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    Annie Leonard and our New Book: Patagonia Tools for Grassroots Activists

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    For over twenty years, Patagonia has organized a Tools Conference, where experts provide practical training to help make activists more effective. Now Patagonia has captured Tools’ best wisdom and advice into a book, Patagonia Tools for Grassroots Activists: Best Practices for Success in the Environmental Movement, creating a resource for any organization hoping to hone core skills like campaign and communication strategy, grassroots organizing, and lobbying as well as working with business, fundraising in uncertain times and using new technologies.

    Above: Pages 28-29 feature a Greenpeace activist parachuting off a Gavin Power Plant smokestack (photo by John Myer) and the beginning of a story by Annie Leonard entitled “Taking Our Work to the Next Level.” Photo: Tim Davis 

    Throughout Tools for Grassroots Activists are inspirational thoughts from acclaimed activists, such as Bill McKibben, Dave Foreman, Annie Leonard, Terry Tempest Williams and Brock Evans. Leading up to the release of the book, we’re sharing audio clips from the keynote speeches these activists gave at past Patagonia Tools Conferences. Today we’ll hear from Annie Leonard. 

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    Brock Evans and our New Book: Patagonia Tools for Grassroots Activists

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    For over twenty years, Patagonia has organized a Tools Conference, where experts provide practical training to help make activists more effective. Now Patagonia has captured Tools’ best wisdom and advice into a book, Patagonia Tools for Grassroots Activists: Best Practices for Success in the Environmental Movement, creating a resource for any organization hoping to hone core skills like campaign and communication strategy, grassroots organizing, and lobbying as well as working with business, fundraising in uncertain times and using new technologies.

    Above: Pages 8-9 of our new book feature a Galen Rowell photo of Mono Lake and the beginning of a story by Brock Evans entitled “Keepers of the Door.” Photo: Tim Davis  

    Throughout Tools for Grassroots Activists are inspirational thoughts from acclaimed activists, such as Bill McKibben, Dave Foreman, Annie Leonard, Terry Tempest Williams and Brock Evans. Starting today, and leading up to the release of the book, we’re sharing audio clips from the keynote speeches these activists gave at past Patagonia Tools Conferences. Kicking off the series is Brock Evans. 

    Continue reading "Brock Evans and our New Book: Patagonia Tools for Grassroots Activists" »

    Jumbo Unchanged

    By Alex Yoder

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    Feeling lost. Feeling far from help. Far from a store, motors and people. I am existing in a world much bigger than I can comprehend. What I can see is all that is. I’m alive to find what I can’t yet see. There are two times of day: light and dark. Food is fuel for the body, not a dance for the tongue. The cold bites. The sun scorns. This is a taste of what life was like before modern technology began introducing non-essentials and conveniences.

    All the while, it is 2015. I have gadgets that tell me where I am. I have a mobile phone that can bounce my voice off of a satellite in outer space and send for help if something were to go wrong. Still, there is a romance in my heart that writes off all of the comforts and emergency equipment. In my mind, I am free. In my heart, I’m just an animal lost in the wilderness.

    Above: Alex Yoder, Jumbo Pass area. British Columbia, Canada. Photo: Steve Ogle

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    Happy Holidays

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    Every year, we look back on the year that was—and every year, we’re deeply thankful for your support of our mission and your willingness to stand for nature in all its fullness and beauty. May the peace and joy of the holiday season be with you and your loved ones, and here’s to a bright New Year ahead.

    Inner glow meets outer glow in the Alaska Range. Photo: Norio Matsumoto

    The Paris Project: COP21 concludes with historic climate treaty and a future full of questions

    By Ethan Stewart

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    This is the second installment from our man on the ground in Paris for the UN Conference on Climate Change, Santa Barbara Independent Editor-at-Large, Ethan Stewart. Catch up with part 1 if you missed it. Above: 350.org founder, Bill McKibben (glasses and Red Sox hat), joins an impromptu protest in Le Bourget towards the end of the two-week climate conference. Photo: Kodiak Greenwood


    Patagonia in Paris

    One of the loudest and most critical messages to come out of Paris during the COP21 was that the international business world is finally getting on board with the benefits of putting Mother Earth before profit margins. As evidenced by testimony provided during countless side panels and spin-off talks between CEOs and various insiders and watchdog groups during the two-week conference, private industry has awoken to the bottom-line benefits of having smaller carbon footprints, planet-pleasing corporate policies and a brand identity that is markedly pro-Earth. Simply put, it is no longer just a moral compass that guides a company to a more eco-savy way of doing business, it is just plain and simple sound financial policy.

