Beat reporters Hal Bernton and Mark Kaufman both found the dramatic changes wrought by climate change to be at the center of their coverage — as their work was elevated to prize-winning heights. Bernton, covering climate impacts in northwestern Alaska at a large newspaper, and Kaufman, covering CO2 globally for a digital platform, talk about the lessons of their recent beat coverage with SEJournal’s Inside Story.
Plastic waste, already the subject of preliminary international talks, could be increasingly targeted after UN meetings in early 2022. Meanwhile, this ubiquitous product is polluting land, ocean and air in its various forms, as well as through little-understood microplastic particles. The latest TipSheet has the backstory on efforts to forge an international plastics treaty, as well as ideas for how to cover plastic pollution locally.
A profound tightening of companies’ environmental risk disclosure requirements may be ahead, thanks to efforts by the Biden administration’s Securities and Exchange Commission. And the new WatchDog Opinion column argues that as fossil fuel firms position themselves as part of an environmentally sound future, journalists must act too — demanding full disclosure of corporate financial risks related to climate.
While climate change is certainly a global phenomenon, conflicts over addressing it often turn on local concerns. Case in point: Community bans on the use of the fossil fuel methane (aka natural gas), which has in turn prompted some states to ban the bans themselves. The latest TipSheet explains the bans and how they play into the climate change debate, plus story ideas and resources.
A growing body of research shows the links between global warming and extreme weather. And that knowledge can help communities prepare, and assign responsibility for damages. Veteran climate journalist Bob Berwyn lays out the science of climate attribution — for heat waves, flooding, wildfires and, ironically, crop-killing freezes — and discusses its implications for future climate change policy.
A critically important global gathering to advance the Paris climate accords gets underway in Scotland next month. And the latest TipSheet offers an extensive walk-through on the UN meeting — basic terminology and negotiating aims, global politics, green climate funds and more — to help environmental journalists report on it with relevance, whether from there or home.
Twenty years after the attacks on 9/11, the war on terror has left many risks in the built environment under a cloak of secrecy. For WatchDog Opinion, keeping vital information about such preventable hazards under wraps from the public and journalists is not just wrong, but bad policy. Here’s why. Plus, a rundown for environment reporters of where exactly this secrecy reigns.
During the next two weeks, expect a rush of Congressional activity as both chambers attempt to set details that will constitute what some see as possibly the most important climate legislation in years. TipSheet helps you keep track of the action, first setting the stage on two massive measures, and then providing resources to track more than half-a-dozen House committees.
Longtime energy and environment journalist Elizabeth McGowan traveled to southeast Kentucky to shine a light on efforts to diversify Appalachia’s longtime coal-based economy. In FEJ StoryLog, McGowan shares how her on-the-ground reporting approach, funded in part by the Society of Environmental Journalists’ Fund for Environmental Journalism, yielded not only a powerful story, but insights into overcoming its challenges.