Welcome back to our weekly behind-the-scenes glimpse at what’s getting our team talking. Let us know what you think at [email protected].

Laws of nature

When you hear the phrase “tough on crime,” environmental crime is probably not what immediately comes to mind. But that’s the kind of crime the European Union recently took a stricter stance on: Contributing Editor Michaela Haas shared a story from Euronews about the European Parliament’s recent vote to criminalize instances of environmental damage that it called “comparable to ecocide,” such as illegal logging and ozone destruction, with penalties of up to 10 years in jail.

Michaela says:


Two years ago, I wrote for Reasons about the movement to grant nature rights. As part of the story, I learned that laws have not kept up with the environmental crisis. I think this decision by the EU Parliament is important.

A climate protest in Brussels, Belgium during COP28 in Dubai last fall.
A climate protest in Brussels, Belgium, during COP28 in Dubai last fall. Credit: Alexandros Michailidis / Shutterstock

Breaking the ice

Founding Editor Christine McLaren shared a story from Watch the Yard about some good news in the world of figure skating: Howard University is the first historically Black college or university (HBCU) to have its own intercollegiate ice skating team.

Christine says:


I saw this article through the URL Media newsletter and immediately clicked on it. The projected public image of figure skating has been so un-inclusive. I was excited to see such a powerful HBCU building a team that challenges that. Also, I have figure skating on the brain right now due to my current obsession with the extremely weird and extremely wonderful TV show I Have Nothing.

What else we’re reading

💊 Muji Has a Prescription for the Loneliness Epidemic in Japan — shared by RTBC founder David Byrne from Bloomberg

☀️ Renewables expand to 23 percent of US electrical generation in 2023, with solar in the lead — shared by Executive Editor Will Doig from Electrek

🌆 Munich Is Having a Fight About Skyscrapers — shared by Audience Engagement Manager Mariel Lozada from Bloomberg

Elsewhere in our channels…

We were delighted to see that TriplePundit, which covers sustainability in business, featured our story about water ATMs in India in a recent newsletter alongside great solutions stories from the Sacramento Bee and The Trace.