Water (Activism) Is Life

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

No. 96, Sept. 5, 2019

Hello Revelator readers,

Are you worried about the increasing privatization of water supplies? Activist Maude Barlow sure is, but she's also helping to develop solutions. Check out our exclusive interview.

Barlow has a new book out too, and it's one of our picks for September's best new environmental reads. The list also includes new titles about the Green New Deal, wildlife conservation, climate change and more from Naomi Klein, photographer Joel Sartore, Jonathan Safran Foer and others.

This is an important week for Pacific bluefin tuna with fisheries managers poised to vote on increased catch limits, despite the fact that the species remains vulnerable to extinction. Read about the issues in our latest op-ed.

Asia's imperiled river otters got a big break last month with new international protections to save them from traffickers. Many of these stolen animals end up on display in "otter cafés," where customers can pet and play with the highly social animals. But what may look cute actually poses serious health risks and could inspire more poaching. The new protections serve as an important reminder: Treating otters as pets harms their future in the wild.

Subscriber bonus: The Wild 5

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

1. Hurricane Dorian slowed to a crawl over the Bahamas, creating deadly and destructive flooding — something scientists say we'll see more of as global temps continue to rise.

2. The Pentagon will divert $3.6 billion from its military budget to border-wall construction.

3. New research shows that as U.S. cities get hotter, poorer neighborhoods are most acutely feeling the heat — and it's already making people sick.

4. Interior Secretary David Bernhardt says the United States' national parks need an infusion of $12 billion to fix repairs, but critics say the number is wildly inflated and is being used to open the door to privatization and energy development on our public lands.

5. Here's a recovery worth celebrating: England's River Thames was declared biologically dead 62 years ago, but it's now home to 120 species of fish. Scientists also counted 138 harbor seals born in the river this season.

In case you missed it:

Speaking of water rights, recent analysis reveals we have much less water in our aquifers than previously thought — and the oil and gas industry could put what's left at even greater risk.

What should we cover next?

Our stories rely on insight from experts like you, so we always welcome your ideas and inside scoops. Drop us a line anytime.

Coming up:

We're hard at work on our next batch of stories and essays. New pieces coming your way soon will cover a new idea in forest management, the language of conservation, the critically endangered vaquita porpoise, a hidden side effect of fracking, and a conservation conundrum.

Oh yeah, and sharks!

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

As always, thank you for reading.

John Platt

John R. Platt
Editor, The Revelator


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