Quantcast
Photo credit: Center for Biological Diversity

In response to recent scientific consensus on giraffes' vulnerability to extinction, five wildlife protection groups today petitioned the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to protect Earth's tallest land animal under the U.S. Endangered Species Act.

The legal petition, filed by the Center for Biological Diversity, Humane Society International, The Humane Society of the United States, International Fund for Animal Welfare and Natural Resources Defense Council, seeks "endangered" status for the species. Facing mounting threats from habitat loss, hunting for meat and the international trade in bone carvings and trophies, Africa's giraffe population has plunged almost 40 percent in the past 30 years and now stands at just more than 97,000 individuals.

"Giraffes have been dying off silently for decades, and now we have to act quickly before they disappear forever," said Tanya Sanerib, a senior attorney at the Center for Biological Diversity. "There are now fewer giraffes than elephants in Africa. It's time for the United States to step up and protect these extraordinary creatures."

New research recently prompted the International Union for the Conservation of Nature to elevate the threat level of giraffes from "least concern" to "vulnerable" on its "Red List of Threatened Species." Yet giraffes have no protection under U.S. law. Species designated as "endangered" under the U.S. Endangered Species Act receive strict protections, including a ban on most imports and sales. The U.S. plays a major role in the giraffe trade, importing more than 21,400 bone carvings, 3,000 skin pieces and 3,700 hunting trophies over the past decade. Limiting U.S. import and trade will give giraffes important protections.

"Previously, the public was largely unaware that trophy hunters were targeting these majestic animals for trophies and selfies. In the past few years, several gruesome images of trophy hunters next to slain giraffe bodies have caused outrage, bringing this senseless killing to light," said Masha Kalinina, international trade policy specialist with the wildlife department of Humane Society International.

"Currently, no U.S. or international law protects giraffes against overexploitation for trade. It is clearly time to change this. As the largest importer of trophies in the world, the role of the United States in the decline of this species is undeniable, and we must do our part to protect these animals."

Known for their six-foot-long necks, distinctive patterning and long eyelashes, giraffes have captured the human imagination for centuries. New research recently revealed that they live in complex societies, much like elephants, and have unique physiological traits, including the highest blood pressure of any land mammal.

"I was lucky enough to study giraffes in the wild in Kenya many years ago. Back then, they seemed plentiful, and we all just assumed that it would stay that way," said Jeff Flocken, North American regional director for the International Fund for Animal Welfare.

"Giraffes are facing a crisis. We cannot let these amazing, regal and unique creatures go extinct—it would be a dramatic loss of diversity and beauty for our planet. This listing petition is rallying the world to help save the giraffe."

The IUCN currently recognizes one species of giraffes and nine subspecies: West African, Kordofan, Nubian, reticulated, Masai, Thornicroft's, Rothchild's, Angolan and South African. Today's petition seeks an endangered listing for the whole species.

"I can't—and won't—imagine Africa's landscape without giraffes," said Elly Pepper, deputy director of NRDC's wildlife trade initiative.

"Losing one of the continent's iconic species would be an absolute travesty. Giving giraffes Endangered Species Act protections would be a giant step in the fight to save them from extinction."

The Fish and Wildlife Service has 90 days to review and respond to the petition and determine whether a listing may be warranted.

Senators Lisa Murkowski and Dan Sullivan, both Republicans from Alaska, have introduced legislation to expand oil and gas drilling in the Arctic Ocean and Cook Inlet, putting fragile ecosystems and endangered wildlife at risk.

In December, President Obama permanently protected large areas of U.S. waters in the Arctic from oil and gas drilling. The new bill—Senate Bill 883—would effectively cancel these protections and force the Department of the Interior to quickly approve new oil and gas leasing.

"It's not possible to drill safely in the Arctic, as we just saw from the leaking oil and gas well on the North Slope," said Miyoko Sakashita, ocean programs director at the Center for Biological Diversity. "This legislation's nothing more than a giveaway to oil companies. It'll hurt Alaska's healthy habitat and endangered wildlife."

S. 883 would require Interior to add at least three leases each in the Beaufort and Chukchi seas and one in Cook Inlet to each five-year leasing plan. The agency would be required to establish a new near-shore Beaufort planning area with annual lease sales for the next three years.

