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Rose Colored Glasses

The Human Age: The World Shaped by Us
By Diane Ackerman
WW Norton, 2014, 344 pages

Diane Ackerman knows how to work the English language. The author of two dozen books – including a memoir, literary non-fiction, poetry, and children’s books – Ackerman has a preternatural gift for tricking words into revelations. Reading her latest book, The Human Age, I found myself again and again underlining phrases that combined unusual beauty and intelligence. Sometimes these flashes of brilliance come in the form of minor observations, like her description…
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by: Jason Mark – Spring 2015

Swimming in Oil

The fish, famously, doesn’t know it swims in water. The line could also describe our relationship to fossil fuels. It’s commonly said that our reliance on oil and gas resembles a drug addiction, yet the pathology goes much deeper than that. We’re all but blind to the oil around us. I think you know what I mean: The nonchalance with which we go about our lives, unnoticing the daily amenities afforded to…
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by: Jason Mark – Spring 2015

In Conversation: Dr.  M. Sanjayan, host of EARTH: A New Wild

Conservation biologist discusses his new PBS Series, the challenges of co-existing with wild animals, and the schism among conservationists these days.

Last night PBS debuted its newest nature special, EARTH: A New Wild. In the opening episode, the program’s host, M. Sanjayan, promises that this will be a genre-busting kind of environmental documentary. “My mission,” Sanjayan says, “is to tell you an untold…
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by: Jason Mark – February 5, 2015

The Most Important Environmental Stories of 2014

The good, the bad, and the ugly of the year that was

The calendar is about to flip over once again, meaning it’s time for the obligatory roundup of the most important environmental stories of the past year. This list is mostly subjective — my own personal picks, filtered through my own lens. But…
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by: Jason Mark – December 22, 2014

Reese Witherspoon Movie Perfectly Captures Cheryl Strayed’s PCT adventure

In Review: Wild

The hugely talented writer Nick Hornby must know a thing or two about what it feels like to have one’s book translated into film. Two of Hornby’s critically acclaimed novels – About a Boy and High Fidelity – have been made into…
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by: Jason Mark – December 5, 2014

The Hangover: Mourning After the 2014 Election

Environmental concerns still not a decisive wedge issue — but there are some silver linings

There’s no sense in sugarcoating it: Yesterday’s election was mostly bad news for the environment and for the US environmental movement. Despite investing close to $100 million in key Senate and gubernatorial races, green groups were unable to elect most of their…
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by: Jason Mark – November 5, 2014

Election 2014: A Guide to the Biggest Environmental Battles

Green PACs amping up spending; more GMO initiatives; soda tax fights

Slogan-stacked yard signs proliferating like swarms of locusts. Leaflets cluttering the mailbox and the front porch. Histrionic ads filling up just about every spare minute of cable TV. All of this can mean just one thing – election season. photo by Theron…
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by: Jason Mark – October 8, 2014

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