Book Review: My Mother She Killed Me, My Father He Ate Me: Forty New Fairy Tales, Kate Bernheimer, ed. (2010)

Monday, July 2nd, 2012

Something for everyone!

four out of five stars

Charmingly eclectic and oftentimes macabre, the forty stories found in My Mother She Killed Me, My Father He Ate Me reimagine, remix, and retell well-worn fairy tales from around the globe – including many of your childhood favorites (the Brothers Grimm and Hans Christian Andersen make numerous appearances). Whether you’re a connoisseur of fairy tales like editor/contributor Kate Bernheimer or a newbie whose knowledge of fairy tales comes primarily from Disney films (guilty as charged!), there’s much to savor in this collection…as long as you come bearing an open mind and a wicked sense of humor, that is!

The fairy tales that make up My Mother She Killed Me run the gamut: while some retain their original European Middle Age settings, others are pulled into the present and updated for modern audiences. Some retellings are somewhat faithful and easily recognizable, whereas others are inspired, directly or otherwise, by a number of sources. All are what you might call “adult” in nature – but then weren’t all of the best fairy tales originally intended for mature audiences?

Naturally, some of the pieces in this collection are more enjoyable than others – and everyone’s likely to have their own favorites – but nearly all are at least mildly entertaining. The anthology begins on a strong note with “Baba Iaga and the Pelican Child,” an unexpectedly animal-friendly tale in which author Joy Williams casts John James Audubon (of the Audubon Society fame) as a mass murdering villain. (It’s true! The founder of a wildlife “conservation” society slaughtered free-living birds by the thousands! Not especially shocking, since conservationists consider nonhuman animals “resources” to be harvested or hoarded, depending on the circumstances – as opposed to the sentient, self-interested creatures they really are.) By far my favorite of the bunch, it had me in tears by story’s end.

Unfortunately, “Baba Iaga” is the only story I’d describe as espousing an animal-friendly message. Which is fine, really; I didn’t expect this to be a vegan-minded collection. The early “score” just got my hopes up, is all. There’s plenty more to love in My Mother She Killed Me!

Among other noteworthy pieces are:

* “Ever After” (Kim Addonizio) – Set in the present day, seven little people have gathered together in a loft to await the manifestation of their Snow White, so foretold in the remnants of a book found by the group’s spiritual leader, “Doc.” (“This is the true story… of seven strangers… picked to live in a house…work together and have their lives taped… to find out what happens… when people stop being polite… and start getting real…”)

* “The Wild Swans” (Michael Cunningham) and “Halfway People” (Karen Joy Fowler) – Two tales inspired by Hans Chistian Andersen’s “The Wild Swans” – one, short and sweet; the other, lovely and lingering.

* “The Mermaid in the Tree” (Timothy Schaffert) – A young couple’s lives are profoundly changed when the boy, on the eve of proposing to his childhood sweetheart, rescues a mermaid from drowning among the garbage of Mudpuddle Beach.

* “Snow White, Rose Red” (Lydia Millet) – A homeless and downtrodden man is saved by two girls, rich and privileged sisters – and is able to return the favor when their abusive father threatens the family.

* “What the Conch Shell Sings When the Body is Gone” (Katherine Vaz) – A bittersweet story about loving, aging, and dying, “The Conch Shell” will leave you in tears. And possibly reevaluating some of your life choices.

The only story I flat out disliked is “A Bucket of Warm Spit”; the repetitive, heavily accented (even caricatured) language renders it virtually unreadable. Truth be told, I couldn’t get past the second page.

Quite possibly, the greater your knowledge of fairy tales – their history, origins, and the like – the more you’ll get more out of this collection. That said, My Mother She Killed Me is suitable for novices too – and just might compel you to go back and read (or reread) some of the originals. I know my wishlist grew by leaps and bounds as I worked my way through the stories!

2012-05-09 - Naughty Jayne - 0002

Oh, Jayne.

(This review is also available on Amazon, Library Thing, and Goodreads. Please click through and vote me hopeful if you’re so inclined!)

John James Audubon, murderer of children.

Saturday, June 2nd, 2012

I started this post on my birthday, but it was shelved shortly thereafter when Jayne, always with the excellent timing, ate my book. $7 and a used copy later, and I’m back in business!

