Petition to Donald Trump, Myron Ebell
Ask Trump to Clarify and Carefully Consider His Energy and Regulation Policies.
To President-elect, Donald Trump, We, concerned Americans, ask that you please carefully consider the potentially disastrous impacts your energy and regulation policies will have on our future. Our hope is that when you become president, you will confer with and give reasonable deference to legitimate experts in the fields of energy and climate change who may guide your policies in an informed and sustainable direction. Climate change is considered by a host of world leaders in both business and government to be the single greatest threat facing the future of the global economy and humanity in general. (See the Statement of G8 Climate Change Roundtable, created by 23 of the world’s leading global companies, which calls on businesses and governments to coordinate vigorous responses to climate change. See also statements made by President Obama in his 2015 State of the Union Address, as well as statements from UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, German Chancellor Angela Merkel, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, President of the French Republic Francois Hollande, Pope Francis, World Bank Group President Jim Yong Kim, among others. See also “The Paris Agreement,” negotiated at the 21st Conference of the Parties of the UNFCCC, in which more than 100 countries agreed to make efforts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions with the aim of slowing the effects of climate change). If we do not change our global behaviors, we will continue on a path of devastating and irreparable damage to our health, our economy, and our planet, which eventually will no longer be able to sustain human life. According to the EPA, unless we take immediate actions to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and avoid many of the adverse impacts of climate change, the U.S. in particular faces grave consequences which are expected to increase in both magnitude and frequency over the coming decades, with significant risks to human health, the economy, and the environment (EPA. 2015. Climate Change in the United States: Benefits of Global Action. United States Environmental Protection Agency, Office of Atmospheric Programs, EPA 430-R-15-001.). The EPA estimates that inaction will cost the U.S. $trillions in damages and remediation over the next 75 years. Without greenhouse gas emission reduction programs, unmitigated sea level rise and storm surge will wreak havoc on our infrastructure, causing an estimated $3.1 billion in additional damages to coastal properties in the year 2100 (as compared to a future with policy action), $4.2-$7.4 billion associated with maintenance and repair of roadways and bridges that will become structurally compromised, and $50 million-$6.4 billion in costs to adapt our stormwater drainage systems (Id. at 32). Extreme temperatures and increased air pollution will result in an estimated 57,000 additional deaths from poor air quality, 12,000 additional deaths from extreme temperatures, approximately $110 billion in lost labor, and $2.6-$3 billion in damages from poor water quality (Id. at 22). Increased inland flooding would cause anywhere from $38 million-$2.8 billion in damages (Id. at 52). Severe and extreme droughts would increase by 40%-59%, causing the loss of an additional 6.0-7.9 million acres of forests to wildfires, and water shortages costing key economic sectors $11-$180 billion in damages (Id. at 50). Changes in temperature and precipitation, more frequent and severe extreme weather events, and increased stress from pests and diseases will cost the agricultural sector $6.6-$11 billion, and the forestry sector $520 million to $1.5 billion in damages (Id. at 58). Changes in migrations; habitat shifts; food chain disruptions; and increases in pathogens, parasites, and diseases will elevate the risk of extinction for many species (Id. at 64). By 2100, approximately 35% of Hawaii’s coral reefs will be lost, the shellfish population will decrease by approximately 29%-37%, and an estimated 230,000-360,000 acres of coldwater fish habitat will be lost (Id). Furthermore, storm surges, increased temperatures and effects on the water supply will stress our aging power grids, costing the U.S. an estimated $10-$34 billion in power system costs (Id. at 44). We understand that your primary concern is economic security and global preeminence in our present time, but are you willing to achieve this regardless of its unsustainable consequences and at the cost of continued severe and irreversible harm to our future security and our environment? You want to invest in the continued development of fossil fuels rather than develop clean, renewable technology. You claim that these natural resources are a treasure trove of economic opportunity for America, a gold mine which will lead to millions of jobs and energy independence. Even if this were true, the continued and expansive use of fossil fuels will have disastrous consequences on public health and our economy in the future. Increasing temperatures, rising sea levels, and the deterioration of biodiversity as a result of increased air pollutants will destroy our coastlines, infrastructure, and