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Fossil Fuels’ Days are Numbered, Thanks in Large Part to Economics: Lester Brown

In Review: The Great Transition

Lester R. Brown is well known for his sweeping assemblages of information to illustrate world trends, economic trends, and environmental trends.  His revelations are usually sobering, if not frightening. But along comes The Great Transition, his newest look at world trends. Today,…
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by: Mark J. Palmer – August 21, 2015

In Review: “Protecting the Wild”

Essay collection by leading conservationists makes the case for why parks and preserves remain important today

In recent years, a group of “environmental contrarians” have put out essays and books criticizing the environmental movement’s traditional advocacy for parks and wilderness. They claim the fight to protect these areas is futile as there is no true wilderness anymore, and…
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by: Mark J. Palmer – July 17, 2015

SeaWorld’s in Deep Water

Beneath the Surface: Killer Whales, SeaWorld, and the Truth Behind Blackfish
by John Hargrove with Howard Chua-Eoan
Palgrave MacMillan, 2015, 264 pages

On its website, the marine-park conglomerate SeaWorld Parks and Entertainment says that it is a “leading theme park and entertainment company that blends imagination with nature.” Parse the sentence, and you’ll see that this is little more than marketing-speak for saying that the company offers its visitors a kind of fantasy. Captive marine mammals frolicking and doing tricks for crowds of humans – it’s a make-believe vision of what the ocean might…
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by: Mark J. Palmer – Summer 2015

Earth Island Advances New SeaWorld Lawsuit

International Marine Mammal Project

On April 13, two former visitors to SeaWorld who paid to attend the marine park in San Diego, CA filed suit against SeaWorld Entertainment Inc. on the basis of false and misleading claims made by SeaWorld about the health and welfare of captive orca whales. The plaintiffs are represented by Covington & Burling LLP, which is being assisted by Earth Island Institute’s International Marine Mammal Project. As one of the world’s leading…
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by: Mark J. Palmer – Summer 2015

Former Orca Trainer John Hargrove on the SeaWorld ‘Facade’

Blackfish star slams the marine entertainment giant for ‘disgusting’ treatment of whales

During his 12 years as an orca trainer at SeaWorld, John Hargrove became increasingly concerned about the impacts of captivity on the whales he cared for. After leaving his job at SeaWorld, Hargrove became a powerful force in the campaign against whale captivity…
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by: Mark J. Palmer – April 23, 2015

Is the Taiji Slaughter Wiping Out Japan’s Bottlenose Dolphins?

Prized dolphin catch at the notorious "Cove" declined by 80% this hunting season

Another season of dolphin slaughter in Taiji, Japan, reached its end in February, although some dolphins, notably the pilot whales, will continue to be harpooned offshore through March at least. The gory hunt season, made notoriously famous by the award-winning documentary The…
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by: Mark J. Palmer – March 19, 2015

Creatures of Chance

The Meaning of Human Existence
By Edward O. Wilson
W.W. Norton & Co., 2014, 208 pages

With his copy of Darwin’s The Origin of the Species firmly in hand, biologist and two-time Pulitzer Prize-winning author Edward O. Wilson sets out in his new book to answer the loaded question posed by the title – The Meaning of Human Existence. In this slim volume, the veteran scientist (who is now 85) offers a thought-provoking treatise on the age-old question and other related issues – like super-organisms, religion, and free…
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by: Mark J. Palmer – Spring 2015

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