Fracking vs Wildlife Our 100th Newsletter

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

No. 100, Oct. 3, 2019

Hello Revelator readers,

Welcome to the 100th issue of our email newsletter. We're so glad to have all of you here each week. The Revelator has now published exactly 550 articles and essays about the world's most important environmental issues. We couldn't have done it without your continued support.

Let's get to this week's links.

We've all heard about the many ways fracking puts human health at risk, but the consequences for wildlife have so far been less well understood. Now scientists have started to uncover how fracking threatens birds, fish, insects, caribou and even plants. Tara Lohan digs into the ways in which fracking also harms wildlife.

Arizona state officials have long relied on public donations to help truck water out to remote locations to save thirsty animals during drought. That's a Band-Aid solution to a problem that climate change and Trump's border wall will make even worse.

The latest IPCC report on climate change underscores the importance of the world's oceans. Our new op-ed explores how a global oceans treaty could help save the future.

People often ask me how they can help protect their local bat populations. Building "bat houses" is a great start, especially if it's done on a neighborhood or community level. Our latest essay reveals the science behind creating conditions that are "just right" for bats.

In case you missed it:

The Story of Plastic, a new documentary from The Story of Stuff, is now touring festivals around the country. We interviewed Executive Producer Stiv Wilson earlier this year about how to win the fight against plastic waste.

Subscriber bonus #1: The Wild 5

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

1. California Gov. Gavin Newsom, usually a fierce opponent of President Trump, vetoed a bill that would have helped stop some of the Trump administration's rollbacks of endangered species and clean-air regulations in the Golden State.

2. Sagebrush Rebellion superfan William Perry Pendley's position at the head of the Bureau of Land Management has been extended for another four months by Interior Secretary David Bernhardt.

3. A Phoenix company has requested permits for a project that would construct two hydroelectric dams on the Little Colorado River, just five miles from the eastern edge of Grand Canyon National Park.

4. Nearly a decade after the Deepwater Horizon disaster, the area around the deep-sea well remains a "deathtrap" for ocean wildlife.

5. It's fall! While humans are out gathering decorative gourds, here's what other species are doing as winter approaches.

Subscriber bonus #2: A Remembrance and Resolution

This week marks three years since the death of "Toughie," the world's last Rabbs' tree frog.

We lost Toughie — a rare case in which an "endling," the last known member of a species, died in the public eye — about eight months before the launch of The Revelator, but his passing still informs so much of what we do. Extinctions like his haunt us and drive us to help the world prevent other losses, or at least better understand the forces underlying the biodiversity crisis.

And those forces seem to get stronger every day. The Trump administration continues to hammer away at environmental protection, forests burn in Indonesia and the Amazon, oil and gas companies drive greenhouse emissions and conflict around the globe, and anti-environmental nationalism remains on the rise in the United States and far too many other countries.

But these threats, though dangerous and often deadly, don't deter us. We'll keep letting you know about them, while also helping inform you about solutions and the best ways to move forward. We'll keep digging into tough questions and the latest science, continue to give voice to the experts in environmental fields and activists in affected communities, and never stop looking for the stories that would otherwise slip through the cracks.

We do it for Toughie, for the people being poisoned by fracking, for the wildlife losing their habitat, for the island and coastal communities threatened by sea-level rise, and for you.

A world without the Rabbs' tree frog feels a little bit less whole, but we resolve to be tough enough to keep moving forward.

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. Drop us a line anytime.

Coming up:

We've got a lot in the works for you. Stories and essays in development right now include more about fracking, a look at the Trump administration's attacks on California, October's best (and scariest) environmental books, the deeper meaning behind Alaska's record heatwaves, and more.

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 share other news there, too, so please join us and keep the discussion going.

As always, thank you for reading. We'll see you next week for newsletter #101.

John Platt
Editor, The Revelator


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