agricultural sectors, inevitably sending us into a state of national emergency which will cost $trillions to address. The shortsighted pursuit of economic superiority is not worth the risk to the safety and security of America’s future. We believe, rather, that moving away from fossil fuels and investing in clean energy technologies, such as solar, wind, geothermal, and even nuclear can more sustainably lead America to energy independence and economic superiority, as well as a healthy climate. Your “America First Energy Plan” proposes to unleash the wealth of America’s fossil fuel reserves, including “clean coal,” and “[e]ncourage[s] the use of natural gas and other American energy resources that will both reduce emissions but also reduce the price of energy and increase our economic output.” (https://www.donaldjtrump.com/policies/energy/). How will this be done in concert with reducing emissions and conserving our natural habitats, as the plan claims? Let alone while preserving the overall wellbeing of our most valuable resource—our environment? You claim that investing in “clean coal” technology will lower our energy costs while creating hundreds of thousands of new jobs. You want to “[e]liminate our most intrusive regulations, like the Waters of The U.S. Rule,” and “scrap the EPA’s so-called Clean Power Plan which the government estimates will cost $7.2 billion a year.” (https://www.donaldjtrump.com/policies/regulations/). But experts estimate that Carbon Capture and Storage technology—methods used to make "clean coal" production possible—will cost anywhere from $15-$30 billion to implement over the next 10 years, and will be less cost effective than conventional power plants (Garber, Kent. "Why Clean Coal Is Years Away." US News. U.S. News & World Report L.P., 17 Mar. 2009. Web. 14 Nov. 2016.). And while we will be investing America’s future in this hazardous and eventually obsolete technology, we will be falling behind other nations in the advancement of renewable alternatives, which will significantly disadvantage our economic position in the future. In the meantime, expanding coal production and fracking for natural gas will have devastating impacts on our communities and natural environment. Many of the mountains and hillsides which so many Americans enjoy and depend on will be stripped away for mining. Valuable waters of the United States will be used and contaminated. A growing number of miners will face increased safety and health risks, of whom 50-60 die every year in mining accidents (Kerley, David, and Michael Murray. "Mining: The Most Dangerous Job?" ABC News. ABC News Network, 2010. Web. 14 Nov. 2016.). Increasing amounts of energy will be required and disturbing levels of pollution emitted in the transportation of coal and other resources. Moreover, it must be considered that even with “clean coal” technology, waste is not actually avoided but simply transferred from one depository, like the atmosphere, to another, like the sea or beneath the earth’s surface (IPCC special report on Carbon Dioxide Capture and Storage. Prepared by working group III of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. Metz, B., O. Davidson, H. C. de Coninck, M. Loos, and L.A. Meyer (eds.). Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, United Kingdom and New York, NY, USA, 442 pp. Available in full at www.ipcc.ch). President-elect Trump, we worry that your plans ignore the long-term consequences of their implementation. You want to make our economy great again, but we are concerned that it will be at the risk of bankrupting our environment and America’s future. Please tell us in detail how you plan to address these issues, and what you plan to do not only to make America great again, but to ensure that it remains that way for generations to come.
Petition to Kevin A. Shwedo, John Laganelli
A Neccessary Update to the State Driver’s Manual
Why is it that my South Carolina Driver’s Manual details which way I should turn my steering wheel if I am parked uphill with a curb, but has no details about what to do if I am pulled over by police? My proposal is to add two sections to our driver’s manual: 1. A section of guidelines with tips and suggestions on what to do if pulled over. 2. A section with statewide standards detailing Rules of Engagement for law enforcement. The manual states that it seeks to explain what the law expects of you as a driver, but does not give any information about what rights a driver has, or what a driver should expect from those enforcing the laws outlined in the manual. Please sign this petition if you agree with the addition of these two sections to our South Carolina Driver’s Manual. (By the way, you should turn your steering wheel left if you are parked uphill with a curb, all other scenarios suggest turning your steering wheel to the right.)
Petition to Google, Inc, Amazon.com, Amazon
Keep YouTube App On Amazon Fire TV and Fire TV Stick
We heard the dreadful news that beginning on January 1, 2018 YouTube app will be completely gone from Amazon Fire TV Stick and Amazon Fire TV because some beef. We urged TPTB at Amazon and Google to reconsider their decision and keep YouTube App on Amazon Fire TV/Amazon Fire TV Stick. Please Do The Right Thing!
