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The Ten Most Ethical Travel Destinations for 2016 – January 19, 2016

This year’s list of best developing countries to visit includes Cabo Verde, Mongolia, and Panama

January can feel like a long month. In the northern hemisphere, at least, the days are short, temperatures are low, and skies are often cloudy. In many ways it is the perfect time to fantasize about, and, better yet, plan a summer vacation.

Image of MongoliaPhoto by Bernd Thaller Mongolia made Ethical Traveler's list of the 10 most ethical travel destinations for 2016. Seventy percent of Mongolia’s herder populations now have access to solar power.

But nothing is simple these days, and that includes travel. On top of planning flights, booking hotels, and off-setting carbon emissions, many travelers want to know more… more

by: Zoe Loftus-Farren

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A Coal Terminal in Oakland? – December 16, 2015

Activists, local residents are fighting a proposed coal export facility in one of the nation’s most polluted cities

From Oregon, to Texas, to Washington DC, environmental advocates across the United States are involved in battles against fossil fuel infrastructure expansion. So far, however, northern California has largely escaped these big industry vs. activist showdowns. Yes, there have been protests in Oakland and marches in Richmond, but there hasn’t been a local Keystone to rally around.

Photo of Port of OaklandPhoto by Russell Mondy The Port of Oakland. When the Port of Oakland rejected Bowie Resource Partners’ proposal for a coal export facility at the port, the company turned its sights upon the Oakland Army Base redevelopment project.

That may soon… more

by: Zoe Loftus-Farren

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FDA’s Approval of GE Salmon Based on Bad Science, Say Consumer Advocates – November 25, 2015

Agency’s move sets a low bar for future approvals of genetically engineered animals for human consumption

More than 20 years after the first genetically engineered plant hit American grocery stores, the FDA has approved the first transgenic animal for human consumption: a salmon.

The AquaBounty Salmon, as it is known, is an Atlantic salmon genetically engineered to grow more rapidly than its non-GE counterpart, allowing it to reach market size in just 18 to 20 months, compared to the standard 28 to 36 months. 

Photo of GE Salmon ProtestPhoto by Steve Rhodes The FDA received roughly 2 million public comments in opposition to the approval of GE salmon.

The FDA’s announcement last week was met with frustration, if… more

by: Zoe Loftus-Farren

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Obama Rejects Keystone XL Pipeline – November 6, 2015

President says transporting crude oil from Canada won't help the economy, lower gas prices, or increase the United States' energy security

In a huge win for environmentalists, President Obama rejected the Keystone XL pipeline proposal today.

Had transport company TransCanada's proposal been approved, the pipeline would have transected six states, carrying crude oil 1,700 miles from Canada’s Alberta tar stands to refineries on the Gulf Coast.

President Obama at his desk Official White House Photo by Pete SouzaThe President said that the pipeline was neither be a silver bullet for the economy, nor the express lane to climate disaster.

In a White House press briefing this morning, Obama said that the pipeline “would not serve the national interest of the United States.” The… more

by: Zoe Loftus-Farren

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Building Islands and Burying Reefs in the South China Sea – July 21, 2015

China’s land reclamation activities in the Spratly Islands are causing permanent damage to marine habitat

Island-building isn’t new. San Francisco built Treasure Island in the 1930s for the Golden Gate International Exposition. Miami’s exclusive Star Island was constructed by the Army Corps of Engineers back in the 1920s. And of course there are more recent examples, such as Dubai’s infamous Palm Islands.  

Fiery Cross ReefPhoto courtesy of Asia Maritime Transparncy InitiativeChinese development at the newly reclaimed Fiery Cross Reef, which lies on the west side of Spratly Island. China’s island-building boom is widely seen as an attempt to tighten its control over the South China Sea.

Now, China is fervently adding to that list at an unprecedented… more

by: Zoe Loftus-Farren

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