Can We Protect the Top 10 Ocean Biodiversity Hotspots

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

No. 133, May 21, 2020

Hello Revelator readers,

Can we protect the most biodiversity-rich areas of the world's oceans from climate change, deep-sea mining and other threats? That's the point of new research, which identifies the 10 areas of the ocean most in need of conservation. As the scientists tell us, the time to protect these areas grows short.

Have you noticed a decrease in air pollution during the pandemic? Transportation, especially commuting, plays an oversized role in global-warming emissions and pollution. Our latest expert essay explores how much telework matters and what we can do to make it even more effective.

COVID-19's suspected origin in wildlife markets has prompted renewed calls to transform the food system to prevent diseases harmful to humans — and that includes cutting back on antibiotics in agriculture. Find out more in our latest video.

Looking for a little extra inspiration? We've got the word on 18 new environmental books covering elephants, butterflies, eels, and solutions for eco-anxiety, climate change and other environmental ills.

Subscriber bonus: The Wild 5

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

1. A $1 billion project to expand natural gas infrastructure in the northeast has been shelved after the New York Department of Environmental Conservation denied it a key permit.

2. Due to the pandemic, daily carbon dioxide emissions dropped 17% across the globe in April compared with 2019, but the decrease in emissions for the year is predicted to be only between 4-7% as more businesses reopen.

3. A Trump administration plan to open Alaska's 16.8 million-acre Tongass National Forest to logging has been met with strong public pushback, with 96% of public comments in support of keeping environmental protections.

4. New research confirms years of theory and modeling, showing that climate change is making hurricanes more severe and destructive.

5. To many, whales swimming in the wild are a priceless joy, but researchers have calculated that living whales off the coast of Brazil are worth about $82 billion economically for their benefits to the ocean ecosystem and tourism.

In case you missed it:

We've collected all our COVID-19 and pandemic-related articles and essays — including a few fun things to keep you motivated.

What should we cover next?

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

Coming up:

A new danger looms for Asia's sun bears, the smallest bears in the world. We'll talk about that, as well as the necessary solutions. Also coming soon: surprising news about the future of trees and forests.

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


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Photo credit: Young monk seal underwater in the Northwest Hawaiian Islands courtesy NOAA/PIFSC/HMSRP

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