Petition to Amber Rudd MP, Theresa May MP
Ask the UK Home Office to end the inhumane treatment of the Kelton family by the UKVI
They hold a UK visa- so why is this British/American married couple still forced to remain on separate continents? Article 8 of the European Convention of Human Rights (ECHR) says: “Everyone has the right to respect for his private and family life, his home and his correspondence. There shall be no interference by a public authority with the exercise of this right except such as is in accordance with the law and is necessary in a democratic society in the interests of national security, public safety or the economic well-being of the country, for the prevention of disorder or crime, for the protection of health or morals, or for the protection of the rights and freedoms of others.”Charles' rights to his family life, as a law-abiding British citisen, are again being tampered with-- and this is AFTER his wife was granter leave to enter the UK.Charles and Leah Kelton applied for a UK settlement visa in November 2016, and were finally granted the visa in May 2017 after an arduous journey fraught with hold-ups by the UKVI. But when the visa vignette was affixed to Leah's passport with the wrong date stamped by the UKVI, they swiftly contacted the UKVI's telephone service to alert them to their mistake so that it might be rectified before the couple were obligated to be in the UK for the start of Charles' MSc course in mid-Sept. However, despite having been granted her visa, Leah is still unable to enter the UK due to UKVI's lack of response. It has now been 12 weeks since reaching out to UKVI to rectify their mistake, and the couple are STILL waiting for any word on moving forward. Meanwhile, Charles had to return to the UK without his wife in mid-Sept. On top of being prevented from living in marriage together, or for this devoted couple to even see one another, the situation further prevents Leah from adequately working her business, or indeed making any plans toward anything, as they have no indication of when UKVI will finish their case so she can be reunited with her husband. Due to making arrangements for their move when they started the visa journey last year, she is effectively left homeless as well as husband-less, relying on the good graces of family and friends as they wait indefinitely for UKVI to rectify her vignette so that they might finally be reunited and carry on with their lives. They have lived in this especially suspended state for nearly 3 months now, with a further 9 months of suspense awaiting the visa process prior to this.The couple are put in extreme distress as the hold up to their entire lives stretches on and they are parted without end, to the point of resulting health issues from the anxiety, effects on Charles' important coursework, and the resulting financial trauma of having to stand up under separate expenses on separate continents while gainful employment must be put on hold. And they still have been given no timeline for when the UKVI might fix their mistake and finish this nearly year-long visa journey. The UKVI's practices are causing severe mental torture, and emotional and financial trauma for this couple. All the more as they continue to make no assurances that they even know they have put this family in such a position by their negligence. The smallest bit of personal contact would go a LONG way for people embroiled in such uncertainty brought on by UKVI's tardy practices.And this is not the first time in this process that a UKVI mistake has cost the Kelton family dearly. After spending the first 3 years of their marriage living in the US. Charles and Leah Kelton decided to move to the UK to be closer to Charles' chronically unwell and aging mother when he was accepted onto an MSc degree course in Oxford. The couple carefully saved up to meet the financial requirements for Leah's visa while Charles is studying, and submitted their application while obligated to be parted from each other by an ocean for what was supposed to take 12 weeks only. They have now been forced to spend about 5 of the last 12 months apart- and still counting.UK Visas & Immigration refused Leah's application in February 2017, despite the couple meeting all of the outlined requirements. At this time, Charles was deep into the first year of his master's course in the UK, and Leah had their life in the US packed up and was poised ready to join her husband for their new life. UKVI not only did not thoroughly investigate their application before making the refusal, but they sent the official decision letter to the Keltons in ACTUAL tatters. Ripped in two, crumpled and blackened so that the reasons for the negative decision couldn't even be read. The envelope it arrived in containing all of the other documents, however, was perfectly intact. So someone chose to put the decision letter into the return envelope in that condition. The Keltons were scandalized that this service they had paid so much to receive was rendered to them in this way, and still with no explanation or apology for the additional distress caused them.UKVI provides no way to communicate with its caseworkers to work out such mistakes, so the Keltons' only recourse was to appeal this original decision- a process which it is rumored can take upwards of nine months. They knew they met all of the requirements outlined by UKVI for this visa, and their fee could not be returned to them even when UKVI were clearly mistaken. So, they were forced to be separated longer, with no sense for what was going to happen, or when they might know, and no one to speak to about the appalling service they had received. Thankfully, upon re-evaluation, and some advocacy from Charles' local MP in Buckinghamshire, the Rt Hon John Bercow, the UKVI overturned their original decision and granted Leah her visa in May 2017. By this time, Charles finished his first year of his studies and returned to the states to be with his wife where they waited out the processing with members of her family and friends, and found short-term work for the summer, including Leah continuing to conduct her business with a definite timeline to book work in.The Keltons sent Leah's passport to the UK for the visa vignette to be affixed to it, and explained to the caseworker emailing them that they had to return to the UK between the end of Aug-middle of Sept, due to having found work in the US for the summer, but needing to be back for Charles' course to start