Longreads for Earth Day

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When the first Earth Day was celebrated in 1970, the event served to spotlight the growing consensus that environmental issues mattered and needed to be addressed. Some 43 years later, much has changed for the better and much has changed for the worse. Men’s Journal has covered those changes and will continue to do so. There is, after all, nothing more important to mankind than the world we call home.

Here are the stories, people, tragedies, and triumphs we talk about when we talk about the Earth:

The High Seas Avenger
Josh Eells sits down with Greenpeace Captain Pete Willcox, who has spent the last 33 years battling environmental offenders around the world. After a life of adventure – occupying a Turkish power plant; nearly getting blown up by French operatives – Willcox landed in a Russian prison last year for protesting Arctic drilling. Even he admits it might all be a lost cause. But he’s not about to quit now.

The Ivory Highway
Damon Tabor maps one of the world’s largest, most shadowy criminal trafficking networks from the jungles of Cameroon to the black-market bazaars of Beijing.

Aspen and the End of Snow
Nathaniel Rich asks a question that turns out to be even more complicated than it sounds: Can America’s greatest mountain town save itself, and the rest of us, from global warming?

To Catch (and Release) a Predator With Rachel Graham
Stephen Rodrick visits the world’s fiercest shark protector, an Oxford-educated biologist who isn’t afraid to wrestle a bull shark into submission or face off with Guatemalan fishermen to learn more about the Earth’s most mysterious creatures.

How Light Pollution Clouds the Night Sky
In a world of illuminated driveways, porches, parking lots, storefronts, highways, and public spaces, darkness is endangered. Mark Binelli goes searching for a view of the stars.

The Last Prankster
Stewart Brand was by Ken Kesey’s side when things got freaky. Then he stepped off the bus and brought the hippies and the computer geeks together. Ben Austen sits down the founder of The Long Now Foundation and talks about the present in the context of the future rather than the past.

Will the West Survive?
With summer coming on like a grudge, with record-breaking heat, inescapable drought, and the sense that the effects of climate change had arrived, life in America’s mythic frontier might never be the same. Mark Binelli goes in search of hope.