A government plan to address a class of so-called “forever chemicals,” widespread in the environment and implicated in human health effects, will pick up speed in 2022. But whether the effort will solve problems around PFAS remains to be seen. The latest TipSheet outlines the challenge, the EPA plan and smart ways to cover the story in your area.
After an 18-month buildup, a one-day U.N. Food Systems Summit earlier this fall generated hundreds of commitments to end global hunger and a dizzying array of alliances dedicated to the cause. Despite controversies surrounding the summit, this groundbreaking event highlighted opportunities for reporting on food and food systems. Award-winning agriculture journalist Chris Clayton shares his insights.
The COVID-19 outbreak has left little unchanged — including how environment reporters do their jobs, given that many experts believe the disruption of the human-wild interface could be the source of the next deadly virus. The new Backgrounder makes the case in this analysis, looking at how societies — and journalists — handled this pandemic and must prepare for possible future outbreaks.
Plastic waste, already the subject of preliminary international talks, could be increasingly targeted after UN meetings in early 2022. Meanwhile, this ubiquitous product is polluting land, ocean and air in its various forms, as well as through little-understood microplastic particles. The latest TipSheet has the backstory on efforts to forge an international plastics treaty, as well as ideas for how to cover plastic pollution locally.
"The world has gained a new weapon in the war on malaria, among the oldest known and deadliest of infectious diseases: the first vaccine shown to help prevent the disease. By one estimate, it will save tens of thousands of children each year."
It sometimes feels like journalists lurch from one catastrophe (or hurricane, flood, wildfire, heat wave) to the next. But that can mean missing the bigger story: Disasters, increasingly linked to climate extremes, are often interlocking events, in which one system failure causes the next and the next. The latest Backgrounder explores three case studies, and how news media can focus attention on steps toward resilience.
Two outstanding features — one on air pollution from a local coke plant in Pennsylvania, another on deaths from a shellfish toxin in Alaska, and both focused on public health, neglected communities and environmental justice — are the subject of the new Inside Story Q&A. Society of Environmental Journalists’ award-winners Nancy Averett and Zoya Teirstein share their reporting insights and advice.
"COVID-19 has now killed about as many Americans as the 1918-19 Spanish flu pandemic did — approximately 675,000."