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A Compelling Chronicle of Our Fraught Relationship with the Polar Bear

In Review: Ice Bear: The Cultural History of an Arctic Icon

Instead of a “natural history” of the iconic polar bear, anthropologist, wilderness guide and author Michael Engelhard has written a cultural history, showing the evolution of the polar bear as an icon through the ages, meaning something different to different generations and…
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by: Mark J. Palmer – March 3, 2017

Will Japan Stop Whaling and Killing Dolphins in Time for the Tokyo Olympics?

The Olympics are all about cooperation and celebration, the slaughter of marine mammals are anything but.

Since the International Whaling Commission's moratorium on commercial whaling went into effect in 1986, Japan has repeatedly flaunted the will of the IWC by issuing hundreds of scientific permits to Japan whalers for "research whaling." The scam has been repeatedly denounced by…
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by: Mark J. Palmer – September 13, 2016

SeaWorld Drops Lawsuit Against CA Coastal Commission Over Breeding Ban

Move spells an end to captive orca breeding in California

Last week SeaWorld dropped a lawsuit against the California Coastal Commission that challenged the agency’s right to impose a ban on breeding killer whales in exchange for approving the expansion of SeaWorld San Diego’s orca tank. photo by Tammy LoSeaWorld has dropped…
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by: Mark J. Palmer – August 4, 2016

Preserving Half the Earth

In Review: Half-Earth: Our Planet’s Fight for Life

By Edward O. WilsonW.W. Norton & Company, 2016, 259 pages Biologist and prolific writer Edward O. Wilson, professor emeritus of Harvard University, has thrown down a challenge to humankind. In order to preserve the biological diversity of the Earth — all the…
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by: Mark J. Palmer – May 6, 2016

Taiji Whale Museum Convicted of Discrimination Against Westerners

Japanese court finds museum at fault for blocking entry of Australian anti-dolphin hunt activists

In a major blow to the Taiji dolphin slaughter, a Japanese court in Wakayama Prefecture has ruled that the Taiji Whale Museum, owned and operated by the town government of Taiji, discriminated against Westerners by denying them entry to the museum. Western supporters…
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by: Mark J. Palmer – March 25, 2016

Battling Big Oil in Texas

A Field Philosopher’s Guide to Fracking: How One Texas Town Stood Up to Big Oil and Gas
by Adam Briggle
Liverlight Publishing Corporation, 2015, 336 pages

The title of Adam Briggle’s new book, A Field Philosopher’s Guide to Fracking, is something of a misnomer – the book isn’t so much a guide to fracking. It is, rather, quite a good guide to how a small group of people can beat Big Oil and help protect their homes and families from the ravages of extractive technologies. Fracking, or hydraulic fracturing, refers to the process of forcing a heady potion…
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by: Mark J. Palmer – Spring 2016

California Coastal Commission Fires Executive Director Charles Lester

Decision made despite huge public support for his work

On Wednesday, February 10, in Morro Bay, CA, seven members of the California Coastal Commission ignored a huge showing of public support for Executive Director Charles Lester, and voted in private to fire him. At no point was it ever clear what…
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by: Mark J. Palmer – February 12, 2016

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