A Golden Opportunity to Protect Biodiversity in the Golden State
The gold can be found in SB 49, a bill that will assure that important protections for endangered species, air quality & water quality will continue in California even if federal law changes.
SB49, the Environmental, Public Health, and Workers Defense Act, has two more steps in the state Assembly—the Appropriations Committee and then a floor vote. It looks good for passage there, and might appear on the Governor’s desk in early September. However the Governor has not said that he will sign it. It is important that we let Governor Brown know how important this bill is and especially the provisions that will strengthen the California Endangered Species Act (ESA) and broaden its coverage to equal the level of the federal ESA under President Obama. Without these protections, the Steelhead Trout, California Condor, Marbled Murrelet, Snowy Plover, Southern Sea Otter and many other species may become extinct. SB49 will prevent Trump and the GOP Congress from rolling back the crucial environmental protections supported by President Obama and all the previous presidents – democrat or republican.
Please write or email the Governor!
Your note doesn’t have to be long or complex—you can just say “Please sign SB49” and list one or two talking points. Some example talking points are given below.
**Since SB49 simply keeps in place current protections (existing state and federal as of Jan., 2017), there are no new regulations for business or industry and no adverse economic impact.
**Humans have an ethical and moral obligation to protect other species on the earth. We should not let species go extinct for the sake of short-term economic plunder.
**Plants and animals are, just like people, being adversely impacted by climate change. The strengthening of endangered species protections in SB49 will not only protect endangered species, but humans as well, by providing another tool to use to restrain human actions that would accelerate climate change.
**Protecting biodiversity, and endangered species in particular, should be a high priority for our society. The sophisticated adaptations of native plants and animals to their environment are increasingly being mimicked by engineers and medical scientists to improve the effectiveness and lower the costs of machines that benefit people. An example of how we’ve learned from nature is the design of the Japanese Shinkansen Bullet Train. Initially the trains created an annoying booming noise whenever they entered a tunnel. After several false-starts to fix the problem, engineers re-designed the front of the engine to resemble the bill of the kingfisher, a bird whose bill shape evolved to penetrate smoothly and silently from the air into the water. Besides making for a smoother and quieter ride, the refitted trains are 10% faster and 15% more fuel-efficient than their predecessors. Were it not for the model provided by nature, they would not have found this solution. For more examples of this developing new technology, google “biomimicry” on the internet.
For more details on the bill: