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Earth Island Institute
By Ron Arnold
March 12, 2009

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By Mark Steyn
July 13, 2009

"Energy Independence" A Formula For Attacking Energy Production
By James Dellinger
January 2007


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2150 Allston Way - Suite 460
Berkeley, CA

Phone :(510) 859-9100
Fax :(510) 859-9091
Email :
URL: Website
Earth Island Institute (EII)'s Visual Map

  • Environmental organization founded by David Brower as a radical alternative to the Sierra Club

Established in 1982, the San Francisco-based Earth Island Institute (EII) contends that "life on earth is imperiled by human degradation of the biosphere," and purports to "develo[p] and suppor[t] projects that counteract threats to the biological and cultural diversity that sustain[s] the environment." EII was founded by veteran environmentalist David Brower (1912-2000), who also founded Friends of the Earth and the League of Conservation Voters in 1969, and who served as the first Executive Director of the Sierra Club.

EII frequently criticizes  other environmental groups for being  insufficiently devoted to radical ideals and tactics. In 1995, for instance, EII's International Marine Mammal Project criticized the Environmental Defense Fund and Greenpeace, among others, for approving an international trade agreement that EII claimed would unnecessarily endanger dolphins by permitting the importation of canned tuna from Mexico to the U.S. 

EII oversees a network of more than 30 projects worldwide. These include:
  • The Borneo Project, which works to bring what it calls "ecological justice" to the Indonesian island

  • Ethical Traveler, which seeks to inform eco-tourists of their "economic and political power"

  • The International Marine Mammal Project, which is "leading the effort to stop the slaughter of dolphins, to end commercial whaling, and to end the use of drift nets worldwide"

  • Thursday's Child, a project "named for the famous 60-foot ocean racer used to carry out its mission, [which] defends hunted whales and captive orcas throughout the world"

  • Reef Protection International, which works "to positively impact worldwide coral reef conservation" by curtailing or banning "the wild-caught ornamental fish trade"

  • Rooted in Community, a training program designed to develop community organizers and environmental activists to help build a "national grassroots movement"

  • The Sacred Land Film Project, whose objective is to thwart industrial and technological development projects around the world by "deepen[ing] public understanding of sacred places, rekindl[ing] respect and reverence for the land within technological society, and [helping to] protect sacred sites and indigenous cultures"

  • WildFutures, which recruits scientists to lend their support to radical environmentalist groups

  • ReThink Paper, which advocates the use of "tree-free" paper products

  • The John Muir Project, whose "immediate goal is to end all timber sales on national forests"

The Rainforest Action Network was originally a project of Earth Island Institute.

A member organization of the Abolition 2000 and After Downing Street anti-war coalitions, EII endorsed a May 1, 2003 document titled "10 Reasons Environmentalists Oppose an Attack on Iraq," which was published by Environmentalists Against War. Strongly anti-President Bush, during the 2004 presidential campaign EII's website magazine, The Edge, featured an online voter registration area sponsored by Working Assets. The Editor of The Edge, Gar Smith, claimed that America and its dependency on foreign oil were responsible for the 9/11 attacks. Three days after the attacks, Smith opined that any military response to 9/11 would demonstrate America's "self-righteous arrogance."

EII is heavily funded by many foundations, including the Agape Foundation, the Arca Foundation, the Blue Moon Fund, the Bullitt Foundation, the Compton Foundation, the David and Lucille Packard Foundation, the Energy Foundation, the Ford Foundation, the Foundation for Deep Ecology, Funding Exchange, the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation, the Nathan E. Cummings Foundation, the Rockefeller Brothers Fund, the Surdna Foundation, the Turner Foundation, and Working Assets. The Heinz Family Foundation also indicates, on its Form 990, that it made a small grant of $1,000 to EII in the year 2000.



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