Get your solar panels now! While stockpiled supplies of Chinese panels last!

It may never be a better time to get solar panels for your home or business. Net metering has not gone away, and prescient solar installers still have reserves of low-cost Chinese solar panels.

As Trump was signing his tariffs on Chinese solar panels into law, solar installers like ICON, located outside Cincinnati, were deliberately stockpiling the cheaper, foreign panels.

ICON System Designer Jaye Meier says he wouldn’t call it “stockpiling.”

“I’d call it smart business,” Meier says.

ICON estimates that the installed cost of solar panels will rise ten percent, once tariffs affect local distributors and installers.

Despite those tariffs, the immediate future for solar is so bright, we’re hearing a term we never thought we would hear: “solar investors.” Depending on your state and the amount of sun exposure on your roof, solar panels will actually make a modest return on investment for some purchasers.

Businesses, in particular, can benefit. A tax policy called MACRS (Modified Accelerated Cost Recovery System) allows businesses to depreciate the cost of solar panels directly off their income over five years. Or, if it’s beneficial, a business can take one hundred percent of the costs off its one-year income, according to John Vann, a volunteer with Solarize Indiana.

Vann, himself, is getting his first installation of thirty solar panels. According to his calculations, they will pay for themselves over the next ten years. After that, “it’s free energy,” he says.

With incentives and a discount afforded by Solarize Indiana, his array will cost only $15,000.

You might not think of Ohio, Indiana, and Kentucky as sunshine states, but ICON started up in 2011, serving just those three states, and business has doubled every year.

“We get more sun than Germany where half the energy is from renewable, says Meier, suggesting that going solar in the U.S. is, maybe, more about will than sunshine.

ICON’s clientele is diverse. They get their expected share of college professors wanting to do the right thing.

But, “It’s not one type of person that I’ve seen,” Meier says. “We’ve got farmers who hate the utilities, got screwed over by them once or twice.”

The Indiana legislature has not incentivized solar power. Instead the state legislature has ruled that it will phase out net metering over the next ten years. Net metering is a system which reimburses solar investors for the excess energy they create at a retail rate.

In Indiana and other states, net metering will be replaced or has already been replaced with “net billing” which reimburses the same investors at wholesale rate. Home owners who take the solar challenge count on net metering to defray the initial outlay for solar power which typically costs something like $20,000 for a full array on an average-size house.

So eliminating net metering hurts the growth of the solar industry. And Trump solar panel tariffs could hurt it some more when stockpiles of Chinese panels run dry.

So why did the use of solar power in Indiana increase twenty percent last year despite politicians at every level legislating against it?

It helps that the cost of solar panels, across the board has fallen eighty percent since 2009, Vann says. And groups like Solarize Indiana are stepping into the breach, securing deep discounts that make solar installations attractive despite disincentives.

“Long term it might be detrimental. But now it might push people into going solar before that [tariffs and loss of net metering] goes into effect,” says Meier.

 

 

Top Ten Animal Rights Issues

The top ten issues affecting the animal kingdom are:

1. Climate change

 

earth embroiled in climate change

Parched and flooded at the same time? Yes, it’s climate change.

Climate change is head and shoulders the top concern for animals. We are all familiar, by now, with the plight of the polar bear. But hundreds of animal species are at risk from changing weather. Climate change is not just warming the arctic home of polar bears and penguins. It has also depleted snow in areas where animals depend on their winter white fur to camouflage them against the white backdrop.

Climate change has fucked with animal migration. When the weather is inconsistent, birds and other migrators don’t know when to depart. Where climate change has disrupted breeding habitats, it has the potential to decimate an entire species in one generation.

 

 

What you can do: Drive a hybrid or all electric vehicle, limit travel, drive instead of flying when possible, ride a bike or walk to nearby destinations, eat fish and chicken instead of red meat. Eat vegetables instead of fish and chicken to the extent you are able. Insulate your house and lower your energy bills.

2. Suburban sprawl equals lost habitat

Some people would say that human overpopulation is the problem. But humans could have expanded their population while sharing space with animals. The problem is urban sprawl and development practices.

