The Most Important Global Treaty You've Never Heard Of

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

No. 131, May 7, 2020

Hello Revelator readers,

You've probably heard of the Paris climate agreement, but what about an upcoming United Nations treaty to protect biodiversity on the high seas, which cover half the planet? Fewer people may have heard of this effort, but nothing less than the future of the ocean is at stake.

Speaking of being overlooked ... Antarctica may be out of sight and out of mind for most, but the climate changes happening there could affect us all. Unfortunately there's been a string of concerning developments in the last nine months. Here's what you need to know.

With the COVID-19 pandemic gripping the world's attention, it's a good time to remember that people aren't the only ones at risk from disease outbreaks. Our new video explores wildlife epidemics and pandemics, which are often related to human activity.

The Trump administration is using the pandemic as an excuse to strip away even more environmental protections: Our latest op-ed reminds us people can resist these efforts and win.

Missed some of our coverage of the novel coronavirus crisis? Don't worry. We've got a roundup of all the pandemic stories we've published in one easy spot. You'll find stories explaining the root causes of the pandemic, ways to help connect to nature around you, and a new vision for a more sustainable future.

Subscriber bonus: The Wild 5

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

1. A new study finds that if climate change remains unchecked, in 50 years the places where 3 billion people now live will be too hot for human habitation.

2. Despite public concern about harm to a Michigan watershed, a judge ruled that Nestlé could increase groundwater pumping by 60% to extract 400 gallons a minute for water bottled under its Ice Mountain brand.

3. The COVID-19 pandemic has halted the construction of new petrochemical facilities, but some experts believe the plastics industry was in trouble before the current crisis.

4. Scientists are racing to stop the spread of an unwelcome visitor spotted in Washington and British Columbia — Asian giant hornets, which can devastate honeybee colonies and even deliver a deadly, toxic venom to humans.

5. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service ruled the island marble butterfly should be included on the federal list of endangered species and designated 812 acres on Washington's San Juan Island as critical habitat.

In case you missed it:

This year's Atlantic hurricane season could be the worst on record, and we're woefully unprepared. Here's what we can be doing to safeguard coastal ecosystems and communities.

What should we cover next?

Our stories rely on insight from experts and readers around the world. We want to hear from you, so please drop us a line anytime.

Coming up:

We'll have new stories about how climate change is affecting the world's forests, which areas of the ocean we should protect, and how one nonprofit is using new technology to boost conservation and research efforts.

Look for our latest links in next Thursday's newsletter — or follow us on Twitter and Facebook for the headlines as they go live.

As always, thank you for reading — and stay safe.

Tara Lohan

Tara Lohan
Deputy Editor, The Revelator


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Photo of green sea turtle by Constanza S. Mora

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