is the editor of The Revelator. An award-winning environmental journalist, his work has appeared in Scientific American, Audubon, Motherboard, and numerous other magazines and publications. His “Extinction Countdown” column has run 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, Ore., where he finds himself surrounded by animals and cartoonists.
Fossil fuel development companies have abandoned their leases on more than 1 million hectares of oil sands in northern Alberta. The areas have become less desirable (and less profitable) following the worldwide plunge in crude oil prices. Even the infamous Keystone XL pipeline — which President Trump approved almost as soon as he took office — now seems to lack the necessary support for its construction. What could replace it? Oh, maybe a little thing called solar power.
Just two weeks after France said it will no longer allow the sale of gas- and diesel-powered autos after 2040, the United Kingdom has followed suit. In addition, the UK announced it is also exploring ways to tax the dirtiest vehicles on the road as a way to lower current air pollution levels in the most-affected local areas. About half of all cars registered in the UK each year are diesel-powered; electric and hybrid vehicles, although a growing market, still represent a tiny fraction of all new cars sold there. Experts predict that should start to shift in the mid-2020s as prices become more competitive.
A stunning new report reveals that utilities knew about the potential dangers of climate change nearly 50 years ago. Scientists first warned the electric utility industry about CO2 emissions back in 1968, according to a report from the watchdog Energy & Policy Institute. Then, during the 1970s and 1980s, utilities actually sponsored what the watchdog agency calls “cutting edge” climate-change research. Knowing that this could cause a shift away from fossil fuels, some utilities started a disinformation campaign against climate change, something that some industry players continue to do today.
Two years after the infamous shooting of Cecil the lion in Zimbabwe, one of his sons has also been shot and killed. Xanda, a six-year-old father with his own cubs, wandered outside of protected Hwange National Park earlier this month and was legally shot by a trophy hunter. Like Cecil before him, Xanda carried a radio collar as part of a long-term scientific research effort. Conservationists now fear that Xanda’s seven cubs could die as other males vie to take over for the late pride leader.