Exxon gets a slap on the wrist, green airports, and online eco petitions

Last week, as gas prices soared along with oil company profits, the U.S. Supreme Court knocked almost 80% off Exxon’s punitive damages for the 1989 Valdez oil spill of 11 million gallons in Alaska’s Prince William Sound. Instead of $2 billion in damages, they’ll pay out $500 million – a fraction of the company’s profits last year. The Sierra Club Chronicles, on the Sundance Channel’s The Green, is a 7-part series featuring individual’s efforts to protect the environment, including a devastated community of fishermen that puts the 16 years since the Exxon Valdez spill into perspective.

Though he plays Danny Crane, an arch conservative on ABC-TV’s Boston Legal, William Shatner just produced a PSA for the Sierra Club's "Be Part of the 2% Solution" (to cut carbon emissions 80% by 2050), a comprehensive action scientists believe may curb the consequences of global warming. Danny DeVito also shows up in an ad with the cast of his TV show, saying: “What happens when It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia  (and Antarctica)?” Others lending their mugs and support behind the effort: actor David Straithairn (Good Night and Good Luck) and Diane Farr (CBS-TV’s Numb3rs). Sign the petition to get behind David, Diane, and the two Dannys.  

 As Independence Day nears, The Declaration of Compassion, a petition aimed at achieving independence from industrialized farming and animal-based agribusiness, seeks your support. The petition was unveiled last Saturday at the 7th Annual Shindig of Kathy Stevens' Catskill Animal Sanctuary, a refuge for 1,300 farm animals, including abandoned or injured horses, ponies, cows, goats, sheep, donkeys, pigs, rabbits, and a variety of birds. Brooke Shields, SNL's Kristen Wiig, Russell Simmons, Emily Deschanel, and filmmaker Zana Briski (Born into Brothels) are gathering 100,000 signatures by the 4th of July in an effort to raise awareness about the extinction of animal and plant species, and water shortages. If July 4th means more than fireworks and hot dogs, sign online where the virtual petition is posted.

Laurie David, estranged wife of Larry David (Curb Your Enthusiasm), head of the Stop Global Warming organization and blogger on Huffington Post's Green Link, is praising the greening of airports in Boston and Dallas/Fort Worth. Logan Airport, the first to be certified green, boasts a batch of eco-minded changes like self-dimming lights and heat-reflecting windows and roof. Now if only airplanes could run on alt fuels, or people would make the commitment to travel lighter…