Our Bureau of Land Management (or BLM) has released its proposal to open the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge (also known as ANWR) to oil drilling -- and, naturally, because they don't want to hear what you think about it, they announced their proposal in late December when folks are immersed in the holidays and have given us only a month to leave a public comment about it! So let the Sierra Club help you tell our BLM to keep big oil drilling corporations out of ANWR. You know (better than our BLM does, apparently!) the threat oil drilling poses to caribou within the Reserve and the Gwich'in Native Americans who live there, but don't forget to remind our BLM that just about nobody who's studied the matter thinks there's a whole lot of oil in ANWR to begin with! Is this the lesson we want to teach our descendents -- that when some corporation or other wants to make money, it can destroy whatever's in its way? And that our government should help them do that? Not in my America, it's not. But only if we act.
Meanwhile, you might think the children's apps in the Google Play Store wouldn't illegally collect data or manipulate kids into buying stuff or model harmful behavior, but, sadly, they do, as a Campaign for a Commercial-Free Childhood complaint to our Federal Trade Commission (or FTC) documents. Like the app depicting a kid crying after you don't buy something! That's disgusting! Kids take it seriously when other people cry! And when the big corporations providing these apps say hey, we're just collecting information so we can target ads better -- corporate spokeshacks are not as smart as you think, after all! -- contemplate the horror of a corporation that thinks of children as just another moneyjar. You know, the way they already think about their parents! But at least parents can defend themselves better against such manipulation -- children need their parents' protection for a reason. Hence the CCFC helps you tell Google to adopt more vigorous standards that protect kids from privacy invasion and rampant commercialism.
In other news, one Digital First Media plans to buy Gannett newspapers, the nation's biggest newspaper publisher -- no doubt you've read USA Today and a slew of local and regional newspapers that used to be independent. Yeah, might as well get that out of the way early: having a thing such as Gannett isn't a good thing for America, even if their reporting is competent enough, but having it bought by an even bigger corporation owned by a freaking hedge fund is an even worse thing. What do you think Digital First will do once it gets its grubby hands on Gannett? If the experience of previous Digital First-owned outlets (like, say, the Denver Post) has any predictive power, there'll be censorship of journalists, firing reporters who don't toe the bottom line, and sacrificing anything and everything to the altar of mammon. Hence Free Press helps you tell Gannett's board to protect their newsrooms by refusing to sell to Digital First Media. We've got here the Big Stick of Bad PR here, so let's use it.
Finally, our Supreme Court has lately rejected Exxon's latest attempt to stall or stop Massachusetts Attorney General Maura Healey's investigation into whether it lied to investors and consumers about fossil fuels' role in climate change, so now's as good a time as any to tell your state Attorney General to join the effort against Exxon, as Corporate Accountability helps you do. You probably know the story by now: several media organs reported in 2015 that Exxon's own scientists had warned executives of fossil fuels' role in climate change as early as 1977, but these executives basically pretended that research didn't exist and spent their time stoking doubt in everyone's minds instead. And there you have the real role of money in climate change policy -- scientists don't "make money" from telling everyone climate change is real so much as fossil fuel corporations make money from telling everyone climate change is a hoax. Remember that the next time our President weighs in on the matter.