Instead of keeping the footprints of our houses small and building up instead of out, we chop down twenty trees just to build one McMansion. Then we pave half an acre for a driveway and parking pad.

Every time you chop down one mature tree, you are destroying the breeding habitat of twenty bird couples. Paving destroys any number of box turtles, lizards, and frogs.

What you can do: Limit your family to two children. If you are building your dream house, build it on two levels, take down only the trees you need to build, don’t put in a yard, create a white rock driveway and parking pad. Consider hiring a LEED certified builder to build your house to LEED standards.

3. Disastrous fishing practices

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An albatross caught on a longline

Dragnet fishing, especially bottom trawling, is a disaster, plain and simple. It wipes out every animal in its path, including endangered turtles, whales, dolphins, and any number of other species that are not edible. Longline fishing also comes with a catastrophic by-catch of sea birds and turtles.

What you can do: Hook up with community-supported fisheries. Don’t buy any fish on the endangered list. This list changes frequently, so stay up to date on the most threatened fish species to inform your shopping choices.

4. Invasive species

Where invasive species have been introduced, they wipe out the local wildlife. The invaders eat all the food or they simply dine on the more fragile species that occupy that habitat by right.

The most dramatic example is the Asian carp that have taken over the Illinois river. They eat up all the plankton, leaving the native fish to starve to death. The fear is that they will take over the great lakes which is open to the Illinois river.

What you can do: Fish for carp and green mussels, and throw back all native species. If you like to hunt, kill and cook wild pigs.

5. Factory farming

Animal Rights Issues

There’s no getting around the fact that corporately farmed chickens are handled with extreme cruelty. They are confined to extremely small spaces, injected with hormones, and fed only on cheap grain. Many farmers cut off their beaks so they don’t peck each other to death.

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But the evils of farming don’t end there. The methane produced by cows is a major contributor to climate change. The run off from farms pollutes waterways where it kills wildlife.

What you can do: Buy organic, free-range eggs and chickens. Buy your meat at farmer’s markets. Eat more veg and less meat, especially red meat.

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6. Feral cats and dogs

Overbreeding pets is a problem for the pets themselves and for the wildlife they destroy when they go wild and live outdoors. Dogs who run wild will kill everybody from turtles to baby alligators to frogs, lizards, and even birds. Cats do the same, and they’re particularly adept at killing birds.

What you can do: Spay and neuter your own animals. If you are feeding outdoor cats, take them to the vet and have them spayed or neutered. Make your cats indoor-only cats, and provide toys and other environmental enrichment to keep them happy.  If stray dog is terrorizing your neighborhood, ask the police to pick him up. If you find a friendly stray, take him to the vet, foster him, and then sell him to a good home on Craigslist.

7. Destroying predators

 

Eastern wolves used to roam the entire United States from the Atlantic coast to the mid-west. We have obliterated this species which is now only seen in remote parks of Canada. Eastern big cats, especially the panther, have also been decimated.

Taking out predators causes a collapse in the food chain which is devastating to other wildlife. For example, in Canada, hunters killed the wolves who were thinning the caribou herds, taking out the sick and diseased individuals. When the wolf population collapsed, the caribou population collapsed with it.

In the United States, taking out predators has meant that we are overrun with deer who, in turn, eat too much native vegetation. Other animals need that vegetation or they die of starvation.

What you can do: Don’t encourage fear mongering about a wolf, big cat, bear, or alligator that needs to share your neighborhood. Put up a fence to protect your children and pets. Encourage re-introduction of native wolves and big cats.

8. Pet euthanasia

 

According to the ASPCA, “Each year, approximately 1.5 million shelter animals are euthanized.” That’s a lot of animals dying unnecessarily.

What you can do: Spay and neuter your own animals. If a dog or cat strays into your yard, take him to the vet and get him fixed. Train your pets to behave so that you don’t have to surrender them to a shelter. Try to purchase a rescue animal rather than go to a breeder. Don’t buy a dog from a pet store, unless it is a rescue animal.

