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Earth Island JournalEarth Island Journal

Earth Island Journal Spring 2018

Earth Island Journal is a publication in the field of news and society offering news and analysis about energy and the environment

Country:
United States
Language:
English
Publisher:
Earth Island Institute
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4 Issues

IN THIS ISSUE

access_time3 min.
proceed with caution

When he landed on the Hadley- Apennine region of the moon in 1971, Apollo 15 astronaut Dave Scott said: “As I stand out here in the wonders of the unknown at Hadley, I sort of realize there’s a fundamental truth to our nature: Man must explore.” Undeniably, the desire to push beyond the limits of what is known has shaped our human race. Starting from the time our ancestors left Africa, and likely even before that, the spread of civilization has been led by people who were driven to explore what lay beyond the horizon. Since that prehistoric time, we have crisscrossed the globe, scaled its highest peaks, set up research stations at its poles, and shot off in machines that have taken us beyond the orbit of our blue planet. There…

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letters & emails

Letters to the Editor Earth Island Journal 2150 Allston Way #460 Berkeley, CA 94704 editor@earthisland.org Start at Home I have no problem with the author’s friend’s Las Vegas sobriquet (“Las fucking Vegas”) in “Through the Glass, Brightly” (Winter 2018). But, as far as light pollution goes, I would think it applies equally to the author’s hometown of San Francisco or the author’s friend’s hometown of Salt Lake City. In fact, it would apply equally well to any major US city including my own: Reno, Nevada. Always bothers me when conservationists see problems as being caused by “others.” You wanna work on the noble cause of light pollution? Great, start in your own neighborhood. That will likely keep you quite busy. David Palmer Reno, NV A Stable System “Life Amid the Levees” (Winter 2018) is a…

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a rare advantage

Here’s one for the “small is good” category. We usually think species that exist only in small numbers are in danger of going extinct. But apparently, sometimes being rare may hold the ticket to a species’ survival. When most people think of rare species, they think of ones endangered as a result of habitat loss, hunting, poaching, climate change, or other environmental disturbances. But some species have always been rare — occurring in small densities within their range — throughout their evolutionary history. In a perspective paper published in the journal Ecology Letters, a team of researchers from the University of California, Davis suggests that for many species, such as a Tritonia nudibranch — a small member of the mollusk family that’s spotted in the Red Sea only once every few years…

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tread lightly in palau

The tiny country of Palau has taken an outsized stance on the environment. Over the past several years, the Pacific island nation has enacted legislation protecting hundreds of marine species, spoken boldly on the need for climate action, and established one of the world’s largest marine sanctuaries. Now Palau wants visitors to take a stand for the planet as well. The Guardian reports that all tourists entering Palau are now required to sign an eco-pledge stamped into their passports. The pledge is addressed specifically to the children of Palau, who also helped craft it, and reads in full: “Children of Palau, I take this pledge, as your guest, to preserve and protect your beautiful and unique island home. I vow to tread lightly, act kindly, and explore mindfully. I shall not…

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botched rescue

In a desperate attempt to buy more time for the last few individuals of a dying species, a team of marine mammal scientists and conservationists set out to capture the world’s remaining vaquitas from Mexico’s Sea of Cortez last October. The idea was to hold these tiny porpoises in a temporary sanctuary where they could breed in safety. Vaquitas have been disappearing at an alarming rate due to drowning in illegal fishing nets in the Gulf of California. There are fewer than 30 individuals remaining of this species, which is endemic to a mere 30-mile radius of the Gulf of California in Mexico. The goal of the joint US-Mexico rescue team, Vaquita CPR, was to bring the vaquitas into temporary human care until all gillnets for shrimp and finfish were banned…

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blame it on the smog

Has your teen been acting up? It could be something in the air. A new study shows that higher levels of air pollution mess with developing brains and result in increased teenage delinquency. The impact of air pollution on the respiratory and cardiovascular health of the young and old alike is well known. But in recent years, more and more research has begun linking air pollution to human brain function. Now new research by the University of Southern California suggests that microscopic pollution particles, called PM 2.5, in ambient air can creep into developing brains, cause inflammation, and may damage brain pathways responsible for emotion and decision-making. PM 2.5 is particularly harmful to developing brains because it can damage brain structure and neural networks and, as our study suggests, influence adolescent behaviors,” says…

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