Weekend Reader, Sunday April 1
Mark Bossingham/flickr

Weekend Reader, Sunday April 1

Some of the top outlets and reporters keeping the environmental beat vibrant

Last weekend, I showcased some of the good news that's out there amidst the dreary environmental news.

This weekend, here are some of the most productive and impactful reporters, news sites, newspapers and broadcasters on the beat.


This is a partial list. Please send suggestions for others to add here (or protests for the ones I've highlighted) to feedback@ehn.org. Rather than links, we've provided the Twitter handles for the reporters and news organizations.

Institutional memory: There's a strong argument to be made that longevity is more important on this beat than in most. Many newspapers have shuttered their science and environment beats, but there are some stellar exceptions: Mark Schleifstein, who's shared three Pulitzer Prizes at the New Orleans Times-Picayune and NOLA.com (@mschleifstein).

Ken Ward, Jr. has earned many admirers and quite a few enemies covering the West Virginia coal industry at the Charleston Gazette-Mail (@kenwardjr). Jim Bruggers writes and blogs for the Louisville Courier-Journal (@jbruggers).

Big Newsrooms that are paying attention: The New York Times sent mixed messages a few years ago by rearranging its climate and environment coverage, but they've brought in talented people over the past several years. So has the Washington Post, which did the unheard-of-move in promoting an environment reporter, Juliet Eilperin (@eilperin), to the coveted White House beat.

For about a decade, the Associated Press has been opportunistic about filling the void at its member newspapers by providing extensive science and environment coverage. Seth Borenstein ( @Borenbears) is a prolific science writer who covers climate from Washington DC, and takes constant guff from climate deniers. (But the AP refrains from using the word "deniers.")

Big Newsrooms that aren't paying attention: TV news is still delinquent in its climate/environment coverage. Even with 2017's relentlessly brutal weather and early 2018's four Nor'easters, there's scant mention of the role of climate change. In fairness, they've been all over the more frequent and intense outbreaks of Stormy Daniels.

On the radio side, @NPR does a consistent job, and I must give a full-disclosure plug to my colleagues at @LivingOnEarth, a nationally syndicated show on Public Radio International since 1991.

Regional voices like the Pittsburgh-based The @AlleghenyFront also provide a great service.

Nonprofits and entrepreneurs fill the gap: Sort of. There's no pretending that nonprofits, including ours, have the general-audience reach of an ABC News or USA Today. But there's incredible work being done by starving journalists at dozens of national and local outlets.

I like to think of High Country News as the New Yorker for people who live above 7,000 feet (@highcountrynews). Their thorough coverage of Western issues and strong writing and reporting ought to be winning awards.

Inside Climate News (@Insideclimate) turns out consistent awards-grade work.

@Undarkmagprovides great explanatory and investigative science journalism.

@HakaiMagazine writes insightful stories with a focus on oceans and coastlines.

Ensia (@EnsiaMedia) features solutions-based stories to counter the general gloom that's inherent in the environment beat. @CivilEatsand the Food and Environment Reporting Network (@FERNnews) cover the nexus between our diets, our health, and the environment.

A new entry is The Revelator, (@Revelator_News) published by the Center for Biological Diversity. @TheIntercept has contributed some blockbuster investigative pieces, notably from Sharon Lerner.

Regional efforts in the Pacific Northwest (Investigate West, @invw), Hawaii (@civilbeat), the Midwest (@MWEnergyNews), and Texas (@TexasObserver) take over when "traditional" news organizations have dropped the ball due to staff cuts. A few smaller daily newspapers have made major commitments to the beat, notably the Desert Sun of Palm Springs, CA. Ian James (@TDSIanJames) has led extensive coverage of Western water issues.

Environmental journalism still suffers from a lack of diversity. Check out this item from our friends at @nexusmedianews.

While you're taking all this in and adding to your Twitter follows, follow us too: @envirhealthnews, @thedailyclimate, Douglas Fischer (@cptnclmt), @BrianBienkowski, Kristina Marusic (@KristinaSaurusR), and yours truly (@pdykstra).

