Most popular stories of 2020

Our 5 most read stories of 2020

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)

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

With epic flooding in Eastern Kentucky, the state’s Governor wants to know ‘why we keep getting hit’
insideclimatenews.org

With epic flooding in Eastern Kentucky, the state’s Governor wants to know ‘why we keep getting hit’

After three years in office, Kentucky Gov. Andy Beshear has grown accustomed to holding media briefings on weather disasters. In February 2020, heavy rain caused flooding across Central and Eastern Kentucky, and mudslides in Eastern Kentucky, raising the Cumberland and Kentucky rivers to their highest levels in decades. In an essay lamenting the suffering, Kentucky […]
Sunrise in the woods

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Brazil grants permit to pave highway through heart of Amazon forest
www.reuters.com

Brazil grants permit to pave highway through heart of Amazon forest

Brazil's environmental authority on Thursday granted an initial permit that will allow a major highway to be paved through the center of the Amazon rainforest, the minister of infrastructure said, in a move that threatens to increase deforestation.
See the LA River at a fragile crossroads
www.hcn.org

See the LA River at a fragile crossroads

Photographer Pablo Unzueta explores an urban river at peril and in constant flux.
Beyond Meat stock falls after conclusion of McDonald's McPlant test
www.cnbc.com

Beyond Meat stock falls after conclusion of McDonald's McPlant test

Analyst research reported lackluster demand in the U.S. for McDonald's McPlant burger, which is made using Beyond Meat patties.
Pa. climate advocates 'excited' after Manchin's sudden turn gets budget bill compromise
www.post-gazette.com

Pa. climate advocates 'excited' after Manchin's sudden turn gets budget bill compromise

Climate advocates in Pennsylvania say they feel like they were released from “the jaws of defeat,” after West Virginia Sen. Joe Manchin announced he would back the historic clean energy incentives that earlier this month had effectively killed in the Democrats’ massive embattled budget deal.

Opinion: Debunking stereotypes about mobile homes could make them a new face of affordable housing

Manufactured housing – the preferred name for what were once called mobile homes – has changed dramatically in recent decades. Three planning experts call for giving it a new look.
From our Newsroom
supreme court climate change

Op-ed: Reflections on the Supreme Court’s Decision in West Virginia v. EPA

Danger resides in the majority’s having invoked a sweeping “Major Questions Doctrine” to justify its decision in this relatively narrow case.

children health

Derrick Z. Jackson: Children will suffer the consequences of recent Supreme Court rulings

A rash of recent decisions by the high court will irreparably impact our children's health.

summer reading list

Our annual summer reading list, 2022 edition

Happy 4th of July! Here's some summer reading picks from our staff.

environmental injustice

Centering biodiversity and social justice in overhauling the global food system

“The food system is the single largest economic sector causing the transgressing of planetary boundaries.”

Global Warming: Why the problem is worse – and solutions simpler – than you thought

Global Warming: Why the problem is worse – and solutions simpler – than you thought

Noted ecologist John Harte offers a fresh take on the dire topic of climate change.

Colorado fracking

Colorado is the first state to ban PFAS in oil and gas extraction

The toxic “forever chemicals” are used in fracking wells across the country.

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