Little Shop of Extinction

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

No. 43, Aug. 30, 2018

Hello Revelator readers,

Is your local garden store actually a little shop of horrors? If your shop sells Venus flytraps, it may be unknowingly supporting an illegal poaching industry that's causing the famously carnivorous plants to disappear rapidly from the wild. It turns out that current laws don't do much to protect rare plants. But as essayist Katrina Outland explores this week, a few changes can help Venus flytraps and tackle the cycle of poverty that inspires this poaching in the first place.

You've probably heard about the Trump administration's recently announced "Affordable Clean Energy" rule, which would replace President Obama's Clean Energy Plan. As legal professor and former EPA official Joel Mintz writes, this "irresponsible" new plan could threaten thousands of lives a year.

And carbon taxes are in the news again as Washington state prepares to vote in November to establish the first such tax in the United States. What would that be like? For the answer, sustainability expert Ken Kroes looks at the carbon tax that already exists in Alberta, Canada and finds it to be an essential new tool for reducing emissions — even though a lot of Albertans don't understand how it works (or even believe that climate change will affect them).

In case you missed it:

This week the ACLU, Human Rights Watch and other organizations launched a new campaign called "Protect the Protest" — a direct response to companies using "strategic lawsuits against public participation (SLAPP) to limit free speech and silence critics."

One person who refuses to be silenced by these lawsuits is the frequently arrested and jailed activist Reverend Billy Talen. Read why he says this is a time when we need bold protests.

And don't forget: Nuisance lawsuits are just one threat activists and environmental defenders face. At least 207 were murdered in 2017.

Send us your tips:

What stories should we cover? We welcome your ideas and inside scoops. Drop us a line anytime.

Coming up:

Rest up over Labor Day weekend, because we have a lot of interesting stories in the works for you. Look for all our newest links in next week's newsletter, or follow us on Twitter and Facebook for the latest headlines as they go live. And while you're on social media, we hope you'll share our stories with your friends.

Feel free to forward this newsletter, too — every new reader makes a difference.

That's it for this week. As always, thanks for reading.

John Platt

John R. Platt
Editor, The Revelator

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