WILMINGTON, DELAWARE - NOVEMBER 19: U.S. President-elect Joe Biden and Vice President-elect Kamala Harris hold a press conference after a virtual meeting with the National Governors Association's executive committee at the Queen Theater on November 19, 2020 in Wilmington, Delaware. Mr. Biden and his advisors continue the process of transitioning to the White House. (Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images)
Loveland Magazine is one of the 400 news outlets worldwide, with a combined audience of over 2 billion people “Covering Climate Now”, a global journalism initiative committed to bringing more and better coverage to the defining story of our time.

The initiative, was co-founded by The Nation and Columbia Journalism Review

Mihaela Manova is “Covering Climate Now” in Loveland, Ohio as an editor for Loveland Magazine

Read Covering Climate Now’s newly published newsletter on new stories, reflections of 2020, and information regarding climate change.

[Republished from coveringclimatenow.org]

Humanity begins 2021 with a real chance to pull back from the brink of climate catastrophe. The odds get even better if Democrats win both Georgia run-off elections and take control of the US Senate. (At the time of writing, some outlets had reported a victory for Democratic candidate Jon Ossoff over Republican incumbent David Perdue, based on projections, while others held off.) In any case, strong climate journalism in the year to come is essential to help humanity rise to the challenge.

For the last four years, the world’s largest economy and single-biggest all-time emitter of heat-trapping gases has been in the grips of an aggressive climate denier. The Trump administration slashed environmental regulations, expanded concessions to the oil and gas industry, and withdrew from the Paris Agreement, the hard-won 2015 pact to compel international cooperation on the defining problem of our time. Climate progress did continue in Washington’s absence, but too slowly. Select state and local governments in the US, as well as governments abroad, forged ahead with plans to curb emissions. Thirty-eight countries, including the United Kingdom, Canada, and Japan, declared a “state of climate emergency.” And China, the second-biggest historical emitter behind the US, announced a commitment to achieve carbon neutrality by 2060. Still, obstruction and backsliding in Washington placed the world on track for a hellish future.

With Joe Biden’s inauguration imminent, a new era in the climate story is at hand. And for the press, this new year presents a much-needed opportunity to reinvent our climate coverage—to redouble, not relax, our commitment to telling the climate story so people get it and, moreover, resolve that they and especially their governments do something about it.

Read Mark Hertsgaard’s & Andrew McCormick’s full column, charting a course for the climate story in 2021…

NEW FROM CCNOW:

Talking Shop: Countering Emotional Fatigue & Burnout. Our next Talking Shop webinar is set for January 13 at 12pm US Eastern time. Join us for an hour of candid, collegial discussion about how journalists covering emotionally fraught issues from racial justice to climate change to war zones can cope with burn-out, emotional fatigue, grief, and the other manifestations of the psychological stress such work can bring. Panelists will include Matthew Green, the climate correspondent at Reuters and Dr. Renee Lertzman, a researcher and educator specializing in psychological tools for coping with ecological crises, with additional panelists still to be confirmed. CCNow executive director Mark Hertsgaard will moderate. You can RSVP now here…

Call for stories to share. A reminder to all CCNow partners, at all times we accept stories for republication by others in the collaboration. If you’ve got a strong climate story that might appeal to other audiences, please send it our way using this Google Form. As always, stories available for republication can be found in our Sharing Library  (strong stories from last year that remain relevant in 2021 are currently highlighted in yellow).

ESSENTIAL CLIMATE NEWS:

  • For NBC Nightly News, Al Roker hosts a new multi-part series looking back at all the record-breaking extreme weather in 2020 – and forward to see how communities will cope with and mitigate the climate threat. “We are now in uncharted territory,” Roker says. “This crisis of our changing climate will be, and already is, the story of our time.” From NBC News
  • In South Sudan, an intense and protracted rainy season has displaced nearly a million people and now threatens famine. The crisis is a harrowing reminder of how climate change often inflicts the greatest punishment on populations who are least responsible for the problem or equipped to deal with the impacts. Aid from the outside world has been slow and insufficient. From Al Jazeera, via the Associated Press
  • Exxon, like many big energy companies, talks a big game about environmental consciousness and new, ostensibly low-emissions projects. Yet internal documents show that the company’s assessments of its environmental impacts differ significantly from what is shared with the public. A new natural gas export facility in Texas, for example, was touted as a gift of clean energy to the world, but the facility’s projected emissions are on par with those of a coal-fired power plant. Exxon’s shareholders are starting to notice. From Bloomberg Green
  • In The Nation’s latest print issue, Sunrise Movement co-founder Varshini Prakash argues that Biden should use executive authority to establish an Office of Climate Mobilization, similar to Franklin D. Roosevelt’s Office of Wartime Mobilization. Such an office would have broad decision-making, agenda-setting, and budgeting authorities, Prakash suggests, which Biden will need if his administration indeed intends to make climate its number one priority. From The Nation
  • Inside Climate News surveys the “new and unexpected” things we learned about climate change in 2020 – including that the fundamental link between climate science and climate justice has not been researched enough, meaning our shared understanding of how climate change will impact at-risk populations is lacking.  Another highlight: eliminating greenhouse gas emissions might halt global warming much sooner than scientists previously believed (a fact which CCNow described last year as “game-changing.” From Inside Climate News
  • In The Invading Sea, the opinion branch of the Florida Climate Reporting Network, Florida state lawmaker Chip LaMarca, a Republican, argues for robust coastline policies to meet the environmental threat. LaMarca is one of a growing cadre of Republicans in Florida who buck the national GOP’s climate denialism as more record-breaking hurricanes and sea level rise threaten beaches, property values, and the tourist economy in the state. From The Invading Sea
  • NowThis joins a group of Greenpeace researchers documenting the Arctic’s precipitous deterioration, which in 2020 included the splitting off of more than 40 square miles from the world’s largest ice shelf. “We want to make sure that world leaders understand the urgency of the climate crisis, and that they understand the role of healthy oceans in tackling [it],” one researcher says. From NowThis

THE YEAR THAT WAS AND THE ONE AHEAD:

Many outlets have published stories reviewing the climate lessons of 2020 and looking forward to 2021. Here are some that caught our eyes; perhaps they will help orient your own reporting in the coming weeks and months:

NEW RESOURCES FROM SEJ:

The Society of Environmental Journalists is collecting helpful tip sheets and background resources to help reporters prepare for the year ahead. Tip sheets include environmental justice stories to watch in 2021 and a review of climate policies the executive branch is likely to institute under Biden; backgrounders include the options Biden has to act on climate change, even without Senate support, and a summary of how carmakers are preparing for a shifting regulatory landscape. Keep an eye out for the SEJ’s complete “2021 Journalists’ Guide to Energy & Environment,” which launches January 27. For now, find the tipsheets and background resources here…



As we head into this next chapter of climate reporting, Covering Climate Now has modified our newsletter to better serve journalists’ needs. We’re going to treat these emails as a kind of “bulletin board” for climate journalists as well as other folks interested in learning more about climate change. We hope you find the new format helpful and digestible.

If you have any feedback, or know of another event or have news that should be included here, shoot us a note at 
editors@coveringclimatenow.org.

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