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category_outlined / News & Politics
Earth Island JournalEarth Island Journal

Earth Island Journal Summer 2015

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

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blood ivory

In mid-April a northern white rhinoceros named “Sudan” was placed under 24-hour armed guard at Kenya’s Ol Pejeta Conservancy. Sudan is one of a kind — literally. He is the only remaining male of his subspecies, which now includes just six animals. If he dies without first mating with one of two females he shares a pen with, the northern white rhino will disappear from the planet.Unfortunately, it doesn’t require much of an imaginative leap to picture that someday the African elephant could find itself in a similar situation. Just as rhino populations have been hammered in recent years as poachers go after the animals’ horns (which, according to myth, have some medicinal properties), the African elephant is in the midst of a poaching crisis as consumers in a newly…

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letters & emails

Letters to the Editor Earth Island Journal 2150 Allston Way #460 Berkeley, CA 94704 editor@earthisland.orgwww.bizarrocomics.comTrying to Get AwayThanks for a great article on the Grand Canyon development project (“Grand Folly,” Spring 2015) and for the interesting background information provided in the story. It is so sad; we go to places like the Grand Canyon to get away from the pavement, telephone poles, and people, only to be surrounded by more of the same.Melanie Hannaman Blue Earth, MNIrony and OilNatalie Cherot’s unadorned explication of the oil production process in Oxnard, CA (“Amid Farmland, An Oil Field,” Spring 2015) says more than a hundred heated arguments ever could about this topic. It is particularly ironic that a bucolic strawberry farm setting is being used to cover up the oil extraction going on…

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water woes in golden state

Looks like water rationing is going to be the new reality in the Golden State. Four years into a major drought, California has only one year of water stores left in its reservoirs and the skies are offering little hope of relief. The state legislature has passed a $1 billion drought-relief package that includes spending on drinking water protection, water recycling programs, and desalination plants. Meanwhile, state water officials have introduced water-saving measures for homes and businesses, including prohibitions on lawn watering and limits on when restaurants can serve water.This year the state barely had a winter to speak of — January was the driest on record since California started keeping records in 1895 — and groundwater and snowpack levels are at all-time lows. “Data from NASA satellites shows that…

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not so roundup ready

The World Health Organization delivered a blow to Monsanto in late March when it declared that the company’s leading weed-killer, Roundup, was “probably carcinogenic to humans.” The finding marks the most high-profile critique of the herbicide that the agribusiness giant has long touted as a safe way to protect corn and soybean fields, as well as home lawns, from weeds.In a new analysis published in The Lancet Oncology, WHO’s International Agency for Research on Cancer says there is “limited evidence” that glyphosate, the active ingredient in Roundup, can cause non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma and lung cancer in humans and “convincing evidence” that it can cause cancer in lab animals. The analysis is based on a review of existing research that dates back to 2001.Use of glyphosate has spiked since the mid-1990s due…

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pack it in, pack it out

Sixty years after Sir Edmund Hillary and Tenzing Norgay became the first people to summit Mount Everest, the world’s tallest mountain is beginning to resemble a garbage dump.The Nepalese government is starting to crack down on mountaineers who make the attempt on the famed peak and fail to pack out their trash and feces. In 2014, Nepal instituted a $4,000 garbage disposal deposit among the 300 climbers who tackle the mountain each year, and this year, Nepalese officials say, they will be much tougher on enforcement. Any mountaineer who fails to return from the peak attempt with at least eight kilograms of trash and human waste will forfeit the deposit.The slopes of the massive mountain are now cluttered with spent oxygen containers, torn tents, broken ladders, and plastic food wrappers.…

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broken limbs

Biologists have long understood that forest fragmentation — especially due to road-building — reduces biodiversity. Now, a new study demonstrates exactly how badly fragmentation impacts ecological health, and it’s not a pretty picture.Working with a grant from the National Science Foundation, North Carolina State biology professor Nick Haddad gathered forest data collected over the course of 35 years on five different continents. The results, he says, were “astounding.”“Nearly 20 percent of the world’s remaining forest is the distance of a football field — or about 100 meters — away from a forest edge,” Haddad said in announcing his conclusions, which were published in the journal Science Advances. “Seventy percent of forest lands are within a half-mile of a forest edge. That means almost no forest can really be considered wilderness.”The…

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