Reporters covering floods, fires and other weather-driven disasters sometimes hesitate to link these extreme events to climate change. But TV meteorologists increasingly see an opportunity — and a responsibility — to help local audiences better understand the connections. Their unique relationship with viewers makes it easier to get past partisan divisions, while innovative tools are providing new ways to communicate information.
In his more than a decade at the helm of the Food & Environment Reporting Network, Samuel Fromartz was instrumental in shaping a new way of covering food, agriculture and environmental issues. As he prepares to turn over the top editor’s job to his successor, Fromartz talks about FERN’s innovative business model and the power of narrative.
The complicated interplay between climate change and trauma, poorly understood and little covered, is holding back the response by individuals and communities to the realities of the climate crisis, argues the head of a network of mental health and other organizations. Here’s what he has found when it comes to how climate-generated anguish is blocking climate solutions and what can be done about it.
The push to replace gas-guzzling vehicles with electric-powered alternatives is hitting significant speed bumps. The existing supply of lithium for batteries can’t keep up with demand, and new mining proposals often face opposition from area residents worried about local impacts. Radio reporter David Boraks has been covering one such conflict in North Carolina. He shares his insights and reporting tips.
Geothermal has long been hyped as the next big thing in renewable energy, but its breakthrough moment hasn’t happened yet. Barriers to expansion include the elusiveness of sites offering the magic trio of heat, water and permeability and concern for unique ecosystems. Contributor Jessica McKenzie on geothermal energy’s possibilities and challenges and the government funding that may finally fire it up.
Non-Indigenous journalists may think they’re doing “marginalized” Indigenous communities a favor by covering them, but their coverage is too often extractive and riddled with racist tropes. Contributor Valerie Vande Panne offers insights and advice for avoiding these pitfalls. Seeking permission, listening, sharing and respecting are all critical tools for the job.
Nearly two-thirds of the world’s rivers are impeded by dams and we keep building them in our quest for cleaner and greener sources of electricity. But as podcast producer Farha Akhtar learned while producing a recent episode, these monumental structures are having a profound impact on our planet and catastrophic consequences for many Indigenous people.
Water has always been a precious commodity in the western states. Now, with rapid population growth and a drying climate, the way this resource is shared and distributed is becoming more contentious across the region. Freelance journalist Jennifer Oldham talks about the tensions between supply and demand and how to drill down into water rights laws and policies.
When U.S. communities become unlivable due to climate change impacts, can residents count on government relocation assistance — and are those most in need of help actually getting it? Those questions kickstarted a year-long investigation led by three high-powered journalism organizations. Now they’re sharing their reporting resources toolkit and inviting other journalists to widen the coverage with more local stories.
As the economic impacts of climate change intensify, reporting on how individuals are affected, particularly in the Global South, is lagging. Veteran journalist Christine Spolar at The Pulitzer Center for Crisis Reporting details a new initiative to encourage journalists to fill this gap. The story of recent grantees Bhasker Tripathi and Susan Schulman, who have tracked job losses and migrations tied to climate change in India and Iraq.