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SEJournal Online is the weekly digital news magazine of the Society of Environmental Journalists. SEJ members are automatically subscribed. Non-members may subscribe using the link below. Meanwhile, learn more about SEJournal Online. And send questions, comments, story ideas, articles, news briefs and tips to Editor Adam Glenn at sejournaleditor@sej.org.

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October 12, 2022

  • How will the UN’s yearly climate treaty talks in Egypt next month touch domestic U.S. reporting? The latest Backgrounder has an outlook, with close attention to the question of compensation for nations suffering the worst impacts of global warming, plus the politics of war and energy, methane and HFCs. The prospects for action in and after Egypt.

  • A gripping new documentary on raging megafires weaves together stunning cinematography with deeply researched revelations that reveal the futility of current policy around managing wildfires, writes veteran wildfire reporter Robert McClure in a new EJ InSight column. His review, with three big takeaways.

  • A new global fossil fuels registry sounds like a breakthrough for covering climate change and energy stories. But Reporter’s Toolbox inspected it and found potentially problematic data sourcing and accuracy. That doesn’t mean that it won’t be useful as one of several tools to help report the beat. Here’s how to make the most of fossil fuel data sources.

October 5, 2022

  • For the first time in years, the United States has ratified a climate change-related treaty — one that phases out HFCs, the greenhouse gas widely used as a refrigerant. That leaves environmental reporters to report how the change will affect everyday objects like ACs, refrigerators and cars. TipSheet has the backstory on the Kigali Amendment, along with story ideas and reporting resources.

  • Electric utilities may sound like a wonky beat, but in the hands of L.A. Times’ Sammy Roth, it became an opportunity to weave together seemingly dry, technical subject matter into a series of award-winning stories on natural gas that captured flash points for climate change, communities of color and energy politics. Roth shares his reporting experience in the latest Inside Story Q&A.

  • Concerns about seaborne plastic waste go back decades, but science writer Juli Berwald suggests that myths and disinformation about sources and solutions continue to cloud the waters. From lentil-sized nurdles to sprawling fishing nets, 200 million tons of plastic now fill the ocean and, for her, it has become evident that the ocean plastics story is really a land story. But will the newly signed international treaty on plastics offer relief?

September 28, 2022

  • Solid data can fuel great journalism. But the data must come from somewhere. For environmental reporters, one critical source is the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. Access to its data, however, is not always as free as journalists would like. So a new WatchDog takes an (admittedly geeky) look at the agency’s open data plan to clarify its efforts to promote access.

  • Extreme weather and other natural disasters can bring a community to its knees. But journalists can be part of what gets it standing again — or even foresee the risk … if they’ve got the right resources. The latest Reporter’s Toolbox takes a close look at two federal products that could be a good starting point, along with several others worth a try.

September 27, 2022

  • As concerns over global warming, the endangerment of plant and animal species, and water rights escalate, many environmentalists are turning to Indigenous people for guidance. As part of a Society of Environmental Journalists special initiative focused on covering climate solutions, we take a closer look at nature-based solutions and Indigenous people with reporter Brian Bull. Check out a resource toolbox and stay tuned for a reporting tipsheet in coming weeks. Plus, be sure to register for a Sept. 28 webinar on covering Indigenous communities and nature-based climate solutions.

September 21, 2022

  • A Biden administration move to force states to submit cleanup plans for regional haze offers opportunities to report air pollution news in your area, writes the latest TipSheet. The Clean Air Act regulatory program, focused on parks and wilderness areas, is not just about the scenery, but human health too. The backstory and the list of states, plus reporting resources and story ideas.

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