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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

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

Standing Rock Sioux Tribe Wins Key Court Case In Dakota Access Pipeline Resistance

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In Brief

  • The Facts:

    A key victory came yesterday for the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe as a Washington DC court ruled the Army Corps of Engineers must perform an Environmental Impact Statement to show the Dakota Access pipeline will not negatively affect the tribe's land.

  • Reflect On:

    Are we seeing further shifts in the old paradigm of money first and environment second? Are we seeing the power of relentlessly standing up for what you feel will make humanity and nature thrive?

This is a huge victory for the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe of North Dakota. Their relentless energy towards having a full environmental impact statement (EIS) done with regards to the Dakota Access Pipeline that would run through their land and potentially impact their water supply, has finally paid off. This will bring the future of the Dakota Access pipeline into question entirely.

A Washington DC court ruled that the US army corps of engineers must conduct a full EIS given that their existing permits violated the National Environmental Policy Act (Nepa).

“After years of commitment to defending our water and earth, we welcome this news of a significant legal win,” said the tribal chairman, Mike Faith. “It’s humbling to see how actions we took to defend our ancestral homeland continue to inspire national conversations about how our choices ultimately affect this planet.”

You may recall from 2016, the Sioux Tribe rallied and inspired millions all over the world to help in getting behind the movement to raise awareness about the environmental impact of this pipeline. People travelled from all over the world to join the tribe on the ‘front lines’ as clashes sometimes became violent between water protectors and police, as well as pipeline workers.

I recall being down in North Dakota covering this story and was amazed by the sheer amount of people coming to support, as well as the efforts police were taking to silence journalists from covering the story. Cell phone jammers were used to stop those on-site from live streaming what was going on. Independent media were the only form of media in Standing Rock for months until eventually, mainstream media showed up. There appeared to be a long-standing solidarity within mainstream media to portray water protectors as violent and to avoid telling their side of the story when it came to the pipeline. This was why independent media was so important at that time.

In December 2016, the Obama administration denied permits for the pipeline to cross the Missouri River and effectively ordered a full EIS to be done in order to determine what alternative routes could be taken as well as what impact the pipeline may have on the tribe’s treaty rights. Yet, during the first week of Donald Trump’s presidency, he signed an executive order to expedite construction of the pipeline. Construction of the 1,200-mile pipeline was completed in June 2017.

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Not long after, the tribe challenged the permits and won. The Army corps of engineers were ordered to redo its environmental analysis, but they did so without taking into consideration tribal concerns or expert analysis. This was likely to allow it’s the transport of oil to continue until they were again sued.

Finally, as this Wednesday, federal judge James Boasberg determined that the environmental analysis by both the companies behind the pipeline and the corps was severely lacking, and the track record of Sunoco when it comes to oil spills is not promising, and “does not inspire confidence”, he added.

The fresh court-mandated EIS will be more in-depth than the assessment already completed by the corps – and could take years to complete. Next, the court will decide if the pipeline will be shut down while the EIS is being completed and until the EIS is approved.

“This validates everything the tribe has been saying all along about the risk of oil spills to the people of Standing Rock,” said Jan Hasselman, an EarthJustice attorney.

The Takeaway

The news of this Standing Rock victory may fall on distracted ears and minds at the moment considering the current global focus on the Coronavirus pandemic, but this is a big victory that shows the power of collective action and moving to stand up to actions of those who do not make the entirety of human ‘thrivability’ a part of their paradigm, but who instead operate from a space of disconnection and capitalization.

This news comes as I recently released my latest film Regenerate to everyone for free. The film re-examines our current mainstream approach to climate change and instead looks at our relationship to land, life, nature, money and each other as a whole. I propose that it is here where we will find the solutions we are looking for to truly allow our environment and each other, to thrive. You can check out the trailer below, and watch the full film here.

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Alternative News

Does Our Recycling Actually Get “Recycled?” (Video)

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In Brief

  • The Facts:

    The following video from Sky Ocean Rescue shares some more eye-opening information about the truth about our supposed “recycling”...

  • Reflect On:

    Is it time, instead of "recycling" that the production of harmful materials simply be banned across the world?

Everyday we produce waste, in our current society, it’s almost impossible not to. Many of us make an effort to recycle our recyclables, but unfortunately much of that still ends up in the trash. There are also a lot of countries that don’t recycle at all so all of the waste – all of that plastic, effectively ends up in the ground or sadly in our oceans. For those of us who do recycle, we feel good about ourselves, and feel like we are doing our part to reduce our impact on the environment, but do we ever question what actually happens to our recycling and where it ends?

Like many other aspects of our society, our recycling is, for the most part, out of sight out of mind. We don’t actually know what is happening to it, we just drop it off into the appropriate containers and hope for the best. Unfortunately this is not helping and in many cases is making the issue of the global waste epidemic, much worse that we could ever imagine. Whether or not the waste is actually recycled doesn’t really matter, because as soon as it leaves the country it came from and is labeled as recycling it is counted as such, regardless of where that plastic and other waste actually ends up. Often, there is so much un-recyclable garbage and material mixed in with the stuff that actually can be recycled that it all just ends up going to landfills.

