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Couple Protect Over 2 Million Acres & Donate Land To The Public

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“Conservation is our passion: we feel privileged to make it the second part of our life’s work. Even at discouraging moments—when we read reports on accelerating biodiversity loss, learn of a new road planned through the Serengeti, or watch how Japan keeps killing whales under the false claim of research—we cannot imagine stopping this work we are doing to help reverse the extinction crisis. From our point of view, there’s no better thing to do—plus, we find ourselves working with the best people on the planet.”

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Doug and Kris Tompkins

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The Passing of a Legend

Most people would not be familiar with Doug Tompkins, yet many would have some awareness of the now household name brands of North Face and Esprit, both of which he founded. Doug Tompkins passed away in early December of last year in a tragic kayaking accident in southern Chile when strong waves caused his kayak to capsize, causing the onset of fatal hypothermia.

Tompkins started out as an avid outdoorsman, being a competent ski racer and rock climber in the early 1960’s and going on to found the California Mountaineering Guide Service. Having a passion for being outdoors, Tompkins began The North Face Inc. in 1964 with his former wife Susie Tompkins in San Francisco as a small mail order and retail company, selling rock climbing and camping equipment. In 1966 the first store was opened, at which the band The Grateful Dead played. Two years later Tompkins sold out his stake for $50,000, using the profit to join his wife in co-founding Esprit, a fashion house. (1) Together they turned Esprit into one of the most popular brands of the 70’s and 80’s; it became a transnational company operating in 60 countries and generating revenues of over $100 million a year.

From Industry to Ecology  

Witnessing the growth, externalities, and ecological impacts of the fashion industry, Tompkins removed himself from the business world, selling his stake in Espirt in the late 1980’s to focus on land conservation.  After selling his interest in Esprit, Tompkins moved to south Chile, where he had previously spent much time climbing, kayaking, and skiing, to focus on land conservation and environmental activism. He founded the ‘Foundation for Deep Ecology’ in 1990, which supports environmental activism, and the ‘The Conservation Land Trust’ in 1992, which works to protect wildlands, primarily in Chile and Argentina. (2) In 1993, Doug Tompkins remarried Kristine McDivitt Wear, a former chief executive of the Patagonia retail chain. Kristine Tompkins retired from the chain and moved to Patagonia with Doug to work full time on conservation. Between the two, Doug and Kris Tompkins spent the last 25 years working on creating protected national parks in vulnerable areas of Chile and Argentina to provide a vital refuge for endangered wildlife at a time when the human demands on the non-human world increase daily. Between them, they  protected more land from ‘development’ than any other private individuals in history – over 2 million acres in total, and there were plans for more.(3)

A Man on a Mission

The Tompkins’ conservation efforts focused on preserving wild landscapes and biodiversity. According to a friend of Tompkins, Paul Kingsnorth, who posts the Dark MountainBlog, “Doug saw the protection of non-human life, in the face of the human onslaught, as the crucial work of our time. This remarkable display of both philanthropy and ecological ambition was a long-term project not simply to preserve wild nature and  give it some chance of recovery, but also to persaude others to contribute to an overarching plan to connect protected areas throughout the continent, and in so doing to provide a wild corridor through which non-human life could move and survive.” (4)

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In 1996 Tompkins Conservation Land Trust CLT continued to purchase land from absentee landowners to create Pumalín Park, a process that lasted nearly a decade and resulted in a protected area of more than 711,000 acres. The park was developed to encourage Chileans and citizens of the world to experience these unique and spectacular landscapes, and so CLT developed a network of cabins, campgrounds, trails, information centers, and other public facilities. The Conservation Land Trust later donated the protected lands to Fundacion Pumalín, a Chilean foundation, for their administration and ongoing preservation as a public park under private initiative. In 2004 Patagonia National Park project began: Conservacion Patagonica purchased Estancia Valle Chacabuco, a 175,000-acre sheep ranch in Chile’s Aysen Province, with the plan of creating and donating a new national park to the Chilean park system.(5)

In 2005, Tompkins, with the help of another American philanthropist (Peter Buckley), acquired 208,000 acres along the southern Chilean coast to help secure Corcovado National Park, Chile’s sixth largest, which he then gifted to the people of Chile. Previously the land had been held by a European corporation whose principal owner, an Italian businessman, had targeted it for a massive development and logging operation. For more details on the Thompkins Conservation Trust Click Here.