The bill would also overturn President Obama's decision to stop exploration and drilling permanently in most of the Chukchi and Beaufort seas under Section 12(a) of the Outer Continental Shelf Lands Act. These areas are home to several endangered species, including polar bears and bowhead whales.

"If we let oil companies drill the Arctic, a catastrophic oil spill is just a matter of time," Sakashita said. "It's shameful that the Alaska congressional delegation has so little regard for the horrendous damage the oil industry could do to this fragile ecosystem and the people who live and work along this coast."

Leading climate scientists say the vast majority of untapped fossil fuels must stay in the ground to avoid catastrophic, irreversible changes to the climate. Unleased federal waters contain an estimated 75 billion barrels of crude oil, more than twice that of unleased federal lands. Stopping the expansion of new leases in federal waters would keep 61.5 gigatons of carbon dioxide out of our atmosphere and oceans.

Sponsored
A passerby looks at a picture that is part of a campaign to save the rhino in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam. Photo credit: Michael Tatarski / Mongabay

By Michael Tatarski

Throughout the month of March, a unique graffiti campaign popped up on the walls of several streets in downtown Ho Chi Minh City, the hyperactive commercial capital of Vietnam. The works differed from the usual tags and designs that adorn urban areas around the world. The graffiti pieces, 17 in all, carry a simple message: "Save the rhinos" or "Cứu tê giác" in Vietnamese.

Vietnam is home to one of the largest African rhino horn consumer bases in the world, in addition to being a key transit point for shipments to China. Users of rhino horn believe it can cure various illnesses, in addition to a number of other supposed health benefits. There is no scientific basis to back these beliefs up.

The graffiti in Ho Chi Minh City aims to educate locals on the importance of this issue. According to Nhi Thoi, program manager at the Center of Hands-on Actions and Networking for Growth and Environment (CHANGE), the street art is part of an awareness-raising campaign to inform people on the topic that began in 2013. The group specializes in initiating and developing environment and "climate change movements in Vietnam," according to their website.

"We've been running the 'stop using rhino horn campaign' for several years," Nhi said at CHANGE's office in suburban Ho Chi Minh City recently. "We produce a lot of PSAs (public service announcements) and we've invited a lot of celebrities."

A graffiti picture that is part of a campaign to save the rhino in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam. Michael Tatarski / Mongabay

One of these PSAs aired on television screens located next to elevators at some of the city's apartment buildings that normally show product advertisements. In the video, national celebrities explained the need to save the world's remaining rhinos, while graphic images of poached animals with their horns sheared off drove the message home.

Nhi explained that the aim is to create social pressure in order to persuade rhino horn users to change their ways.

"It's really hard to tackle the end-users, for example businessmen and high-ranking government officials, so we need to go around and talk to many other people," she said. The graffiti project began as a low-cost way to further this public conversation. "When I drove around the city I saw a lot of empty spaces, like dirty walls, and sometimes they had been vandalized. I asked myself, 'Why don't we paint our message on the walls?'"

Suby One, a French graffiti artist based in Ho Chi Minh City. Michael Tatarski / Mongabay

Suby One, a prominent French graffiti artist based in Ho Chi Minh City, has collaborated with CHANGE for three years and played a prominent role in bringing the rhino art campaign to life. "They contacted me and told me they want to change the audience," he said.

Instead of communicating through TV ads, CHANGE would bring its message to the streets in hopes of reaching the general public.

"They had celebrities before and now they want to reach the real people so that they know the rhino issue," Suby said. "They wanted it so that we could paint and people would come and talk to us while we were working."

Suby and CHANGE, in partnership with global conservation organization WildAid, invited 11 local and international artists to create designs featuring rhinos. It took months for Nhi and her team to obtain local government approval.

A graffiti picture that is part of a campaign to save the rhino in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam. Michael Tatarski / Mongabay

"From the beginning, I wanted our message to be very aggressive, so I wanted the artists to draw something about a dead rhino or something stunning," she said. "But since we're doing this in public, we needed approval from the authorities and they didn't want something negative."

CHANGE finally got the green light in early March and their team jumped into action, with an aim to complete the artwork in one month. The pieces, spread across a number of streets in Ho Chi Minh City's central District 1, are striking. Each portrayal is unique, but all carry the same plea: Save the rhino.

