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Red, White, and (Hopefully) Green All Over – November 8, 2016

Here are some of the most environmentally important contests in today's election

The 2016 election has become infamous for its visceral polarization — and environmental issues are no exception. Conservation was once a trans-partisan concern that seemed above party labels: George H.W. Bush, for example, backed several important environmental measures, and a Teddy Roosevelt spirit of lands preservation held strong among Republicans for decades. Since 2000, however, voters’ views on the environment, especially global climate change, have increasingly diverged along party lines. According to the director of the Yale Project on Climate Change Communication, climate change is now a more divisive issue than abortion or gay marriage

But US environmental organizations say that below that discouraging fact lies a broad commitment… more

by: Jason Mark

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Follow the Money – September 24, 2015

The fossil fuels divestment movement is making big strides But individual investors have little way of knowing what they own.

Last year, on the eve of the historic People’s Climate March in Manhattan, the Rockefeller Brothers Fund (heir to the Standard Oil fortune) made headlines when it announced would it no longer invest its $860 million endowment in fossil fuel companies. Since then, the global movement pushing for investors to pull their money out of fossil fuel stocks has scored a number of other big wins. The California Senate has called on the state’s two largest pension system, CalPERS and CalSTERS. to sell their investments in coal companies. The University of California system has dumped $200 million worth of stock from coal companies and companies involved in tar sands mining.… more

by: Jason Mark

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By Protecting the Big, Famous Critters, We Can Preserve Biodiversity as a Whole – September 16, 2015

New paper says focus on charismatic megafauna has a positive ripple effect

For many years now, a debate has raged within wildlife advocacy organizations and among conservation biologists about whether the popular focus on charismatic megafuana distracts from the larger goals of protecting landscapes and preserving biodiversity. The argument goes like this: Big, often furry, and adorable-looking animals get all of the love and attention from the public and the media, while the needs of other critters fall by the wayside. For example, Cecil the lion gets shot and the Internet goes ballistic; meanwhile a slow and steady extinction crisis is hammering the world’s amphibians, and barely anyone notices. Often, the infatuation with charismatic megafauna isn’t good science, some critics say. A… more

by: Jason Mark

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Letter from the Shores of the Salish Sea – September 15, 2015

OR: What I witnessed on my summer vacation — fire and drought in the Pacific NW

As we came in for a landing at the small airport in Bellingham, Washington, I could tell that something was wrong. The landscape appeared unfamiliar to me. The pastures and fields that surround the small city just south of the US-Canada border looked faded: not the soft green, or even yellow, of late summer, but something closer to brown or beige. The view of Mount Baker was even more disconcerting. The glacier atop the peak had shrunk noticeably, and the skirts of ice were closer to the summit than I had ever seen them before. This did not seem like the place I had long known.

Haze Sunsetmore

by: Jason Mark

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This Land Is Our Land – September 3, 2015

Time for Congress to renew the Land and Water Conservation Fund

Aahhh, Labor Day weekend — the last gasp for those all-American summer pastimes of camping, hiking, fishing and backpacking. This holiday millions of Americans will take advantage of the long weekend to make one more adventure into our beautiful public lands before the responsibilities of fall descend. But if Congress doesn’t fulfill some of its responsibilities when lawmakers return from their August recess, the funding that sustains outdoor recreation and backwoods escape will be greatly reduced.

man fly-fishing in a lakePhoto by Joseph/FlickrSince its establishment in 1965, the Land and Water Conservation Fund has helped protect more than 5 million acres of natural landscapes… more

by: Jason Mark

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