A Warning of an Imminent Extinction

This week's investigative reporting, analysis and environmental news.
The Revelator
Myrtle rust

No. 135, June 4, 2020

Hello Revelator readers,

Ten years ago an invasive pathogen arrived in Australia. Now scientists warn that the destructive, fast-spreading myrtle rust fungus is about to cause the extinction of several of the country's unique plant species. The loss of those species could cascade through the ecosystem, causing increased fires and other extinctions down the line.

Here at home many states are facing significant shortages of conservation officers to protect natural resources and wildlife. The COVID-19 pandemic could make the situation even worse.

The New England medicinal leech could be a poster child for invertebrate and parasite conservation, according to researchers. We just need to find it first.

Subscriber bonus: The Wild 5

Here are five more stories we're watching this week.  

1. The human-caused extinction crisis is accelerating and likely to push 500 more terrestrial vertebrate species to extinction in the next 20 years — with dangerous implications for humanity.

2. A new Environmental Protection Agency rule limits states' ability to block energy-infrastructure projects by curtailing parts of the Clean Water Act.

3. Flooding in urban areas disproportionately harms poor and minority neighborhoods, new research finds.

4. As competition for water supplies increases in the West, a new visitor is making people nervous: private investors.

5. In the face of racist attacks and violence, Black Birders Week has taken off on social media, boosting recognition of black people enjoying and studying nature.

In case you missed it:

Last year we spoke with Dr. Robert Bullard, the "the father of environmental justice," whose message resonates strongly this week: "We're still getting to justice, but we're not there yet. We have a long way to go to dismantle the institutionalized and structural racism that is so embedded in every institution in our society." Read more.

What should we cover next?

Our stories rely on insight from experts, frontline activists and readers around the world — especially these days, when so much damage is being done behind the scenes, out of the public eye. We want to hear from you, so please drop us a line anytime.

Coming up:

Sometimes the word drought just doesn't cut it anymore. We'll explain why.

Look for our latest links in next Thursday's newsletter — or follow us on Twitter and Facebook for the headlines as they go live.

As always, thank you for reading — and stay safe.

John Platt

John R. Platt
Editor, The Revelator

 

  This message was sent to eamessages@biologicaldiversity.org.
Photo of native guava shoots with myrtle rust by Rod Fensham
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