Ben Gutierrez is a native of the San Francisco Bay Area and holds a degree in Environmental Science and Public Policy from Harvard. He previously spent two years in Malaysian Borneo working for an NGO that supports community-based environmental restoration and locally-determined development initiatives and bridges government, indigenous communities, scientists, industry and civil society to find sustainable solutions. He currently works for the California government around issues in the electricity sector.

The Environmental Optimist is a blog that brings together news, analysis and art about environmental conservation, conservation biology, tropical forests, community-based initiatives, indigenous rights, clean energy, climate change and other topics that are relevant to protecting and understanding the natural environment. Its basic premise is that although we live in a time of large-scale environmental destruction during which we are sowing the seeds of multiple crises (biodiversity, water, food, climate, etc.), many groups are working together in ways never before seen in history and there is progress being made in many areas at local, state and even regional levels. This blog will cover the efforts of diverse groups to protect, steward and promote the natural environment and to build more sustainable, diverse and just societies. The blog’s purpose is not to put a spin on issues—it will unflinchingly present the findings of scientists and others—but it will also highlight the innovative thinking, actions and collaboration of diverse people to tackle these issues.

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