Environmental laws in the U.S. and Canada are a big part of why we still have large carnivores roaming remote mountain valleys, but they provide an imperfect safety net, due to differences in management objectives.
The move follows a series of internationally reported environmental horror stories from China over the past year, including epic levels of urban air pollution and tens of thousands of pig carcasses decaying in the local water supply.
During my nearly 20 year legal career, I have worked on all sides of environmental issues - representing community groups, the government and even corporations. My new novel, Complicit, synthesizes much of what I have learned so far.
This law has given the nation the tools needed to begin cleaning up the nation's increasingly contaminated waters, and it has proven to be one of the most important, effective, and highly regarded environment laws in the world.
It has saved 99 percent of the 1,482 native species under its care from disappearing forever. But the Act isn't just about avoiding extinction. It's about setting these species on a path to recovery. On that point, there are amazing stories worth celebrating:
Commercial funeral practices put gallons of embalming fluid, and tons of metal and exotic hardwoods into the ground. And I was surprised to learn that cremation is equally polluting and energy-intensive.