To access a full interview with Doug and Kris Tompkins with Paul Kingsnorth Click Here.

Article compiled by Andrew Martin, author of One ~ A Survival Guide for the Future…and Rethink…Your World, Your Future.

CoverONENOV(1) Sarah Kaplan (December 9, 2015). “North Face co-founder turned ‘eco baron’ Douglas Tompkins is killed in Chile kayaking accident”. The Washington Post. Retrieved December 9, 2015.

(2) Diana Saverin, Sept 15th 2014, The Atlantic, The Entrepreneur who Wants to Save Paradise. http://www.theatlantic.com/business/archive/2014/09/the-entrepreneur-who-wants-to-save-paradise/380116/

(3) Paul Kingsnorth, Doug Tompkins Remembered, 16th December 2015.  http://dark-mountain.net/

(4) http://dark-mountain.net/

(5) http://www.parquepumalin.cl/en/pumalin_history.htm

Cover Image: http://www.parquepumalin.cl/en/photo_gallery.htm#prettyPhoto

 

 

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Alternative News

Judge Orders The Dakota Access Pipeline To Be Shut Down

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In Brief

  • The Facts:

    On Monday, A U.S. District Court ordered Energy Transfer LP to shut down and empty their pipeline, known as the Dakota Access Pipeline.

  • Reflect On:

    Why do we continue to use outdated and unnecessary means for energy production. Why is our economy an oil based economy when it doesn't have to be? Why do we have solutions that never see the light of day?

What Happened: On Monday, A U.S. District Court ordered Energy Transfer LP to shut down and empty their pipeline, known as the Dakota Access Pipeline.  It just so happens to be their largest one, and it also represents a big win for Native American’s and the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe, as well as citizens from all over the world who have fought the line’s route access through a critical water supply.

It’s amazing how many years have already passed since there was a mass gathering in North Dakota to stop this pipeline. Corporate America brought in the police to try and disperse the gathering. One night, a small plane spraying unknown substances flew over the gathering at night, I know this because I was there, along with CE founder Joe Martino.  There were SWAT teams everywhere. All of this for a peaceful gathering? We spent days covering the story, and all we saw was intimidation, violence, and psychological warfare tactics in order to disperse the crowd so that the company could continue building their pipeline.

This always seems to happen to peaceful protestors.

Corporate America eventually got what they wanted. Many people were thrown in jail, people were injured, all resulting from a peaceful protest. The gathering was shut down and the fight to stop the pipeline went to court, during which time the pipeline was in full operation.

Bloomberg is reporting that the pipeline must be shut down by August 5th.

The U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia said a crucial federal permit for Dakota Access fell too far short of National Environmental Policy Act requirements to allow the pipeline to continue operating while regulators conduct a broader analysis the court ordered in a previous decision. The ruling scraps a critical permit from the Army Corps of Engineers, and requires the pipeline to end its three-year run of delivering oil from North Dakota shale fields to an Illinois oil hub. Judge James E. Boasberg said Dakota Access must shut down the pipeline and empty it of oil by Aug. 5.(source)

We will have to wait and see if The Army Corps and Justice Department intends to appeal the decision.

Why This Matters

This goes to show what we can do when we come together. Despite the fact that it’s taken years, and damage has been done, look what’s happened, it’s been halted once again. That being said, at the time the pipeline was being built and during the period it was moving oil, it was quite clear that citizens around the entire planet were against this. So I ask you, do we live in a democracy? Do citizens really have any influence at all on decision making, or is our consciousness manipulated to accept certain measures, like pipelines, as necessary? Why doesn’t planet Earth come first? Why does it take cutting through so much red ape, and so much time to try and stop such measures? What kind of system have we created for ourselves? One that protects the corporations and punishes the citizenry and mother Earth?

We don’t have to accept this.