A graffiti picture that is part of a campaign to save the rhino in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam. Michael Tatarski / Mongabay

"I want to create love for rhinos," Nhi said. "In some images we had differences, like the rhino's horn exploding or the shadows of other rhinos that weren't actually there. We wanted to convey the message that the rhino is close to extinction and needs protection."

According to the conservation organization Save the Rhino, at the end of 2015 there were an estimated 30,000 rhinos remaining in the wild in Africa and Asia. At the start of the 20th century millions of rhinos lived in these regions. Vietnam in particular continues to be a major player in the illicit international rhino horn trade. According to TRAFFIC, a wildlife trade monitoring network, in March 2017 alone there were two seizures—one in Bangkok and one in Hanoi—totaling 67 rhino horns. The Bangkok case involved a Vietnamese national, while no suspects were named in the other.

TRAFFIC used the opportunity to call on the Vietnamese government to honor its commitment to the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES) and prosecute wildlife crimes more vigorously. According to the organization, less than 1 percent of criminals involved in such activity in the country are successfully prosecuted.

The graffiti campaign has been a bright spot, though and garnered extensive attention from the public and the media.

A graffiti picture that is part of a campaign to save the rhino in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam. Michael Tatarski / Mongabay

"In the beginning they [people in the neighborhoods] didn't really support us, but when they saw us clean the walls and draw beautiful pictures they warmed up and were really supportive," Nhi said. "They brought us water and cake and brought their kids to play with us and talk about rhinos."

Suby believes there has been an outpouring of support because of the role art can play in activism.

"I think graffiti is something new here and people are getting interested in it," he said. "You can reach more people with art—especially on the streets … I think touching the people and the neighbors, that's the strength of street art."

Philip Genochio, a British expat based in Ho Chi Minh City, was also involved in the campaign as an artist.

A graffiti picture that is part of a campaign to save the rhino in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam. Michael Tatarski / Mongabay

"For me, it goes beyond rhinos specifically," he wrote via email. "It's part of a much bigger problem of wildlife of all descriptions being killed in the name of vanity and ignorance."

His design in the campaign features the outlines of many small rhinos forming the shape of a large rhino. "I wanted something that had impact; something that would at least get people's attention," he said. "Also, I liked the idea of using vivid colors to represent happiness, joy and well-being … we should have these thoughts in our minds when thinking about wildlife."

Genochio added that he wishes to see the campaign spread an appreciation for art as well.

"On a lighter note, I hope people see the benefit that graffiti and street art brings to a city and its neighborhoods," he said. "It's uplifting, it's characterful, it's inspiring … why wouldn't you want to see this around the city?"

Reposted with permission from our media associate Mongabay.


Photo credit: Greenpeace

Shark fins have been discovered on two Chinese fishing vessels during a joint surveillance conducted by Greenpeace and Guinean fishery authorities. One of the vessels also had illegally altered fishing nets on board, while a third Chinese vessel was caught using illegal nets and fishing for species outside of its license. The two vessels with shark fins on board have been fined $264,787.50 each, while the third vessel has been fined $370,702.50. The catches from all of the vessels have been seized by Guinean authorities.

In addition to the shark fins, Greenpeace also found numerous carcasses of sharks including hammerheads, an endangered species, along with manta rays on board several vessels.

"What we're seeing here is an utter lack of respect for West African fishing laws," said Ahmed Diame, Greenpeace Africa oceans campaigner. "It also shows that local laws need to be strengthened to meet international standards where endangered sharks are no longer a legal catch. That is why we are recommending that coastal states improve their monitoring capacity and advocating for local legislation to protect marine life and livelihoods of local fishing communities."

In total, Greenpeace and local officials inspected and boarded 12 vessels during their joint surveillance this past week. The vessels included nine Chinese, one Korean and two Guinean-flagged. On one of the Chinese vessels, a letter was found issued by China's distant water fishing association on March 10, reminding Chinese fishing vessels to fish legally and be cooperative with authorities' inspections.

"We thought the letter would have deterred Chinese fishing vessels from illegal activities during the period of the joint patrols, but apparently this was not the case," said Pavel Klinckhamers, campaign leader on board the Esperanza. "Several fishing vessels belonging to Chinese companies continued their illegal fishing practices, despite the warning. This shows the complete disregard for local laws by these companies, while they should behave as responsible guests in these waters."

