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A Deadly Business

The ploy was so shameless and obvious that it gave concern-trolling a bad name. In January, US and Canadian accident investigators, in a rare joint statement, warned their governments that an oil-by-rail accident could lead to “major loss of life.” The petroleum industry and its allies were quick to use the warning as an argument for building the Keystone XL pipeline and, in general, for building more oil infrastructure. “Clearly because this…
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by: Jason Mark – Summer 2014

Annie Leonard to Take the Helm at Greenpeace USA

Story of Stuff founder demonstrates a “fierce love” for people and the planet

Annie Leonard – the creative force behind The Story of Stuff video series and currently Earth Island Journal’s “Material World” columnist – has been chosen as the new executive director of Greenpeace-USA, the organization is announcing today. The pairing seems a perfect…
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by: Jason Mark – May 6, 2014

NY Attorney Wins Goldman Environmental Prize for Her Pioneering Work Against Gas Fracking

The story behind Helen Slottje’s legal strategy that has the gas industry on the defensive

When Helen Slottje quit her high-powered, well-paying job at a corporate law firm in Boston and moved to Ithaca to be with her new husband, David, she was hoping to make a quiet new life for herself amid the bucolic scenery of…
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by: Jason Mark – April 28, 2014

Goldman Environmental Prize Winners Offer a Lesson in Courage

Annual prize, now in its 25th year, is an important reminder of the seriousness of environmental advocacy

Being an environmental activist in the United States (or Canada, or most of Europe) is so easy. Sure, the hours are long and the pay — if there is any, which is a privilege in itself — sucks. Most of the hard…
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by: Jason Mark – April 27, 2014

Earth Day: Now about as Green as St. Patrick’s Day?

From epic day of citizen action to marketing gimmick in just 40-odd years

It probably has something to do with the fact that I’m one of the last sentimentalists standing in this ironic age, but I’ll admit that I get a little misty eyed when I think about the first Earth Day. Do you remember…
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by: Jason Mark – April 22, 2014

A Way to Come Together on Public Lands Conservation

If Congress doesn’t like President Obama’s national monument designation, it should pass the dozens of pending wilderness bills

Late last month the House of Representatives passed a bill that would restrict the president’s ability to fulfill a key part of his stated agenda. No, this wasn’t the umpteenth vote to repeal Obamacare. Rather, the “Ensuring Public Involvement in the Creation…
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by: Jason Mark – April 14, 2014

Eco Euphemisms Confuse Our Understanding of Environmental Destruction

What’s in a word?

In his now-classic essay, “Politics and the English Language,” George Orwell warned: “Political speech and writing are largely the defense of the indefensible. … But if thought corrupts language, language can also corrupt thought. A bad usage can spread by tradition and…
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by: Jason Mark – March 28, 2014

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