Drone Update: Suprizing, Worrying

Drone Update as of February 20, 2015

While the FAA considers Green Vegans’ letter charging they have failed to abide by the National Environmental Policy Act of 1969 (NEPA) regarding the regulation of drones, consider this surprising and worrying additional background. Drones will provide many benefits and can be a useful technology if used responsibly. Unfortunately, drones and their advanced technology are ripe for abuse that the FAA has too long ignored.

They are available to anyone with money, meaning there are tens of thousands of drones now and countless more to come. Hobbyists will continue to have more drones of considerable speed and size than all other sectors. Commercial drones, up to fifty-pounds and one hundred miles per hour if proposed rules are adopted, are and will be in the minority compared to hobbyist aircraft. Rulemaking for commercial drones cannot escape the need for an environmental assessment that considers the total number of drones.

3drobotics Rtfx8915 X8 Heavy Lift Multicopter Drone 915 MhzTaken together—and in individual instances—this many drones constitute a threat to public privacy interests, ecosystems and wildlife. With few exceptions, they are allowed to operate in public airspace. Hobbyists at present fly from ground level to 400 feet above—the approximate height of a forty storey building. The proposed commercial flight maximum is 500 feet. As we reported earlier, Amazon.com alone is reported to be selling 10,000 hobbyist drones every month. This is a new intrusion into human and wildlife habitats at a scale we’ve never experienced before.

Government agencies and first responders like fire and police services are making plans to increase their use of drones. And of course, amateur to professional hobbyists are yearning to fly where they want, filming, intruding on people and wildlife most often without any redeeming benefit compared to the impacts and next to no regulatory constraint. Continue reading

Green Vegans Petitions FAA Re: Drones and NEPA

FAA Petitioned to File Environmental Impact Statement for Drones

Amazon Reported to be Selling 10,000 Drones per Month

January 30, 2015 / MEDIA RELEASE

Green Vegans, a Seattle-based human ecology organization, has petitioned the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) to implement the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) before it finalizes policy and regulations that would apply to commercial drones under the FAA Modernization and Reform Act of 2012 (the Act), in addition to “model” drones used by hobbyists. “Clearly,” said Will Anderson, president of Green Vegans, “the benefits as well as the environmental and social impacts from drones are enormous. The FAA must comply with NEPA on this major action by the federal government that covers what will soon be millions of drones, most of which at not going to be regulated by the Act.”

This QR X350 PRO drone is being sold on Amazon's "Drone Store."

This QR X350 PRO drone is being sold on Amazon’s “Drone Store.”

On Wednesday, President Obama, relating to the model drone that crashed on the White House lawn over the weekend stated, “We don’t really have any kind of regulatory structure at all for it.” The White House Council on Environmental Quality was given a copy of the petition.

Total Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS), as drones are called by the FAA, will approach ~250,000 by 2035, of which ~175,000 will be in the commercial marketplace.” Significant is the fact that these figures do not include the far larger number of users in the model/hobby UAS category. Continue reading

Donation Fatigue?

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Dear friends of Green Vegans,

Like you, I’m receiving many last-minute donation requests from worthy organizations. Some of the larger nonprofits are emailing me once per day in this final week of 2014. As founder (2009), I help where I can but focus most of my support on Green Vegans while using our social media websites and Facebook pages to let you know about the good works of others.

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While our mission seems overwhelming at times, there is no one else to help do it but you. Together we make hope possible. Year 2015 for many people will start in a few hours. Other traditions have different systems for tracking our time on the planet. Yet all of us are bound by our love of life. Our compassion compels us to be active in the creation of a better world and better selves.

You’ve made the right changes in your personal life. You inspire others by your example. And you donate to help us do more. Today we received a generous donation from Karen in Florida. It will power our campaign that, when successful, will make it easy for you to identify vegan foods for sale at food stores.

It takes everyone to move forward. Afghanistan, 1970. Photo: Wlll Anderson

It takes everyone to move forward. Afghanistan, 1970. Photo: Will Anderson

Green Vegans conducts campaigns in direct proportion to the donations we receive. Please take a moment and—out of all the requests you are getting—make a donation to Green Vegans now. Every dollar means a lot to us. Your gifts make our campaigns possible. We are a nonprofit, 501(c)3, all-volunteer organization. Help us make a difference. Simply click on the “Donate button on this page to connect to PayPal’s secure site. Together, we will make 2015 vegan green!

Thank you,

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Will Anderson

 

 

 

 

Green Vegans Report In From NYC

100_1801The People’s Climate March was held at 2,808 events in 166 countries. Owen was our representative for the NYC event. He had this enthusiastic response.

