Long story short: tell President Biden to pressure Moderna to share its vaccine technology with the rest of the world, tell our EPA to replace all lead-lined water pipes, tell our FDA to vigorously regulate agricultural wastewater, and tell our government to flatline an Arctic drilling project and protect old-growth trees everywhere in America. Use the email/petition tools in the following paragraphs to communicate your will.
Drug Prices Are Too High helps you tell President Biden to pressure Moderna to share its COVID-19 vaccine technology with the rest of the world. And by "pressure," I would mean "remind them that you can, by law, simply take charge of the patent and force them to share their tech with the rest of the world." You've heard that South African scientists had to reverse-engineer the patent from scratch? Great job, and I'm sure their travails will make a great HBO miniseries one day, but why should it have even been necessary? Someone already figured it out and decided to make the most amount of money possible from it, so millions of folks all over the world have to die? I swear the worship of mammon will kill us all one day, if it hasn't doomed us already. But in the meantime, duty is duty.
Environmental Action helps you tell our Environmental Protection Agency (or EPA) to replace all lead-lined water lines in America within a decade. The infrastructure bill passed last year will spend more money on lead-pipe removal than we've ever spent at any time in our history, and that's good, but our EPA still should establish the legal goal of getting rid of all the lead pipes in America, because that'll make it less likely that some of that money gets diverted to, ah, purposes not exactly related to lead-pipe removal. And any amount of lead in your drinking water causes brain damage, and we could have as many as 24 million children drinking water with toxic levels of lead in it, so the need is dire, and our EPA needs to recognize that, and our EPA also needs to require that we remedy it.
Staying with clean water for the moment, Penn PIRG helps you tell our Food and Drug Administration (or FDA) to enact the most vigorous agricultural water requirements possible. Meaning what? Meaning big ag corporations have to work harder to keep the animal feces out of the water they use on their crops, and therefore our water, since it all winds up at the same place. It took our CDC nearly eight years to link two 2014 listeria outbreaks -- which hospitalized 22 good Americans and killed three -- to agricultural wastewater. Our CDC further estimates that close to 50 million Americans will get food poisoning this year, and 3,000 will die from it. And nobody laid up in a hospital with a disease they didn't need to get wants to hear that the way we do things now keeps your food cheap!
Both the Wilderness Society and the Center for Biological Diversity help you tell the Biden Administration to scuttle any plans they might have to restart the notorious Willow Project in the Western Arctic Ocean. The Trump Administration green-lit the program in 2020, and like a lot of Trump Administration projects, a judge stopped it because (and stop me if you've heard this one before!) the Administration didn't do the environmental reviews required by law before giving the project the green light. But this is yet another oil-drilling project in an area of the world we don't know enough about to drill in safely. You know the drill: frigid waters, fragile ecosystems, other sectors of the economy (hello, salmon fishing!) that could get injured or wiped out. But you still gotta say things to your government a couple of times (or a couple hundred times!) before they get it.
Finally, Penn Environment helps you tell the Biden Administration to protect old growth trees from logging wherever they may be in America. I've trumpeted the thousand year-old trees in the Tongass many times in this space, but they're not the only old-growth trees we've got -- we have many pines, junipers, oaks, and sequoias that old (and older) in California, Oregon, Washington, and Arizona, and our oldest trees are some of our best climate-change fighters, given that they've been absorbing carbon dioxide far longer than you or I have been alive. And most of these trees only die when they get batted around by severe weather or someone injures them. And I keep saying this, but when they're gone, they're gone, and the money we get from cutting them down will never last as long, or do as much good.