Top Weekend News

EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt's sweetheart deal for a Capitol Hill condo rental has him in hot water. (Washington Post) Here's additional info from CBS News.

Great long read from the Financial Times: How Antarctica's fate will affect everyone.

A snapshot of extreme drought in the Southwest, from the Albuquerque Journal.

Interesting take from Australia via The Guardian:Should nature have legal rights?

New York Times on homeowners in a Houston suburb that was intentionally flooded to protect downtown after Hurricane Harvey.


Obligatory April Fools Item (Don't Say You Weren't Warned)

FLASHBACK: Later this month, it's the 43rd anniversary of Newsweek's infamous "global cooling" story, still used by climate deniers to claim uncertainty in climate science. Doug Struck penned this fond reminiscence for Daily Climate a few years ago.

NOT APRIL FOOLS, NOR IS IT THE ONION: An Iowa man won a defamation lawsuit brought by a pet food manufacturer in his hometown. The defendant ran a website complaining about how badly his town smelled. (AP)

Opinions and Editorials

Bill McKibben on being shut out of Canada's most influential newspaper over a pipeline controversy. (National Observer, Canada)

In a harsh editorial, the Los Angeles Times says it's time for EPA's Scott Pruitt to go.

And here's one on the same topic from the New York Times.

Book Reviews: Three authors look at the significance of water in a warming, melting world.

Beyond the Headlines: Peter Dykstra and host Steve Curwood discuss how bees seem to combat a damaging pesticide, the importance of coastal ecosystems in carbon sequestration and a Clinton-era Forest plan that nearly everyone grumbled about.

This Week in Trump

Apparently, he's not April-fooling: EPA Boss Scott Pruitt says his proposed rollback of vehicle fuel efficiency standards will actually help the environment.

Automakers lobbied the Trump Administration to roll back the fuel efficiency rules; they may get more than they asked for.

Conservation group sues Trump Administration over protection of California rivers.

Amid the brutal rollbacks in environmental regulation, Living on Earth found some green initiatives in the new congressional spending bill.

Department of the Interior

Peter Dykstra: Public disservants

A quartet of Interior Secretaries who gave the rest a bad name.

The U.S. Department of the Interior oversees public lands, national parks and wildlife refuges, and has a major impact on the nation's environmental direction.

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.

Is China ready to lead on protecting nature? At the upcoming UN biodiversity conference, it will preside and set the tone.
theconversation.com

Is China ready to lead on protecting nature? At the upcoming UN biodiversity conference, it will preside and set the tone.

China has rich natural resources and is seeking to play a leadership role in global conservation, but its economic goals often take priority over protecting lands and wildlife.
Sidestepping a new climate commitment, FERC greenlights a mammoth LNG project
insideclimatenews.org

Sidestepping a new climate commitment, FERC greenlights a mammoth LNG project

After declaring nine months ago that it would start factoring climate change into regulatory decisions about major gas projects, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission has thrown up its collective hands and concluded that it doesn’t know how. At least not yet. The uncertainty was conveyed last month when the commission’s five members, all presidential appointees, […]
Some 120,000 U.S. oil wells sit abandoned, new research shows

Some 120,000 U.S. oil wells sit abandoned, new research shows

States have identified more abandoned wells after the passage of the bipartisan infrastructure law, which provided $4.7 billion to address the problem.

Coal-fired power plant in New Jersey to be imploded for clean power

A former coal-fired power plant in New Jersey will be imploded Friday, and its owners are expected to announce plans for a new clean energy venture on the site.

Congressional Democrats: Not a chance of reopening climate law

The president has been clear about his support for establishing a U.S. manufacturing base for electric vehicles.

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

A new climate change plan in the European Union, which has been lauded for its ambitious targets and aggressive action on emissions, will sacrifice carbon-storing trees, threaten biodiversity and outsource deforestation, according to a new paper.

Keep reading...Show less
From our Newsroom
United Nations climate change

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.

population environmental

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.

katharine hayhoe

Peter Dykstra: Journalists I’m thankful for

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

sperm count decline shanna swan

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."

sperm count decline

Frequently asked questions on the new sperm count decline study

Sperm counts are declining everywhere — the implications are huge.

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