Crisis at the Border

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

No. 17, March 1, 2018

Hello Revelator readers,

President Trump has been talking about his border wall for years now, but the rhetoric ignores an ongoing environmental health crisis affecting millions of people who live in communities in the United States and Mexico. Investigative journalist John Dougherty traveled to some of the hardest-hit communities in California, Arizona, Texas and Mexico over the past three months, finding sickness and environmental contamination in a region that experiences poverty rates double the national averages. Read the first part of our "Border Betrayed" series — and stay tuned for updates in the weeks ahead.

Speaking of Trump, he actually did one right thing recently when he refused to lift the import ban on trophies from elephant hunts. But he could have gone a lot further — and in fact, every nation on Earth needs to do more if we want to save elephants from extinction.

Topics like the border wall and elephant poaching can leave us feeling angry, but sometimes expressing that anger can lead to solutions. That's the point of a wonderful new book, The Tantrum That Saved the World, by climate scientist Michael E. Mann and children's book author Megan Herbert. Read our interview with them here.

Finally this week, we have a report on a great success story out of Chile where two bird species, including the Humboldt penguin, nearly got wiped out after their island homes were invaded by non-native rabbits and foxes. But after a century of ecological destruction, the invaders have been removed, and the birds once again have a fighting chance at survival. Read all about how it happened.

In case you missed it:

Jeff VanderMeer's books Borne and The Strange Bird are out in paperback this week, and the movie based on his novel Annihilation is currently in theaters. Read his essay for The Revelator about one of the major themes of his fiction, "life in the broken places."

Coming up:

March will see the publication of an incredible number of new environmental books. Our "Revelator Reads" column is back tomorrow with a look at the best of the bunch.

After that, I'll be at the Public Interest Environmental Law Conference in Eugene, Ore., this weekend, where I'll appear on a panel offering tips for environmentalists looking to get their stories into the media. I'll be looking for stories, too, so feel free to seek me out if you're attending — or even if you're not. We're always looking for good topics to cover.

Looking ahead to next week and beyond, we have a ton of great stuff in the works for you, including several news stories, some thought-provoking essays and more in our "Border Betrayed" investigation. Follow us on Twitter and Facebook for the latest headlines as they happen. And while you're on the social networking platform of your choice, we hope you'll share our stories with your friends.

Feel free to forward this newsletter, too — every new reader makes a difference.

That's it for this week. As always, thanks for reading.

John Platt

John R. Platt
Editor, The Revelator

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