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.
Southwest (AZ NM OK TX)
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.
"The tribe has survived for more than a thousand years in the arid mesas. The megadrought gripping the Southwest is testing that resilience."
"Texas oil and gas regulators make big bucks from the industries they oversee and fail to recuse themselves when arbitrating conflicts or determining penalties for companies they’ve invested in, according to a new report."
"The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission released some findings on Thursday from an investigation into February’s deadly winter storm and blackouts. Regulators faulted Texas energy policy for much of the disaster."
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.
"At the edge of a sandstone outcropping, Teresa Leger Fernández looks out on the Rio Chama. The river tracks a diverse landscape from the southern edge of the Rocky Mountains through rugged basalt hillsides, layers of volcanic tuff, and the red and yellow cliffs made famous by painter Georgia O’Keeffe. Here marks the genesis of New Mexico’s centuries-old tradition of sharing water through irrigation systems known as acequias."
"Federal officials have cleared the way for construction of a dump in West Texas that could hold spent nuclear fuel for up to 40 years."
"Environmental activists applaud funding increases but wonder why some money is going for road expansion. And why, they ask, is there no focus on environmental justice?"