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Kari Birdseye's blog

The uplifting movie Big Miracle, opening this weekend, has the power to educate people across the country about America’s Arctic Ocean, along with the people and wildlife that call it home.

This is the same place Royal Dutch Shell is planning to drill in our Arctic waters this summer—with no viable method to clean up an oil spill in these extreme conditions. And President Obama has the power to stop them.

The President made the right decision on the Keystone pipeline XL today. House Republicans forced the arbitrary deadline of February 21 and there was really only one legal way to answer. Since the State Department hasn’t finished its environmental review of the pipeline and requests for alternative routes that bypass sensitive lands and habitats are not on the table yet—that would be a NO.

You’re adorable but you will die if the temperature rises much above 80°F. So climate change is a big deal in your world, which just happens to be high mountain peaks. Who are you?

You are the American pika, a small member of the rabbit family that the California Dept. of Fish and Game has agreed to designate as a candidate for protection under the California Endangered Species Act (ESA). It’s the first step towards full protection in the state. The DFG is now seeking public comment on a proposal to list the pika as an endangered or threatened species.

There was more than the usual lurking going on Thursday afternoon in Lurker Park in East Hanover, New Jersey. More than 50 people turned out to protest the Obama administration’s fast-tracking of a proposed electrical power line that would bring coal-fired power to New Jersey. The protesters say we should be using less, not more, coal-fired power and new information now shows that clean energy solutions can keep the lights on in New Jersey.

Documents released as a result of a Freedom of Information Act lawsuit filed by Earthjustice have uncovered strong ties between Secretary of State Hilary Clinton and the team of lobbyists hired to promote the pipeline’s approval at the State Department.

Once upon a time, a valley known for being so fertile that it could grow much of America's produce came to be known for something else entirely: air pollution. The people of California's San Joaquin Valley needed help because the polluted air was making them sick with asthma -- at rates three times higher than the entire nation. Thousands were dying each year because of the smog, particulate matter, lead, arsenic and toxic gases in the air.

Polar bears are drowning. Huge glaciers are melting. Low-lying cities are worried. All because of climate change. But, when the eight nations of the "Arctic Council" meet next week, climate change won't be on their agenda—despite a frightening new report on climate change by the council's own task force.

Members of the council are those nations bordering the Arctic Ocean—the United States, Russia, Norway, Sweden, Finland, Canada, Denmark and Iceland.

(Kari Birdseye is the new National Press Secretary for Earthjustice. An 11-year veteran with CNN, she was comforted by the familiar, hectic pace she experienced in her first week with Earthjustice communications.)

What a week. What a first week at work for Earthjustice. Even before I entered the doors, I knew the Gulf Oil Spill anniversary and Earth Day promised to expiate my learning curve. 

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unEARTHED is a forum for the voices and stories of the people behind Earthjustice's work. The views and opinions expressed in this blog do not necessarily represent the opinion or position of Earthjustice or its board, clients, or funders. Learn more about Earthjustice.