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Free Trade versus Good Food

How the World Trade Organization struck down Country of Origin Labeling for meat

Eager to chalk up some second-term accomplishments, the Obama administration is busy with the final negotiating stages of a sweeping free trade deal called the Trans-Pacific Partnership. Although many of the details of the agreement remain secret, a lot of progressives and…
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by: Jason Mark – March 31, 2015

Goodbye CA Coastal Fog, Goodbye Redwoods

Loss of fog, linked to urban heat islands, imperils coastal ecosystems

In Southern California they call it the “June Gloom” — the gray layer of heavy fog that drapes itself across much of Los Angeles in late spring. Here in the San Francisco Bay Area, we just call it “summer”: The months-long cycle…
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by: Jason Mark – March 10, 2015

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

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