Decolonizing Species Names

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

No. 170, Feb. 4, 2021

Hello Revelator readers,

What's in a species name? In some cases, paternalism, colonialism, sexism and racism — and that can be a barrier to conservation.

The U.S. Northeast got hammered by record snow this week, but most of the country is experiencing a severe lack of snowpack. Here's what snow drought means for ecosystems and economies.

Methane is a major contributor to climate change. Experts say the Biden administration can jumpstart climate protection by taking on rising emissions, but it won't be easy or quick.

From the archives:

This week's World Wetlands Day offered an opportunity to celebrate and protect some of the world's most vital ecosystems. Check out our archive of wetlands stories.

Subscriber bonus: The Wild 5

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

1. "Two Biden Priorities, Climate and Inequality, Meet on Black-owned Farms" (The New York Times)

2. "Climate Change Ravaged the West With Heat and Drought Last Year; Many Fear 2021 Will Be Worse" (Inside Climate News)

3. "Banks Can Help Stop Illegal Wildlife Trade" (The Jakarta Post)

4. "Judge Throws Out Trump Rule Limiting What Science EPA Can Use" (The Washington Post)

5. "Thousands of Wild Bee Species Haven't Been Seen Since 1990" (Smithsonian Magazine)

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 seems to be happening so fast. We want to hear from you, so please drop us a line anytime.

Coming up:

We're working on new articles and commentaries about wetlands, climate disasters, the wildlife trade and a whole lot more.

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

As always, thank you for reading. Stay safe.

John R. Platt

John R. Platt
Editor, The Revelator


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Photo credit: Townsend's warbler, named by a racist researcher, by Becky Matsubara (CC BY 2.0).

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