While carbon dioxide is the greenhouse gas most often in the news, methane has greater warming power and accounts for a big chunk of the current increase in global warming. Now, growing regulatory pressure may help shift that focus and could drive more local environmental reporting, per the latest TipSheet. The backstory, plus reporting ideas and resources.
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.
The Department of Justice’s new regulations around reporter’s privilege — the protection of journalistic sources and notes — is a noteworthy advance. But the WatchDog Opinion column calls for more: a federal shield law that is less vulnerable to weakening by subsequent administrations. A take on the new regs, the state of current law and prospects for congressional action.
When engineers reversed the Chicago River, they also upended a hydrologic system that years later required electrification to repel an invasive species threatening a major fishery. This is but one example from the latest book by New Yorker writer Elizabeth Kolbert of the unintended consequences of human actions to dominate nature that may solve one problem only to create another. BookShelf contributor Gary Wilson has a review.
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.
"U.S. President Joe Biden is coming to international climate talks in Egypt this week with a message that historic American action to fight climate change won’t shift into reverse, as happened twice before when Democrats lost power."
Plans are nearing for the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency to regulate PFAS in drinking water — and the complexity around the effort will challenge environmental journalism. In the mix are questions of environmental persistence and health risks, plus thorny politics. Our Issue Backgrounder has guidance on these and more as PFAS regulation hits this critical juncture.
"The White House announced a new initiative this morning [Friday] to help reach net-zero emissions and promised to direct research and billions in federal dollars toward 37 “game-changing” energy technologies."
The lesser prairie-chicken is in dire need of protection, but a decision on listing it under the Endangered Species Act is months overdue. Environmental reporter Mike Smith looks at the causes and potential consequences of the bureaucratic delay and muses on whether this unique bird will go the way of its even more imperiled relative, the Attwater’s prairie-chicken.