A local beat reporter with an unusual background seeks hidden corners of local environmental policy and is rewarded with top honors for her work. An interview with Texas Observer reporter Naveena Sadasivam about her learning curve, her award-winning reporting and what she thinks the profession must do to build its future. The latest “Inside Story.”
The EPA turns to friendly media to share its news, while limiting access to mainstream reporters. And the agency moves to “weaponize” transparency. Those stories, plus, a new way to map political influence on environmental policy, and key reports made public, in the latest WatchDog TipSheet.
They may not be the sexiest topics on the environmental agenda. But building codes and zoning can become a matter of life and death when natural disasters strike. This week’s TipSheet runs down the reporting challenge when floods, earthquakes and wildfires threaten your coverage area.
"Avery Island, a dome of salt fringed by marshes where Tabasco sauce has been made for the past 150 years, has been an outpost of stubborn consistency near the Louisiana coast. But the state is losing land to the seas at such a gallop that even its seemingly impregnable landmarks are now threatened."
"The $1.3 trillion omnibus spending bill President Trump signed last week includes a record amount of funding to prepare communities for future extreme weather events that scientists say are being exacerbated by the impacts of global warming."
"Fewer Republicans say they believe that there is a scientific consensus on climate change or that the effects of global warming have already begun, according to a new Gallup poll, which showed a widening partisan gap near record levels."
"Environmentalists notched an important legal win last week when a district court called on the federal government to boost its climate analysis for fossil fuel development in the West."
"An enforcement breakthrough a decade in the making was unveiled in December: Three manufacturers of a sooty oil-based product known as carbon black had agreed to slash air pollution by thousands of tons each year. But there was a twist."
"Arctic sea ice behaves a bit like a human waistline, packing on weight in the winter and slimming down in the heat of summer. But while many of us struggle to lose weight, the Arctic has been struggling to gain it."
"Next month, a Silicon Valley engineer plans to head out on a snowmobile from Barrow, on the northern tip of Alaska, to sprinkle reflective sand on a frozen lake to try to stop it from melting."