Life in the Climate Fire Zone

This week's investigative reporting, analysis and environmental news.
The Revelator
Orange skies in Oregon

No. 150, Sept. 17, 2020

Hello Revelator readers,

Greetings from the fiery, smoke-filled Pacific Northwest. We hope you're all safe.

The fires raging through the West — and the smoke now blanketing the nation — must serve as a call to address climate change and the other ills that plague our society. Check out my editorial on what it's been like to live with the effects of these climate-fueled flames.

In related news, the Environmental Protection Agency has used the pandemic as an excuse to relax environmental regulations — with potentially dangerous consequences for the climate and human health. Our latest op-ed wraps up what's happened and how to fix it.

In an excerpt from his new book, predator conservationist Mark Elbroch reveals "the value of a mountain lion."

How many plants have gone extinct in North America since colonization? New research puts the answer at a shocking 65 — but as bad as that is, the true number is probably much higher.

Speaking of which...

There's no denying we're in a crisis:

A new scientific paper warns biologists against the threat of "extinction deniers."

As I wrote last year, extinction deniers use the same tactics as professional climate deniers to target the scientists and conservationists trying to save the world's wildlife. I debunked their arguments.

Subscriber bonus: The Wild 5

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

1. How Climate Migration Will Reshape America (The New York Times Magazine)

2. NOAA Taps David Legates, Professor Who Questions the Seriousness and Severity of Global Warming, for Top Role (The Washington Post)

3. Huge Western Fires in 1910 Changed U.S. Wildfire Policy. Will Today's Conflagrations Do the Same? (InsideClimate News)

4. Northern Hemisphere Had Its Warmest Summer Ever, NOAA Says (CBS)

5. Another Reason National Parks Are Vital for Endangered Species (Treehugger)

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 damage is being done behind the scenes, out of the public eye. We want to hear from you, so please drop us a line anytime.

Coming up:

How's the fossil-fuel divestment movement doing? We'll have a look at where it stands.

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 — and stay safe.

John R. Platt

John R. Platt
Editor, The Revelator


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Photo of smoky skies courtesy Oregon Department of Transportation.

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