Currently, 41 vessels are licensed to operate in Guinean waters. Eighty-five percent of the vessels are Chinese owned.

Last month, Greenpeace and Guinea Bissau authorities arrested four fishing vessels after they discovered multiple fishing infringements. The vessels are being investigated by local authorities for illegal transshipment at sea, failure to display readable names on the vessels, non-payment of fines and the use of illegal fishing equipment.

Greenpeace is demanding that West African governments take responsibility and work together to manage both foreign and local fishing activities in their waters so resources can be distributed fairly and sustainably and to ensure a prosperous future for local communities and people living along the shores of West Africa.

Sponsored

Thanks to a swift response by the Mexican government, a potentially dangerous confrontation by hostile fisherman towards Sea Shepherd was averted on March 30.

A temporary restraining order issued against the fisherman on March 28 by the Attorney General's office was ratified by a judge on April 5.

Protesting fishermen, led by one of San Felipe's fishing cooperative leaders, held a demonstration on March 26 where they threatened to burn Sea Shepherd ships if they were still in the Gulf by, March 30 at 14:00 hours.

Sea Shepherd is currently in the Gulf, also known as the Sea of Cortez, for Operation Milagro III to protect the near extinct vaquita porpoise and the endangered totoaba bass. The campaign is in partnership with the government of Mexico.

At the demonstration, the fisherman and their leader took a small local fishing boat, known as a "panga," painted Sea Shepherd's name on it and burned it in the streets of San Felipe. The act served as a warning that they would do the same with the anti-poaching organization's ships, the M/Y Sam Simon and M/V Farley Mowat, if they did not exit Mexican waters. The demonstration ended with the leader promising to attack the Sea Shepherd crew with 200 pangas on March 30.

When that date arrived, Mexican Navy vessels acted as escorts for the Sam Simon and the Farley Mowat in case a clash occurred. Meanwhile, on shore police screened fishing boats before allowing them to launch in to the sea.

However, no more than 60 pangas managed to assemble in the harbor and none set sail towards Sea Shepherd. No one was hurt on either side and no property damage occurred.

Restraining Orders Placed on Fishermen

On April 5, a Mexican judge ratified a restraining order to the fisherman and their group leader, forbidding them to speak, threaten and harass campaign leader and Sam Simon Captain Oona Layolle and the Sea Shepherd crew aboard the Sam Simon and the Farley Mowat. The fisherman have been ordered not come near the ships and land base.

"Sea Shepherd very much appreciated the effective measures taken by the Mexican government to quell what was potentially a very explosive and violent situation," said Captain Paul Watson.

Illegal poachers who set the banned gillnets that trap the vaquita, totoaba and other marine animals—are angry that Sea Shepherd is working with their government to remove these nets and remove the animals caught in them, be they dead or alive. The totoaba bladders fetch $20,000 a kilo in China, a price that has attracted individuals tied to organized crime and drug smuggling to the trade.

This illegal fishing has caused the vaquita numbers to dwindle down to less than 30, leaving the world's tiniest porpoise on the brink of extinction. In March, Sea Shepherd found several dead vaquita floating in the Gulf.

The poachers' animosity toward Sea Shepherd is further intensified because the conservation society uses drones to locate the illegal fisherman and the promptly notifies the Mexican authorities of their coordinates, which has led to arrests.

"Sea Shepherd is not in the area to oppose legal fishing activities," said Captain Layolle. "Sea Shepherd's actions are focused on illegal fishing and the only fishermen who have any reason to be angry with the Sea Shepherd ships are those whose illegal activities are being disrupted and shut down by Sea Shepherd crews."


As a result of South Africa's highest court rejecting a bid by the government to keep a ban on the sale of rhinoceros horn, it will soon be legal to buy and sell the land mammals' horns in the country.

This news comes just weeks after poachers broke into a rhino orphanage in South Africa, killing two baby rhinos for their prematurely developed horns. The development also follows the news that 16 rhino carcasses were been found in Kruger National Park in South Africa since the beginning of March.

According to National Geographic, the moratorium on the domestic trade has been lifted as a result of a lengthy legal battle between rhino owners, who farm rhinos like livestock and desire to sell their horns on the market and the government's Department of Environmental Affairs. Though the trade of rhinoceros horn was internationally banned in 1977, the Department of Environmental Affairs restricted domestic tradition in 2009 after a jump in poaching.