9. Destruction and displacement of service animals

On the battlefield, dogs take bullets for their soldiers. They sniff out bombs for their soldiers and generally alert their men to dangers. They save thousands of lives.

Then these brave and loyal beasts are rounded up in trucks, and their men are likely never to see them again. Some of them are commandeered by high-ranking military guys who work in elegant offices all day and never have to face a moment’s danger. Others are euthanized, against the will of the men they fought with.

What you can do: Tell your state lawmakers that you demand better retirements for retired military and police dogs. When a soldier has applied to adopt a dog, that bond should be held sacred, and the adoption should take place immediately. Demand complete transparency on the fates of decommissioned military and police dogs. Demand therapy and re-training for dogs with PTSD.

10. Animal experiments

Many animal experiments entail needless suffering, and the aim of the research may well be unrelated to human welfare. For example, there was an experiment that involved sewing shut the eyes of kittens. The purpose of this experiment was to study the effect of sensory deprivation on the kitten brain.  Obviously, this has nothing to do with making sure heart surgery on children is done safely and successfully.

What you can do: Call your local university and ask them what animal experiments they are conducting. If they are pointlessly experimenting on animals, let the local media know about that.

 

 

 

Facts about animal abuse and what you can do

When it comes to facts about animals abuse, dogs and cats  get the most attention. According to the ASPCA, shelters euthanize 670,000 dogs every year in the United States. And 860,000 cats meet the same fate.

These facts about animal abuse do not include the number of animals that are beaten to death or starved by their owners or dumped on the highway to die before they can be saved by a rescue group or picked up by animal control.

The good news is that this statistic is going down. Due to the proliferation of rescue groups who pull animals out of pounds and high-kill shelters, the United States is euthanizing fewer dogs than ten years ago.

What you can do: Don’t breed your animals. Spay and neuter your pets. Adopt a dog directly from a high-kill shelter. Volunteer at a no-kill rescue. Start up your own no-kill rescue.

Facts about animals abuse: Corporate chickens

If you pick up a brand-name chicken at the grocery store, chances are it was factory farmed. It might be beautifully packaged and cheap. The chickens, themselves, are paying the balance on that cheap meal.

Factory farming involves placing chickens in cages where they are virtually immobile. They can’t move naturally, as they would do in the wild, and that makes them get fat faster.

Chickens in these conditions sometimes peck each other to death out of frustration and madness. To prevent that, some farm owners chop off their beaks. Factory farmers also dose chickens with growth hormones.

What you can do: Pay the extra bucks for organic eggs and chickens. Look for the terms “organic” or “free-range” on the packaging and buy that instead of Tyson. Better yet, buy your chicken and eggs at the farmer’s market. Get involved with community supported agriculture programs in your community. This involves supporting small local farms by pledging to buy a certain amount of food from them every month. In many cases, the farms will deliver a box of veggies to your door. If your local codes permit it, you can raise your own chickens.

Facts about animals abuse: Extinction

Many animal species are dying out altogether. Sea turtles like the loggerhead, leatherback, and the Kemp’s Ridley are dying out because people and businesses near the ocean don’t turn their lights off at night.

Polar bears, penguins, and snow hares are in danger of extinction due to climate change, especially warmer temperatures in the arctic.

Monarch butterflies are in danger because too many people think that milkweed is a weed and they pull it up and trash it instead of cherishing it. Milkweed is the monarch caterpillar’s only food. Without it, there will be no more monarchs.

Worldwide, trophy hunters, endangered species traders, and ivory merchants are decimating gorillas, elephants, tigers, and rhinos.

This is by no means a comprehensive list of the dangers to animals.

Facts about animal abuse: The myth of human superiority

Anyone who has owned a cat or dog knows that animals feel pain. Animals also feel joy, affection, loyalty, protectiveness, outrage, and loneliness.

To assume that people are more important than animals is egotistical. There’s no science for that assumption. When we “test” animals to see if they are as smart as we are, we skew the results by testing for what we are good at.

