Earth Island Journal owes its genesis to the man who lost the Sierra Club its tax-exempt status and later founded the Earth Island Institute and its associated magazine. David Brower founded the Earth Island Institute to support environmental activism around the world. The institute serves as a nursery for environmental grass-roots projects and connects people with ideas and passion to those with strategies and experience. Projects have included Rainforest Action Network, International Rivers, Climate Solutions and dozens more.
Long before Earth Island Journal, in 1951, Brower became the first executive director of the Sierra Club. In 1966, Brower and the Sierra Club placed full-page ads in The New York Times and the Washington Post arguing against a Bureau of Reclamation dam. The political act caused the Sierra Club to lose its tax-exempt status -- but it likely saved the Grand Canyon. The act also restored the voice of the Sierra Club to its activist legacy, which was ignited during early 1900’s with their failed attempt to save the Hetch Hetchy valley from a dam and flooding.
The magazine celebrates activism and reports on institute projects as well as issues and ideas of interest to those who share the mission to conserve. Recent issues include coverage of Dave Imus’ award-winning map of the United States of America. Imus sees the map as a story of the land and the mappist as an artist. Tom Levits explores the science of lab-grown beef and the notion that it could spare the environment the pressure of industrial agricultural farming. He concurrently questions if an environmental movement that questions the wisdom of GMO crops should embrace the scientific synthesis of meat. Recently, personal narratives have made their way into the journal, and an evolutional shift toward some more literary writing seems to be underway.
This review was previously published in the Sierra Club's Green Review.
Subscriptions of Earth Island Journal are as inexpensive as $10 for four issues a year. Readers are likely to be invigorated by stories of action and deep-thinking for the planet.