2012-05-09 - My Mother, She Killed Me - 0003

So this is pretty cool. The very first piece in My Mother She Killed Me, My Father He Ate Me: Forty New Fairy Tales casts John James Audubon (yes, that John James Audubon) as the story’s villain: the embodiment of evil, Audubon is a mass murderer of birds – and a child-killer, to boot (the titular pelican child is but one of his many countless victims).

Joy Williams, the author of “Baba Iaga and the Pelican Child,” explains the origins of her story:

When I was doing some research for a book on the Florida Keys some twenty years ago, I discovered that John James Audubon, despite his revered status, was a great slaughterer of birds. (Perhaps everyone was aware of this.) He killed tirelessly for pleasurable sport and would wipe out entire mangrove islands of its inhabitants because…well, because I guess it was easy once he got started. I do hope the curse of history will catch up with him. Perhaps Baba Iaga will be the great facilitator in that regard.

By story’s end, the anti-hero has taken to the skies, shining a magical lamp on everyone she meets, illuminating that which they’d rather not see – namely, the “humanity” present in all animals, not just those of the human variety:

[…] Baba Iaga continued to fly through the skies in her mortar, navigating with her pestle. But instead of a broom, she carried the lamp that illuminated the things people did not know or were reluctant or refused to understand. And she would lower the lamp over a person and they would see how extraordinary were the birds and beasts of the world, and that they should be valued for their bright and beautiful and mysterious selves and not willfully harmed for they were more precious than castles or the golden rocks dug out from the earth. [More so, actually. – ed.]

But she could reach only a few people each day with the lamp.

Once, seven people experienced its light but usually it was far less. It would take thousands of years, tens of thousands perhaps, to reach all the human beings with the light.

Baba Iaga came home one evening – so tired – and she gathered her little family around her, the pelican child and the dog and the cat and said, My dear ones, I still have magic and power unrealized. Do you wish to become human beings, for some think you are under a hellish spell. Do you want to become human? The dog and the cat spoke. The pelican child had not spoken since the day of her return.

The dog and the cat said – well, I won’t tell you what they said.

But I will tell you this: I cried.


Thursday, May 28th, 2009

American Bird Conservancy kicks its May BirdWire off with the following ominous blurb:

ABC Video Highlights Damage to Birds from Trap, Neuter, Release Programs

American Bird Conservancy has produced a new, short video “Trap, Neuter, and Release: Bad for Cats, Disaster for Birds.” Each year, feral and free-roaming cats kill hundreds of millions of our nation’s birds, putting additional pressure on the populations of many species that are in decline.

Trap, Neuter, and Release (TNR) programs catch feral cats, neuter them, and then release them back to their colonies, which are subsequently maintained by volunteers. In theory, cat colonies managed under TNR will diminish over time through attrition, and eventually disappear. In practice this is not the case.

View the video here.

(If you have difficulty viewing the high-definition version, please click here.)

Here’s the video, along with its description on You Tube:

Each year free-roaming and feral cats kill hundreds of million of birds in the United States. One controversial solution to deal with the feral cat problem is trap, neuter and release. However, evidence is growing that this method is not eliminating the cat colonies or the predation of birds and other wildlife. There are other problems created by feral cats as well including threats to human health, and public nuisance issues. For more information see American Bird Conservancy’s website at

(If you can’t view the video, you can read more about ABC’s speciesist views vis-à-vis free-roaming cats here.)

Though I’m not sufficiently educated on the issue to offer a counter to ABC’s assertions* (except to say that the birds with which ABC is so concerned have no greater right to life than their predators, the domestic and feral cats; but the guardians of domestic cats should most definitely keep them indoors, both for their own safety, and that of wildlife), I have to wonder whether ABC also advocates a vegetarian or vegan diet for Westerners. After all, meat consumption is a major contributor to climate change – which in turn is “the greatest threat to birds and other wildlife in human history.” (So says the Audubon Society, another organization that, inexplicably, engages in omni indulgence, if not outright apologism.) Most likely, ABC stands to save more birds by persuading their fellow Americans to adopt a vegetarian or vegan diet – or even just eating less of the stuff.

And yet.

