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Welcome to EarthTrust.

Welcome to real-world environmental results.

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We all live on a wonderful planet called Earth. We inherited a wealth of nature and fellow species.

They are a sacred trust. But through our actions and our inaction, they're being lost.

Along with the earth's ability to feed our grandchildren.

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Wouldn't you say it's time to actively choose our planet's future?

We would.

That's why ET was created.

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EarthTrust specializes in environmental wins that seem impossible to everyone else.

Despite its small size, it repeatedly engages and resolves world-scale issues.

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Using sophisticated strategy analysis, breakthrough science, and real-world campaign experience.

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There are more than 30,000 registered nonprofit environmental and conservation groups in the USA alone.

It can be hard to know which groups to work with.

But the remaining time to save our living world draws shorter.

That's why it matters when an organization shows it can consistently transform large issues.

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We'd like to invite you to get to know ET.

Because the fight for the planet isn't lost yet.

And we'd appreciate your active support.

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So let's take a short tour of ET's wins for the earth, its people, and its wild species.

What notable things has this small group done?

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ET is the most successful dolphin-saving organization in the world.

Its world-changing campaigns have saved millions of dolphin lives to date.

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ET may have saved more marine-life biomass than any other advocacy group, ever...

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By creating and leading the global scientific and PR campaigns to successfully ban deep-sea driftnets...

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...forcing tens of thousands of miles of net out of the seas. Ending the world's largest and most destructive fishing industry in a landmark UN victory.

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Our research lab was the first to scientifically show that dolphins are self-aware beings, like us, changing all the textbooks.

Before EarthTrust, it was believed that only the great apes were self-aware beings.

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Confronting whalers on the high seas? Yes, we've done that, with the first fully-owned whaling campaign ship in history.

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The global victory for "dolphin friendly" tuna was largely created by ET

..with the world's first international licensing standard, new laws, and initiatives that turned the industry around.

Licensed to the world's largest firm, it set the precedent for all dolphin-friendly standards.

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Our undercover operations to save wildlife have often put us toe-to-toe with organized crime wildlife smuggling...

...while we've helped lead the world fight on behalf of endangered species through the CITES treaty.

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Shutting down "pirate whaling" harpoon-ship operations in entire rogue whaling nations?

ET got it done.

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And only one group in the world has permanently shut down a long-running national drive-kill of dolphins.

It seemed impossible, but ET got it done.

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...and did the followup outreach and education to make the victory permanent.

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Which group was it that deployed to Kuwait to stop gushing oil and save wildlife while the missiles were still falling -- and broke an international deadlock on capping the burning wells?

Yes, that'd be EarthTrust again...

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Who invented & fielded undercover DNA analysis for whale and dolphin meat...

...revolutionizing the scientific tracking of illegal whale, dolphin, and wildlife kills?

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All this and more was done by a relatively small organization with an innovative structure and creative methods.

We get it right. And we're not done yet.

You're invited to find out more. And to join with us.

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There's a world we should really try to save together.

The EarthTrust Difference...

EarthTrust steps outside the normal boundaries, melding your passion for a living planet with our expanded toolkit of ways to make a difference.

It thinks and acts “outside the box”.  Using innovative,  cross-disciplinary strategies we take on the issues others have failed to crack. When others step back, EarthTrust steps up.

This website exists to point out a better way for a nonprofit organization to be. Its issue analysis, its program style, it’s organizational structure, its funding philosophy… all are different, and for very good reasons.  And they provide a direct way for YOU to use new and different approaches to protecting your world.

Moreover, we have a different “take” on how to see the world; what the near, intermediate, and long future likely holds; and how to actually steer the events which determine which historical path events will follow.

We’ve proven time and time again that “unwinnable” issues can be won, and have redefined the very scope of issues which can be addressed by nongovernmental entities.  In doing so, we’ve created a tool that has enabled ET supporters to function at levels seldom attained by conservation and environmental advocates.

When you think about it, success is the best difference of all.

Using this site...

This website  represents an experiment.

An organization which has been unusually good at affecting individual conservation issues on national and international scales will now be seeking to engage with the most central environmental challenges of our time. The issues which will in large part write the ending – for better or worse – to the human experiment on earth.

We’d like to see a happy ending, and we think it’s possible. To this challenge we bring four decades of creative environmental advocacy and innovation.  Yet the scope of the predicament is daunting.  We’ll need good people lined up with us, and we hope you’ll be one of them.

This site presents historic situations which seemed  overwhelming at the time, yet were steered to better conclusions than seemed possible.

It also seeks to lay out tools for interacting with the earth’s sixth mass extinction event in 3.5 billion years. This will include the FutureSeas initiative, the Bottleneck Foundation, and new twists on getting intact ecosystems into our species’ near future.

