Posts Tagged ‘center for biological diversity’

Across the US, hydraulic fracturing has been the source of a raging debate over domestic energy policy. While some tout “fracking” as a way to generate local power and provide jobs and money in a time of economic hardship, the act of  shattering shale to extract gas and petroleum have many worried. From exploding wells and flammable tap water to toxic chemicals contaminating aquifers and earthquakes, fracking has major consequences for the environment. California stands as the 4th largest gas and oil producing state, and even though new existing wells are already being exploited by fracking technology, the process is almost completely unregulated.

In response to the exploitation of land and natural resources, the Global Exchange has organized California Communities Rising Against Fracking, a speaking tour of the Golden State that exposes the realities of the extraction technology. The tour will largely target those areas that would most strongly impacted and stops include Sacramento, San Luis Obispo, Ventura, Culver City, and Los Angeles. Each stop will host a day of action preceded by a local media plan and outreach groups. Former Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania councilman Dough Shields will be scheduled to speak as one of the first to enact a “rights-based” ban on fracking in the nation.

The Global Exchange launched the Community Rights Program challenging corporate power five years ago to confront the unjust laws that value big business over the rights of citizens. The have partnered with organizations such as 350.org, Center for Biological Diversity, Food & Water Watch, Clean Water Action, EarthWorks, and Transition Towns to fight for the health and well-being of Americans through grassroots efforts. Currently, they are working towards banning fracking in San Luis Obispo county, following the examples of Pennsylvania, New York, and New Mexico who have outlawed the process.

For more information on the tour, contact Shannon Biggs, Community Rights Program Director for the Global Exchange at (415) 575-5540 and shannon@globalexhange.org.

I am sitting on the bus, quietly studying the magazine in front of me.  Many other of the passengers are doing the same with their smart phones, iPods, novels and newspapers, silently wrapped in their own worlds of text and typed conversation.  Glancing out the window, I watch the houses and small corner markets go by, each beginning to start the day’s activities as the sun breathes some energy into the still dozing city.

Suddenly, a harsh cry pierces the air inside the bus.  It shrieks and moans, ending with an almost laughing chitter.   Everyone inside snaps to attention and is dragged out of their placid cocoons, each searching anxiously for the source of the racket.  The haunting wail repeats, and I notice more and more pairs of eyes begin to focus on the space immediately next to where I am sitting.  Again, the wild screech sounds its alarm, and I realize the source of the distress is coming from inside of my purse.

“Shoot.  Sorry, I forgot to put this on silent.”  I reach into my bag and turn down the volume on my cell phone.  For several years, I have been using the call of the Common Loon as my ring tone, a sound file I downloaded from the Center for Biological Diversity’s Rare Earthtones website.  For some reason, I envisioned the haunting lament of the bird to be a unique and humorous way to signal a call.  Usually I get a few laughs and some bewildered glances, but on full volume the effect is admittedly a bit startling.  Luckily, the site has more mellow alternatives, such as the gentle song of the humpback whale or demure hooting of a burrowing owl.

To download your free ring tone, visit the Rare Earthtones site, click on the “Download” tab, and sign up for their email newsletter.  Then, preview the file of your favorite endangered animal, and once you find one that suits your fancy, submit to have the file texted to your phone.  After that, follow your phone’s instructions for saving and dropping the sound into your ringtone library.  Soon, you can answer to the howl of an endangered wolf, croaks of rare frogs, and growls of exotic tigers instead of the mundane buzzes, bleeps and boring jingles on every other phone in the urban jungle.

Turn your Call of the Mild into a Call of the Wild!

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