Damn Hard Work: Prepping for Biggest Dam Removal


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

No. 104, Oct. 31, 2019

Hello Revelator readers,

What happens when you remove four major dams from a river? We'll have some answers to that question a few years from now after the dams come down on the Pacific Northwest's Klamath River. But even before that happens, the work of studying the watershed has begun so we can understand the changes that follow. We talked to scientists collecting crucial data on the river and its ecology, despite lacking a dedicated source of funds. You'll be amazed by what they've found — and what they could miss. 

These aren't the only hard-working scientists. The Environmental Protection Agency disbanded a panel of experts focused on clean-air protections, but the group kept meeting anyway. Now they're sharing their findings about public health — and it's pretty scary.

Scary is also a good way to describe the new documentary Anthropocene: The Human Epoch. Read our review of this eye-opening film that will take you to places you never imagined.

And speaking of going places, editor John Platt explores his feelings about the carbon footprint of airline travel and what we can learn from "eco-anxiety."

Subscriber bonus: The Wild 5

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

1. A groundbreaking plan for tuition-free college in New Mexico comes with a troubling hitch: It's funded by fracking.

2. A new study found that 150 million people — more than three times previous estimates — will be at risk from rising seas by 2050, and major cities may go underwater.

3. As California battles blackouts and wildfires, here's why a more decentralized, local energy system is emerging as a leading solution.

4. Despite promises from President Donald Trump to rescue the industry, Murray Energy, the largest private coal company in the United States, has filed for bankruptcy protection — the fifth coal company to do so this year.

5. With the rock band Kiss planning an underwater concert for sharks, an expert weighs in on whether their idea is dumb, dangerous or both.

In case you missed it:

Election Day is almost upon us. Here's a reminder of why it's important for environmentalists to vote in every election.

What should we cover next?

Our stories rely on insight from experts and readers around the world, so we always welcome your ideas and inside scoops. We're also always open to expert commentary and op-eds from people working in conservation-related issues. Got something to say? Drop us a line anytime.

Coming up:

We've got a bunch of great new articles and essays in the works, including a better plan to protect ecosystems from rising seas, why policymakers keep ignoring science on the Colorado River, and how we can start thinking more holistically about the clothes we wear.

Look for our latest links in next week's newsletter — or follow us on Twitter and Facebook for the headlines as they go live. We also share other news there, too, so please join us and keep the discussion going.

As always, thank you for reading.

Tara Lohan

Tara Lohan
Deputy Editor, The Revelator

 

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