SEJournal Relaunches WatchDog with a ‘Voice,’ Plus Coronavirus and More

SEJournal welcomes back from hiatus our WatchDog feature, now recast as an opinion column from Joseph A. Davis, Society of Environmental Journalists’ veteran freedom of information advocate and longtime SEJournal contributor. In part one of a two-parter, find out why we’re relaunching the new column, plus get Davis’ take on government openness (or lack thereof) around coronavirus, as well as more on SEJ’s deep commitment to open information and a rundown of its recent FOI activities. And watch for part two next week.

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"South Sudan Ignores Reports On Oil Pollution, Birth Defects"

"The oil industry in South Sudan has left a landscape pocked with hundreds of open waste pits, the water and soil contaminated with toxic chemicals and heavy metals including mercury, manganese, and arsenic, according to four environmental reports obtained by The Associated Press."

Source: AP, 02/14/2020

For 1000s of Years, Egypt Controlled the Nile. A New Dam Threatens That

"Without the Nile, there is no Egypt. Egyptians have been the masters of the river for thousands of years. But the Nile has never been under such strain. Pollution, climate change and Egypt’s soaring population are taking an immense toll. Now Egypt is sparring with Ethiopia over a giant dam being built 2,000 miles upriver. Time is running out. Can they find a solution to avoid a wider conflict?"

Source: NY Times, 02/11/2020

Another Bad-News Year Ahead for U.S. Coal?

As U.S. coal’s comedown continues, our latest Issue Backgrounder takes a close look at the factors behind the industry’s decline and finds a combination of economics, competition and shifting global markets, along with aging technology, politics and environmental pushback. What’s in store for coal in 2020?

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