Crude Conundrum
Canada’s Tar Sands Are Dirty, Dangerous … and Managed by Awfully Nice Folks. Does that Make them Ethically Just?
Jason Mark

Feature Articles

Not a Pretty Picture

More than 500 cosmetics sold in the United States contain chemicals banned from beauty products in Europe, Canada, and Japan.
A proposed law aims to change that.

Noelle Robbins

Riding the Long Wave

A writer paddles the Salish Sea and ponders the impacts of our society’s short attention span.

Kurt Hoelting

Tunnel Vision

Oil companies are determined to build two massive new pipelines to transport crude from the tar sands. Local activists, concerned about spills and water quality, have geared up to fight them.

To Our Readers

Don’t Blame Canada

I’ve always been surprised that so many environmentalists, typically found on the political left, are such stalwart believers in the conservative doctrine of supply-side economics. For proof,...

Earth Island Reports

Campaign to Safeguard America’s Waters: Spring 2011

Save the Whales! … And the Frogs and Fish!

Sacred Land Film Project: Spring 2011

Notes from Hallowed Ground

International Marine Mammal Project: Spring 2011

Sting Supports the Dolphins

Brower Youth Awards: Spring 2011

New Book Offers a Roadmap for Change Makers

Information Recycled, Reused, and Improved

Project Report: Plastic Pollution Coalition

Serengeti Watch: Spring 2011

Safeguarding the Great Migration

New Projects: Spring 2011

Earth Island Institute welcomes two more new projects to our ever-growing family. Changing Gears Bike ShopChanging Gears offers used bicycle sales, full-service repairs, paid job training for forme...

1000 Words

Chris Jordan

Running the Numbers


Fighting Spirit

Given the threat they pose to regional water and air quality and their especially heavy carbon footprint, the tar sands mines have attracted the ire of a broad range of environmental groups. ForestEth...

After the Gold Rush?

The newest outpost of the global petroleum race is not far from the middle of nowhere. Two hours north of Edmonton the ranches and farms suddenly surrender to the vastness of Canada’s boreal for...

New Frontiers for Black Gold

Extracting oil from tar sands is technically difficult, environmentally destructive, and expensive. It’s also lucrative. No surprise, then, that countries around the world are sizing up their ow...

Caution: Wide Load

For more than 40 years, Linwood Laughy and his wife Borg Hendrickson have lived on Highway 12, two miles from Kooskia, Idaho, the last stop on the two-lane highway before it winds deep into the Clearw...


Janine Benyus

In the 1990s, Janine Benyus, a natural sciences writer and the author of several wilderness guides, began to pay close attention to how various organisms adapted to the ecosystems around them. That le...

In Review

Drowning Academic Freedom

Troubled Waters: A Mississippi River Story
Written, Produced, and Directed by Larkin McPhee

Movements Beyond Movements

Journal Bookshelf

Can’t Find My Way Home

You Are Here: Why We Can Find Our Way to the Moon, but Get Lost in the Mall
by Colin Ellard
336 pages, Doubleday, 2009

A Child of Dystopia Reads Ecotopia

Ecotopia: The Novel of Your Future
by Ernest Callenbach
181 pages, Bantam New Age Book, 1975


Still Crazy After All These Years

It was 35 years ago that I learned, first-hand, about the negative externalities of American driving. My friend and boss, Lonnie Light, and I were working in the West Texas oil patch when we had to go...

Talking Points

Local News from All Over: Spring 2011

Around the World

Notes from a Warming World: Spring 2011

Temperature Gauge

Fluoride, Toothpaste and the A-Bomb

Pollution, Pollution, You can use the latest toothpaste And then wash out your mouth With industrial waste. When Harvard professor and humorist Tom Lehrer penned those lines in 1965, he proba...


Gas Attack? … Or Friendly Fire?

At first, some environmentalists saw the natural gas boom as a way to promote a relatively carbon-light “bridge fuel” that would take us from dirty coal to clean renewables. Then concerns ...

Ally Renewables with Natural Gas

Richard Ward is director of energy initiatives at the Aspen Science Center and senior energy advisor to the UN Foundation’s Energy Future Coalition. Ward was previously with Royal Dutch Shell, w...

Natural Gas: A Bridge to Nowhere

As program director at Rainforest Action Network, Jennifer Krill helped lead campaigns to protect old growth forests and break America’s oil addiction. She is currently the executive director of...