Expert contributors took us to the Arctic, the borderlands and everywhere in between.

border wall

Unique insight and deep understanding of the day’s most critical issues come from those with an ear to the ground — some quite literally.

This year expert contributors to The Revelator — scientists, advocates, teachers and other specialists — shared their knowledge of everything from mayflies to macaques and the border wall to the war of words. We learned about emerging science, international collaboration, places and species gravely at risk, and what we can do to make this world a better place for insects, whales and our fellow humans.

Of the dozens of op-eds, essays and editorials we published this year, we narrowed down our favorites. We hope they inspire action, conversation or reflection.


Trump’s Border Wall: Epitaph for an Endangered, Night-blooming Cactus? — A Trump-induced threat to endangered species.

‘We Know the End Is Coming’: The Plight and Rise of Climate Refugees — Time to protect those who are fleeing environmental crises.

The Trump Administration Pushes to Delist Wolves — and History Repeats Itself — An important history lesson.

Is Science Failing the World’s Primates? — Most primate species and habitats remain understudied, but we can change that.

The Words of Water: Why Environmentalists Are Losing the Water Wars — The language we use has real world consequences.

South Africa’s Fallen Pride: How Law and Government Fail to Protect Lions — What to do about the booming captive-lion industry.

How Social Media Supports Animal Cruelty and the Illegal Pet Trade — Here’s how to tell what’s safe to share.

Dehorning the Rhino — Desperate times and desperate measures.

The Unseen Threat: Noise in the Arctic Marine Environment — Arctic nations could lead on this crucial issue.

How Climate Change Will Affect Real Lives — Now and in the Future — A walk through the world of 2050.

A Surprising Effect of Light Pollution: It Disrupts Aquatic Insects — Time to consider the mayflies, caddisflies and stoneflies.

Millions of Tokay Geckos Are Taken From the Wild Each Year. International Protection Could Help Save Them — A call for change that actually resulted in the development of international trade rules.


The new year will undoubtedly bring new discoveries and challenges. What should we be talking about? How can we broaden the conversation? And would you like to be a part of it? We’re always looking for new voices. Find out how to contribute here.

Tara Lohan

is deputy editor of The Revelator and has worked for more than a decade as a digital editor and environmental journalist focused on the intersections of energy, water and climate. Her 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.