Arctic Noise Threatens Whales, Seals, Fish — and People

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

No. 84, June 13, 2019

Hello Revelator readers,

Climate change isn't the only threat to Arctic species. Marine noise is also on the rise, and it's expected to get worse. That's bad news for whales, seals, fish — and people. Is there a solution? As we explore in our latest essay, Arctic nations have started to take action on this noisy issue.

Sometimes justice requires innovation. For the residents of Tonawanda, New York, understanding how a local coal factory contaminated their community started with a DIY investigation that led to a legal action and the plant's closure. Now researchers and residents are participating in a first-of-its-kind "chemical fingerprinting" study that could make it easier to hold polluters accountable and prevent toxic messes.

Here's something else that's unexpectedly polluting: Fish farms. The new Patagonia-produced documentary Artifishal dives deep into how fish hatcheries and fish farms threaten wild salmon populations — and what this reveals about our relationship with wild species and wilderness. Read our interview with director Josh Murphy.

Talk about hiding in plain sight: Genetic tests have revealed that a threatened Australian lizard called the grassland earless dragon is actually four different species — and unfortunately, one of them hasn't been seen for 50 years and may be extinct. There's now a dragon quest to find this possibly lost species.

Subscriber bonus: The Wild 5

Let's go a little deeper. Here are five additional stories we're watching this week.

1. Scientists warn that marine life will be at risk this summer from a near-record sized "dead zone" of oxygen-depleted waters expected in the Gulf of Mexico.

2. A senior democratic lawmaker is demanding answers after news broke last week that the White House worked to suppress written testimony from intelligence agencies about the national security threats from climate change.

3. A new study finds that the highest concentration of plastics in the oceans is not at the surface, but in fact between 650 and 2,000 feet deep.

4. As Canada warms twice as fast as the rest of the world, activists race to build political momentum ahead of a national election for a bold Canadian Green New Deal.

5. A new global survey paints a grim picture of the number of plant extinctions, which are estimated to be twice that of birds, mammals and amphibians combined.

In case you missed it:

Learn more about how many plant species are threatened with extinction.

What should we cover next?

Drop us a line anytime. We welcome your ideas and inside scoops.

Coming up:

We have some important new articles and essays coming your way in the next few days and weeks, covering groundbreaking legislation about plastic, how social media fuels the illegal pet trade, a new idea to protect jaguars, and more.

Look for our links in next week's newsletter — or follow us on Twitter and Facebook for the headlines as they go live. We share other interesting news there, too!

As always, thank you for reading.

John R. Platt

John R. Platt
Editor, The Revelator


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