With a new Congress in place and the seemingly never-ending political races to track, reporters can often learn a good deal about how environmental policy is influenced by looking into campaign and lobbying donations. Backgrounder takes a deep dive into the topic, pointing to important sources of information and data … and their limitations.
Non-Indigenous journalists may think they’re doing “marginalized” Indigenous communities a favor by covering them, but their coverage is too often extractive and riddled with racist tropes. Contributor Valerie Vande Panne offers insights and advice for avoiding these pitfalls. Seeking permission, listening, sharing and respecting are all critical tools for the job.
"Even as global governments raise their ambitions to cut fossil fuels in the future, they spent a record $1 trillion last year subsidizing energy sources that are the main driver of climate change."
The cuteness of the fuzzy koala appears not to be winning it special protection in its native Australia, despite dwindling numbers, per a new volume on the endangered marsupial. BookShelf contributor Melody Kemp offers praise for “Koala: A Natural History and an Uncertain Future,” with a review that begins amusingly with bodily functions but ends dispiritedly with yet more koala habitat lost to housing tracts and wildfire.
As part of our 2023 Journalists’ Guide to Energy & Environment special report, we’ve got highlights from last week’s reporter panel on the year ahead, led by #SEJ2023 conference co-chair Tom Michael (pictured, left). The focus was largely on the U.S. West, where challenges abound over issues like equitable siting of renewable energy infrastructure, regulating natural gas, managing wildfires and addressing the health consequences of climate-driven heat waves. Read our account, plus check out the full 2023 Guide.
In our annual analysis of what’s ahead on the environment beat in 2023, there are some things to count on: worsening climate disasters and continued politicking over energy transitions, but also regulatory action on greenhouse gas emissions (not to mention on “forever chemicals”). Other things are less clear: environmental rulings by a conservative U.S. Supreme Court, energy impacts of war in Europe and the effectiveness of COP28 and treaty talks on plastic pollution. Read the full overview and get more in our “2023 Journalists’ Guide to Energy & Environment” special report.
When the Trump-era Environmental Protection Agency changed regulations governing freedom of information requests, journalists worried they were making it easier for political appointees to interfere with disclosures. Now the Biden administration is proposing a rules revision. But, as the latest WatchDog Opinion argues, it’s missing an opportunity to rid the regime of those critical flaws.
Iconic critters like salmon, orca and wolves. Climate controversies like natural gas greenwashing and carbon auctions. And wildfire fallout like “smoke-a-geddon.” These are just some of the wide array of stories worth covering as environmental journalists scan Cascadia, the huge area encompassing Washington, Oregon and Idaho, and stretching from Alaska to Utah. This special TipSheet, part of our 2023 Journalists’ Guide to Energy & Environment, outlines top issues in the region, offering insights, resources and story angles.
Nearly two-thirds of the world’s rivers are impeded by dams and we keep building them in our quest for cleaner and greener sources of electricity. But as podcast producer Farha Akhtar learned while producing a recent episode, these monumental structures are having a profound impact on our planet and catastrophic consequences for many Indigenous people.
"Despite an injection of funding, the agency still has not recovered from an exodus of scientists and policy experts, both insiders and critics say."
"WASHINGTON — The nation’s top environmental agency is still reeling from the exodus of more than 1,200 scientists and policy experts during the Trump administration. The chemicals chief said her staff can’t keep up with a mounting workload. The enforcement unit is prosecuting fewer polluters than at any time in the past two decades.