In many arenas, animals are superior to humans. Here are just a few examples:

  1. Chameleons can change color. Humans can’t.
  2. Dogs can smell illegal cargo (guns, invasive species, endangered species, bombs). If people could do this, we wouldn’t need cargo sniffing dogs.
  3. Monkeys can grasp a rail and hang from their feet.
  4. Cats not only find their way home if they have been stolen or lost, they can also find their owners at a new and unfamiliar address. This is called psi trailing.

 

 

 

 

Hurry up and evolve

If you need proof of evolution, it’s happening before our eyes.

Snowshoe hares living in Washington State historically turn white in winter to match the snow that used to be on the ground. This winter camouflage made it hard for predators, like wolves and cats, to see them.

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This bunny is camouflaged!

In the spring, when the snow melts, these same hares turn brown. Now they still blend in with their surroundings.

But climate change has obliterated snow in many parts of the world which were always snow covered previously. A portion of hares quickly adapted and they remain brown all year. But other hares, who still turn white, are in trouble.

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And this bunny is camouflaged!

Their white fur against a dark backdrop makes them highly visible. Climate change has turned them into sitting ducks. A white hare’s chance of surviving the winter drops seven percent every week that he stays white. The best hope for these hares is to mate with brown hares and give their offspring a better chance of inheriting the year-round brown gene.

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But this bunny is in trouble.

If you don’t care about hares (yes, I hear somebody saying, “It’s just a rabbit”), please know that the lynx species depends on hares for dinner. If the hare population crashes, the lynx population will starve and also crash.

Unfortunately, we don’t live in Zootopia where all animals live without fear of other animals. In our world, a rabbit is still prey.

The survival of snowshoe hares depends on humans. We must maintain large enough ranges that the adaptive hares can pass their genes to the still-white hares. And then we must pray that they hurry up and evolve.

Trump undermines solar power, but that hasn’t saved coal

Trump undermines solar power at the peril of us all.

By Lynn Hamilton

United States President Donald Trump has devastated the solar industry in America without bringing back coal jobs.

You may remember that Trump allied himself with coal during his run up to the presidency. And coal families gave him their unthinking votes.

This is personal for me because I live in Kentucky, and I taught for two years in eastern Kentucky. During that time, I received numerous papers from students about job loss in their families due to the failure of coal. The tone of these papers was always a mixture of victim mentality, nostalgia, and blame.

Trouble was: they didn’t always know who to blame. Former President Barack Obama figured as a convenient scapegoat because of his modest federal incentives for renewable energy. And his insistence that the coal industry moderate its damage to the environment. He gave sustainability a fighting chance, in other words.

Trump undermines solar power while coal miners die of black lung

black lung

But the real reason the coal industry is dying is the same reason whale oil went down as an industry: We’re running out of coal, just as we ran out of whales. Secondarily, both industries are far too dangerous to the front line workers, and

healthy lung

coal cannot be harvested without the same measure of cruelty as was exercised in the mass murder of whales. Just ask anyone whose community was devastated by mountain top removal. Ultimately, coal is an unsustainable

resource for energy.

We need to unmuddle some thinking here: Bashing solar has not brought back coal jobs and will not bring back coal jobs. Coal jobs have steadily declined since 2005. Trump undermines solar power at the peril of us all, because we are running out of coal without a plan B for keeping the lights on.

The national media has not come right out and said that the loss of ten thousand jobs in solar last year is the fault of Donald Trump, but to use a trope from John Oliver:

It is.

It totally is.

Solar companies, large and small, were already nervous when Trump was elected. The threat of tariffs shook the confidence of the industry until the reality of tariffs replaced it. The loss of federal incentives for energy improvements also played its part.

Let’s recap why this matters to animals, particularly wildlife. Coal burning causes carbon dioxide emissions which cause climate change. Climate change is the main reason for mass extinctions of wildlife. Climate change is the main reason that monarch butterflies are declining in numbers. Climate change, among other things, messes with migration. Birds and monarch butterflies can’t figure out when to migrate because weather patterns are so disrupted. Cool autumns whisper “Time to fly” to the hummingbird. When the fall comes with eighty degree temperatures in the Midwest, the birds get confused.

