The Earth is at a crossroads.
The climate crisis is deepening, the wildlife extinction crisis is worsening, and pressure on the world’s resources is at an all-time high (to say nothing of the proposed dismantlement of the Environmental Protection Agency, our public lands and the Endangered Species Act).
The world has become an increasingly complicated place. It needs a new kind of environmental news site.
That’s where The Revelator comes in.
Starting today, The Revelator — an independent news site published by the Center for Biological Diversity — aims to be a distinct and fearless voice for conservation in the 21st century. We’ll bring you stories about endangered species, climate change, sustainability, public lands and other important matters. We’ll also provide you with the context and bigger picture behind these issues — details you may not be able to get anywhere else.
In addition to our regular news coverage, The Revelator will include investigative journalism from award-winning writer John Dougherty, stories that dig deep into issues that matter. The site will also be the new home for “Extinction Countdown,” my long-running column about the science and politics of endangered species, most recently published by Scientific American, as well as quite a few additional articles by me, all drawing on my 10 years of experience as an environmental journalist.
The Revelator will also feature essays and other contributions from some of the best minds working in conservation and environmental issues, many of whom might have things to say that will surprise you.
Our aim is to provide smart, essential reading for the public, the environmental movement, the media and decision-makers — because accepting the status quo is no longer an option.
Since you’re probably already asking, let’s talk about the name of this publication. “Revelator” is an old-school word for truth-teller. That’s our mission: shining a light on environmental issues so we can find out what works, what doesn’t, and how we can get to a brighter future.
More broadly, yes, the word “revelator” also has fairly apocalyptic overtones — these are tough times, after all — and we’d sure like to help the world avoid getting to that particular junction.
Part of revealing the truth means earning your trust.
First, we want our readers to know that they can come to us for stories that are honest, in-depth, and independent. Environmental journalism is, it can be argued, a form of activism, and we are published by an activist organization, but we enter into our reporting with no preconceived notions or agendas other than continuing a safe existence on this planet. We go where the stories and facts take us: nothing more, nothing less.
Second, we want people to feel comfortable talking to us. Whether it’s the sources for our news articles, who want to make sure we get the facts straight, or whistleblowers who want to shine a light on what’s going on the world but be protected in the process, we promise to listen, tell your tales, and provide an unwavering spotlight on the truth. The process starts when you send us story ideas to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Finally, we want and value the participation of our readers. Please feel free to post comments, or mail them to email@example.com. Your ideas matter and we look forward to adding them to the conversation. (You can find our full comment policy here.)
Let’s get moving. On our first day, we present to you several great new pieces:
- John Dougherty’s account of how he nearly got arrested in Peru — for screening a documentary.
- My newest “Extinction Countdown” article — a look at how climate change could wipe out whooping cranes.
- Journalist Erica Cirino’s examination of a surprising source of oceanic plastic pollution.
- The first installment of our regular feature, “The Ask,” in which we pose a pressing question to a wide range of people and share their answers. This time around: How do you stay positive in the face of the extinction crisis?
- Plus, the premiere of our occasional news aggregation service, “The Dose: News & Context,” where you’ll find a lot of information in a few concise words.
There’s plenty more to come, including a look at the impact of Trump’s border wall, a massive investigation into an oil company that has so far stayed out of the limelight, and a few interesting essays that we can’t wait to share with you.
That’s just scratching the surface. The Revelator has a lot of stories to tell in the coming weeks and months. So stick around and see what truths we can reveal for you.
John R. Platt
Editor, The Revelator