Yeah, I didn’t think so.

And also, I’d love to hear Laura “Trap, Neuter and Find a Home” Reynold’s** ideas for rehoming all these feral cats when 1) most are not properly socialized to live indoors, with humans (they’re essentially wild animals, hello!); and 2) while between six and eight million cats and dogs enter U.S. shelters every year, only half leave alive. Seriously, what a stupid, uninformed thing to say.

One final thought: humans constitute a massive threat to wildlife. Unrivaled, perhaps. Remember, we’re the cause of climate change, “the greatest threat to birds and other wildlife in human history.”


* Luckily, the HSUS and Alley Cat Allies are. For a rebuttal of ABC’s video, start with their websites.

** Of the Tropical Audubon Society; quoted from an interview in ABC’s video.

(More below the fold…)

easyVegan Link Dump Sanctuary, 08-31-07

Friday, August 31st, 2007

Action Alerts

American Freedom Campaign: Tell your Senators to confirm an attorney general who will defend the Constitution.
Tell Senate: No more Albertos!

American Rivers: RiverAlert: Tell the Army Corps to Close Hurricane Highway
Urge the Corps to properly close the MRGO. Comments are due Tuesday, September 4, so please act today!

American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA): California: Urge Governor to Sign Pet Protective Order Bill
California Pet Protection Bill Now Before Governator! CA SB 353, a bill that will allow courts to include animals in restraining orders against batterers, has passed both houses of the Legislature.

Audubon: Last Wild Whooping Cranes Threatened
Tell the Army Corps of Engineers to put this development project on hold until proper environmental review can be conducted.

Audubon: Close the ‘Hurricane Highway’ in New Orleans
Let the Army Corps of Engineers know why restoring coastal wetlands is both good environmental policy and good for New Orleans.

(More below the fold…)

easyVegan Link Dump Sanctuary, 08-09-07

Thursday, August 9th, 2007

Action Alerts

American Freedom Campaign (AFC): Tell Congress: No More Warrantless Wiretapping!
Tell Congress to reverse its decision to grant President Bush more unchecked power to wiretap without a warrant.

In Defense of Animals (IDA): City of Vallejo Sells Elephants to Six Flags Discovery Kingdom
“Take Action” to tell Washington Redskins owner to stop fumbling the ball when it comes to elephants’ lives

In Defense of Animals (IDA): House Votes to Temporarily Ban Horse Slaughter
Urge Senate to shut U.S. horse slaughter plants down now and forever

In Defense of Animals (IDA): Tell National Wildlife Refuge to Curb Consumptive Recreation
“Take Action” to urge Fish and Wildlife Service to ban hunting, fishing, and trapping at Lake Umbagog

Oceana: Thanks ERCO!
ERCO Worldwide, the number one mercury polluter in Wisconsin, announced that it would go mercury-free

(More below the fold…)

easyVegan Link Dump Sanctuary, 08-02-07

Thursday, August 2nd, 2007

Action Alerts

Audubon: Final Push for Renewable Electricity
Please ask your Representative to support the Udall-Platts amendment

Center for Biological Diversity: Keep Mercenary Training Camp Out of San Diego Backcountry!
Blackwater has proposed establishing a military training camp in eastern San Diego County

The Humane Society of the United States (HSUS): Help Pass the Dog Fighting Prohibition Act
Urge your reps to co-sponsor and support passage of S. 1880/H.R. 3219, the Dog Fighting Prohibition Act, and any legislation to crack down on dogfighting

In Defense of Animals (IDA): Urge USDA to Move Maggie to Sanctuary Before Winter
The Alaska Zoo Board Has Made Its Decision to Move Maggie; Please help make it happen before winter–write the USDA

In Defense of Animals (IDA): Survival of Wolves in Northern Rockies Jeopardized
“Take Action” by Aug. 6 to protect them from hunters

In Defense of Animals (IDA): Thank California retirement community for sparing deer
California Retirement Community Chooses to Spare Deer; Thank The Villages for using humane methods to manage wildlife

(More below the fold…)

Audubon & NET: Congress, Energy & Climate Change

Wednesday, July 18th, 2007

UPDATE, 7/19/07:

See also: Make sure your Rep. supports the RES and fuel efficiency amendments, from the League of Conservation Voters and Hey Congress: Clean My Ride, Flex My Fuel, via the Center for American Progress Action Fund.