John Hume is one of the individuals who fought hard against the government's moratorium. The owner of the world's largest rhino farm (with more than 1,000 rhinos he's bred), he sued the government in 2009 to overturn the policy. Hume claims the only way to protect the rhinos he raises is to sell the horns they grow, that way enough funds will be procured to protect them.

Now that it is legal to domestically trade rhino horn, people in South Africa can get a permit to sell the item that is responsible for driving poaching. Foreigners will be allowed to export a maximum of two horns for "personal purposes."

Rhino horn is worth more than its weight in gold, as The Dodo pointed out, despite it being made of keratin—the same material as one's fingernails. Already, organized crime groups profit from the illegal trafficking of the horn into Asia, where it is believed to have medicinal properties.

According to Susie Watts of WildAid's Africa Program, allowing domestic trade in South Africa to resume will undoubtedly result in the horn being trafficked to Asia. She said:

"Legalizing domestic rhino horn trade in South Africa opens the door to further illegal exports of rhino horn. There is no domestic demand for rhino horn products and, as the pro-trade lobby very well knows, the reason why the moratorium was implemented in the first place was to prevent domestic trade from being used as a cover for smuggling.

"There is no realistic way to maintain chain of custody over rhino horns and prevent them from being trafficked abroad. There should be no legal horn market so long as rhino poaching, illegal trade and consumer demand are out of control."

Now that the moratorium has been lifted, conservationists and activists fear that poaching will increase exponentially in South Africa. This is because the country is home to 70 percent of the world's 29,500 rhinos—all of which are in the midst of a poaching crisis. Clearly, there is a reason for concern, as poaching has skyrocketed in the past decade. In 2016, for example, 1,054 rhinos were poached in South Africa.

"If these regs are promulgated, we will see a significant rise in poaching, as poachers use the significant loopholes to cater to the increased demand for horn in the Far East," Morgan Griffiths of the Wildlife and Environment Society of South Africa said.

Reposted with permission from our media associate True Activist.

Sponsored
Beluga whale pod. Photo credit: Laura Morse/ NOAA

Hilcorp Alaska reported Saturday an oil leak from a pipeline in Alaska's Cook Inlet. The oil spilled from the offshore pipeline south of Tyonek is in a critical habitat for the gravely endangered Cook Inlet beluga whales, whose numbers have dwindled to 340 individuals. This leak is unrelated to the gas leak from another one of its pipelines that has been ongoing since December.

"At first, I hoped that news of this latest oil leak was an April fool's joke because it seemed like Hilcorp couldn't spring another leak so soon," said Miyoko Sakashita, oceans program director for the Center for Biological Diversity. We're really worried about what this means for Cook Inlet belugas with the double whammy of an oil spill and gas leak in the same season."

The cause of the leak is unknown and oil sheens have been reported in the area. The company said it has shut-in production at the platforms, known as Anna and Bruce, that are connected by the leaking pipeline. Reports this morning confirm that the leak has stopped, but the risk to wildlife is unknown. These platforms were installed in 1966 and aging infrastructure and severe tides in the Cook Inlet make them vulnerable to incidents. The Alaska Oil and Gas Conservation Commission has also repeatedly cited Hilcorp for violating safety regulations for its oil and gas operations in the state.

"It's clear that there's no safe way to drill for oil in the ocean. This is the same company that plans to drill for oil in the Arctic Ocean, a place that is much more dangerous for oil drilling with severe storms and ice," Sakashita said. "Hilcorp keeps springing leaks in Cook Inlet and it should certainly not be allowed to build the Liberty project in the Beaufort Sea."

The Center for Biological Diversity has sent Hilcorp a 60-day notice of its intent to sue for the ongoing gas leak and it is monitoring the new oil leak to determine whether legal action is warranted.

Photo credit: Sea Shepherd Conservation Society

A Sea Shepherd team flew over the Gulf of St. Lawrence last week documenting an ecological disaster that very few people want to talk about—especially those in the Canadian government.

It has been 40 years to the month that French actress Brigitte Bardot first went to the ice floes in Canada to focus attention on the slaughter of baby seals at the behest of Sea Shepherd founder, Captain Paul Watson.