Solar energy disrupts climate change. It does not emit carbon dioxide, therefore it does not make climate change worse. When solar replaces coal, it has the potential to reverse the damaging effects of climate change which include wildlife loss.

Even if you don’t care about wildlife, you should care about solar energy and the solar industry. At least if you care about having your television and laptop turned on. We’re running out of coal without having smoothed the way for a replacement source of energy. This is what happens when you mythologize a fuel like coal instead of viewing it as something that was useful in its day.

 

 

Ten things a grouchy baby boomer loves about millennials

These are the things I love about millennials from pretty awesome to most awesome.

10. They put the salt in the wrong shaker.

Salt and pepper shaker makers are still confusing us with one shaker that has one hole and another shaker that has four or five holes. Miss Manners, the putative expert on manners, says that’s the way to do it. It’s worth noting that she was born in 1938, not a boomer, but from the time that set the rules, according to boomers.

Meanwhile, millennials grew up fearing salt. Salt will give you heart disease, high blood pressure, dehydration. Fearful baby boomers taught their kids, the millennials, that salt is a great evil and forgot to teach them how to load the shakers. So, now when I go to a restaurant and try to salt my food, pepper comes out, and I know that millennials have filled the shakers. Bless them for cutting back my sodium intake and using logic and reason rather than bowing to convention–or asking directions.

opportunity-1804472_960_7209. They still love their parents.

This is nothing short of a miracle, as any baby boomer still mad at his parents should know. So what if this new generation lives with mom and dad until they’re twenty-nine?

My first apartment was a cockroach infested, garlic smelling nightmare. My immediate neighbors were all getting high. Why should anyone subject herself to that if she still gets along with her folks?

Meanwhile, baby boomers are busily enabling their adult children to live with them by remodeling basements to be self-sufficient quarters with their own living area, a second kitchen, one or two separate bathrooms, and a separate entrance. You don’t do that if you want your kids to move out, so stop bitching about their lack of independence. Millennials who live at home as grown ups have a much lower carbon footprint. That means they’re making much less of a contribution to climate change than I did at that age.

And let’s be honest. I didn’t move out because I was so into independence. There was just no living with my mother.

8. They defer children and get a dog.

There are so many things to love about this, I don’t know where to start. Dogs, of course, have a carbon footprint, but not by any means a footprint equivalent to a new human being. Experts have assured us that millennials just don’t have the money for children. When did that EVER stop any previous generation from making babies they couldn’t afford? We should all applaud any group of people who realize that making new humans is a huge, daunting, and morally dubious enterprise.

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7. They don’t want their grandparents to be poor.

This little fact blew my mind: Sixty-one percent of millenials want NO cuts to Social Security benefits. Meanwhile, “51% of Millennials believe they will get no benefits from Social Security and 39% predict they will get benefits at reduced levels,” according to research coming out of the Pew Research Center. The majority of millennials, in other words, are willing to keep paying into a system that benefits their grandparents but may never benefit those paying into it from their early twenties. By any metric, that makes this the most compassionate generation ever. Not so narcissistic, after all.

6. They’re hesitant to give everything to their employers.

This manifests a lot of different ways, from the famed Google napping pods to unlimited vacation time to comfort animals in the workplace, elements unheard of in any previous generation. I’m pretty sure millennials invented the word “flextime.” Or if they didn’t, it was someone desperate to employ them.

Millennials, unlike boomers, are quite confident in their ability to find another job, whether they quit or are laid off. That makes them less susceptible to bullying. And employees who can’t be bullied make a better workplace for all of us. A few boomer researchers have grudgingly admitted that millennials have improved the workplace for all of us by making unheard of demands and also assuming certain rights like the right to check your smartphone or log into Facebook at your work computer.