This means that in addition to the more familiar programs which work to save species directly, we will be breaking some new ground on strategy, framing of issues, and better ways to be human.  This will be evolving quickly so check back.

Use the drop-down menus above or the topical images below to explore the history and future of ET, and think about how you may wish to be involved. Welcome.

Donate Now to EarthTrust!

It’s easy to make a contribution and get involved. We’re a tightly-run organization and every person getting involved, every donation, is important. Click here and learn how!

On this site you’ll see that ET has engaged a number of crisis and issue areas in the past.

It often succeeds in entirely transforming these issues and crises.

Now we’re embarking on the biggest challenges of all: engaging the earth’s sixth major extinction event. Bringing our toolkit and approach to bear on the crises which will shape our planet and its species for the next million years.

ET isn’t just one more group. It’s an entirely different approach, a different way of analyzing and affecting the world.

Let’s get busy.


click on the images below to navigate to your area of interest…

Work with ET to create an Endangered Species strategy.

Sometimes you need to plan “outside the box”, and we’re good at that. Sometimes you need an audacious intervention, sometimes a humanizing touch.  We’ll work with your organization or funding group to maximize the chances.


The best “Climate” campaign approach isn’t about climate at all.

Efforts to curb CO2 are failing miserably. Our campaign will focus on that. Because CO2’s most immediate and irrevocable  impact is on the seas.

If they’re to be saved, we’ll need to do a host of things that will also stabilize the climate.


Goodbye, whales, goodbye fish, hello slime.

The seas are changing faster than they have in 300 milion years. That’s not a good thing unless you’re a jellyfish. Join our “Fight the Slime!” campaign and help keep complex life alive in the oceans.


The ET Orca Campaign

Supporting some of the world’s best research and advocacy for the Orcas. These large-brained non-human aboriginal beings have much to teach us about living lightly.

Acidifying Seas mean big changes.

ET’s “Flipper Fund” global dolphin campaign is making dolphins the face of the ocean acidification issue.  There were never better reasons to listen to Flipper.

Save the Monk Seal.

The world’s most endangered seal – an endangered genus – might not last out the century. We’ve been working to keep them around, and have the tooth-marks to show for it.


Hitchhiking in the direction of Sapience: Nate Hagens & DJ White

The co-authors of the new “Bottleneck” paradigm are well-known energy and systems expert Dr. Nate Hagens and environmental strategist (and EarthTrust founder) DJ White. Together, they’re doing a “grand synthesis” of current science to highlight the basic disconnect between the way humans have evolved to think about the world, and the way the physical world actually exists. Despite being based on well-established science, this synthesis leads to conclusions about the future that are quite different from those now expected by society.

The Bottleneck Foundation will spin off multiple initiatives based on this “better way to think about physical reality”, focused on ecology, energy, and the human future; and productive ways individuals and small groups can engage in steering the systems around us in better directions.  This Bottleneck Foundation page will get a lot larger and more exciting as this year goes on…

Nate Hagens can be reached by email at

Rhinos and Tigers and Bears (oh my…)

ET has done some of the highest-profile and highest-impact campaigns on behalf of highly-endangered “charismatic megafauna”. Because even though it’s a bit of a cliche in some circles, keeping them alive in the wild does matter.

Check out the ET approach which goes undercover from the wilds where they live to the smugglers markets where they’re sold; and gets local people and firms involved at both ends.

Smuggled Dolphins, False labels

ET’s DNA market analysis made whale smuggling a lot harder – but it also exposed another nasty situation. A fair bit of what is sold as “whale” in asia is dolphin meat.

This meat is high in toxins, so the consumers are being simultaneously swindled and poisoned; while the practice makes it profitable to net, harpoon and sell dolphins.

Once again we’re annoyed the Yakuza and Japan’s government by using science to weigh in with the facts.

Get Involved.

You’ve been born into a very special time. A very crucial time for life on earth. Your actions can make a difference.

We’d like to help you do it.

ET exists as a tool for preventing extinctions, steering toward less-dire futures.

This isn’t just about blogging or signing petitions, it sometimes means doing pretty heavy-duty stuff.


The most successful dolphin-saving programs. Ever.

ET has saved more dolphins through its direct intervention strategies than any other organization, and we’re not quitting now.  The world’s most successful dolphin-savers are Flipper Fund supporters… like you.

Impossible Missions: an ET Specialty

If you have an impossible goal in mind, you might want to get in touch with us. Over the years we’ve done a lot of stuff that was “impossible” by the conventional wisdom of the time.  When you do it as often as we have, it isn’t a coincidence.

The FutureSeas Campaign

All complex life in the sea is based on food chains heavily dependent on skeletons of calcium carbonate. And if nothing is done to change what’s happening, it could all be gone within the lifetime of a child already alive.

The cool, oxygenated oceans that make possible coral reefs and fish are in immediate jeopardy, and if they’re lost it’ll be permanent on human time scales. If you think that’s utterly unacceptable, join us to give the seas a clean and complex future.

