Weekly e-Newsletter 5/4/2022

Art of the Week

Pollinators by Helen Glover

Original art by Alliance intern and Asian American artist Helen Glover, who is majoring in Computer Science and Environmental Studies at Smith College.

Helen grew up on her family’s organic farm in Connecticut, and this graphic artwork was inspired by pollinators busy at work in the spring.

We feel this is a perfect kick-off for both Asian American Pacific Islander Heritage Month and No Mow May.

Take Action: Stop the Repeal of Roe v. Wade and Protect Our Fundamental Rights

Despite the fact that roughly 80% of Americans support the right to an abortion, a leaked draft Supreme Court majority opinion will overturn the long-existing legal precedent of Roe v. Wade.

If this decision is made in June as expected, federal protection guaranteeing access to abortion will end and it will become a state issue. More than 20 states have already passed restrictive, draconian laws, with some banning abortion entirely, even in cases of rape, incest or medical necessity.

Those most impacted will be women in states with bans who are unable to travel, who are disproportionately poor, Black, Latina, teenagers, and undocumented immigrants.

Research shows that a total ban on abortion in the United States could increase abortion-related deaths in the country by 21%. One study showed that about half of the people who get an abortion live behind the poverty line. 72% of women who are unable to get an abortion end up living in poverty.

And equally problematic, the draft decision is based on a challenge to the 14th Amendment and could portend challenges to contraception, gay marriage and protections for LGBTQ and BIPOC people.

Please send a message to your US Representative and Senators, and urge them to pass the Women’s Health Protection Act, which would stop the Supreme Court’s actions and make Roe v. Wade a national law and strike down insidious barriers to care.

Good News: $217M lottery winner spends most to 'save the planet'

Forest in France. Credit: François Kaiser, Unsplash

“Guy,” the French man who won a record-breaking $217 million in the European lottery, has put most of his winnings into a foundation dedicated to protecting forests, regenerating biodiversity, and supporting family caregivers.

“From my point of view, the priority today is saving the planet,” Guy told Le Parisien. “We must act. It is an absolute emergency. If nothing is done in this regard, all other actions will be in vain. We will no longer exist,” CNN reports.

Sustainability Fact: Hate Crimes Skyrocket Against Asians and Jews

The Anti-Defamation League found 2,717 anti-Semitic incidents in 2021, a 34 percent rise from the year before, according to PBS Newshour.

Reported hate crimes against Asians are up 164% in 16 of the nation’s largest cities and counties in the year since May 2020, according to a study from the Center for the Study of Hate and Extremism at Cal State University San Bernardino, reports CNN.

Calendar

Highlights

– Inspiration: 7-year-old “President” Austin Perrine feeds unsheltered
– Take Action: Stop the Repeal of Roe v. Wade
– Good News: $217M lottery winner spends most to ‘save the planet’
– Bad News
: Our eating “cattle-laundered” beef is destroying the Amazon
– Sustainability Fact: Hate Crimes Skyrocket Against Asians and Jews
Sustainability Tip: Gas stoves leak as much methane as a half-million cars

Credit: Walt Handelsman. All rights reserved.

At the Alliance

We are stunned and deeply disturbed seeing the leaked draft Supreme Court majority decision on Roe v. Wade overturning the long-settled reproductive rights of women. Its implementation threatens the fundamental rights of women and may be the first step in the loss of other rights that the Alliance has long championed as being essential to sustainability, from marriage equality to protections for people of color. We must stop this and recognize that by building a strong coalition we can also address climate, equity and other issues. Please join us in speaking out and sign our Take Action.

We had originally planned to do a Take Action to address the need for police reform as we mark the 30th anniversary of the LA riots following the horrific beating of Rodney King by LAPD officers and their acquittal. However, we shifted given the urgency of the Supreme Court’s action.

But please also Take Action to stop the continuing police brutality against Black people. Join the Alliance and NAACP in urging President Biden to take action and address police brutality.

Meanwhile, we’ve been working hard to develop our SHE Kindness Campaign School Program with its presentation and e-Book on Sustainability, Health, Equity and Kindness. Given the phenomenal artistic talents of our intern Helen Glover, we’re now planning on launching a Kickstarter to raise funds for the e-Book, website and posters.

We could really use your support in the meantime. Please consider making a tax-deductible donation today.

We hope you’ll join us in celebrating Mental Health Awareness Month, Asian American Pacific Islander Month and No Mow May. We also continue to remember Ukraine.

Inspiration: 7-year-old "President" Austin Perrine feeds unsheltered

Credit: CNN

We love this segment from CBS Morning’s Kindness 101: A Lesson in Empathy with incredible storyteller Steve Hartman and his two children. They share about 7-year-old Alabama superhero-caped “President” Austin Perrine (self-named because it’s what he feels the President should do) who helps feed the unsheltered once a week from his allowance and money that would have been spent on toys.

As President Austin says, “It’s something I love to do. It’s my passion. Feeding the homeless is the highlight of my life.” He tells every one, “Don’t forget to show love.”

Bad News: Our eating "cattle-laundered" beef is destroying the Amazon

Cattle graze on land recently burned and deforested by ranchers near Novo Progresso in August 2020. Credit: Andre Penner

Do you know where your meat came from? If you bought it at Kroger, Goya Foods, or Albertsons (parent of Safeway, Jewel-Osco, and Vons) you may be eating “cattle-laundered” meat and contributing to the destruction of the Amazon, the world’s largest rainforest and a key component in combatting the climate crisis, according to the The Washington Post.

“Cattle laundering” is done by ranchers who have illegally cleared land, raised cattle and simply shipped them to ranches on non-deforested lands, where they are effectively “born again” by being cleansed of their illegal origins, then ready to be shipped to the US.

The US has become Brazil’s second largest beef buyer and is on pace to purchase nearly twice as much this year, which environmentalists say is contributing to deforestation and climate change. If this continues the Amazon will actually turn into a net contributor to climate change.

Sustainability Tip: Gas stoves leak as much methane as a half-million cars

Credit: vandervelden/Getty Images

Gas stoves have a larger climate impact than previously thought, emitting as much greenhouse gas annually as a half-million cars even when the stoves are off, a new study by Stanford reports.

Replacing gas stoves with electric ones would be the most complete solution. “I think the only way to solve this problem systematically is through electrification,” study co-author Rob Jackson told Scientific American.

Song of the Week: Amazonia by Gojira

Even if metal music isn’t your thing, make sure to watch the powerful video (perhaps with the sound down a bit) or read Gojira’s lyrics to Amazonia:

There’s fire in the sky
You’re in the Amazon
The greatest miracle
Is burning to the ground

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