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Ecuador’s Yasuni Initiative: Down in Flames – September 12, 2013

Failure of conservation effort raises question about cash-for-land schemes

When it was announced in 2007, Ecuador’s Yasuni ITT-Initiative to protect an area of the Amazonian rainforest from oil drilling was hailed as a historic conservation effort. Ecuadorian President Rafael Correa said he wouldn’t allow oil extraction in parts of Yasuni National Park if international donors agreed to reimburse Ecuador for half of the lost revenues of the estimated 846 million barrels of oil underneath the forest. This is how Earth Island Journal reporter Jean Friedman-Rudovsky explained the importance of the plan in a 2007 story titled ‘Money for Nothing’: “Ecuador’s move is, technically speaking, unprecedented. Though similar to programs that have sold acres of rainforest to avoid deforestation, this… more

by: Jason Mark

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Wilderness’s Midlife Crisis – September 3, 2013

Don’t believe the haters: wilderness remains more important than ever

Today, September 3, is the birthday of the Wilderness Act, one of the most important US environmental laws on the books. Forty-nine years ago President Lyndon Johnson signed the act, which ranks among our most eloquent laws, distinguished by its especially poetic definition of wilderness. The act proclaims: “A wilderness, in contrast with those areas where man and his own works dominate the landscape, is hereby recognized as an area where the earth and its community of life are untrammeled by man, where man himself is a visitor who does not remain.”

Hoh RainforestPhoto by This Drive Never Felt So/Flickr Hoh rainforest, Washington. The… more

by: Jason Mark

(3) Comments

Fight Over Gas Fracking Moves to the Coasts – July 18, 2013

Proposed LNG export terminals are the newest front in the battle over the US’s energy future

There is no natural gas fracking occurring in Maryland – the state has a moratorium on the practice – but Mike Tidwell and his Takoma Park-based Chesapeake Climate Action Network have found themselves in the midst of a major gas-related political battle. “We need to reach a point where we can leave the lights on without torching, combusting, and exploding things,” Tidwell told me recently. Nor is there any gas drilling happening in New Jersey. But campaigners at the Jersey group Clean Ocean Action are also busy these days trying to keep the gas industry at bay. “We are worried about increased gas extraction,” Sean Dixon, an attorney with… more

by: Jason Mark

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Former Walmart Executive Says Sharing is the New Shopping – July 12, 2013

A Conversation with Yerdle’s Andy Ruben

The toilet paper roll story was what grabbed my attention. Last month I went to an evening of storytelling hosted by the good folks at an outfit called Waking Star. The program was billed as, “Journeys – Stories of Aha! Moments.” One of the best Aha! stories I heard that night came from a dude named Andy Ruben.

photo of a man Ruben spent 10 years working for a company you might have heard of – it’s called Walmart. He became the company’s first Chief Sustainability Officer, and dedicated himself to embedding waste reduction and energy efficiency into the company’s DNA. So… more

by: Jason Mark

(1) Comments

Obama Delivers a Strong Climate Speech Most Greens Will High-Five – June 25, 2013

What you’ll love, hate, and meh about the president’s climate action blueprint

Well, better late than never. Twenty-five years after NASA climatologist James Hansen warned the US Congress about the threat of global climate change, the US government is making a plan to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and prepare for the dislocations from extreme weather.

photo of president Obama Official White House Photo by Pete SouzaObama once again cast climate change as moral issue,
and then he went further, saying there was no more
time for debating the need for action.

In an impassioned speech delivered today at Georgetown University President Obama (finally) laid out a blueprint for tackling global climate change. This was… more

by: Jason Mark

(1) Comments

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