The coronavirus is another great example of what we are capable of. Despite the fact that we were forced into lockdown by governments, billions of people, together, still collectively did it. The point is, we can accomplish great things together, as one. Imagine if billions of people around the world decided the world should shut down for one week in order to, clean up our oceans for example.

Why don’t our governments do that?

We can do anything, we have unlimited potential. We are in a time where we are being asked to wake up, come together, re-imagine our reality, discuss it, explore it, build it and use our potential to create a human experience where everybody can thrive, including mother Earth. And yes, it’s possible, we have the solutions and they’ve been available for years. The only issue is human consciousness, and the barriers we’ve built that prevent these solutions from manifesting.

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Alternative News

Environmentalist Censored For Shifting His Opinion On Climate Change

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In Brief

  • The Facts:

    Forbes.com deleted a new article from environmentalist Michael Shellenberger. His perspective on climate change shifted, and he decided to write about it. Forbes wasn't having it.

  • Reflect On:

    Why are we deciding to censor different perspectives as opposed to explore them? Is our emotional intelligence so undeveloped collectively that we cannot have civil conversations?

What Happened: Michael Shellenberger, a long time environmentalist who has been in the trenches helping to save the world’s last unprotected redwoods, co-created the predecessor to today’s Green New Deal and led an effort to keep nuclear power plants operating in order to prevent a spike of emissions, has shifted his perspective on climate change. Prior to today, he was holding the perspective that we must be alarmed about the fact that the world will end in a short amount of time if we don’t act to reduce carbon emissions immediately.

He shifted his opinion based on exploring emerging science on the subject. He then went on to write a book called Never Apocalypse, which seeks to help explore what we can do to better our environment from a grounded and accurate point of view, as opposed to alarmism.

He wrote an article on Forbes website titled On Behalf of Environmentalists, I Apologize For the Climate Scare.” Two days laterForbes decided to remove his article.

Why It Matters: The fact that Forbes removed an article that was grounded, calm, well written and explored new conversations illustrates the emerging culture of ‘censor anything that can get us in trouble’ or ‘censor anything that doesn’t agree with mainstream conjecture.”

We’ve come into a time where our collective lack of emotional intelligence is surfacing deeply for us to address. When we disagree on something, we struggle to explore things together. When a company says something they feel might get them in trouble, they run away in fear that the angry mob will come after them.

All that happened here was a man wrote an article that brought some new light to a conversation that has been very polarized and is causing people to react out of emotion instead of logic and the heart. Instead of listening and exploring, censorship ensues.

The Takeaway: I spoke at a high school here in Toronto last year. At the end of my talk, many students came up to me to talk, discuss ideas and share feedback. The vast majority of them explained to me that they were terrified that the world was going to end in just a few years. They felt they had no future because of the acts of generations prior who were causing CO2 levels to rise so high that the world would end.

I thought to myself, wow, an entire generation of kids being pushed into fear, anxiety and depression based on information that isn’t even accurate. This information was created by politicians and pushed out by media. Scientists categorically do not agree with the idea that the world is coming to an end as a result of CO2 emissions. Yet not enough people are telling people this, most of media is staying silent on other perspectives and censorship even shuts down opposing ideas.

What type of world will we create if we can’t discuss basic ideas? What  type of world will we create when we choose to run, hide and censor as opposed to having important conversations? How can we stop identifying so deeply with positions, so that we can be more free to shift ideas when new information helps us understand things better?

Looking Deeper:

I made a film last year called Regenerate: Beyond The CO2 Narrative. After 10 years of researching and investigating climate change, I came to many conclusions that I felt needed to be shared, yet were extremely rare in public discourse. One of the most important aspects of Regenerate was that we simply are looking at our environment from such a limited point of view that we can’t identify the real issues we face, and that our level of thinking, or consciousness, is completely disconnected from the solutions required to truly shift our relationship with earth. Thus, we are creating solutions that never truly address making the environment cleaner or better long term.

I encourage you to check out the film trailer below, and if you wish to watch the film, it’s available on our member platform called CETV. You can start a free 7 day trial to watch it if you like. We also discuss this story in more detail in episode 2 of The Takeway, an orignal show we have on CETV.

Watch the full film here.

