Fighting Climate Change — With Fire

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

No. 95, Aug. 29, 2019

Hello Revelator readers,

The world watched in horror this week as human-set fires spread through the Brazilian Amazon.

But sometimes people set fires in beneficial ways. The Karuk Tribe in Northern California hopes to return to the use of prescribed burns to safeguard natural resources and lives in the face of climate change. Science is on their side, but there are a few hurdles — including issues of sovereignty. Read all about the Karuk's climate-adaptation plan.

And did you know the federal government kills millions of native animals every year, mostly to benefit agricultural interests? Learn about the often cruel methods employed by USDA's Wildlife Services program in our latest video.

Ocean warming has been in the news a lot lately, especially in terms of its effects on fish populations. Scientists are actively studying the problem, and they've identified some expected winners and (mostly) losers.

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

1. Brazil initially rebuffed an offer of $22 million in aid from G7 countries for fighting Amazon blazes, before accepting $12 million from Britain. As Bolsonaro spars with world leaders, here's a reminder of what's at stake for the rainforest, its inhabitants and the rest of the world.

2. A vote by the Democratic National Committee squashed any hope of a 2020 primary debate focused on climate change. Two TV networks have climate forums planned, but candidates won't be able to engage each other on the topic.

3. Concern is growing over Nestlé's proposal to drain more than 1 million gallons of water a day from springs along Florida's Santa Fe River for a water-bottling operation.

4. A wildlife biologist has found a surprising culprit responsible for quickly declining elk numbers in Colorado: outdoor recreationists such as hikers, mountain bikers and backcountry skiers.

5. Researchers in Sri Lanka are facing massive hostility — even a police complaint — over the names they chose to describe six new species of critically endangered geckos.

In case you missed it:

Deputy editor Tara Lohan recently wrote about the dangerous health risks associated with fracking — a topic she also talked about last week on the Thom Hartmann radio show.

What should we cover next?

Our stories rely on insight from the experts in our readership, so we always welcome your ideas and inside scoops. Drop us a line anytime.

Coming up:

We're looking at the results of this month's CITES wildlife trade conference and will have a report for you soon.

Also headed your way in the days ahead, we'll have an interview about water activism, September's best eco-books, a new idea in forest management and a whole lot 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 also share other news there, too, so feel free to join us and keep the discussion going.

As always, thank you for reading.

John Platt

John R. Platt
Editor, The Revelator


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