Russia's Toxic Trash and Persecuted Protesters

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

No. 108, Nov. 28, 2019

Hello Revelator readers,

Russia produces so much waste — and recycles so little — that the Moscow region has run out of room to store it all. Its solution: a plan to ship the toxic trash 750 miles by train to a rural area in the north. That's sparked a wave of protests, and the people opposing the project have been beaten and jailed for standing up for their community's health. Read more in our latest essay.

What happens when conservation projects fail? Often the answer doesn't make it into the scientific literature, which means the next wave of conservation projects can't benefit from lessons learned along the way. With time running out for so many species, we need to talk more about failure.

What will it take to end extinction? I sat down last month with three top conservationists to talk about new concepts and initiatives making a difference for some of the world's most imperiled species. Listen to the discussion.

Subscriber bonus: The Wild 5

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

1. A grim new report from the United Nations shows that the world is woefully off-target in efforts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and is headed for a rise in global temperatures of 7 degrees Fahrenheit by 2100.

2. Scientists have discovered a new pathway for mercury pollution — coastal fog — and are working to understand how it may affect the food chain and potentially human health.

3. The Trump administration has found another environmental regulation to roll back — efficiency standards for dishwashers.

4. The Navajo Nation and others have expressed concerns about a hydroelectric project that would dam a tributary of the Colorado River near the Grand Canyon.

5. A global project aims to curb illegal logging by creating a library of tree DNA from the world's forests.

In case you missed it:

As wildfires and other threats imperil Australia's koalas, here's what people are doing to help.

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:

Next week we'll dig into the debate over trophy hunting, look at December's best new environmental books, and examine the question of when we should consider a species recovered.

Look for our latest links in next Thursday's newsletter — or follow us on Twitter and Facebook for the headlines as they go live. We also share other news there, too, so please join us and keep the discussion going.

On this Thanksgiving — as always — I'm grateful to you for being a Revelator reader.

John R. Platt

John R. Platt
Editor, The Revelator


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