Safety has traditionally been the key question when discussing the realities of nuclear power. But in assessing the future of the nuclear industry amid debates over its potential to help tackle the climate crisis, the latest entry in our “2020 Journalists’ Guide to Energy & the Environment” reports that there may be an equally pressing concern.
A massive transportation measure is working its way through Congress, with environmental elements including climate change and public transit. But will this “must-pass” measure actually pass in the coming year? Or will it be bogged down by politics or looming questions of how to pay for it? A new Issue Backgrounder explains.
As U.S. coal’s comedown continues, our latest Issue Backgrounder takes a close look at the factors behind the industry’s decline and finds a combination of economics, competition and shifting global markets, along with aging technology, politics and environmental pushback. What’s in store for coal in 2020?
It’s poisoning fresh waters across the United States, as well as elsewhere in the Americas, Europe, Asia and Africa. Blue-green algae is on the rise, lingering later and later into the year. Our new Issue Backgrounder explains the contributing factors behind the potent toxin’s scourge, its societal and public health ramifications, and the many angles and resources to tell the story.
It’s a category of more than 4,000 industrial chemicals that affect our lives nearly every day — and many of which are toxic. So what do journalists need to know to report on the emerging contaminants known as PFAS? Our most recent Issue Backgrounder offers a detailed primer on what PFAS are, where they come from, what their health effects are and how they might be cleaned up.
The leasing of public lands to drill for oil and gas may seem a labyrinthine topic. But it could be time to get wonky and, ahem, drill down on it, as the politics of 2020 bring the controversial practice to the fore. The latest Backgrounder helps get you up to speed on the story.
What makes styrofoam good — like its insulating, shock-absorbing qualities that make it suitable for hot coffee cups, coolers, helmets and packing material — is also what makes it bad … for the environment, that is. This month’s Backgrounder looks at the technical and environmental aspects of this long-troubling plastic pollution source.
The vast Colorado River, recently in the news over a troubled drought deal, is at the heart of numerous environmental problems in the American West, where water is scarce and the legal complexities of water rights voluminous. The latest Issue Backgrounder offers an explainer on the story, which involves at least seven states, the federal government, Native American tribes, a hornet’s nest of irrigation districts and even Mexico.
Our latest Issue Backgrounder looks at the potentially historic impact of the ambitious climate action agenda known as the Green New Deal — not just on this Congress or the next, or even on the race for the White House in 2020, but for the soul of the Democratic Party. An analysis of a public policy program in the making, the political maneuvering it’s engendering and its prospects to sow division or prompt a united front.
U.S. courts will be a key venue of environmental conflict in 2019, as the Trump administration pushes back against an extensive array of long-standing environmental law. This special edition Issue Backgrounder looks at seven key legal disputes, including cases involving climate change liability, intergenerational equity and policy, as well as conflicts over maintaining national monuments, defining which waters are subject to anti-pollution rules, disposing of coal ash and extending offshore drilling.