This could be avoided if communities and countries became more strict with their recyclable material standards, it could also be avoided if everything we manufactured was made of biodegradable substances, like hemp.

The following video from Sky Ocean Rescue shares some more eye-opening information about the truth about our supposed “recycling”…


Something Needs To Change

It is clear that our current “solution” to all of our plastic waste is not working, as the video says, we need to find a better solution to this epidemic. Recycling standards certainly need to become a lot more strict, and each country should be held responsible for their own recycling and potentially laws should be put in place by the UN that makes it illegal to export plastic waste and recycling, this would then force us to come up with a better option. It is not fair that there is no transparency towards what is really going on with the public. If people really knew, it is likely that they would take a stand against this.

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What Can We Do, Ourselves?

Sometimes, we truly have to take matters into our own hands, we cannot rely on our governments to do the right thing, I’m sure many of us are aware of this by now. If we truly want to make a difference we have to do as Gandhi says and,

“We must be the change we wish to see in the world.”

What does this involve? Taking responsibility for our own actions and dealing with these matters on a personal level. Do you know where your recycling is going? Have you ever actually looked into it? This is a great start, but an even more effective way to deal with this problem is to stop it before it starts. How can you lower your consumption and amount of waste you are producing? Can you choose products that are not packed in plastic? Can you use reusable, glass or stainless steel containers? Could you go back to the old-fashioned bar of soap? The fact of the matter is, we got along just fine without plastic for many years, we have other options and can all make a conscious decision to choose those other options.

We have to remember that as the consumer, we do have a direct say in what the big corporations are manufacturing. By opting out of plastic products, the companies will have no choice but to update their products and materials, or go out of business. We have already seen massive companies like Starbucks & McDonald’s making huge changes in this regard. If you need some ideas on how to reduce your impact, check out 10 Smart Hacks TO Cut Plastic Packaging Out Of Your Life.

Change starts with you!

Much Love

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Alternative News

A European Electric Car That Charges Itself With Sunlight Can Now Be Reserved For A 2021 Delivery

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In Brief

  • The Facts:

    A Dutch company has unveiled an electric car that charges itself with via solar power.

  • Reflect On:

    How long have solutions to our problems existed? Is finding the solutions the problem, or have they been here for a long time? If we have the solutions readily available, the what's the problem that we need to identify?

A Dutch company from Eindhoven has released a prototype car that has already sold 100 orders to be filled in 2011. What’s special about the car is that it is completely electric as well as solar powered. The prototype car actually won the Bridgestone World Solar Challenge, and it represents the world’s very first long-range solar car. It’s a four passenger vehicle and it’s called Lightyear One.

According to the company, the car will get to a range of approximately 725 km, and 400 km in the winter at highway speeds with heating on. This is truly amazing, and it represents what humans have had the ability to do for a number of years. Just imagine if every single car was electric and solar powered? You would never need to charge your car, it would always be self charging. It completely takes conventional charging and gas out of the equation, which is amazing.

The car is now available for reservation, with the first deliveries set to begin next year within the European Union. Lease options are restricted to the Netherlands.

Here at Collective Evolution, we’ve always talked about how humanity has many of the solutions to our problems. Often times, the issue isn’t with finding solutions to the world’s problems, it’s with actually implementing them. The systems and all of the red tape and corruption that take place have prevented us from moving forward. Electric and solar technology with regards to transportation could have been implemented a very long time ago, but again, the problem is not with having the solution, it’s with implementation. This problem has plagued our world for a very long time, and it’s something we need to continue to be vocal about.

Although this particular car can be charged using the sun, it also has the option to be plugged into a power outlet. It can charge up to 400 km at night from a normal household electrical outlet.

Some other points about the car include:

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  • The car is constructed from high-tech materials to have the lowest weight possible while maintaining stringent passenger safety.
  • The roof and hood are comprised of five square meters of integrated solar cells in safety glass so strong that a fully-grown adult can walk on them without causing dents.
  • Lightyear One is propelled by four independently driven wheels, so no energy is lost in transit from the engine to the wheel.
  • In addition to solar power, Lightyear One can be charged at a (fast)charging station or a regular outlet.
  • Crash testing has yet to be undertaken, but they’re looking forward to crashing one “for science.”

According to the company’s website:

The optimized aerodynamics and design mean that a fully-charged battery has a range of up to 800km, more than you need to go from Amsterdam to Paris. The integrated solar cells of the 5 m2 hood and roof mean that Lightyear One charges up to 12km/h as it goes. The already superior range continues to extend with every hour of sunlight. So what starts as a drive from Lisbon to Madrid can continue on to Valencia or Barcelona without stopping for anything but food.

Unfortunately, and as expected, the car is unaffordable for most people. Buyers can reserve one of the 500 electric vehicles for a reservation fee of €4000 on their website  as well as find out more information by contacting the company directly with any inquiries. The first deliveries of the car are expected in 2021.

The Takeaway

The takeaway here is to ask the question: Why aren’t all cars solar powered and electric? Does humanity have the potential, resources and technology to provide all citizens with ‘abundance’ when it comes to food, shelter and transportation? If we have the potential and the resources, what is it that stops us from doing so? If an electric car was invented decades ago, why are we still driving around in cars that use gas? What’s REALLY going on here on planet Earth?

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