Tag Archives: big cat

A Mining Executive, A Missing Millionaire and the Weird Politics of U.S. Jaguar Conservation

21 Feb

By Panagioti Tsolkas / Earth First! Journal Collective

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from left to right: Thomas Kaplan, an American jaguar, Alan Rabinowitz

Thomas Kaplan isn’t your average environmentalist, big cat conservationist or your average mining executive. He isn’t even your run-of-the-mill former  hydraulic fracking company executive. He’s a sort of disturbingly post-modern mélange of these: the founder of Panthera, a global big cat conservation organization, the current chairman of NovaCopper and the founder of Leor Energy. He’s rich, influential and “green.” But is there a conflict of interest? His colleague and co-founder of Panthera, Alan Rabinowitz, has been throwing his conservation rock star weight around, adding his voice to copper mining interests in southern Arizona to discredit jaguar habitat protection in the Southwest.

If Kaplan is average, he’d be your average yuppie villain from a Carl Hiaasen novel. You know, the one that throws big parties, acts like an environmentalist, but walks through a sinister subtext just waiting to boil out of the pages.

Recently, following a financial dispute between Kaplan and his nephew Guma Aguiar over the 2.5$ billion sale of their Houston based oil and gas company Leor Energy, the latter’s boat washed ashore in Ft. Lauderdale with the owner’s wallet and phone aboard but no trace of Aguiar. He is missing, maybe even dead.

And like in all of Hiaasen’s books, a group of crusty enviros are onto Kaplan, ready to bring him and his buddy Rabinowitz down, vigilante style if need be, for meddling in jaguar conservation.

Anarchist Biology

According to a recent communique by the Earth First! Jaguar Team, a group of self-proclaimed anarchist redneck conservation biologists spread throughout the Sonoran desert of Arizona, New Mexico and Mexico proper, something sinister is a brew in the world of jaguar conservation in that region. Continue reading