up again mid-Sept. After a long 10 week wait for UKVI to place the visa vignette in Leah's passport, a passport UKVI misplaced for nearly a month, they finally stamped it on 17 July 2017. They then sat on her passport for 11 days, finally putting it in the post to her on 28 July 2017. The post then took 10 days to arrive to the Keltons, putting it in their hands 7 Aug 2017. At this point they discovered that the vignette expiration would be 16 Aug 2017- two weeks before the time they could leave their summer work commitments and only 7 days from the day they finally received it back. UKVI made no warning to them that they would only have a week, instead of the 30 days promised, to tie up every loose end in their US lives and make their international move. And they had many work commitments in those last two weeks of August. So, on the very day they received the passport back with the unusable vignette due to UKVI's tardiness and lack of communication, they contacted UKVI's answering service, incurring MORE personal fees because there is no way to talk with anyone to whom you have paid a large fee to render this visa service without paying for the privilege, and they applied for a vignette transfer, incurring another few hundred dollars despite the mistake being the UKVI's. However, when they heard back from the answer services, they were told to cancel the vignette transfer and that their case would be escalated to the home office. 12 weeks later (as of 30 Oct 2017), nothing has yet been done. UKVI makes no contact and communicates NO timelines for the couple to be able to make plans by. This husband and wife, who were granted their visa 5 months ago, still have no idea when they will see one another again, let alone be able to start their life together once more. There is no one held accountable for the mistakes made, no compensation for the damage done. This is inhumane treatment and the UKVI's inefficient work practices are causing untold distress to many more families than just the Keltons as they try to hold their lives together in the uncertainty. While we understand that UKVI must have a very heavy workload, we the people feel it it is unacceptable to conduct this service in such a way that causes families so much grief.We believe the Keltons are experiencing a breach of their human rights by being kept apart by the Home Office's negligence, and we petition the UK home office to rectify this mistake on Leah Kelton's vignette stamp as a matter of priority. We ask Home Secretary Amber Rudd to see to it that UKVI prioritizes fixing their mistake to finish their visa process by the end of October, so that this couple can finally be reunited and try to rebuild their lives.We also petition the home office to implement better practices for communication between the UKVI and their clients in future cases to spare anyone else from facing this mental torture, health-threatening anxiety, damage to marriages, trauma to families, and ridiculous financial burden to honest, hard-working, everyday people just trying to take care of their families...How ridiculous for a family to have come through such a trial, only to finally be granted the visa, but due to an unresponsive UKVI, unable to use it!Thank you so much for your attention this matter.
Petition to Charles Schumer
Increase access to proper health care for incarcerated individuals.
The purpose of this petition is to urge support from our State Senator in the efforts to preserve the Affordable Care Act (ACA) - a landmark statute that expanded health insurance coverage for millions of Americans - including individuals involved in the criminal justice System (CJS). Prior to the ACA 80-90% of individuals in prisons and jails were uninsured, both before and after incarceration. The ACA was a turning point for uninsured individuals in the CJS - who, prior to its passage, were often released from jail or prison with no insurance and no way to access healthcare services. Research shows that the first two weeks after prison release an individual’s risk for death is 12.7 times higher than the general population, especially due to drug overdose and cardiovascular disease. The ACA has made it possible for CJS-involved individuals to obtain health insurance. Lack of insurance means individuals will have limited or no access to health-related services and without services to address chronic illness, mental illness, and drug addiction many will cycle back through the CJS and be incarcerated again. The ACA is a step towards actualizing and protecting health as a human right. In addition, this petition was created to encourage our State Senator to file an 1115 Demonstration Waiver to expand the services covered by Federal Medicaid funds while an individual is incarcerated. Studies have identified that in comparison to the general population CJS-involved individuals are burdened with higher rates of health conditions: 50% of incarcerated individuals report having a chronic health condition (vs. 27-31% of general population); 14-21% report a diagnosis of an infectious disease (vs. 5% of general population). In addition, 53% of individuals in all state prisons and 45% of individuals all federal prisons meet the DSM criteria for drug dependence. Submitting a demonstration waiver to allow Federal Medicaid funds to pay for basic health care needs including the initiation of substance use and mental health services will help to remove barriers to treatment and will not only improved individual health but also improved community health. Submitting a demonstration waiver is an important step in the efforts to protect incarcerated individuals human right to health. Lastly, this petition is to urge support from our State Senator in efforts to improve correctional health services to protect an incarcerated individuals human right to health. Through additional support and funding, incarcerated persons with physical health, mental health and/or addiction will be able to receive better treatment services while imprisoned. Without proper medical care and consistent treatment, incarcerated individuals often experience high levels of sexual and physical abuse by other inmates and prison guards. In addition, without proper care incarcerated individuals have a higher rate of recidivism. It is of most importance that our State Senator help to restore and protect incarcerated individuals basic human right to health. Created by MSW Students - Jennifer Maine, Shelby Bour, and Nicole Jezairian