Noticias y Política
Earth Island Journal

Earth Island Journal Fall 2018

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

United States
Earth Island Institute
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4 Números

En este número

3 min.
to all you who cherish life

There are so many things I want to say to you, dear readers, about this issue the Journal’s all-women editorial team has so painstakingly put together. I want to tell you how we envisioned this special, extended edition as at once a celebration of the diverse women across the world who are giving their all to protect our living planet, an acknowledgement of the deep gender biases that still exist within the environmental movement, and a call to arms to keep up the good fight for a better, more equal world. I want to tell you about the many stories and voices you’ll find in these pages that will inspire you, inform you, shock you, make you laugh, and maybe even cry. But my mind keeps circling back to Tahlequah. As you…

2 min.
letters & emails

A Wiser Solution Stacy Martin (Voices, Summer 2018) describes how well she takes care of the beef cattle, pigs, and chickens on her farm, and her choice is infinitely superior to factory farm abuse. But a wiser, healthier solution is to grow and eat only plant-based foods. Species have anatomies and digestive systems evolved for a certain diet. Nearly all primates, including Homo sapiens, are essentially vegetarian. Our small mouths, weak jaws, lack of claws, carnassials, fangs, talons, etc., confirm this. We can’t chase after prey the way true carnivores can. Amylase, present in our saliva, breaks down carbohydrates. Our trichromatic vision helps us to discern when fruits and plants are ripe. Our intestines are far too long for digesting animal flesh. Our fossil ancestors turned to eating animals some 1.8 million years…

2 min.
star bright

In 2013, the future looked bleak for sea stars along the west coast of North America. From Canada all the way down to Mexico, sea stars were dying a gruesome death, losing limbs, gaining lesions, and literally wasting away from what would eventually be identified as a viral infection. With no way to stop the spread of the disease, scientists worried about sea stars’ survival, particularly that of Pisaster ochraceus, or the ochre star, 80 percent of which were wiped out between 2012 and 2015. Thankfully, things seem to be looking up for the ochre star. A new study published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences found that ochres are once again thriving off the California coast. In fact, the species has enjoyed a 74-fold increase in the…

2 min.
test tube rhinos?

Earlier this year, Sudan, the last known male northern white rhino, died. Leaving behind just two northern white rhinos, his daughter and a granddaughter, his death brought the sub-species right to the edge of extinction and past what many considered a point of no return for this rhino. But some scientists aren’t ready to let the rhinos go: In July, less than three months after Sudan’s death, a team of researchers announced that they had combined frozen northern white rhino sperm with eggs from the southern white rhino, creating a viable northern- and southern- white rhino hybrid embryo. The controversial milestone is the culmination of years of research, and the team now plans to implant the embryos into a surrogate southern white rhino to produce a calf. “These are the first in…

1 min.
farewell koko

Koko, the best-known gorilla in the world, died in her sleep at The Gorilla Foundation in the Santa Cruz Mountains of California on June 19. She was 46. The kitten-loving, western lowland gorilla who learned sign language and 2,000 words of spoken English led to major revelations about animal intelligence and cognition. She touched the lives of millions and was an icon for interspecies communication and empathy. She will be missed by millions as well. But as Barbara King, a professor emerita of anthropology at the College of William and Mary, told National Geographic: “Even as we celebrate her life, we must remember that Koko was made to live in confinement in a highly unnatural way from her infancy through her death.”…

1 min.
rollbacks could kill

It can be hard to quantify the health benefits of environmental rules, to tie these regulations directly to things like the number of illnesses prevented and lives saved. But that’s exactly what two Harvard scientists recently attempted to do. Looking specifically at the air and water rules the Trump administration is working to dismantle, the researchers calculated that proposed regulatory rollbacks would result, conservatively, in the loss of 80,000 human lives over the next decade. In an essay outlining their analysis, published in June in the Journal of the American Medical Association, the researchers estimate that the repeals would also result in respiratory problems for more than one million people and expose the water sources for approximately 117 million US residents to pollution. The researchers — Francesca Dominici, co-director of the Data-Science…