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+/- : Reader Opinion

The Wilderness Act prohibits ‘motorized equipment’ and ‘other forms of mechanical transport’ in wilderness areas, which land managers have interpreted to mean mountain bikes. Bicyclists say their human-propelled machines fit with the wilderness ideal and should be allowed in such protected areas, while many longtime wilderness advocates support the ban on bikes. What do you think?

pie chart of response percentages

  • YES, I think that mountain biking is compatible with wilderness values and should permitted in federally designated wilderness areas. — 900 votes
    (87.29%)
  • NO, I think that mountain bikes are inappropriate in the wilderness. — 131 votes
    (12.71%)

Total Votes: 1031

+/- : Reader Opinion

Help choose Earth Island Journal’s next cover

Which do you prefer? Waterfalls or Mountains?

pie chart of response percentages

  • I Love Waterfalls

     — 2 votes
    (50%)
  • Sure, But I love Mountains Better

     — 2 votes
    (50%)

Total Votes: 4

+/- : Reader Opinion

Can we help to save wildlife and their habitats by hunting them? Some animals welfare organizations say such a strategy is a contradiction in terms. Hunters say their tradition helps to safeguard wildlands. What do you think?

pie chart of response percentages

  • No, you can't save something by shooting it. — 1672 votes
    (70.91%)
  • Yes, hunting is one way of conserving wildlife habitat. — 686 votes
    (29.09%)

Total Votes: 2358

+/- : Reader Opinion

It’s a debate that’s been with us since the dawn of the Industrial Revolution: Is economic growth sustainable, or at some point will we run up against resource scarcities? The debate has taken on new urgency as climate change and an ever-increasing human population put new strains on ecosystems and resources. What do you think?

pie chart of response percentages

  • I think that the economic growth required by markets is irreconcilable with a finite planet. — 52 votes
    (70.27%)
  • I think that we can balance a growing economy with the needs of the planet’s ecosystems. — 22 votes
    (29.73%)

Total Votes: 74

+/- : Reader Opinion

In the last decade many environmentalists have coalesced around the idea that an inevitable decline in fossil fuels will force industrial society in a more sustainable direction. But with new, extreme forms of oil and gas coming to market, other environmentalists fear that the talk of “Peak Oil” can provide a false sense of security that geology will resolve the threat of climate change. What do you think?

pie chart of response percentages

  • I think that Peak Oil remains a potent way to communicate the need to transition off of fossil fuels.  — 26 votes
    (74.29%)
  • I think that Peak Oil is a distraction. There's more than enough oil readily available to crisp the climate, and we should focus on keeping that oil in the ground. — 9 votes
    (25.71%)

Total Votes: 35

+/- : Reader Opinion

What would you like to see as the Journal’s next cover story – an article about lab-grown meat or a story about cougar management in the US?

pie chart of response percentages

  • An article about cougars making a comeback in the US — 25 votes
    (54.35%)
  • An article about lab-grown meat  — 21 votes
    (45.65%)

Total Votes: 46

+/- : Reader Opinion

After years of delay, a comprehensive immigration bill is moving its way through the US Congress. Proponents say a nation founded by immigrants should provide newcomers a path to citizenship. Opponents say undocumented immigrants shouldn’t be rewarded for violating US laws. Often overlooked in the debate is the question: Will immigration reform hurt or help the environment? Some say the US can’t sustain more people, and so we should stabilize immigration numbers. Others argue that a path to citizenship will increase scrutiny over public health and environmental abuses.

pie chart of response percentages

  • NO. There are already too many people in the US. We have to stabilize our population numbers. — 696 votes
    (98.03%)
  • YES. Immigration reform will bring people out of the shadows and help shine a light on public health, workplace, and environmental abuses. — 14 votes
    (1.97%)

Total Votes: 710

+/- : Reader Opinion

Some conservationists have started promoting ideas like “ecosystem services” and “natural capital” to get more people to take environmental protection seriously. Natural systems, the argument goes, produce real benefits to humans – forests suck CO2 out of the atmosphere, wetlands blunt storms. By putting a price tag on those services, we can create new incentives to protect natural areas. Some environmentalists, worry that the idea ends up cheapening nature by commodifying it.

pie chart of response percentages

  • YES. We need as many conservation strategies as possible. Calculating the economic value of natural areas can help attract new allies to environmental conservation. — 32 votes
    (74.42%)
  • NO. In the end, the idea of natural capital just ends up cheapening nature. We should protect wild places for their intrinsic value.  — 11 votes
    (25.58%)

Total Votes: 43

+/- : Reader Opinion

With the world’s nations unwilling to reduce their emissions, a growing number of scientists say we need to begin researching “geoengineering” – ways to artificially reduce sunlight or manipulate plants or the oceans to absorb huge amounts of CO2. Should we start researching ways to counteract global warming?

pie chart of response percentages

  • NO. Geoengineering is yet another example of technological hubris – we shouldn’t even think of playing Zeus.  — 79 votes
    (74.53%)
  • YES. With political action at a standstill we might need a Plan B to avoid catastrophic and deadly global temperature rise… — 27 votes
    (25.47%)

Total Votes: 106

+/- : Reader Opinion

What do you think: Veggie oil or plug-in electric?

pie chart of response percentages

  • Plant-based fuels, like biodiesel or ethanol — 174 votes
    (90.63%)
  • Plug-in hybrid power — 18 votes
    (9.38%)

Total Votes: 192

+/- : Reader Opinion

Should we stop flying in order to help reduce greenhouse gas emissions?

pie chart of response percentages

  • YES, flying is a significant contributor to climate change and is only enjoyed by the relatively wealthiest people on the planet. — 22 votes
    (75.86%)
  • NO, international travel is crucial to building cross-cultural understanding. — 7 votes
    (24.14%)

Total Votes: 29

+/- : Reader Opinion

Should the O’Shaughnessy Dam in Yosemite National Park be demolished so that Hetch Hetchy Valley can be restored?

pie chart of response percentages

  • YES. John Muir’s prized valley deserves to be returned to the natural wonder it once was.  — 42 votes
    (82.35%)
  • NO. This is a valuable source of renewable energy, and decommissioning the dam would likely require more fossil-fuel use.  — 9 votes
    (17.65%)

Total Votes: 51

+/- : Reader Opinion

Can you be a “good environmentalist” and still have children?

pie chart of response percentages

  • No, there are already too many people on the planet and each of us, especially in the industrialized world, consume too much.  — 101 votes
    (74.26%)
  • Yes, having children is a life-affirming act and we need to pass on the values of love for nature and environmental stewardship.  — 35 votes
    (25.74%)

Total Votes: 136

+/- : Reader Opinion

Do you think that buying organic, fair trade, re-used, and other ‘green’ products can help protect the planet?

pie chart of response percentages

  • No, consumption can never deliver the political change we need to create a more sustainable society. — 67 votes
    (64.42%)
  • Yes, we all need some stuff and it’s better to buy products that are produced more sustainably. — 37 votes
    (35.58%)

Total Votes: 104

+/- : Reader Opinion

Natural Gas: a bridge or a dead end?

pie chart of response percentages

  • Gas Attack: Natural gas extraction is an environmental burden — 23 votes
    (67.65%)
  • Friendly Fire: Natural gas is a necessary bridge to renewables — 11 votes
    (32.35%)

Total Votes: 34

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