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In Conversation: Dr.  M. Sanjayan, host of EARTH: A New Wild – February 5, 2015

Conservation biologist discusses his new PBS Series, the challenges of co-existing with wild animals, and the schism among conservationists these days.

Last night PBS debuted its newest nature special, EARTH: A New Wild. In the opening episode, the program’s host, M. Sanjayan, promises that this will be a genre-busting kind of environmental documentary. “My mission,” Sanjayan says, “is to tell you an untold story, where we humans are not separate from nature – we are part of it.” And indeed this isn’t just a Planet Earth knock off. Instead of focusing the camera on the planet’s myriad natural wonders, Sanjayan is more interested in exploring a thornier question: How can human civilization and wild nature coexist, especially in this worrisome new era of the Anthropocene? 

Earlier this week I… more

by: Jason Mark

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The Most Important Environmental Stories of 2014 – December 22, 2014

The good, the bad, and the ugly of the year that was

The calendar is about to flip over once again, meaning it’s time for the obligatory roundup of the most important environmental stories of the past year.

This list is mostly subjective — my own personal picks, filtered through my own lens. But I did reach out to a several dozen environmental activists and thinkers to tap into the wisdom of the crowd. I asked folks to give me their suggestions not necessarily for the “biggest” news as measured by headlines or page views or likes, but for the most important stories. That is, happenings likely to have an impact on ecosystems, politics, economy, and culture beyond 2014.

Not surprisingly, climate change… more

by: Jason Mark

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Reese Witherspoon Movie Perfectly Captures Cheryl Strayed’s PCT adventure – December 5, 2014

In Review: Wild

The hugely talented writer Nick Hornby must know a thing or two about what it feels like to have one’s book translated into film. Two of Hornby’s critically acclaimed novels – About a Boy and High Fidelity – have been made into movies, and no doubt the process involved some degree of anxiety and fear. It’s got to be hard, having someone else take your work of art and make it their own.

photo of a woman carrying a backpack near an alpine lakeAnne Marie Fox/Fox Searchlight Pictures

Perhaps his experience on the other side of the writer-screenwriter relationship had something to do… more

by: Jason Mark

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The Hangover: Mourning After the 2014 Election – November 5, 2014

Environmental concerns still not a decisive wedge issue — but there are some silver linings

There’s no sense in sugarcoating it: Yesterday’s election was mostly bad news for the environment and for the US environmental movement. Despite investing close to $100 million in key Senate and gubernatorial races, green groups were unable to elect most of their favored candidates. Politicians antagonistic to environmental protection and climate action will now run the US Senate. At the local level, fiercely fought anti-fracking measures split both ways. GMO food labeling measures failed (once again), though restrictions on GM crops narrowly passed on the Hawaiian island of Maui and in California’s Humboldt County. In perhaps the most significant silver lining of the night, little ol’ Berkeley, CA passed the nation’s… more

by: Jason Mark

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Election 2014: A Guide to the Biggest Environmental Battles – October 8, 2014

Green PACs amping up spending; more GMO initiatives; soda tax fights

Slogan-stacked yard signs proliferating like swarms of locusts. Leaflets cluttering the mailbox and the front porch. Histrionic ads filling up just about every spare minute of cable TV.

All of this can mean just one thing – election season.

Polling Placephoto by Theron Trowbridge/FlickrThe US Senate contests aren’t the only races to watch.With continued Washington gridlock certain, state and local governments represent the best opportunities for meaningful climate action in the short-term.

The national media is mostly obsessed with the fate of the US Senate. Thanks to the cynical and baldly partisan congressional redistricting that has occurred… more

by: Jason Mark

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