“The march was a smashing success in NYC. I’ve never seen so many vegans in one place! It was actually a little chaotic though, there was barely room to stand before the march started moving, it took several hours to start moving, and after it did start moving we (the vegans) got separated. Were I to do it again, I’d try and organize the vegans to pause periodically to create space in front of our signs so that our materials/signs etc. were more visible.

I met up with Kip and Keegan [producers of Cowspiracy]. They had a large banner and there was a giant inflatable cow by them that read ‘I’m full of greenhouse gases. Do you have a steak in it?’ 10385561_10152263238756577_3272566093488710787_n

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

There were tons of creative and informative signs. Cowspiracy dvds were handed out and the film was promoted amongst the crowd where it matters most: folks who care about the environment.

The best opportunity to Continue reading

Vegan Visibility Is A Success At Climate March

009As forecast, the weather was beautiful and vegans were visibly plentiful at the Seattle People’s March for Climate Change. One of a reported sixteen hundred-plus marches held around the world on September 21, the Seattle event attracted a broad base of people and organizations. Everyone demanded action from our governments to move off of a diet of fossil fuels and onto a clean energy economy that provides green, living-wage jobs. As Green Vegans posted earlier, that message is essential but the majority of concerns and solutions were excluded by Climate March organizers in Seattle and elsewhere. Vegans made sure that everyone in the Seattle march saw that veganism is the most effective response to climate change.

073As many of us passed out hundreds of pieces of literature to march-goers and passersby, others took turns holding four large banners and dozens of signs, many featuring posters of the documentary, Cowspiracy. This was truly a collaborative action by the vegan community. We took turns holding up banners and it didn’t matter which organization created it.

Twelve speakers presented their perspectives for about an hour and a half. From our position behind the stage and on the sidewalk, vegans stretched for at least fifty feet wrapping around the rear and sides of the stage. Our large vegan banners and signs were visible to the all of the rally attendees as well as the public on the street. At two-thirty, we merged as the vegan contingent into the main marching column that numbered some two thousand people, according to the media. We marched for a mile or so as traffic stopped and we delivered our message to the marchers on waterfront.

It was a great day as Seattle’s vegan community introduced people to veganism. We are happy to report also that additional vegans were demonstrating at the circus in Everett. Congratulations to all!

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A Green Vegans View of the People’s Climate March

Ben White, head turtle, WTO March in Seattle, 1999.

Ben White, head turtle, WTO March in Seattle, 1999.

Green Vegans will be represented in New York and Seattle at the People’s Climate March. Our participation in two Seattle organizing meetings was welcomed. We were given time to speak, propose, and vote. It mattered little in the end because the strategy of the majority of organizations represented there reflected the lead organization, 350.org. It remains oriented to recruiting social-political justice advocates to forge a broader climate change movement that includes minorities, indigenous cultures, and labor. This will demonstrate the global character of the movement that demands change from the institutions of government and corporations, and through international agreements.

For the Seattle march, there is a focus on ending dependence on fossil fuels, creating green jobs with living wages, and taking the political / corporate institutions to task for their failures to protect both people and the environment. Broadening the diversity of the climate change movement, demanding a clean energy economy that creates jobs with livable wages, and telling the government and corporate powers to work on behalf of the people and climate are essential. However, there is not “one solution” to climate change as the organizing majority states. There are many solutions, each based on the transformations we must make in the way we live. Green Vegans was the sole vote at the Seattle organizing meeting in favor of including in the official event statement that people have the power to effect change through personal responsibility—the proven effectiveness of veganism and lowering human populations, for instance. We were told that the strategy of personal responsibility to effect change was a failed approach of past environmental campaigns.  Continue reading

Seattle Vegans Climate March Final Update

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Judging from the increase in email traffic we’re getting about the People’s Climate March, vegans will be visible in Seattle, the San Francisco Bay area, New York City and many other places. Cowspiracy Producers Kip and Keegan will be in New York City with the vegan contingent (http://cowspiracy.com/). In Seattle on this Saturday night, there is a showing of Cowspiracy: https://www.facebook.com/events/736228076414969/

Seattle Vegans and Vegan Supporters

Green Vegans believes our purpose in Seattle on September 21 is to get climate advocates and environmentalists to acknowledge the power of veganism to address climate change. We will do this with banners, signs, educational literature, and conversation. Yes, there’s more to veganism and this is a chance to explain that, too.  Green Vegans is helping to facilitate the vegan presence, but everyone is free to do this as individuals and organizations best suited to your preferences. Here are the essential points:  Continue reading