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    To Those Who Loved Doug

    By Rick Ridgeway

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    In the days since our friend and mentor Doug Tompkins lost his life in a kayaking incident, we have experienced an outpouring of condolences from thousands of people around the world. The sense of loss from people who never knew Doug, but did know his work, is palpable.

    A few days ago, at the headquarters of Tompkins Conservation in the Chilean town of Puerto Varas, we had a service for Doug attended by people from up and down the country and Argentina. Kris, his wife, opened the ceremony and spoke in Spanish of her boundless love for Doug, their love of wildness and their deep commitment to the protection of wilderness and wildlife, and their work to save, then donate, two million acres of land to the people of Chile and Argentina—and to all of us. She spoke with dignity and power, with a force that welled from a place inside her. She gave everything to each sentence and paragraph. Drained, she paused, breathed, and with each breath the power would rebuild until she continued with an even more profound power that none of us had seen before.

    Above: Doug Tompkins, Rick Ridgeway, Yvon Chouinard on the summit of Cerro Kristine in 2008. Photo: Conservacion Patagonica Archives

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    I Heart The Arctic National Wildlife Refuge, Here’s Why You Should Too

    By Cindy Shogan

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    Full disclosure. As the executive director of the Alaska Wilderness League, I’m slightly biased when it comes to the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge.

    Alaska Wilderness League exists today with the mission to “lead the effort to preserve wild lands and waters in Alaska by engaging citizens and decision makers with a courageous, constant, victorious voice for Alaska,” but when the League was born more than 20 years ago, protecting the Arctic Refuge from the imminent threat of development was the number one priority. The Arctic Refuge is an unparalleled landscape, one of the most pristine and beautiful places on Earth, and one that can and should be mentioned in the same breath as the Grand Canyon or Yellowstone National Park in terms of iconic American destinations.

    Above: Reflection of the Brooks Range in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge, Alaska. Photo: Hillebrand/USFWS

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    The Paris Project: Looking back at week one of the United Nationsʼ Conference on Climate Change

    By Ethan Stewart

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    For the past month, the entire world has been focused on Paris. First, an act of pure and peace shattering barbarism brought the City of Lights directly into focus in the hearts and minds of all of us just two weeks before Thanksgiving. And then, with the hurt still raw and hemorrhaging in worldwide waves of fear, arguably the biggest environmental gathering of this modern age descended upon the scene. 2015 is about to conclude as the warmest year on record here on Planet Earth, just a year after 2014 earned the same distinction. The planet, like it or not, is changing, and 194 countries from around the world have come together to try and do something about it.

    Above: Public assembly has been shut down during the conference due to security concerns, but the arts community has found creative ways provide a voice for the many. #HumanEnergy display by artist and researcher Yann Toma. Photo: Kodiak Greenwood

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    A Real Victory: President Obama Rejects the Keystone XL Pipeline

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    Today, President Obama did the right thing and put a final stop to the Keystone XL pipeline.

    The Keystone XL pipeline would have connected the tar sands oil fields in Canada to a massive refinery and port complex near Houston, Texas. But people across North America on both sides of the border said “No” to shipping tar sands oil.

    Above: Demonstrators in front of the White House protesting the Keystone XL Pipeline in 2011. Photo: Chip Somodevilla, Getty Images 

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    Keep Jumbo Wild: The Fight to Protect Jumbo Glacier

    By Mike Berard

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    For 24 years, residents of the Kootenays in British Columbia, Canada, have been largely opposed to a proposed year-round ski resort in the heart of the Central Purcell Mountains—a region that encompasses both cherished alpine backcountry and critical core grizzly bear habitat. At the time this story was going to print, the provincial government had just dealt would-be developers a significant blow by deeming the ski resort project not “substantially started”—a finding that would require developers to return to square one to reapply for an environmental assessment certificate in order to continue with their plan. As the developers contemplate their next move, local skiers, snowboarders, climbers, wildlife conservationists and First Nations peoples staunchly hold their line, hopeful that with this ruling, the quarter-century-long battle may be nearing an end. But whether the developers redouble their efforts or their opponents celebrate victory—what a long, strange trip it’s been.

    Above: Jumbo Valley. Central Purcell Mountains, British Columbia, Canada. Photo: Garrett Grove

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