It sometimes feels like journalists lurch from one catastrophe (or hurricane, flood, wildfire, heat wave) to the next. But that can mean missing the bigger story: Disasters, increasingly linked to climate extremes, are often interlocking events, in which one system failure causes the next and the next. The latest Backgrounder explores three case studies, and how news media can focus attention on steps toward resilience.
Carbon capture and storage technology has been around for years, but is being repositioned as a way to continue using fossil fuels in the face of climate change. Backgrounder takes a close look at how it works, its history and its politics. But even as the technology is taken up by Congress, the question is: Does the math add up?
With heat waves driven by global warming pounding parts of the western United States this summer, environmental journalists mustn’t overlook the toll on especially vulnerable populations, among them disadvantaged groups, the elderly, those in low-income housing and more. The latest Issue Backgrounder helps reporters understand heat’s health effects, track heat-vulnerable populations and clarifies how communities can prepare and prevent the worst public health impacts.
Corporate boardrooms are increasingly arenas in the fight over the future of energy and the environment, making it vital for journalists to understand the players, their motivations and the potential impacts on business planning. The new Issue Backgrounder explores the implications of recent news around investment policy, explaining some of its origins and deciphering the shifting scrimmage ahead.
The climate change gas methane, relatively little controlled but with a global warming potential many times that of carbon dioxide, has been much in the news recently and promises to remain there. The latest Backgrounder helps environmental journalists track the problem by detailing methane’s sources — from oil and gas production, agriculture and landfills — and the politics surrounding its regulation.
The path of our planetary climate may depend largely on our transition away from energy sources that cause global warming. And that, in turn, may rely on one thing: improved batteries. The new Backgrounder explores the future of energy storage — how batteries work, the progress the technology has made and the brutal battery competition ahead between the United States and China.
A much-anticipated infrastructure bill in Congress could help address the United States’ poorly rated roads, pipes and powerlines. But could the massive measure also do the heavy lifting for much-needed climate policy? The latest Backgrounder takes a deep dive into the context around climate-friendly infrastructure legislation, and looks ahead on what’s expected and how to report it.
Key picks for President Biden’s environment and energy team suggest top priorities, among them an aggressive, whole-government climate change agenda. The latest Backgrounder assesses choices to pursue Biden’s international and domestic climate policies, as well as historic selections for EPA and Interior, and more. Plus, dive into SEJournal’s expanding “2021 Journalists’ Guide to Energy & Environment” special report.
Environmental journalists may want to brush up on their legalese for 2021, as the likelihood of legal challenges over environmental policies — and Trump-era rollbacks — increases. Our Issue Backgrounder, the newest entry in our growing special report, “2021 Journalists’ Guide to Energy & Environment,” looks at potential legal conflicts over climate change, pipelines, drilling, auto emissions, clean water and more.
As the incoming Biden administration prepares to re-engage on the global stage, environment-related treaties are high on the agenda. The latest Backgrounder, part of our 2021 Guide, takes a closer look at 10-plus top treaties, including those focused on climate change, biodiversity, plastics pollution, airplane emissions, the future of the Arctic and more.