The 2018 Winter Olympics will be held in Pyeongchang, South Korea, and despite the Olympic Committee's stated wish that the 2018 Olympics be a "green Olympics," South Korea is, as we speak, cutting down a Mt. Gariwang forest that's home to centuries-old trees and several rare and threatened species, including the flying squirrel -- all so they can build Olympic-caliber ski slopes. Mt. Gariwang was a federally-protected reserve as recently as 2012, but South Korea revoked that protection in the hopes of winning the Olympic bid; the provincial Gangwon government says they'll replant the trees when it's all over, but that'll cost more money, and that counts on Gangwon's government being willing to uproot the ski slopes (some of which will be paved). So Avaaz helps you tell the South Korean government and the International Olympic Committee to stop destroying the Mt. Gariwang forest from development. Folks who talk about the "economic gains" a region sees when it hosts the Olympics should remember that most of those "gains" go to people at the top, and that that once you've built a massive Olympic infrastructure and the Olympics are over, the tourism boom is pretty much over.
Meanwhile, the Department of Labor late last week issued a rule banning federal contractors from retaliating against workers who talk about their pay with their co-workers. This is often the only way workers getting shafted over by sexist pay practices ever find out about it, and corporations that aren't federal contractors can do what they like -- unless we tell Congress to pass H.R. 1619/S. 862, the Paycheck Fairness Act, which the National Women's Law Center helps you do. I worked at a company with one of those don't-talk-about-your-pay rules back in the day, and no one could reasonably explain to me why the bosses had that rule. The explanation they were avoiding: that they don't want to get sued over paying someone less than someone else. If it seems to you that the best way to do that is to pay people fairly, you're not alone, and if someone tells you that the Paycheck Fairness Act "prohibits" people being paid according to their value, remind them that the bill allows differences in pay based on "bona fide factors" including experience, training, and education. That argument may not sway everyone, because haters gonna hate, but right is right and duty is duty.