From under a blanket of dense smog that hung over the southern Polish town hosting a recent United Nations climate change conference, the president of the Society of Environmental Journalists, Bobby Magill, had a moment of clarity for the profession and the organization. His insights, and how they will affect the future of SEJ as it begins a new strategic planning process, in Magill’s latest SEJ President’s Report. Plus, a special honor for a “tireless” SEJ leader.
Planning & Growth
"A bucolic community was reduced to ash by a new kind of wildfire – the deadliest in California’s history. Survivors recall that horrible day".
"California's building codes are not keeping up with the severe, wind-driven wildfires that are becoming the norm."
"Solar panels will be a required feature on new houses in California, after the state's Building Standards Commission gave final approval to a housing rule that's the first of its kind in the United States."
"PARADISE, Calif. - A search for victims of a catastrophic blaze that reduced a northern California town to ashes intensified on Thursday, as authorities expanded to 630 the number of those reported missing in the deadliest and most destructive wildfire in state history."
As the Trump administration challenges wetlands preservation policy under the Clean Water Act, an important related practice has come into question. Mitigation banking — the creation or preservation of one wetland to offset the loss of another — has become a billion-dollar industry. But as this week’s TipSheet reports, the legal and regulatory tangle aside, wetlands permitting and mitigation continues, likely near you. Tracking the local story.
The vulnerability of critical U.S. infrastructure to cyberattacks has been a growing worry for years, as electric utilities, drinking water systems, chemical plants, nuclear plants, pipelines and more are the target of a burgeoning cadre of hackers. But for environmental and other journalists focused on the story, another problem has emerged: The secrecy that has long been part of the U.S. cybersecurity policy. In this comprehensive Backgrounder, SEJournal takes a look at the risk, the response and the resources to let reporters go deep on cyber warfare as an energy and environment story.
The Society of Environmental Journalists has joined several dozen other journalism groups calling for the investigation into the disappearance of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi, and separately, urged Parks Canada to stop imposing reporting barriers for journalists. That, plus black holes in the calendar for Secretary of Interior Ryan Zinke, and new data resources for reporters. All in the latest WatchDog Tipsheet.