As part of our “2020 Journalists’ Guide to Energy & Environment” to help reporters track the stories coming their way this year, SEJournal Online looks ahead to major developments on the beat — from Washington, D.C. to the Arctic, from public lands to fossil fuels. We also explore pending news on transportation, agriculture, nukes, federal funding, freedom of information and even algae. Also under our gaze, key facets of the climate story. Read our overview analysis and then dive deep into the full offering of special Backgrounders, TipSheets and WatchDogs.
"Swarms of desert locusts have spread from Ethiopia and Somalia into eastern and northern Kenya, posing a threat to food production and grazing land, its agriculture minister said on Friday."
"Extreme weather patterns associated with heat waves and droughts are raising the risks of simultaneous harvest failures of vital crops worldwide such as wheat, maize and soybeans, two studies published Monday found. This is pushing the world closer to the edge of potential food price spikes, associated social unrest and food shortages."
Illness, injury, death. Those are the worsening health impacts of climate change, as global warming shifts disease vectors, encourages bacteria and foodborne illness, and leaves people increasingly suffering from heat, smog, smoke, allergies and other risks of extreme weather. Our latest TipSheet helps you get a handle on the sprawling health-climate story.
"A previously undisclosed E. coli outbreak linked to romaine lettuce sickened nearly two dozen people between July and early September, the Food and Drug Administration said Thursday — a delayed announcement one food safety lawyer called a “lie to the public in all respects.”"
"The bowhead whale hunt is an essential cultural and subsistence tradition for the Inupiat of Alaska's North Slope. It dates back at least 1,500 years, and annual harvests can supply families with hundreds of pounds of meat."
"A class of toxic chemicals known to have contaminated drinking water in many areas across the country is also presenting human health risks via another exposure method — our food supply."
The links between agriculture and climate are as old as the Indus Valley Civilization and as current as this year’s Mississippi Basin floods. And stories about how each influences the other will likely unfold at an ever faster rate, according to this week’s TipSheet. The backstory, with an outline of the interactions between ag and global warming, plus story ideas and reporting resources.
"A surprising new study challenged decades of nutrition advice and gave consumers the green light to eat more red and processed meat. But what the study didn’t say is that its lead author has past research ties to the meat and food industry."
"Public health officials for years have urged Americans to limit consumption of red meat and processed meats because of concerns that these foods are linked to heart disease, cancer and other ills. But on Monday, in a remarkable turnabout, an international collaboration of researchers produced a series of analyses concluding that the advice, a bedrock of almost all dietary guidelines, is not backed by good scientific evidence."