Currently — June 9th, 2022

The weather, currently.

The combination of decades of drought, explosive population growth, and extractive commercial farming has pushed Utah’s Great Salt Lake to record low water levels.

On Wednesday, the New York Times published an in-depth feature on the consequences of declining lake levels at the Great Salt Lake, like dwindling snowpack on the nearby mountains, aquatic ecosystem collapse, and even poisonous dust clouds laden with heavy metals.

This report is a follow-up on the work that local journalists and activists have been doing for a long, long time. From space, a nearly 40-year timelapse shows the dramatic shrinking of the lake over time, as local debates have raged on how to protect it.

For ongoing local coverage of this issue — and locally-led solutions — bookmark the Great Salt Lake Cooperative, a fantastic collaboration between 23 news, media, and education organizations in Utah striving for a sustainable future for the region.

—Eric Holthaus

What you need to know, currently.

We have a story up today from Currently’s Anna Abraham on the Bishnoi community:

“September 11th is significant for a different reason to the Bishnoi community of North-Western India. It is said that on this day in 1730 AD, Amrita Devi Bishnoi from the village of Khejarli, Rajasthan, led a protest against the cutting of Khejri trees in her village. The Maharaj of the time, Abhai Singh of Marwar, sent his minister, Giridhar Bhandari, on a mission to cut trees for construction on a new palace. When Amrita Devi heard the news of soldiers with axes coming to cut the tree, she — along with her three daughters and a few villagers — demonstrated, to no end.

Devi then went and hugged a Khejri tree, hoping the king’s men would give an inch. But the unrelenting royal party chopped right through her. Horrified by the sight, Devi’s three daughters also went and hugged trees and were killed in a similar manner. The villagers around them followed suit. This is now known as the Khejarli Massacre.”

Click here to read more!