The Revelator’s 12 Best Environmental Reviews of 2021 • The Revelator


Our experts have spoken on hot topics ranging from plastic pollution to the extinction crisis.

It was a year when a lot was done – and a lot of environmental setbacks from former President Donald Trump have fact. Congress also pushed forward a big infrastructure bill, with benefits for wildlife.

The extinction crisis and efforts to protect biodiversity have become sharper, even though we have had to mourn the loss of 23 species. And while we should have taken great strides, we have at least moved forward with solutions to climate change.

Our expert contributors – and your humble editors – have weighed in with their thoughts and on these questions and more this year. And we’ve also launched a new casual essay series called Vanishing, which explores some of the human issues of the wildlife extinction crisis.

Looking back to 2021, here are a dozen of our favorite essays, editorials, and editorials:

Why plastic pollution is a growers responsibility – It’s time to hold manufacturers, not consumers, accountable.

The ivory illusion in southern Africa – Shady economy could fuel poaching epidemic.

Vanishing: The Bleaching in My Backyard – What Does a Texas Ice Storm Have to Do with the Plight of Coral Reefs?

23 Gone are countless more to save – What can we learn from these losses?

Insect infrastructure: Congress should invest in bees and butterflies – New legislation makes roadsides friendlier for pollinators.

Achieving net zero climate goals will depend on public lands – Almost a quarter of the country’s greenhouse gases can be attributed directly to public lands.

Combating extinction requires biocultural restoration – Biological diversity and culture are linked.

End subsidies that lead to overfishing and threaten the health of the oceans – This also has implications for the climate.

Voter suppression is the new climate denial – Local elections, disinformation, and denial of the right to vote all have environmental consequences.

Beyond science: art and the environment – Our wild places need artists.

Extinct: Sawfish are weird and wonderful – but important too – especially to some of the world’s most vulnerable communities.

As the climate changes, where are the safest places to live? – Answering this question leads to even more questions about safety, risk and fairness.

is deputy editor-in-chief of The Revealer and has worked for over a decade as a digital editor and environmental journalist focusing on the intersections of energy, water and climate. His work has been published by The nation, American prospect, High Country News, Grist, Pacific Standard and others. She is the editor of two books on the global water crisis.

is the editor of The Revealer. Award-winning environmental journalist, his work has been published in American scientist, Audubon, Motherboard, and many other magazines and publications. His column “Extinction Countdown” has been published continuously since 2004 and has covered news and science related to more than 1,000 endangered species. He is a member of the Society of Environmental Journalists and the National Association of Science Writers. John lives on the outskirts of Portland, Oregon, where he finds himself surrounded by animals and cartoonists.


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