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Preserving Half the Earth – May 6, 2016

In Review: Half-Earth: Our Planet’s Fight for Life
By Edward O. Wilson
W.W. Norton & Company, 2016, 259 pages

Biologist and prolific writer Edward O. Wilson, professor emeritus of Harvard University, has thrown down a challenge to humankind. In order to preserve the biological diversity of the Earth — all the plant and animal species that share our planet — we should set aside half the surface of the Earth in the form of biological preserves, with the remaining half devoted to human needs and resources.

Photo of Half-Earth: Our Planet’s Fight for Life Book Cover

A tall order!

In fact, several reviewers have objected to his new book, Half-Earth: Our Planet’s Fight… more

by: Mark J. Palmer

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Taiji Whale Museum Convicted of Discrimination Against Westerners – March 25, 2016

Japanese court finds museum at fault for blocking entry of Australian anti-dolphin hunt activists

In a major blow to the Taiji dolphin slaughter, a Japanese court in Wakayama Prefecture has ruled that the Taiji Whale Museum, owned and operated by the town government of Taiji, discriminated against Westerners by denying them entry to the museum. Western supporters of ending the annual Taiji dolphin slaughter, made famous by the Academy Award-winning documentary The Cove, have sought entry to the museum to assess the status of captive dolphins held there that are caught in conjunction with the bloody drive hunts.

Photo of Angel at Taiji Whale MuseumPhoto by Angel Melody Angel is one of the dolphins on display at the Taiji… more

by: Mark J. Palmer

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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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