Corporate lobby groups? Yeah, they can read it. Big campaign donors? They can read it, too. But can the news media and U.S. public read it? — No way! That would be un-American. Welcome to the secretly negotiated trade treaty known as the Trans-Pacific Partnership.
Planning & Growth
"As builders worked feverishly to get the Black Sea resort ready for winter games so closely tied to President Vladimir Putin's legacy, they failed to notice the effects their work was having on the village below."
"This famous bet — between a biologist and an economist — was over population growth. It started three decades ago, but it helped set the tone for environmental debates that are still happening today."
"American cities on the frontline of climate action are quietly but dramatically shifting their approach -- from primarily trying to limit global warming to coping with its impacts. They're building forested buffers to shelter homes from wildfires, considering concrete sea walls to restrain ocean waters and developing software to conserve water during drought."
Special Report: Part Two
By DONALD BORENSTEIN
"NORTH TOPSAIL BEACH, N.C. -- A crane swung a new roof truss into place above a house being built on this belt of sand last week, helping to expand development on what some experts say is one of the most dangerous islands to build on in the United States."
Flooding from Storm Sandy last year inspired urban designer Alexandros Washburn to devise new ways to protect his vulnerable home in Red Hook, Brooklyn -- and, he hopes, those of his neighbors.
Tens of thousands of U.S. citizens are at risk from potential dam disasters, yet state and federal agencies hold to a policy that amounts to "out of sight, out of mind." The biggest danger, apparently, is that the public might find out about the dangers, and criticize insufficient dam safety measures, inconvenience private dam owners, depress real estate values, or demand public spending that is politically painful for those in office.
This special issue of the WatchDog focuses on the transparency of safety information related to dams, levees, impoundments, and related water-control structures. For environmental journalists, these subjects offer a goldmine of great story possibilities. These are stories that have not been covered much in the past decade, and stories that fit well at the local, state, or regional level.