Today I bring you two enviro alerts for your clicking pleasure:

Audubon: Give Renewable Electricity A Chance

The House will soon debate its version of America’s energy policy. We want to ensure that any energy legislation includes a strong nationwide renewable electricity standard (RES). Twenty-three states already have renewable electricity standards, which require utility companies to generate a certain percentage of electricity from clean, renewable sources like wind and solar. Audubon is committed to advancing these approaches in ways that safeguard birds, other wildlife, and their habitat. Establishing a nationwide renewable electricity standard is one of the biggest steps we can take to reduce global warming pollution. We have the technology to do this right now, but we need Congress to lead the way.

National Environmental Trust (NET): Urge Your Representative to Increase Gas Mileage Standards

Last month the Senate passed groundbreaking legislation to increase fuel efficiency standards for the first time in nearly 30 years. Now the momentum has shifted to the House of Representatives where a similar vote is expected shortly. It’s time to urge House members to follow the Senate’s lead and increase fuel efficiency standards that meet or exceed the mileage targets of the Senate bill.

The bipartisan Senate legislation set a target of raising fuel efficiency to a fleet-wide average of 35 miles per gallon by model year 2020 for cars and lights trucks (SUVs). A proposal by Representatives Ed Markey and Todd Plats seeks similar targets that would help consumers save money at the pump and reduce our country’s dependence on foreign oil.

Tell your House member to support legislation that matches or exceeds the Senate bill and to oppose any legislation, such as a current proposal by Representatives Baron Hill and Lee Terry, which offers considerably lower mileage targets and includes industry loopholes.



Greening the intertubes (and the halls of Congress)

Thursday, June 21st, 2007

As promised, a roundup of recent green legislative alerts. So many bills, so little time. Even a link dump feels like heavy lifting.

Audubon: Better Fuel Standards for a Clean Future

The U.S. Senate is debating America’s energy policy, and we need to make sure that any energy legislation includes at least some increase in corporate average fuel economy standards (CAFE), which have not been improved in over 25 years. Raising the fuel economy of cars and trucks reduces our addiction to oil, helps to clear our skies and reduces global warming pollution. This is off-the-shelf technology we have right now, but we need Congress to act.

Please write to your U.S. Senators and tell them to oppose the Levin-Stabenow amendment to weaken the modest CAFE standards in HR 6.

Greenpeace: Put Congressional Leaders in the Hot Seat

When the Democrats took over they promised bold action on global warming. Now halfway through the year and two weeks before the 4th of July recess, it appears that the first major action on energy in the House of Representatives will take us in the wrong direction. Instead of creating an energy bill that solves global warming, the legislation that has emerged thus far protects the auto and coal industry.

Chairmen John Dingell and Rick Boucher are proving to be poor leaders in the important fight to create sensible energy policies and to stop global warming. The chairmen of the House Energy and Commerce Committee are doing just the opposite of what the Democratic majority said they would do—push for smart energy policies and attack global warming head on.

America needs real leadership on the House Energy and Commerce Committee, not more of the same.

Take Action>>Tell Speaker Pelosi to use her power as Speaker of the House and get Congress back on track.

True Majority: Tell Congress – “You’re in the Hot Seat”

It’s now or never for Congress to get serious about global warming. Scientists tell us that if we don’t put a cap on global warming pollution and reduce emissions 80% by 2050 that the situation could become completely out of control. So we’re turning up the heat on Congress and demanding that they support strong action to solve global warming. Help us reach our goal of 50,000 signatures nationally by August by adding your name to the list. Let your Rep. know that “We’re counting on you: You’re in the Hot Seat.”

Union of Concerned Scientists: Our Chance to Raise Fuel Economy Standards is Here!

The average fuel economy of American automobiles hasn’t changed in decades, despite steady advances in vehicle technology. More fuel-efficient cars would give American drivers much-needed savings at the pump while helping to reduce our oil dependence and global warming pollution. Now is our chance to lock-in stronger fuel economy standards for all vehicles! As early as tomorrow, the Senate will vote on an Energy Bill provision that would raise Corporate Average Fuel Economy (CAFE) standards to 35 miles per gallon by 2020.

