Our 5 most read stories of 2020

Revisit the stories and words that most resonated with our readers.

It's always something of a mystery to see what most touches readers. Black food sovereignty, DuPont's pollution, fracking and horses—this year's most read stories from our newsroom reflect true diversity in the world of environmental health.


We were delighted to see that whether essay, straight science reporting, explainer piece, or investigative feature, our work can reach millions.

Don't miss out, see what others have been reading. Below are our top five most read stories from the past year.

1. We don't farm because it's trendy; we farm as resistance, for healing and sovereignty

For more than 150 years, from the rural South to northern cities, Black people have used farming to build self-determined communities and resist oppressive structures that tear them down.

2. A lasting legacy: DuPont, C8 contamination and the community of Parkersburg left to grapple with the consequences

"We all have stories of friends and family, neighbors, dying too young or being diagnosed with various medical problems"

3. Coronavirus, climate change, and the environment

A conversation on COVID-19 with the director of Harvard University's Center of Climate, Health and the Global Environment.

4. Fracking linked to rare birth defect in horses: Study

A new study has uncovered a link between fracking chemicals in farm water and a rare birth defect in horses—which researchers say could serve as a warning about fracking and human infant health.

5. Organic diets quickly reduce the amount of glyphosate in people’s bodies

A new study found levels of the widespread herbicide and its breakdown products reduced, on average, more than 70 percent in both adults and children after just six days of eating organic.

Banner photo: Tracy Danzey grew up in polluted Parkersburg, West Virginia. (Courtesy Seth Freeman Photography)

Op-ed: We don’t have time for another fossil fuel bridge

Those holding up carbon capture and hydrogen as new climate solutions are leading us down the wrong path.

In his 2014 State of the Union address, President Obama praised natural gas as "the bridge fuel that can power our economy with less of the carbon pollution that causes climate change."
Keep reading... Show less

Get our Good News newsletter

Get the best positive, solutions-oriented stories we've seen on the intersection of our health and environment, FREE every Tuesday in your inbox. Subscribe here today. Keep the change tomorrow.

Federal election: what Liberal minority means for environment and climate

From eliminating fossil fuel subsidies to support for nature-based climate solutions and protected areas, here are some key things we can expect from the new federal government.

Fossil fjords in Africa hold clues to how the Arctic could look in a distant future

Namibia holds a network of fossil fjords that could help climate scientists better understand the climate of the past while also offering insights into the role modern fjords play in a warmer world, suggest the authors of a recent scientific paper.

California's megafires spur insurers to send in special, private crews before a blaze hits

There is a growing sector of private "pre-incident" troubleshooters who are deployed to defend specific properties in advance of wildfires

Panel with stakes in clean water adds to coastal habitat plan

A group of nine people with backgrounds and interests in the coastal economy and related water quality issues provided its recommendations for improving the state's Coastal Habitat Protection Plan.

Why Forest Service Chief Randy Moore has hope for America’s forests

Moore, who has been with the Forest Service for 43 years, the last 14 of them in California, seems sanguine about the future of forests and fire-prone towns — if Congress passes an infrastructure package with funding for fire prevention work.