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Collective Evolution is one of the world's fastest-growing conscious media and education companies providing news and tools to raise collective consciousness. Get inside access to Collective Evolution by becoming a member of CETV.

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Alternative News

Fins From Up To 73 Million Sharks Are Used in Shark Fin Soup Every Year

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In Brief

  • The Facts:

    Thanks to the efforts of Yao Ming, the destructive history of shark fin soup is on the decline and so is the ivory trade in China.

  • Reflect On:

    What is your relationship like with plant and animal life? Do you view it as below you? As there simply to fulfill what you want?

The support for a shark fin soup ban has skyrocketed in China thanks to NBA Hall of Famer and GOAT of Chinese basketball, Yao Ming.

Back in 2011, Ming became the face of an awareness campaign on shark fin consumption that has been effective in raising awareness about an issue many thought was untouchable within Chinese tradition and cuisine. As a result of this campaign, most recent government surveys have shown that shark fin consumption in China has fallen by up to 80%!

Shark fin soup is considered a Chinese delicacy and has a deep history in traditional weddings, banquets and prestigious events. The soup, although considered a luxury item, has slight flavors and isn’t all that unique. Given the amount of suffering and death that goes into creating the soup, you’d imagine there would be something more to it other than light flavors and texture. Then again, our treatment of animals on this planet for even the slightest human benefit has been shocking for decades.

As many as 73 million sharks end up in the global shark fin trade every year according to Oceana.org. In many cases, when sharks are caught, their fins are removed and then they’re thrown back into the ocean to die as they’re unable to swim.

In 2006, as many as 75% of Chinese citizens were unaware that shark fins were actually used in shark fin soup. After awareness increased due to campaigns like the one Yao Ming participated in, public education has shifted the perception on shark fin soup.

Shark fin consumption in China has fallen by up to 80% in the last 10 years. And it just so happens that Yao Ming’s activism on the issue has been going for the exact same amount of time.

Ming Moved Onto China’s Ivory Trade Next… And Won

With Ming being China’s most powerful celebrity for 5 consecutive years between 2004 and 2009, you can imagine that, in a country of over a billion people, that truly says something in terms of public power. Ming was moved to take on China’s ivory trade and once again used his image and platform to raise awareness about elephant poaching. He teamed up with WildAid to eventually find success in making it illegal to buy Ivory in China.

Chinese state media Xinhua described the run-up to the ban as “one of the largest ever public awareness campaigns” with support from other celebrities such as actress Li Bingbing.

“We all know that there is ‘on paper,’ and under the paper, there’s still a long way to go to save the animals — and then save ourselves,” Ming told CNBC.

Yes, there is more work to be done. The way we treat our environment and the animal kingdom on this planet truly needs to change, and that change will only come from awareness and connecting to self. Great genocide takes place on our planet every single year… and it is that of animals for needless human consumption.

The Takeaway

Even the largest of challenges we face can be changed with the efforts of people. Sure, in this case, it was a celebrity with great influence, but in many other cases, it is large groups of people coming together. The March Against Monsanto is a great example of that. I recall when that was first starting out and we were one of just a small handful of websites who actively raised awareness about Monsanto’s actions – even when other partnering companies wouldn’t work with us because of our efforts in that area of reporting.

Slowly but surely, our stories and articles became more and more viral over the years. The conversations eventually moved to the mainstream, and over time, it is now being turned into action across the planet against GMO foods and practices. Something that started out with just a few people has grown into a global movement thanks to their tireless efforts to do the right thing.

We have the power to do great things. Something that seems small can build to be impactful over time, but even if it doesn’t, doing what inspires you is an incredible energy to add to collective consciousness and inspire others.

Change truly starts within. That’s why I created The 5 Days of You Challenge and made it available for everyone. With this challenge, everyone can begin getting in touch with themselves and making a difference in our world. Check it out here.

Become Part of CE's Inner Circle

Collective Evolution is one of the world's fastest-growing conscious media and education companies providing news and tools to raise collective consciousness. Get inside access to Collective Evolution by becoming a member of CETV.

Stream content 24/7 and enjoy mind-expanding interviews, original shows, documentaries and guided programs.

Click here to start a FREE 7-Day Trial and help conscious media thrive!

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