Please call your senators and tell them to support CAFE reform of at least 35 miles per gallon for cars and light trucks by 2020 with no loopholes. Any attempts to weaken this long overdue reform will be a vote for higher gas prices and continued oil dependence.



Audubon: Urgent Threat to Arctic Refuge

Wednesday, June 13th, 2007

Via Audubon:

Urgent Threat to Arctic Refuge

Some politicians just can’t take no for an answer. Alaska Senators Stevens and Murkowski plan to offer an amendment to the Senate’s energy bill that would allow oil drilling in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge. The amendment would rename the Coastal Plain of the Arctic Refuge as a strategic petroleum reserve and immediately authorize exploratory drilling.

The Arctic Refuge is called “America’s Serengeti” for its tremendous biological productivity and diversity, and is one of the most intact and untouched ecosystems in America. Oil drilling advocates have repeatedly tried to open this treasured wildlife sanctuary to oil and gas development.

It is critical that you contact your Senators today and tell them to vote against the Stevens/Murkowski Arctic Drilling Proposal.



UCS: Urge Congress to Support Cool Cars and Clean Energy

Friday, June 8th, 2007

UPDATE, 6/8/07:

This was one of a slew of climate change action alerts to grace my inbox today. Rather than post ’em all separately, here are a few more. Enjoy.

Audubon: Renewable Electricity for a Clean Future

The debate on America’s energy policy is expected to hit the floor of the U.S. Senate in the coming weeks, and we need to make sure that any energy legislation includes a strong nationwide renewable electricity standard (RES). Twenty-three states already have renewable electricity standards, which require utility companies to generate a certain percentage of electricity from clean, renewable sources like wind and solar. Establishing a nationwide renewable electricity standard is one of the biggest steps we can take to reduce global warming pollution; we have the technology to do this right now, but we need Congress to lead the way. Tell the Senate: 15% Clean Energy By 2020!

The Senate is about to begin debating a crucial bill that would require at least 15% of our electricity to come from clean, renewable energy sources like wind and solar by 2020. Increasing our use of renewable energy sources will help slow global warming, create jobs, save consumers money, and increase our energy independence.

Don’t wait – NOW is the time to show your support for a cleaner energy future! Your Senators need to know that you want clean, renewable energy without further delays.


Via the Union of Concerned Scientists:

Urge Congress to Support Cool Cars and Clean Energy

This summer, as millions of Americans are turning on their air conditioners and hitting the highways, the new leadership in Congress has an opportunity to protect our families’ pocketbooks and begin to curb global warming. A package of energy and climate proposals will come before Congress in the next few weeks that could offer significant savings on the cost of gasoline and electricity, as well as reduce America’s global warming pollution. Now is the time to tell Congress that they must reduce our dependence on oil and other polluting fossil fuels by increasing fuel economy, energy efficiency, and our use of clean, renewable energy. Please contact your legislators and urge them to protect American families, help resolve our energy problems, and reduce global warming pollution today.



Audubon: Protect the Coastal Plain of the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge

Friday, May 18th, 2007

Via Audubon:

Protect the Coastal Plain of the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge

Called “America’s Serengeti” for its tremendous biological productivity and diversity, the coastal plain of the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge is one of the most intact and untouched ecosystems in America. Unfortunately, this unparalleled 1.5 million acre habitat has never received permanent wilderness protection. However, the recently-introduced Udall-Eisenhower Arctic Wilderness Act (HR 39) would afford permanent protection to the entire coastal plain of the Arctic Refuge.

Write to your U.S. Representative today and tell them to support HR 39 to permanently protect the coastal plain of the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge.



Audubon: Protect the Mt. St. Helens National Monument

Friday, May 4th, 2007

UPDATE, 5/10/07:

See also: Protect Mount St. Helens National Monument, from the Wilderness Society.


Via Audubon:

Protect the Mt. St. Helens National Monument – Stop The Proposed Mine

The Bureau of Land Management recently released an Environmental Assessment outlining their preliminary decision to grant a lease to Idaho General Mines for a 3,000 acre mine site directly bordering Mt. St. Helens National Monument. Now is the time to let them know why this proposed mine is a bad idea and how it would affect a national treasure.

