Why the Supreme Court Matters to the Planet

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

No. 45, Sept. 13, 2018

Hello Revelator readers,

If you care about climate change and endangered species, you should care about the Supreme Court. As our new deputy editor Tara Lohan reported this week, environmental regulations could face a major upheaval if Judge Brett Kavanaugh is confirmed to the Supreme Court. Not only does he have a record of ruling against environmental issues and the public interest, he also has an extremely narrow view of what agencies like the EPA should be allowed to accomplish. That could threaten efforts to protect wildlife and curb climate change.

In other news, about 7,000 indigenous languages around the world are at risk of disappearing forever. When they vanish, so will knowledge about wildlife and local ecosystems. As Debra Utacia Krol reports, saving these languages from extinction could also help us protect endangered species and adapt to climate change.

Sometimes you don't know what you've lost until it's gone. Scientists recently announced the discovery of a new tree species in Cameroon. Unfortunately, the same paper that describes the new species also declares that it has likely gone extinct. I have the sad news in my latest Extinction Countdown article.

Whooping cranes are often considered one of the great successes in conservation. What can we learn from that? Our latest essay reveals how whooping cranes' unique way of interacting as a social group has helped captive-raised birds adapt and survive in the wild. As researcher Claire S. Teitelbaum writes, keeping animal culture in mind could help other endangered-species reintroduction efforts.

Finally this week, we have recommendations for 15 great new books about the environment, covering lions, fracking, climate change, agriculture and a whole lot more. Check out the list.

In case you missed it:

There's a new idea to help communities use fewer pesticides: Just let hawks, owls and other raptors do their jobs.

Send us your tips:

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

Coming up:

We've got a lot of great stories in the works for you, including our next interactive climate map and a cool new way to clean rivers. 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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