Trump vs the Bees

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

No. 63, Jan. 17, 2019

Hello Revelator readers,

The news about President Trump's border wall keeps getting worse. We knew it was going to affect everything from birds to jaguars, but this week we reported that the border wall would also harm dozens of stunningly beautiful and ecologically important bee species in Texas. Check out the photos and read about what's at risk.

Speaking of the border wall, the continued government shutdown — caused by a fight over funding for the barrier — could have an unexpected impact on animals. As we report this week, the shutdown has furloughed federal employees normally tasked with tracking and responding to disease outbreaks in livestock and wildlife. That could be devastating.

Here's something else that could soon be in trouble: U.S. groundwater. New research shows we have a lot less of it than we previously thought — and what we do have is at further risk from fracking and oil development. We have the exclusive news.

Finally, why not cozy up this weekend with a good book? We have the rundown on 14 great new books about wildlife, climate change and sustainable food.

Subscriber bonus: The Wild 5

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

1. A new study finds that the oceans are warming 40 percent faster than scientists anticipated. That has far-reaching impacts on everything from hurricanes to sea-level rise to coral reefs.

2. Forty federal employees are being exempted from the shutdown furlough to return to their work expanding offshore drilling efforts.

3. Can plants hear and make noise? Researchers from Tel Aviv found some plants make high-pitched noises and others sweeten their nectar at the sound of pollinators.

4. New York's governor wants "congestion pricing" for New York City, which would make the metropolis the first in the country to charge a fee on downtown driving.

5. As President Trump threatens to declare a national emergency over border-wall funding, legal expert Dan Farber looks at whether a president could use emergency powers to tackle a real problem: climate change.

How has the shutdown affected you?

Has the shutdown affected your job or your local environment? Drop us a line. We want to hear your stories.  

Coming up:

We have a ton of great articles and essays coming your way in the next few weeks, including a look at one hell of an interesting species (that's a hint, by the way) and a call to protect one of the world's most important wetlands.

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 interesting news there, too!

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

John Platt

John R. Platt
Editor, The Revelator


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