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SEJournal Online is the weekly digital news magazine of the Society of Environmental Journalists. SEJ members are automatically subscribed. Non-members may subscribe using the link below. Meanwhile, learn more about SEJournal Online. And send questions, comments, story ideas, articles, news briefs and tips to Editor Adam Glenn at sejournaleditor@sej.org.

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Latest SEJournal Issues RSS

October 20, 2021

  • Climate change makes flooding — and flood reporting — increasingly likely, and yet government data on flood risk often falls short. The latest Reporter’s Toolbox offers an alternative, an ambitious, peer-reviewed dataset from a unique nonprofit research outfit that offers free data aggregated to the zip code, county and congressional district levels. More on the dataset and how to use it.

  • 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.

October 13, 2021

  • 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.

  • How did Florida go from an uncrowded home of pine forests, wetlands and ranches to today’s sprawling subdivisions spawning environmental disaster? A new volume gains praise from BookShelf reviewer Nano Riley for its well-researched look at the unscrupulous developers who in a matter of decades carved the state’s ecosystems into lots for sale, trading its pristine beauty for an easy buck.

October 6, 2021

  • The launch of NASA’s new Landsat Earth-observing satellite is a reminder to reporters that millions of images from over five decades can help unearth many environmental trends, whether deforestation, coastal erosion, suburban sprawl or wildfire impacts. The new Reporter’s Toolbox explains how the service works and how to access the resource, along with examples of prize-winning stories.

  • 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.

  • 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.

September 29, 2021

  • 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.

  • Two outstanding features — one on air pollution from a local coke plant in Pennsylvania, another on deaths from a shellfish toxin in Alaska, and both focused on public health, neglected communities and environmental justice — are the subject of the new Inside Story Q&A. Society of Environmental Journalists’ award-winners Nancy Averett and Zoya Teirstein share their reporting insights and advice.

September 22, 2021

  • In a few weeks, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency will officially release the latest year’s Toxics Release Inventory. But as Reporter’s Toolbox explains, you can get ahead of the data — and possibly generate some scoops. That’s because EPA quietly releases incomplete preliminary data months earlier. Top tips on making sense of the early data, along with nine smart story leads.

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