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Catechism of the Waters


No easy way out: the overpopulation of sea lions in Oregon demonstrates the need for humanity to live sustainably

Playful, big-eyed, and highly intelligent, sea lions seem to beg for human attention—except they don’t, because they’re animals. In the March issue of Harper’s Magazine, Sallie Tisdale examines how human intervention—specifically, the construction of massive dams that trap fish and rising ocean temperatures—has led sea lions to make their way to bodies of water they shouldn’t be in, specifically the Columbia River in Oregon. Tisdale makes the case that we must guide this population back into balance, or face a population of starving sea lions and environmental collapse.

In this episode, Tisdale, author of Advice for Future Corpses and other books, discusses the emotional, economic, and environmental issues that have exacerbated this problem with web editor Violet Lucca.

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