How Do We Solve a Problem Like Wildlife Trade

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

No. 106, Nov. 14, 2019

Hello Revelator readers,

When it comes to solving the problems of wildlife trade, there are few easy answers. I recently sat down with Eli Weiss of the "Our Wild World" podcast to discuss some difficult questions, including farmed rhinos, the fate of the nearly extinct vaquita, and potential new international roles for controlling wildlife trafficking. Listen to the podcast.

Here's another tough one: Can our clothes be sustainable? A new book called Fibershed weaves together a plan to help enable "farm-to-closet" clothing — and reveals the challenges of sourcing fashion locally. We have a review.

What's the future of the Colorado River? Millions of people depend on the river, but a century of mismanagement threatens water supplies for the entire Southwest. Eric Kuhn and John Fleck, authors of the new book Science Be Dammed, talk about what we need to do to avoid a parched future.

Subscriber bonus: The Wild 5

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

1. A draft proposal from the Environmental Protection Agency would limit the scientific and medical research used to determine public health regulations and could retroactively weaken existing health protections.  

2. A two-year investigation by the Associated Press calls attention to more than 1,600 dams in the United States that pose health and safety risks.

3. Scientists have warned about a climate chain reaction that threatens the biological health of the northern Pacific Ocean — with far-reaching consequences.

4. Californians may get to vote next year on a ballot initiative that would dramatically curb plastic waste and hold plastic manufacturers responsible for their products.

5. Passenger pigeon pie has been off the menu for more than a century, but what else have we lost? Here's a look at the animals and plants that humans have eaten to extinction.

In case you missed it:

Scientists discover thousands of new species every year, many of which face the threat of extinction. Saving them often starts with giving them a name.

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. Got something to say? Drop us a line anytime.

Coming up:

Get ready for more tough topics. We're putting the finishing touches on a wide array of articles and essays addressing controversial issues, from trophy hunting to the trouble with biofuels.

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.

John Platt

John R. Platt
Editor, The Revelator


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