Watch that scene in “The Good Wife” where Diane tells a young colleague that she has been chosen for mentoring. The first words out of the girl’s mouth are “Is this going to add to my work hours?” And then she launches into a monologue about how she doesn’t want to sacrifice yet another boyfriend to work. We, the viewers, are invited to see this from Diane’s point of view and sigh “Millennials!” But let’s take a look at it from another point of view. Who decided that work is more important than a good relationship?

When you get sick, who is going to take care of you? Your boss, or your husband? When you develop symptoms of liver failure, who is going to roust you out of bed and take you to the hospital and not let you curl up in a corner and die? Okay, maybe this is my story, but my point is: Millennials are right to prioritize life partners, and even their dogs, over their jobs. Millennials gave us work/life balance. Let’s all be grateful.

5. They gave us President Barack Obama.

And then they re-elected him. Obama did many good things that never really made a media sensation (like cracking down on predatory lending). Shhhh! Don’t tell Trump!

4. Most millennials voted for Bernie Sanders or Jill Stein or Hillary Clinton.

In other words, they recognized that we had three good candidates in the recent race for United States president. Some people argue that a vote for Jill Stein was ultimately a vote for Donald Trump. But whose fault is it that we have a stale, boring two-party system that forces us to choose between two candidates we don’t trust? Whose fault is it that we don’t have a thriving Green Party as they do in Europe? Pretty sure that’s my generation’s fault.

hummer3. They didn’t invent the Hummer.

Somebody thought it was a good idea to invent a civilian car that looks and acts like a military vehicle. And people bought it. They went grocery shopping and picked up their children from school in something like an army tank. This, I am sad to say, was my generation. Millennials, by contrast, have driven the market for electric cars and hybrid vehicles. Since irresponsible transportation methodologies have made the largest contribution to climate change, one is tempted to say that millennials are saving the world without even really making an effort.

2. They ride bicycles and push for bike lanes.

Every time I see a new bicycle lane crop up, I thank a millennial. Millennials see bikes as a mode of transportation, not just as a sport that has nothing to do with your day-to-day life. Northwestern University credits millennials with driving the movement to make Chicago the most bike friendly city in the U.S. Millennials also drove cities to put in shared bike programs. You know, those rows of bikes that you can rent for an hour or a day. Millennials have figured out that bikes are often a lot faster than public transportation AND cars, if you live in a city like Chicago where traffic is at a near constant gridlock.

1. Tiny houses.

Fire up Netflix, and there’s a good chance you can find a documentary about a millennial or two building or buying a tiny house. The classic tiny house, 110 square feet on the bottom with a sleeping loft above, can save you money on your house purchase, save you money on taxes, save you money on insurance, and save you money on utilities. These houses have been adopted by people who don’t want to be slaves to a mortgage. Cancer survivors, who want every minute of their remaining lives to count, have been known to move into tiny houses so they don’t have to work eight hours a day. In my town, Louisville, KY, you can sell a house that is only 600 square feet–fast–if it is up-to-date and energy efficient.

Not everyone is cut out to live in 200 square feet. But the tiny house movement has made everyone see the beauties of a smaller, more efficient living space. This lovely option has been brought to you by the millennial generation. Let’s have a round of applause.

 

Fiddling while Rome burns

Animal rights activists are wasting time protesting circuses instead of protecting endangered species

By Lynn Hamilton

Many well meaning animal rights groups devote considerable resources every year to protesting circuses.

As someone who has, somewhat reservedly, participated in one of these protests, I have a few observations.

Circus protests are pointlessly divisive

Circus protests pit animal welfare advocates against too many relatively innocent members of the community.

Your neighbors and friends are going to the circus. They are taking their children to the circus because parents are desperate to give their children some kind of visual stimulation that is bearable for everyone.

When I protested the circus in Hilton Head, several drivers, on the way to the show, stopped to ask us what we were doing. They were friends of the protesters.

More worryingly, other people who might have supported us, if we had protested fish nets that trap turtles, saw us and mentally put a dividing line between us.

We get judged for inconsistency

It puts us in the ridiculous position of being judged by people who have no moral compass. People slow drove past us and counted our leather shoes.

