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Cross posted from grist by Rainforest Action Network's, Margaret Swink.

According to the Chinese lunar calendar, this Sunday, February 14, begins the Year of the Tiger. The largest of all cats, the tiger is one of the most charismatic and evocative species on earth. It’s also one of the most threatened.

WWF estimates that there could be as few as 3,200 wild tigers left in the world – a shockingly low number, especially considering that ten years ago, there were almost 100,000.

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Yesterday Rainforest Action Network’s executive director Mike Brune sent a letter to Chevron’s incoming CEO John Watsonand made him an offer.  Come with us to Ecuador. The offer is a genuine invitation to Mr. Watson to see for himself how his company’s actions continue to harm thousands of people. Chevron faces a pending lawsuit in Ecuadorian court brought by affected communities for estimated damages as high as $27 billion.

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Check out this letter from Wendell Berry and Bill McKibben calling for mass civil disobedience outside a coal-fired power plant near Capitol Hill March 2, 2009.

There are moments in a nation's -- and a planet's -- history when it may be necessary for some to break the law in order to bear witness to an evil, bring it to wider attention, and push for its correction. We think such a time has arrived, and we are writing to say that we hope some of you will join us in Washington D.C. on Monday March 2 in order to take part in a civil act of civil disobedience outside a coal-fired power plant near Capitol Hill.

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As Devilstower says: "After all the bad news I've brought you on mountaintop removal, it's wonderful to see some success."

Yesterday, Bank of America, a lead financier of coal, announced that it will be phasing out financing for companies that practice mountaintop removal coal mining, a highly destructive and controversial method of coal extraction. Bank of America’s decision is a giant leap forward in the fight against mountaintop removal, which has devastated Appalachian communities and the mountains and streams they depend on.

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This is an op-ed reprinted from Wednesday's San Francisco Chronicle by Rainforest Action Network's Executive Director Michael Brune ...

If you are a politician running for national office -- or a coal or utility executive -- the notion of "clean coal" is alluring, much like pledging to lower taxes without cutting services. Like other campaign promises, however, citizens are well advised to seek the truth before committing.

During their recent debates, neither the presidential nor the vice presidential candidates dared admit the truth: There is no such thing as clean coal. Despite years of research and billions in government subsidies, not a single commercial coal plant in the United States can capture and store its greenhouse gas emissions. Moreover, many scientists and even coal utility executives say the technology is at least a decade away. For policymakers and others concerned about climate change, the real question is not whether coal can be made clean, but whether we should even try.

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Al Gore, once again, has some advice for how to deal with the biggest crisis of our time. Not the economic crisis on Wall Street, although that's related, but the climate crisis.

At the Clinton Global Initiative Gore reiterated his call for young people to engage in civil disobedience to stop coal expansion.

It's called the climate crisis for a reason: global warming is the biggest and most urgent global issue of our time. A crisis of this magnitude compels us to ask a very simple question of ourselves:

"What can I do about it?"

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Yesterday a group of more than twenty-five activists from around the country entered and blockaded the construction site of Dominion Virginia Power's new coal-fired power plant in Wise County, VA .

Eleven people who locked themselves to steel drums with functional solar panels attached were arrested.

VIDEO:

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From Rainforest Action Network executive director Michael Brune. Crossposted from RAN's Blog, The Understory.

In the end, climate change made us quit.

On most days, we're like any other card-carrying, food-conscious environmentalists. My wife and I shop at our local natural grocery store, dutifully selecting locally grown, organic produce. We planted fruit trees a few years ago, our summer vegetable garden is thriving, and we generally do what we can to make Michael Pollan proud.

But every now and then, late at night, we get a little wild. Often to the accompaniment of John Stewart, we'll pull the blinds down, tip-toe past our sleeping daughter, reach into the darkest recesses of our cabinets, and pull out something sinful. My personal weakness is for cookies and chocolates. My wife is more the pretzels and chips type.

That was before we learned that palm oil - a common ingredient in many of our favorite munchies, not to mention soaps, cosmetics and biofuel - is one of the biggest causes of rainforest destruction and a prime accelerator of climate change.

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Thu Aug 14, 2008 at 02:53 PM PDT

Follow the Coal Money

by Rainforest Action Network

Crossposted from the Rainforest Action Network blog, Understory, by Executive Director Michael Brune

These days, you’ll find more images of windmills and solar panels in political campaign ads than pictures of cute babies and American flags. Why, then, is it so hard to pass a simple bill promoting solar power? It couldn’t be the influence of the coal industry, could it?

The good folks at Appalachian Voices and Oil Change International have put together a great tool to show the ties between Congress and Big Coal. Want to know how much your legislator receives from the coal industry? Or the top overall recipients of coal cash in the House or Senate? How about which utilities or coal mining companies contribute the most to our elected officials? Click here to find out.

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This post is from Mike Brune, Executive Director of Rainforest Action Network, and is cross posted from our blog, the Understory.

Looking for a little good news? Try this: earlier this month, Ontario Premier Dalton McGuinty announced the largest forest conservation deal in Canadian history, and set a historic precedent for the rights of Indigenous people at the same time.

On July 14th, the Ontario government agreed to prohibit development on at least half of the remaining wilderness areas in the region’s northern boreal forest – protecting about 56 million acres.

To put this in perspective, 56 million acres is about half the size of California, or 80 times the size of Yosemite National Park. It’s about equal to nearly all of the remaining roadless areas in the entire United States. If the government keeps its promise, we’ll have protected the largest untouched forest in Canada and the 3rd largest wetland in the world.

Not too bad, eh?

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From Mike Brune, Executive Director of Rainforest Action Network, it is cross posted from our blog, the Understory.

What a difference a weekend makes.

Late last week, John McCain supported Al Gore’s call for a nationwide commitment to a ten-year clean energy revolution by declaring, "If the vice president says it’s doable, I believe it’s doable." In the hopes for a grand, bipartisan climate and energy deal in Congress, one might thought this was a breakthrough.

Don’t be fooled. By Monday, McCain launched a new attack ad that makes it perfectly clear the presumptive Republican nominee has something entirely different in mind.

The new 30-second spot, airing on national cable and in 11 battleground states, argues that the real reason gas prices are rising is because, "some in Washington are still saying no to drilling in America, no to independence from foreign oil."

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We've started a new video series here at the Rainforest Action Network: The Greenwash of the Week. Since coal and mountaintop removal have been popular issue around here I thought I'd share our latest video with you.

The topic this week is "clean" coal and in particular, a technology called "carbon capture and storage." Greenpeace just released a report about it called "False Hope" and we've been blogging about CCS this week on The Understory. I thought this also might be a good way to open up a conversation about what I see as one of Obama's biggest shortcomings. Check out the video and let me know what you think:

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