chain – tuna and bill fish are at the same trophic level as a mythological land animal would be that ate another mythological animal that ate wolves! We have no idea at this point how these top fish predators control the marine environment, and as they become scarcer we look for smaller and smaller species – yet we really have no idea what that is doing to the ocean food web either. From Fisherman’s Voice, Honolulu:

Tuna being off-loaded.
Tuna being off-loaded.

Although the prime species at the auction is bigeye tuna, a lot of other fish come in. After the bigeye is sold, they move to skipjack tuna, albacore tuna and yellowfin tuna. Then the billfish: broadbill swordfish, shortbill spearfish and striped marlin; and the other open ocean fish like dolphinfish, wahoo, moonfish and bigscale pomfret. Some bottom fishermen, too, sell grouper, red snapper, crimson snapper, russet jobfish, yellowbar jobfish, yellowstriped snapper and lavender jobfish at the auction.
Outside, while the auction is going on, the captain of one boat watches as his 10 tons of bigeye tuna are offloaded–and sold nearly as fast they can reach the floor. The 100-foot vessel usually makes three-week voyages, going from 400 to 800 miles offshore. This trip, however, was cut short and his catch wasn’t what it could have been. But he says even his best catches are nothing next to the Japanese and European longliners, who have superior technology. “We’re just fishermen,” he says. “And right now this is one of our last open fisheries since Alaska went to ITQs. That doesn’t even seem legal,” he adds. With the cost of fuel and bait (he paid 22 dollars a case for frozen sardines), he says they’re not making much money, but the catch has been constant, so far.

Benefactors like DiCapro and our politicians need your support to overcome partisan and international conflicts, and helping the Leonardo DiCaprio Foundation is a good place to start.