Mine were fake leather, but that does nothing to prevent this kind of thing.

Admittedly, there will always be judgment from people who live unexamined, selfish lives. But to set ourselves up for that, in such a dubious effort, seems ill considered.

Most importantly, circuses that exploit animals are dying out naturally

Circuses who use animals are already getting phased out. The Ringling Brothers will soon give its last show. They can’t make a profit anymore.

Who wants to see captive elephants lumbering around out of their habitat when you can go to Cirque Du Soleil? Extreme ballet (which is basically what Cirque Du Soleil is doing) will trump captive wild animals every time.

And animal advocates are still wasting their time hammering a dying industry while frogs species are going extinct, dozens at a time.

Cloning: Primates yes; humans no

The big news today is that science has managed to clone monkeys. PETA’s stand is that cloning is a huge waste of resources and represents too much suffering on the way to getting it right.

However, cloning does, theoretically, have the potential to bring endangered species back from the brink of extinction.

Put another way, it’s possible that, by cloning endangered animals, we may be able to save a few species, once we have solved the problems of climate change that are driving animals extinct in the masses.

Today’s news headlines hint that human cloning is but a few short experimental steps away. Here at AnimalRightsChannel, we want to make an unequivocal statement: Nothing could be more immoral than cloning humans, and science should not ever attempt it.

For one thing, humans have no trouble reproducing themselves and often do so by accident. For another, our species threatens every other species on the planet. We invented climate change. Other animals are guiltless of that problem. Humans, not animals, invented air and water pollution. Humans, not animals, invented mono-cropping which threatens the world’s food supply.

So let’s not clone ourselves. Agreed?

Trump tariffs will further endanger endangered animals

Trump tariffs will further endanger species on the climate change hit list

Americans need to just accept the fact that the Chinese have gotten ahead of us on solar panel manufacture. China saw an opportunity and ran with it. Americans sat around with their thumbs up their butts, claiming that solar power would never work.

Fast forward about twenty years. Now U.S. solar manufacturers want to be protected from competition from China, where manufacturers have figured out how to deliver efficient products for cheap. China’s motives may have been entirely rooted in profit, but somehow they have become the world’s savior in the fight against climate change.

Instead of crying into our diapers, the U.S. needs to find the next cool, earth-saving technology.

That’s the message U.S. President Donald Trump should have sent to American manufacturers. Instead, he has announced that he is going to impose tariffs on Chinese panels. Tariffs have never worked, and tariffs on China are going to backfire in some huge way that we just didn’t have the imagination to anticipate.

Around this time, you might be wondering what Trump’s tariffs have to do with animals. This is how it works: Trump imposes these tariffs. Fewer people can afford solar panels. Climate change continues apace, destroying many species who simply can’t adapt fast enough to weather extremes and, in particular, changes that affect food supply.

The International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN) has compiled a list of the top species that are declining rapidly because of climate change. On this list are coral reefs that are the seas’ nurseries. When the coral reefs go, the collapse of the fish industry will only be the beginning. Also on the list are Beluga whales, leatherback sea turtles, koalas, and arctic foxes.

Please sign this petition asking Trump to rescind tariffs on solar energy: https://www.thepetitionsite.com/258/650/626/stop-trumps-war-on-clean-energy-reject-solar-tariffs/

Energy audits are cool

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Some people have a hard time connecting their home’s energy efficiency with animal rights.

But, it might be the case that the best thing you can do for animals is: Improve your home’s energy efficiency. Traditional energy usage causes climate change which leads to the extinction of animals. Animals currently at risk from climate change are polar bears, migratory birds, monarch butterflies, and most frogs, snakes, and other reptiles.

Energy audits typically involve a door blower test that tells you where the cold air is coming into your house. Our energy auditor, Keith Crumes, was the bomb. And we got our energy audit for only $25 through LG&E’s energy rebates program.

Unfortunately, Louisville, Kentucky’s local energy company, LG&E, is phasing out its energy efficiency incentives. Would you please sign my petition to ask LG&E to continue this extremely worthwhile program? Thank you for your support.