James West

James West

Senior Producer, Mother Jones/Climate Desk

James West is senior producer for Mother Jones and its reporting project Climate Desk. He wrote Beijing Blur (Penguin 2008), a far-reaching account of modernizing China’s underground youth scene. James has a masters of journalism under his belt from NYU, and has produced a variety of award-winning shows in his native Australia, including the national affairs program Hack. He's been to Kyrgyzstan, and also invited himself to Thanksgiving dinner after wrongly receiving invites for years from the mysterious Tran family.

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This Beautiful Pacific Ocean Tribute to UCSB Victims Will Leave a Lasting Mark on Your Day

| Thu May 29, 2014 1:10 PM EDT

Yesterday, as the sun was setting, hundreds of University of California-Santa Barbara students hopped on surfboards and inflatable rafts and paddled out into the Pacific to pay tribute to the six victims killed in last Friday night's Isla Vista rampage.

If you've lived in or around surfing communities, you might be familiar with the traditional "paddle out" memorial: mourners hold hands in a wide ring, and throw flowers into the water to commemorate a departed member of the community. This one—drenched in Californian sun and accompanied by Israel Kamakawiwoʻole's haunting cover of "Somewhere Over the Rainbow"—is sure to leave a lasting mark on your day, as it did mine.

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