FROM Mark Palmer
Sea World Can't Win for Losing Hundreds of supporters and critics of SeaWorld of San Diego made for a long meeting last week of the California Coastal Commission. It ended with approval for spending $100 million to build bigger tanks to house 11 killer whales, but that's not the end of the story, as we hear from Hugo Martin, who was there for the Los Angeles Times .
Americans' Evolving Attitude toward Animals in Captivity Scientists now believe that all mammals and birds — even the octopus — are conscious beings, capable of thinking, feeling emotion and suffering. That's creating a sea change in attitudes toward the use of wild animals for popular entertainment. Sea World is still reeling from the documentary 'Blackfish' and now faces three lawsuits alleging mistreatment of killer whales. Baylor, the Baptist University, has cancelled its annual visit out of respect for "God's creatures." Meantime, Ringling Brothers is retiring elephants from the circus. But, while there may be a "mood shift" against keeping wild animals in captivity, zoos and aquariums are still more popular than sporting events. Are there better ways to introduce kids to the Animal Kingdom, keep species from going extinct and make discoveries about animal intelligence and emotion?
Will the march for science politicize objective research? Protesters are gathering all over the country for tomorrow's Earth Day March for Science. Since President Trump has proposed massive cuts in basic scientific research, will the movement be perceived as partisan politics — whether scientists themselves like it or not?
Truth and Lies in Trumpland Donald Trump is using mis-information like no President has before him. It's an unprecedented challenge to the news media, and a potential threat to democracy. We hear how the "leader of all the people" is dividing Americans and confusing the rest of the world.