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Carrot & Stick: February 2009 - Vegetarian Times

Carrot & Stick: February 2009

The U.S. Department of Energy's Wind for Schools Project, for bringing wind energy to rural schools in Kansas, Nebraska, South Dakota, Montana, Idaho, and Colorado
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CARROTS TO:

The U.S. Department of
Energy's Wind for
Schools Project
, for
bringing wind energy to
rural schools in Kansas,
Nebraska, South Dakota,
Montana, Idaho, and
Colorado. The program
helps schools partner
with nearby universities
to install wind turbines and collect data
from them, providing students with
hands-on lessons in renewable energy.
Wind for Schools has been operating for
just under two years, but coordinator Ian
Baring-Gould says response has been
fabulous. Based on the current federal
budget, the program is not due to expand,
but Baring-Gould hopes that might
change if the funding situation changes.
For now, Wind for Schools is working to
launch an affi liates program open to any
state, school, or organization wanting to
implement a wind-energy project.

New York state legislators John
DeFrancisco and Brian Kavanagh
, for
sponsoring bills to make punishment
more severe for dog fight spectators in
the Empire State. Under the new
legislation, just being present at a
dogfi ght is a violation—subject to a fi ne
of up to $500—on the first offense, and a
misdemeanor—subject to a fine of up to
$1,000 and/or up to one year in jail—on
the second. Attending a dog fight is a
felony in 24 states, a misdemeanor in 24,
and legal in two, Montana and Hawaii.
According to the Humane Society of the
United States, more than 250,000 dogs
are forced into fighting each year.

eBay, for banning ivory sales on its
auctioneering Web sites worldwide. The
ban, which went into effect in January,
was announced just ahead of the release
of "Killing with Keystrokes, "a report
about the harm Internet trade has caused
endangered animals, produced by the
International Fund for Animal Welfare.
The 38—page report cites eBay numerous
times—and with good reason, as the
company facilitated "almost two-thirds of
the online trade in wildlife products
worldwide," according to an IFAW press
release. Some 73 percent of that commerce
was in elephant ivory. Now, IFAW
congratulates eBay on its ban, a very
important step to protect elephants.

STICKS TO:

Bryant University, Hillsdale
College, Brigham Young
University, and Howard
University
, all of which
received failing grades on
the College Sustainability
Report Card published by
the Sustainable Endowments
Institute, a special
project of Rockefeller
Philanthropy Advisors. The
report card, now in its third year, reviews
schools' policies in nine categories:
administration; climate change and
energy; food and recycling; green
building; student involvement; transportation;
endowment transparency;
investment priorities; and shareholder
engagement. The study looked at the
300 schools in the United States and
Canada with the largest endowments.

The U.S. Supreme Court, for striking
down two rulings intended to protect
marine mammals from the harmful
effects of sonar. Used by the U.S. Navy
to detect enemy vessels, sonar injures the
creatures, which rely on sound to
navigate. Ruling that national security
interests outweigh any harm inflicted on
the animals, the high court removed two
restrictions: The first stipulated that
sonar be halted when a marine mammal
is within 2,200 yards of a Navy vessel.
The second required that the sound be
turned down in the presence of "surface
ducting," temperature differences in
adjacent layers of water that allow sound
to travel farther. Siding with the Navy,
Chief Justice John G. Roberts wrote for
the majority, "the determination of
where the public interest lies in this case
does not strike the Court as a close
question." Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg,
in a dissenting opinion, wrote that the
potential harm to the animals "cannot
be lightly dismissed."

Fort Irwin, a military training center
in California's Mojave desert, for
encroaching on prime habitat for the
desert tortoise, an endangered species
that has survived since the Pleistocene
and is the offi cial reptile of California.
In preparation for the fort's expansion,
some 770 tortoises were moved to
existing habitats off base. According to
the Center for Biological Diversity, this
maneuver was disastrous. "More than
90 relocated and resident tortoises have
perished, primarily killed by predators,
and more losses are expected," the CBD
reports. The relocation was halted
when the CBD and Desert Survivors,
a nonprofit desert conservation group,
sued to stop it.