Weekend Reader: Award winners, Southern delusions & top news.

SEJ recognizes the year's best in environmental journalism; a few observations from our Weekend Editor on the Solid (and Trumpian) South; and more

The Society of Environmental Journalists annual awards shows the strength and depth of environmental journalism; talk of a Democratic overthrow in the midterm elections is hard to find in the American South.


Forget about that Southern Blue Wave

In the off-year 2017 elections, Doug Jones was just the Dreamland candidate for Southern Democrats' comeback.

Relatively telegenic and a civil rights prosecutor, Jones faced the best odds an Alabama Democrat had in years: His Republican opponent, Roy Moore, had twice been bounced from the Alabama Supreme Court for ignoring Constitutional mandates. And Moore was buried in a dozen complaints that he trolled, stalked, or groped young women decades earlier.

Although Moore denied all accusations, his campaign wallowed in an epic pit of creepiness.

The relatively unassailable Jones managed a 1.7 percent victory for a partial-term Senate seat he'll be hard-pressed to keep in 2020.

One-point-seven percent, over a guy dragging credible child molestation charges to the polls.

Read the full story here.

The best environmental journalism

For almost two decades, the Society of Environmental Journalists has been recognizing the best environmental journalism published in the United States. They announced winners this week for this year's journalism awards. Some of the strong contenders showed both the vibrancy and urgency of environmental reporting.

Among the winners:

"Bombs in Our Backyard" by Abrahm Lustgarten, Lena Groeger, Ryann Grochowski Jones, Sisi Wei, Ashley Gilbertson, Ranjani Chakraborty and Lucas Waldron for ProPublica.

"Toxic Secrets: Pollution, Evasion and Fear in North Jersey" by James M. O'Neill, Scott Fallon, Chris Pedota, Daniel Sforza, Michael Pettigano and Susan Lupow for The Record (Bergen County, NJ) and NorthJersey.com.

"Marshall Islands Project" by Kim Wall, Coleen Jose, Jan Hendrik Hinzel, Brittany Levine, Andrew Freedman and Alex Hazlett for Mashable.

Links and the full list of winners and runners-up are here.

Top weekend news & opinions

Payback? A major past donor to Jeff Sessions's campaigns gets some alleged payback in a dispute with EPA.

From theory to in-your-face: Climate scientist Michael Mann says climate impacts are no longer subtle, they're in our faces. From WBUR's Here & Now.

Two from Alaska on oil damage: From Inside Climate News: Surrounded by oil fields,an Alaskan village fears for its health.

And from the NYT's Henry Fountain: How new oil projects cut scars across Alaskan wilderness.

Shocker! Green energy passes its first trillion-watt milestone as prices drop. (Bloomberg)

Stellar long-read from The Guardian and Keith Kahn-Harris on Denialism: What drives people to reject the truth.

From Wash Post's Capital Weather Gang: California's Carr Fire became one one the biggest fire tornadoes ever measured.

Essay from NPR's Scott Simon: Calling the press the "enemy of the people" is a menacing move.

Climate Denial's evil twin: Climate denial isn't the only anti-science push that won't die: In this NYT op-ed, Melinda Winner Moyer says anti-vaxxers still have an impact on vaccine science.

Grist offers a level-headed assessment of the NYT Sunday Magazine's controversial "autopsy" on how the climate movement blew it in the 1980's.

‘We’ve lost a year’: Political turmoil delays UK-Sahara energy link

An £18bn project to connect Britain with a huge wind and solar farm in the Sahara through an undersea cable has been delayed by at least a year because of political ructions in Westminster.

Sunrise in the woods

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Carbon removal is coming to fossil fuel country. Can it bring jobs and climate action?

Scientists have debated whether a new technology is a critical climate solution or would carry unacceptable risks. A project in Wyoming’s coal region could begin to provide answers.

'Agrovoltacis' in Israel's desert used to fight hunger

A unique project on a small piece of land in the desert of Israel could be a game-changer in the fight against world hunger and the consequences of climate change.

The COP15 UN conference in Montreal will be a massive moment for nature

One of the most important events for life on Earth, ever, is about to begin. This week and next, delegates from more than 190 countries will come together in Montreal, Canada, for a conference known as COP15, or the UN Biodiversity Conference, to hash out a plan to halt the decline of ecosystems, wildlife, and the life-supporting services they provide.

I lived through a year of 'weather whiplash' in our weird, warming world

After praying for rain for weeks, the US state that saw some of the year's biggest wildfires in 2022 found itself soon suffering a deadly deluge. Scientists say it could be part of a disturbing new normal.

Seaside homeowners may struggle to get insured due to climate change

Homeowners in Dublin's seaside towns have been warned that they will struggle to secure property insurance due to the impact of climate change.

America’s staggering food waste problem

We often toss food without thinking, but the waste has stakes for the environment, global food insecurity and for our wallets.

From our Newsroom
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EU’s new climate change plan will cause biodiversity loss and deforestation: Analysis

In a plan full of sustainable efforts, the incentivizing of biomass burning has climate experts concerned.

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Op-ed: It’s time to re-think the United Nations’ COP climate negotiations

Instead of focusing on negotiations, let the main event be information sharing, financing and partnerships that produce faster technological change.

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Op-ed: What the media gets wrong about the new world population numbers

The last time that we lived within the productivity limits of our planet was about 50 years ago — that is a problem.

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Peter Dykstra: Journalists I’m thankful for

My third annual list of the over-achieving and under-thanked.

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A new analysis shows a “crisis” of male reproductive health

Global average sperm count is declining at a quicker pace than previously known, chemical exposure is a suspected culprit.

WATCH: The latest evidence of widespread sperm count decline

WATCH: The latest evidence of widespread sperm count decline

"Pregnant women, and men planning to conceive a pregnancy, have a responsibility to protect the reproductive health of the offspring they are creating."

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