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IslandWire: June 17, 2021


photo a discarded plastic bottle on a shore

Earth Island Files Lawsuit against Coca-Cola

Combating corporate greenwashing, Earth Island Institute recently filed a lawsuit against the Coca-Cola Company, the American multinational beverage corporation that portrays itself as sustainable and environmentally friendly despite being one of the largest contributors to plastic pollution in the world. “Coca-Cola has long been in the business of portraying itself as stewards of the environment while pointing to consumers as the source of plastic pollution. But it is Coca-Cola, not consumers, that chooses to use chart-topping amounts of plastic for its products. It is time this company is held accountable for deceiving the public,” Earth Island Institute General Counsel Sumona Majumdar said. More information here and read the article in Earth Island Journal here.


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New Books on Conservation Science

Two new books address conservation science and policy. Just released, Smokescreen: Debunking Wildfire Myths to Save Our Forests and Our Climate, by Chad Hanson, of Earth Island’s John Muir Project, cuts through years of misunderstanding and misdirection to make an evidence-based argument for a new era of forest management. Leading climate scientist James Hansen calls the book “persuasive” and Bill McKibben calls it “mandatory reading.” A review in Earth Island Journal can be found here. Due out in July, Conservation Science and Advocacy for a Planet in Peril: Speaking Truth to Power, edited by Dominick DellaSala, of Earth Island’s Wild Heritage, is a collection of essays on science-based advocacy that includes a compelling foreword by James Hansen on the state of the climate emergency and what needs to happen immediately to avoid runaway climate chaos.


photo of a woman in a plastic canyon, holding mocked-up plastic food products

The Plastic Bag Store

Earth Island’s Plastic Pollution Coalition is proud to partner with UCLA’s Center for the Art of Performance to present Robin Frohardt’s “The Plastic Bag Store” installation, open to the public in Los Angeles’s downtown Arts District June 30 – July 11. There are two modes in which to experience this presentation: timed entry to the “store” itself, to wander the aisles and discover the abundant products devised by the artist, or, restricted to a limited number of tickets, the live immersive experience, in which a puppet film, performers, and handmade sets tell the darkly comedic story of how the plastic waste left behind today might be interpreted by future generations. Photo of Robin Frohardt courtesy of Tony Lewis.


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The Benefits of Curbing Food Waste

Identifying food waste reduction as a solution that addresses both climate change and food insecurity, Earth Island’s Food Shift was recently awarded $25,000 from the Sierra Nevada Brewing Company’s Dankful Giving Program. “Dankful” for the recognition, Food Shift Executive Director Yuka Nagashima stated, “Our values, to build community capacity through food and to see potential in overlooked food as well as talent throughout the food supply chain, are aligned: hunger’s root is financial insecurity.” Food Shift also recently entered into a contract with StopWaste, a public agency in Alameda County, California, to create a series of informational social media posts on the benefits of curbing food waste. “We’re honored to partner with mission-driven corporations and government entities. We’re all in this together,” said Yuka. Artwork on right by Sophia Zaleski.


photo of people working in a planted field

Community Liberation and Land Defense

Earth Island’s Seeding Sovereignty recently participated in a Community Liberation and Land Defense training week in Tiwa Territory (Albuquerque, NM). A grassroots effort to build local community power through skill sharing, the Community Liberation and Land Defense program provided training sessions, including CPR, First Aid, AED, Foundations in Safety, Art as Resistance, and a Seed Saving teach-in by Seeding Sovereignty’s land steward, Mayam Garris.


photo of a person installing a solar panel

Vote for Covenant Solar Initiative!

Earth Island’s Covenant Solar Initiative has been selected as a 2021 Classy Awards Finalist in the Social Innovation category. Launched in 2009, the awards shine a spotlight on outstanding programs by social impact organizations around the world. Covenant Solar Initiative has been recognized for its transformational work on renewable energy projects in Native American communities. Ten winners will be selected by a board of social sector leaders and announced on September 28. There’s also a People’s Choice Award category, voted on by the general public — and that means you! Vote for Covenant Solar Initiative here. Voting closes on June 25.


close-up photo of a wolf

Federal Protection Needed for Wolves

America’s wolves are under assault, and Earth Island’s Project Coyote is urging everyone to speak up to help ensure the survival of this iconic species. Earlier this year, wolves lost federal protections under the Endangered Species Act. Soon thereafter, more than 200 wolves were killed in Wisconsin, surpassing quotas and resulting in an early stop to the hunt, and Idaho recently passed a law that allows the slaughter of 90 percent of the wolf population there. Multiple other states have passed or are considering legislation allowing indiscriminate killing of wolves by cruel methods, including traps, snares, and night hunting. Help stop this tragedy by signing Project Coyote’s petition to reinstate federal protections for wolves before it’s too late! Photo courtesy of Niela Von Till.


photo of an injured shark, fin missing

Ban on Shark Fin Sales Passes Senate

On World Oceans Day, June 8, the U.S. Senate passed the Shark Fin Sales Elimination Act, bringing the country one step closer to a nationwide prohibition of the shark fin trade. The bill was part of a broader legislative package, the U.S. Innovation and Competition Act (formerly known as the Endless Frontier Act). Its companion legislation (H.R. 2811) is now being considered by the House. Earth Island’s Shark Stewards has been a proponent of the legislation from the start, and is asking people to contact their representatives and to sign this petition, to keep the pressure on Congress to support the passage of this bill that would make the sale, possession, and trade of shark fins illegal in the United States.


photo of demonstrators on a beach

A Wake for the Whales

Also on World Oceans Day, June 8, Earth Island Institute and two of its projects, the International Marine Mammal Project (IMMP) and Shark Stewards, joined the Center for Biological Diversity, Friends of the Earth, and other organizations to hold “A Wake for the Whales.” At least a dozen whales have washed up dead on Northern California shores so far this year. While whale populations are recovering from commercial whaling, they face new obstacles such as ship strikes, entanglement in fishing gear, and global warming changes to the marine environment. Speakers, including Mark J. Palmer of IMMP, emphasized the need to address these new hazards through enforcing mandatory slow ship speeds in coastal waters, ending the use of diesel fuel for ship traffic, and replacing crab and lobster trap ropes with “ropeless” technology. Photo courtesy of Mark J. Palmer.


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Summer 2021 Issue of Earth Island Journal

The new Summer 2021 issue of Earth Island Journal is out and it features stories on the new gold rush spurred by the demand for green energy; on how Black farmers continue to face many of the same racist hurdles of the past; on activists helping oil-spill-impacted communities; and on rethinking forest fires. Annual subscriptions to this award-winning magazine are only $20. Consider subscribing for a year of excellent stories from the frontlines of the environmental movement.

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