champagne new year

On to 2021. And not a moment too soon.

Here's hoping the new year brings the climate change coverage we need.

Here in Georgia, 2021 begins on January 5, because we won't find out until then who our two U.S. Senators are.


Come to think of it, the U.S. won't know who controls our Senate until then. So America ends the detestable year 2020 by filing an incomplete. Not to mention the quadrennial one-day bonus for leap year.

Here are a few wishes that I'd like to see fulfilled in 2021. I'm not holding my breath. But maybe, just maybe the American media will fully recognize the climate crisis.

Al Roker, who reportedly earns $10 million and has won seven Daytime Emmy Awards for weather casts on NBC networks, to be cut loose to focus more on how climate change will haunt the entire 21st Century the way COVID-19 has for the past year (he does a good job when permitted to do so).

More network correspondents like ABC's Clayton Sandell who report regularly on climate politics and the links between climate change and extreme weather or wildfire events. We have breaking news as we come on the air: ABC laid Sandell off last month. Joyeux Noël, Clayton! And certainly not a good signal that climate change is a good topic to build a network career on.

I'd like to see more of CBS News's Scott Pelley, who did a thorough 60 Minutes segment this year, possibly even better than the one previous he did in 2006. Maybe it becomes a more regular feature.

More superb storytellers like CNN's Bill Weir, whose role as "Chief Climate Correspondent" wrongly suggests he's not the only climate correspondent (pretty much anywhere on US news nets, not just CNN).

And a slightly different wish, have you seen the API ads that flood the Sunday morning cable and broadcast talkshows about all their members doing to lower carbon emissions? That's not the Application Programming Interface(s) that help drive your social media. Rather it's the American Petroleum Institute. I'd love to know more about those ads, and similar ones from API members like ExxonMobil and Shell US. Like how much money do local and national broadcasters and websites make from airing falsehoods like these?

There are scores of journalists at dying newspapers who have been tossed on the layoff wagon because they're on a low priority beat that's often criticized as biased, incorrect, or both. Even if their beat -- climate and environment -- gets vindicated on a daily basis by both predictive science and on-the-ground fact.

Tragically, that beat looks smarter every year. Cheers.

Peter Dykstra is our weekend editor and columnist and can be reached at pdykstra@ehn.org or @pdykstra.

His views do not necessarily represent those of Environmental Health News, The Daily Climate or publisher, Environmental Health Sciences.

Banner photo credit: Al404/flickr

solar power schools

Solar power at Pennsylvania schools doubled during the pandemic

“If this growth continues, schools could set Pennsylvania up as a clean energy leader and not just the fossil fuels we’re known for.”

NORTH BRADDOCK, Penn.—On Wednesday evening, 10th grader Abby Wypych stood in front of Woodland Hills School District’s board and urged them to approve a feasibility study on installing solar panels.

Keep reading...Show less
Sunrise in the woods

Get our Good News newsletter

Get the best positive, solutions-oriented stories we've seen on the intersection of our health and environment, FREE every Tuesday in your inbox. Subscribe here today. Keep the change tomorrow.

New Coalition MP was founding member of club promoting climate science denial

The new federal MP for the Queensland seat of Flynn was a founding member of a club formed to promote climate science denial, and was a signatory to an international statement claiming “there is no climate emergency”.

‘It seems this heat will take our lives’: Pakistan city fearful after hitting 51C

Muhammad Akbar, 40, sells dried chickpeas on a wheelbarrow in Jacobabad, and has suffered heatstroke three times in his life. But now, he says, the heat is getting worse.

Clean energy faces its latest test: Rising interest rates

Clean energy has managed to grow during a global pandemic, a hostile presidential administration and fierce competition from fossil fuels. Now, it faces the prospect of battling rising interest rates and a potential recession.

Texas could have foreseen 2021 cold-wave disaster, new study concludes

A warming climate hasn’t erased the risk of cold extremes, and the Texas power grid wasn’t prepared for the frigid blast that blanketed the state in February 2021. Will it be ready for the next one?

Aclima study shows Bay Area minorities breathe dirtier air

Finding the most polluted places in the San Francisco Bay area is simple, a new air quality analysis shows: Locate places where mostly Black, Latino, Asian and low-income residents live, and pay them a visit.

Biden EPA proposes protections for Alaska's Bristol Bay

The Biden administration announced Wednesday it will protect waters in Alaska home to one of the world’s biggest salmon spawning grounds, the culmination of a long-running dispute that pitted Alaska Natives against mining interests.

From our Newsroom
roe v. wade

Derrick Z. Jackson: Roe v. Wade draft bodes ill for air, wetlands and the EPA

Justice Alito’s longstanding consistency in wanting to restrict EPA authority makes it transparent where he wants the court to go.

environmental justice

Op-Ed: Black gold and the color line

How historical racist redlining practices are linked to higher exposures to oil and gas wells.

Our mothers' gifts: Readers respond

Our mothers' gifts: Readers respond

We asked you to share one "big lesson" your mother gave. And you responded

Lake Mead

Dykstra: A corpse in a barrel in a drying reservoir

And other climate change tales for our age

A mother's gift

Gifts from our mothers

What one "big gift" did your mother give you? We want your story.

Bird photography

Earth Day 2022: Amidst the crises, don’t forget the beauty

Words and images from our founder, Pete Myers, on how bird photography keeps him connected to and curious about a planet in peril.

Stay informed: sign up for The Daily Climate newsletter
Top news on climate impacts, solutions, politics, drivers. Delivered to your inbox week days.