journalism

Our top 5 long reads of 2021

Check out must-read, in-depth reporting from the past year.

In a world of quick clips and soundbites, long-form journalism can be a tough sell. But some stories just deserve the space and attention.


Here are five long reads that rise to that level. Grab a coffee or tea, close your Twitter tab, and support the kind of reporting that can spark change.

1. Fractured: The body burden of living near fracking

fracking children health

In this 4-part investigative series, EHN finds western Pennsylvania families near fracking are exposed to harmful chemicals, and regulations fail to protect communities' mental, physical, and social health.

2. Why Indigenous women are risking arrest to fight Enbridge’s Line 3 pipeline through Minnesota

enbridge line 3 indigenous

Enbridge's Line 3 pipeline construction is running into tribal resistance over fears of water pollution, wild rice impacts, climate change, and exploitation of Native women.

3. We’re dumping loads of retardant chemicals to fight wildfires. What does it mean for wildlife?

wildfires climate change

As western wildfires become bigger and more intense, state and federal fire agencies are using more and more aerial fire retardant, prompting concerns over fish kills, aquatic life, and water quality.

4. Pollution’s mental toll: How air, water and climate pollution shape our mental health

environmental justice

A collaboration between Environmental Health News and The Allegheny Front found alarming evidence that residents throughout the western Pennsylvania region are likely suffering changes to their brains due to pollution in the surrounding environment.

Water Always Wins: “Quietly radical” book makes case for slow water
www.greatlakesnow.org

Water Always Wins: “Quietly radical” book makes case for slow water

In this Q&A with author Erica Gies, Gies says our fixation on controlling water has failed and it’s time for collaborative approaches.
Sunrise in the woods

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‘The promise was a lie’: How Indonesian villagers lost their cut of the palm oil boom
news.mongabay.com

‘The promise was a lie’: How Indonesian villagers lost their cut of the palm oil boom

When the Indigenous villagers of Tebing Tinggi agreed to give control of their ancestral land to a palm oil company in 1995, it promised to transform their fortunes. The Suku Anak Dalam were subsistence farmers, gathering fruit and hunting game in the rainforest. The deal could give them a cut of a lucrative industry that […]
Greenhouse gas pollution trapping almost 50 percent more heat than 30 years ago
thehill.com

Greenhouse gas pollution trapping almost 50 percent more heat than 30 years ago

Planet-warming gases are trapping more and more heat in the atmosphere, holding in significantly more heat than they were in previous decades, a new assessment has found.  The Monday assessmen…
Monarch butterfly numbers skyrocket in Mexico
Wikimedia Commons

Monarch butterfly numbers skyrocket in Mexico

Mexican experts said this week that 35 per cent more monarch butterflies arrived this year to spend the winter in mountaintop forests, compared to the previous season. Experts say the rise may reflect the butterflies’ ability to adapt to more extreme bouts of heat or drought by varying the date when they leave Mexico.
DOH water advisory: Cyanobacteria, aka toxic algae, at the Stick Marsh
www.tcpalm.com

DOH water advisory: Cyanobacteria, aka toxic algae, at the Stick Marsh

DOH issued a water advisory for cyanobacteria, aka blue-green algae, at the Stick Marsh in Indian River County. Here's how toxic it is.
Study shows Bay Area minorities breathe dirtier air

Study shows Bay Area minorities breathe dirtier air

The data released Tuesday by Aclima — a California-based tech company that measured the region’s air quality block-by-block for the first time — found that communities of color and low-income communities are exposed to much more pollution than mostly White communities.
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Using comedy to combat climate change

Using comedy to combat climate change

The Climate Comedy Cohort aims to help comedians infuse climate activism into their creative work.

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.

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.”

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

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