This year, actress Michelle Rodriguez—best known for her role as Letty Ortiz in the blockbuster franchise The Fast and the Furious—joined the all-woman survey team known as Operation Ice Watch. The group was led by Sea Shepherd Toronto coordinator Brigitte Breau and also included Yana Watson, the wife of Sea Shepherd leader Captain Paul Watson, Sea Shepherd advisory board member Clementine Pallanca and Canadian animal rights lawyer Camille Labchuk of Animal Justice.

The group was accompanied by a three-person documentary crew: French photojournalist Bernard Sidler, Australian videographer Jasmine Lord and Toronto-based Czech photographer Marketa Schusterova.

Since Captain Watson first founded Sea Shepherd 40 years ago in 1977, much has changed in the Gulf of St. Lawrence. Not all whitecoat seals are clubbed to death on the ice (shotguns are also permitted now), the kill quota is almost twice what it was then. Since 2011, the Canadian Department of Fisheries and Oceans has been allowing the slaughter of 400,000 seals they define as "adult" although many are no more than six weeks old.

Canadian seal products are banned in Europe and in the U.S. Regardless of the quota that has allowed sealers to kill 2.4 million seals over the last six years, only around 350,000 have actually been slaughtered in total because of a scarcity of markets.

However, there is one very significant change that the world needs to know.

Where is the Ice?

Harp seals cannot give birth to pups unless there is ice for them to be born upon. The team of Operation Ice Watch had trouble finding any substantial ice during its investigation.

Earlier in the week, the Operation Ice Watch crew found a couple of small patches along the coast of Cape Breton containing a few hundred seals and their pups. Two days later that patch was gone, broken up by high winds. It was found again two days later, more broken up and with fewer seals. Most likely the seal pups drowned.

There should be more than 200,000 seal pups in the Gulf yet no one seems to know where they are.

What the Operation Ice Watch team witnessed is something that Sea Shepherd has never witnessed before—a completely ice-free and seal-free Gulf. This alarming sight means that without ice, seal pups cannot be born. They are being birthed into the sea, only to drown or forced up on land where they have little chance of survival.

Despite the lack of ice, the Canadian government has issued a kill quota once again of 400,000 seals for the year 2017. This is an astounding figure when tens of thousands of seals may have already perished in the Gulf of St. Lawrence this year due for lack of ice.

Captain Watson and Sea Shepherd feel this should be declared a national emergency and a clear warning that climate change is accelerating faster than authorities anticipate.

Brigitte Bardot and Michelle Rodriguez: Posing With Seals Then and Now

Captain Paul Watson sent the all-female crew to the ice to commemorate the courage of Brigitte Bardot when she went to the ice in 1977 to focus international attention of the slaughter of seals. A photo of Bardot posting with a seal brought world attention to the cause and the need to protect harp seals. It became a pivotal point in the fight to stop this annual Canadian obscenity of cruelty and mass slaughter.

Bardot and Seal, 1977.

In recognition of Bardot's famous picture, taken 40 years ago this March, Rodriguez posed with a whitecoat baby seal in her own 21st Century version of the iconic photo.

Michelle Rodriguez posed with a whitecoat baby seal in her own 21st Century version of the iconic photo.Sea Shepherd Conservation Society

"People listen to celebrities," said Captain Watson. "Michelle has over 13 million friends on her Facebook page along with an international following. This helps to get the message out that now the seals are not just threatened by human hunting, but even more threatened by climate change and the loss of ice. Not content to kill the babies, mankind has now wiped out the nurseries."

However, unlike the ice conditions of 1977 which made Bardot's photoshoot a relatively safe one, it was not so easy to recreate the shot in 2017. The ice was so broken up and thin that Sea Shepherd's helicopter could not land. Rodriguez, along with Yana Watson, Sidler and Lord had to hop from one small pan of ice to another just to reach the seals.

Despite the challenges, Rodriguez was thrilled to meet the seals on the small patch of ice.

"Seeing these beautiful creatures and understanding their place in the ecosystem, I'm saddened the Canadian government has been so short sighted in failing to prevent a massive ecological catastrophe," said Rodriguez. "It's sad to know the truth and watch the world turn a blind eye."

mail-copy

Get EcoWatch in your inbox