The value of this site for wildlife habitat has long been recognized. The lease area enters a designated Roadless Area, and encroaches on an ancient forest over 270 years old.

This is potential nesting habitat for the endangered Northern Spotted Owl and for several birds listed as ‘needing conservation’ on the 2004 Washington State of the Birds report including: Northern Goshawk, Olive-sided Flycatcher, Vaux’s Swift, and American Blackback Woodpecker. The effects on all these species from a mine—traffic, toxic dust, stream destruction, and so on—have not yet been assessed.

As more money and effort is expended, momentum will build to grant the mining company further leases to begin mining.



Audubon: Tell Congress to Act on Global Warming NOW!

Wednesday, April 18th, 2007

Via Audubon:

Tell Congress to Act on Global Warming NOW!

Scientists say that we need to take action on global warming within 10 years or we will reach a tipping point when it will be too late to prevent the worst effects of global warming pollution: rising sea levels, an increase in intensity and length of extreme weather events, the proliferation of infectious diseases, and massive extinctions. Carbon dioxide and other heat trapping gases linger in the atmosphere for decades or centuries, meaning that additional pollution will create an almost irreversible warming effect for centuries to come.

We still have time to turn around the global warming crisis.

Write to your U.S. Senators and Representative today and tell them to take action on global warming now.



Campaign for America’s Wilderness: Protect America’s Largest National Forest

Sunday, April 15th, 2007

UPDATE, 4/30/07, via NRDC:

One more last-minute alert and sample letter, this time from the Natural Resources Defense Council. Take action here.


UPDATE, 4/24/07, via Audubon:

The Forest Service has released its draft plan and environmental impact statement (EIS) for managing the Tongass National Forest in Alaska for the next 10-15 years. Currently, the Tongass is the only national forest in the United States where road building and commercial logging are allowed in roadless areas, a result of the December 2003 decision by the current administration to exempt the Tongass from the national Roadless Rule, which prohibits most commercial logging in the remaining roadless areas of all other national forests.

Public comments on the draft plan are due Monday, April 30th. This is your opportunity to tell the Forest Service to protect the remaining intact watersheds (roadless areas) of highest ecological value in America’s largest national forest and the world’s most significant region (along with British Columbia) of old-growth temperate rainforest. The Forest Service will then review your comments and make a decision later this summer.

Click here to take action.


Via Campaign for America’s Wilderness:

Protect America’s Largest National Forest

The Tongass National Forest, located in south- eastern Alaska, is the largest intact temperate rainforest in the world. This home to bald eagles, spawning salmon and brown and black bears is a natural wonder that deserves our care and respect. However a new management plan from the Forest Service would allow commercial logging and development in some of the wildest areas in the forest: roadless areas home to some of the oldest and largest trees and best habitat for fish and wildlife.

Please take action before April 30 and tell the Forest Service to fix its plan.



Working Assets: Tell the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service to Protect Polar Bears

Wednesday, April 4th, 2007

UPDATE, 4/5/07:

Check out Audubon’s alert and sample letter, too!


Via Working Assets:

Tell the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service to Protect Polar Bears

Under pressure from a lawsuit filed by NRDC, the Center for Biological Diversity and other groups, the Bush administration announced in December 2006 that it was formally proposing to protect the polar bear under the Endangered Species Act — a crucial first step toward saving the bear from the ravages of global warming. But that doesn’t mean the administration will finalize that life-saving step, much less enforce it.

In fact, the administration’s proposal fails to designate critical habitat areas for the polar bear — even though melting habitat is the whole problem. And its proposal also refuses to identify global warming as the cause of the polar bears’ disappearing habitat, as if the polar bear could be saved without reducing our nation’s global warming pollution. That’s why we need a final decision that designates “critical habitat” for the bear and addresses human-caused global warming as the main threat.

Call to action: Tell the Bush administration to protect the polar bear and its Arctic habitat.

Deadline: April 9th, 2007



Audubon: Protect Boreal Habitat Now – Before Development Takes Over

Sunday, March 25th, 2007

Via Audubon:

Protect Boreal Habitat Now – Before Development Takes Over

The Boreal Forest of North America is the summer breeding ground for over 300 species of birds we see in the U.S. and Canada, including sparrows, warblers, woodpeckers, and the endangered Whooping Crane. Now, these birds and our environment are under threat.