Saving Whales with DNA

Due to ET funders like you, pirate whaling is a hell of a lot harder than it used to be. Here’s the story of how we busted global whalemeat smuggling. All we had to do was invent suitcase DNA labs, change the wording of an international convention,  field a network of agents, and convince leading DNA scientists to go undercover for a cause.

Keeping Nets Off the Whales

Entanglement in nets – accidentally and intentionally – is now a huge danger to endangered whale species. ET has led the fight to keep nets off the whales, and has gotten a lot of net-laying ships removed from the seas. But going forward, harpoons aren’t the only problem…

The Mind of the Dolphin

Here’s the story of how the textbooks all changed, when ET first scientifically demonstrated “self awareness” in a non-primate. Before our lab’s work, it was thought that self-awareness had evolved only once on earth, in the great apes.

By doing good original science to help save dolphins, we discovered something profound about the evolution of awareness in the universe.  Along the way, we found that dolphins will also use computers, telephones, and language.

The Biggest Ocean-conservation Victory, Ever

When we set out to ban driftnets, there were 1800 ships deploying over 30,000 miles of invisible “wall of death” driftnets in the deep oceans every night.

We had a plan to make that fleet and those nets go away, and a 40-foot sailboat. It was enough.

Here’s the story of how a modestly-funded initiative with a nearly-perfect plan arranged for the world’s most destructive fishing industry to be expunged.  Because it’s good to be reminded that a good plan trumps the scale of the problem.

Stopping a dolphin drive kill – permanently

It’s a clash of cultures and it’s an environmental calamity. And the has been in the news a lot. But it’s intractable and polarizing.

There’s only one organization which has ever permanently stopped an ongoing national drive kill of whales and dolphins.

When we were finished,  everyone was happy.

War zone? We’ve done that.

Billions of gallons of flaming oil were pouring onto the land and into the ocean.

It was a petrochemical hell on earth, and it was going to take years to stop.

Here’s the story of how ET’s international teams intervened to protect the environment, protect the people, and break an international deadlock on capping the world’s worst petroleum disaster. (No, we’re not just a “save the whales” group.)

Transforming the global Tuna Industry, one smile at a time

The world’s second-largest dolphin kill has been due to tunaboats intentionally setting purse seine nets around dolphin herds in the eastern pacific. The issue was deadlocked for decades.

Yet the world’s largest tuna firm negotiated with us to give ET contractual control over its global purchasing standards, heralding “dolphin friendly” tuna internationally.  One of the most complex and successful environmental campaigns in history.

Here’s how it happened.

(oh, and we also fixed the largest kill, but that’s a different impossible story).

The Human Cost of Slime-ing the Seas

We’re turning the seas back to primordial bacterial slimes as they existed in the deep past, long before humans evolved.

Some talk about adapting to the new conditions.  We say, the hell with that.

Time to roll up our sleeves and save what we care about. Join us.

Endangered Species and the Sixth Extinction

It’s an amazing thing. Every morning when we wake up, fewer species exist in our world. Lineages billions of years old disappear forever.

What’s also amazing is that this situation makes it possible for ordinary people to save species from destruction. It isn’t easy, but it’s also not impossible.

Find out what we’ve done in the past with the energy and enthusiasm of people like you.

And give some thought to how you want to deal with the earth’s sixth major extinction event in 4 billion years.

ET exists to help deal with the earth‘s sixth mass extinction event. Let’s work together.

Check us Out!

We hope this site will be of general interest and education value to a broad sweep of people. But beyond that, it has a particular purpose.

It exists for people who have already made the decision that they want to make a serious difference for the earth’s future, and who are looking for the best way to go about that.

For that reason, we’ll make a point of how ET’s analysis, framing, tactics and campaign philosophy is different from those of other worthwhile organizations out there.  Because your time and resources are valuable, and your decision on who to work with will have a lot to do with the results you get.

Go on a walk through this site’s pages and get to know us. Using the navigation buttons above and jump right to Impossible Missions, or check out saving dolphins, whales, or endangered species. Learn about the most important threats to the oceans, and about what people like you have done through ET in the past. Find out how you can get involved. And maybe you can start thinking about some “impossible missions” of your own…

About Us

We’ve transformed issues on a global scale, not just once but time after time.

We started with saving whales and dolphins. And did it as well as it has ever been done.

We moved on to destructive fisheries, changed them forever and knocked the biggest one right off the planet.

We expanded to the international trade in endangered species.

Changed the global face of environmental labeling and compliance.

Created breakthrough science and applications which changed the course of world conservation and rewrote science textbooks.

Moved on to intervening in human war zones on nature’s behalf.

and now are digging into the deepest and most important environmental crises in history.

Why not consider lining up with us?