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This Society of Environmental Journalists’ special report — “Covering Your Climate: The South” — is the second in a series designed to help journalists of all kinds cover the impacts of climate change in their region, and to report on actions taken to mitigate its worst effects and preparations for what can’t be stopped. This special report on the Southern United States includes an extensive background overview, tipsheets for closer looks at anticipated impacts, at efforts to mitigate them and any plans to adapt. And to help cover this wealth of story ideas, also see our extensive regional resource toolbox. The project is distributed through SEJournal and the independent, nonprofit media organization Southerly, which covers the intersection of ecology, justice and culture in the American South. Southerly's Lyndsey Gilpin served as regional editor for this special report.
The South is ground zero for the climate crisis in the United States, yet little is being done to prevent impacts or protect communities. Will the South tap its potential to be part of the solution? Our special report, “Covering Your Climate: The South,” helps reporters cover the region, starting with this backgrounder on climate concerns from Texas to Virginia.
As global warming worsens, effects like extreme heat, drought, wildfires, coastal flooding and inland flooding will have an outsized impact in the Southern United States.
Most Southern state leaders are doing the least to fight the climate crisis, despite having the most to lose environmentally and economically. When will that begin to change? A look at the politics of the climate crisis, the dominance of utilities, and the transportation and forestry sectors, along with the few climate breakthroughs.
Preparations for the inevitable impacts of the climate crisis in the South, the country’s most vulnerable region, have been hit or miss. And one of the toughest challenges — preparing coastal communities for inevitable flooding from sea level rise — is just beginning. More on the region’s climate adaptation considerations in the final entry in our “Covering Your Climate: The South” special report.
As part of our special report, we’ve collected a wide range of resources to help reporters track down climate stories throughout the Southern United States. You’ll find an array of government, academic and NGO links for the Southern United States region, along with additional national and international resources.