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“All of the Above” Still a Big Disappointment

Greens largely unexcited by State of the Union

About a third of the way through tonight’s State of the Union address, as he tackled the issues of climate change and the environment, President Obama proclaimed, “The shift to a cleaner energy economy won’t happen overnight, and it will require tough…
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by: Jason Mark – January 28, 2014

Secretary Jewell Targets Nature Deficit Disorder

Twenty-first Century Conservation Corps gets off the ground

I’ll admit that in the grand scheme of Washington politics, the news yesterday out of the Department of the Interior isn’t exactly earthshaking. During a news conference at the FDR Memorial in DC, Interior Secretary Sally Jewell announced that retailer American Eagle…
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by: Jason Mark – January 9, 2014

A Becky Tarbotton Remembrance

Some notes on the art of leadership

A year ago today my friend Becky Tarbotton died while swimming in rough surf off the coast of Mexico. It was the kind of accident that is so unexpected and shocking — so out of the blue — that it felt, in…
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by: Jason Mark – December 26, 2013

The Ten Most Important Environmental Stories of 2013

The Good, the Bad, the Ugly

Ah, the winter holidays. Christmas trees, sugary treats, alcohol-fueled office parties, binge shopping … and end-of-year Best of Lists. No December is complete without all of those Top Ten compilations in which we wistfully look back at the year-that-was. Sometimes these lists…
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by: Jason Mark – December 18, 2013

Call of the Wild

Can Ranchers Come to Peace with the Wolves in Their Midst?

The spirit of the Wild West is alive and well in the hamlet of Reserve, New Mexico. The seat of Catron County is home to a scant 600 people, and Main Street is little more than a collection of old adobe homes,…
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by: Jason Mark – December 9, 2013

A for Effort

Wild Ones: A Sometimes Dismaying, Weirdly Reassuring Story About Looking at People Looking at Animals in America
By Jon Mooallem
Penguin, 2013, 339 pages

Liam O’Brien isn’t a biologist by training or a professional conservationist. For much of his adult life he was an actor, appearing mostly in stage productions of Shakespeare. Then, one day in 1996, he spotted a western tiger swallowtail in the garden outside his bedroom window and fell deeply, hopelessly in love with butterflies. Fifteen years later, he has become, despite his lack of formal training, one of the top lepidopterists in…
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by: Jason Mark – Winter 2014

Chevron’s Revenge

Oil giant pursues a “scorched earth” campaign against its most dogged critic

Steven Donziger is getting smashed into the concrete like a spent cigarette butt. Chevron claims Steven Donziger and Ecuadorian villagers attempted to extort billions of dollars from the oil giant. Since Donziger is a lawyer — and lawyers aren’t always the most…
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by: Jason Mark – November 19, 2013

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