International oil companies are on a fast track to construct oil and gas pipelines through the Boreal Forest—the last unspoiled forest on Earth.

These pipelines will fuel the Alberta Tar Sands, the dirtiest oil extraction process on Earth, which produces 3 times as much greenhouse gas as conventional oil production, accelerating global warming.

Canadian officials have proposals in front of them right now to protect the Boreal Forest. Send a letter today urging them to protect this treasure, and put a moratorium on Tar Sands expansion, before any pipeline is built!



Audubon: The Sagebrush Sea Needs Your Help!

Thursday, January 25th, 2007

Via Audubon:

The Sagebrush Sea Needs Your Help!

Wyoming’s Pinedale Anticline is one of the largest strongholds for Greater Sage-Grouse and critical winter range and migration route for thousands of mule deer and pronghorn. Now, the Bureau of Land Management has released a Supplemental Environmental Impact Statement (SEIS) which reveals unprecedented removal of crucial wildlife habitat protections, which could eliminate the sage-grouse from this critical breeding area.

Public comments are due February 12! Speak out for sage-grouse by sending a letter expressing your concerns about the disregard for the West’s birds and wildlife.



A slew of anti-Big Oil/pro-clean energy action alerts for the 110th Congress

Tuesday, January 16th, 2007

UPDATE, 1/22/07:

As many of you know, HR6 passed the House on Thursday; you can read the full text of the bill here.

Says Ayinde O. Chase of All Headline News,

On Thursday the House of Representatives passed the CLEAN Energy Act (H.R. 6), which rolls back subsidies and tax breaks for Big Oil, by a vote of 264 to 163. The bill specifically aims to close certain tax loopholes available to big oil companies, and collect royalties from oil and gas produced in public waters. The legislation when enforced will shift more than $14 billion from certain subsidies to investments in clean energy, such as energy-efficient technologies and renewable power. […]

The monies collected could be directed to:

– spur the construction of wind and solar energy power generation facilities

– provide incentives for energy-efficient appliances, buildings and equipment

– enable more people to purchase gas-saving hybrid cars and trucks […]

An Apollo Alliance study discovered that a major investment in alternative energy technologies has the potential of adding more than 3.3 million new jobs to the nation’s economy, stimulating $1.4 trillion dollars in new Gross Domestic Product, and eventually paying for itself in a 10-year time span.


My favorite headline come from Salon: “Big Oil gets punked” (!).

Earthjustice recommends sending your rep a thank you, that is, if she or he is deserving of one. Otherwise, ignore the twit and vote against him/her in the next election cycle.


With Congress slated to vote on the clean energy portion of their 100 Hours agenda later this week, the action alerts are coming at my inbox, fast and furious. Rather than post each individually, here’s a roundup of those that call on Congress to end subsidies for Big Oil, support clean energy, and/or vote yes on H.R. 6. I’ll add new ones to the top of the list as they arrive.

(More below the fold…)

Audubon: Thank Victoria’s Secret for Their Forest-Friendly Pledge

Thursday, December 21st, 2006

Via Audubon:

Thank Victoria’s Secret for Their Forest-Friendly Pledge

On December 6, Limited Brands, the parent company of Victoria’s Secret, announced a new forest protection plan, which will eliminate its use of paper from critical habitat in the boreal forest of Canada, one of the world’s three largest intact forests.

Please join Audubon in thanking Victoria’s Secret for this commitment by sending a quick e-mail now.



True Majority: Protect our coasts, not oil profits

Monday, December 4th, 2006

UPDATE, 12/5/06: One more action alert regarding S. 3711 – this one from the League of Conservation Voters (LCV).

Via True Majority:

Protect our coasts, not oil profits

This week the House is voting on a bill (S. 3711) that would benefit the oil industry by opening up more of our coastal areas to off-shore drilling — starting with Florida.

Tell your Representative to oppose this bill and protect our coasts, not Big Oil’s bottom line.

Find out more about S. 3711 here.

Audubon also has an action alert/sample letter available here.