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Earth Island JournalEarth Island Journal

Earth Island Journal Summer 2016

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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the road ahead

While putting together this special edition celebrating our national parks, I was reminded of the first time I visited the Grand Canyon with my family. We spent an hour or so soaking in the view of the vast void, then, after a short run through the model Hopi House gift store, we turned around and left.I would have loved to have walked down one of the canyon trails and spend a night or two sleeping under the stars. But I come from an immigrant culture where our precious vacation days are typically spent with family — old grandparents, uncles, aunts, cousins, infants — not the best mix if you want to go camping in the backcountry carrying 50 pounds of gear. My desire to explore the outdoors more intimately is…

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letters & emails

Letters to the EditorEarth Island Journal2150 Allston Way #460Berkeley, CA 94704editor@earthisland.orgProtecting St. Louis FamiliesLori Freshwater’s feature about how radioactive waste could be connected to the high number of cancers in North St. Louis County (“Casualties of War,” Spring 2016) hit close to home. I grew up in St. Louis County, in Bellefontaine, MO. Never in a million years would I have expected this could happen in our city, nor did I realize the severity of the situation. It’s so heartbreaking to learn more about this dangerous issue. Many St. Louis residents remain so in the dark about this matter. Hopefully, as time goes on, more people will become informed and will take extra precautions to protect themselves and their families.Magen HillSt. Louis, MOThe Good FightThe Journal’ article on the legacy…

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smog-based startup

Late last year, a Canadian company made headlines when it began selling air bottled in Alberta’s Banff National Park to pollution-choked Chinese city dwellers. Now, enterprising Chinese villagers have set up a competing venture in China’s own Guangdong province.The venture works something like this: Cities in Guangdong are often blanketed in thick smog. Urbanites escape to Lianshan Mountain, the greenest area in the province, for a bit of relief. Lianshan Mountain residents are capitalizing on their coveted fresh air, selling it by the plastic bagful with signs that read: “Air without industrial pollution” and “Buying air equals buying health.”The bags, which cost 10 to 30 yuan each, depending on size (about $1.50 to $4.50 US), provide visitors an opportunity to return to the city with the fresh air in tow.…

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brief respite for grand canyon

In an unexpected victory for environmental and indigenous activists, federal officials effectively rejected plans for a mega-resort about a mile from the entrance to Grand Canyon National Park, saying it was not in the public interest.In early March, Heather Provencio, the new supervisor of the nearby Kaibab National Forest, threw out an application to build a road across public land that would have paved the way for a massive resort with three million square feet of commercial facilities, including a tourist lodge, spa, upscale shops, hotels, and 2,200 homes in the tiny town of Tusayan in northern Arizona, just south of the main park entrance.In a letter to the mayor of Tusayan, Provencio wrote that the project “did not meet minimum requirements for initial screening.” Provencio said the development “would…

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tweeting pigeons

The Pigeon Air Patrol birds were fitted with mini-backpacks carrying air quality sensors. (PHOTO PLUME LABS)Pigeons to the rescue! That’s probably not something you hear often, but in London at least, these underappreciated birds are doing their part to raise awareness about air pollution.In March, two tech companies launched Pigeon Air Patrol, an air pollution PR project involving a small flock of 10 pigeons. Fitted with mini-backpacks carrying air quality sensors, the birds were released to fly around London for three days, providing real-time air quality readings with every flap of their wings.In a twist of marketing genius, curious Londoners were able to tweet their location to the Pigeon Air Patrol Twitter account to check air quality in their area. The backpack sensors read ozone, volatile compounds, and nitrogen dioxide…

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fast food junkies

Increasing numbers of white storks are nesting in Europe year round, feeding on “junk food” from landfills.When junk food cravings strike, some of us go to great lengths to get our fix. Apparently so do white storks. According to new research from the University of East Anglia, these long-necked, migratory birds are making round-trips of almost 100 kilometers to get their fill of food dumped in landfills.White storks are among a growing number of migratory species that have changed their behavior due to human influences and global environmental change. Since the mid-1980s, increasing numbers of these wading birds have stopped migrating from Europe to Africa for the winter. Instead, many live in Spain and Portugal the whole year round — feeding on “junk food” from landfill sites, which provide an…

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