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California Coastal Commission Fires Executive Director Charles Lester – February 12, 2016

Decision made despite huge public support for his work

On Wednesday, February 10, in Morro Bay, CA, seven members of the California Coastal Commission ignored a huge showing of public support for Executive Director Charles Lester, and voted in private to fire him.

At no point was it ever clear what problems these Commissioners had, if any, with Dr. Lester. Five members of the 12-member Commission voted in support of Lester.

Photo of California coastPhoto by Howard Ignatius The California Coastal Commission fired Exectuive Director Charles Lester in a 7-5 votes.

More than 150 environmental organizations, including Earth Island’s International Marine Mammal Project, supported Lester. The Commission received more… more

by: Mark J. Palmer

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Fossil Fuels’ Days are Numbered, Thanks in Large Part to Economics: Lester Brown – August 21, 2015

In Review: The Great Transition

Lester R. Brown is well known for his sweeping assemblages of information to illustrate world trends, economic trends, and environmental trends.  His revelations are usually sobering, if not frightening.

But along comes The Great Transition, his newest look at world trends. Today, Brown is telling a different tale. What he sees, along with his co-writers, is a rather uplifting vision:  Fossil fuels are being replaced at an increasing pace by wind and solar energy.

Lester Brown Photo courtesy of Lannan FoundationBrown says the reason solar and wind energy are growing in use
around the world has a lot to do with the economics… more

by: Mark J. Palmer

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In Review: “Protecting the Wild” – July 17, 2015

Essay collection by leading conservationists makes the case for why parks and preserves remain important today

In recent years, a group of “environmental contrarians” have put out essays and books criticizing the environmental movement’s traditional advocacy for parks and wilderness. They claim the fight to protect these areas is futile as there is no true wilderness anymore, and that some of the species within them are doomed to extinction anyway. The contrarians go further to recommend that humans should manage the global landscape with the goal of fostering human needs, assuming natural cycles should work for our benefit.

Published earlier this year, Protecting the Wild (edited by George Wuerthner, Eileen Crist, and Tom Butler; 362 pages; Island Press) is a series of essays aimed at… more

by: Mark J. Palmer

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Former Orca Trainer John Hargrove on the SeaWorld ‘Facade’ – April 23, 2015

Blackfish star slams the marine entertainment giant for ‘disgusting’ treatment of whales

During his 12 years as an orca trainer at SeaWorld, John Hargrove became increasingly concerned about the impacts of captivity on the whales he cared for. After leaving his job at SeaWorld, Hargrove became a powerful force in the campaign against whale captivity with his appearing in the documentary Blackfish and the recent release of his book Beneath the Surface, which chronicles the dangers of captivity to orcas and trainers alike. Hargrove recently sat down with Mark Palmer, David Phillips, and Mary Jo Rice at Earth Island Institute’s International Marine Mammal Project for an interview. Here is the transcript, which originally appeared on the Dolphin Project website.

SeaWorldPhoto by… more

by: Mark J. Palmer

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Is the Taiji Slaughter Wiping Out Japan’s Bottlenose Dolphins? – March 19, 2015

Prized dolphin catch at the notorious "Cove" declined by 80% this hunting season

Another season of dolphin slaughter in Taiji, Japan, reached its end in February, although some dolphins, notably the pilot whales, will continue to be harpooned offshore through March at least. The gory hunt season, made notoriously famous by the award-winning documentary The Cove, lasts for six months, during which dolphin hunters cruise out of Taiji harbor in boats to herd pods of dolphins into the Cove, where the dolphins are netted off from the ocean and slaughtered in the most inhumane way imaginable.

TaijiInfograpic

What should be setting off the loudest alarm bells is the decline in catch of the bottlenose dolphin in Taiji. The bottlenose… more

by: Mark J. Palmer

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