It’s the golden age of climate denial.
At least that’s what Esquire Magazine said in a recent piece on environmental skeptics inside the Trump Administration. And still, news outlets only sometimes push back against climate denial, says Media Matters.
“Climate denialists have gained some level of legitimacy by essentially running the federal government right now,” says Bobby Magill, a NY-based senior science writer with Climate Central and president of Society of Environmental Journalists. “It’s up to journalists to fact check and call out government inaccuracies. Story after story, we have to say a lot of the statements from the administration are just false.”
Despite the level of budget cuts and “obvious deregulatory environment,” Magill says journalists today still are churning out some of their best work.
So what’s today’s climate hot topic? The fact that China, India, and other countries are taking a lead globally on climate change.
“[It’s their] commitment to renewables and the emission of greenhouse gases,” Magill says. “The US has abdicated its leadership role on climate. The Trump administration is saying it’s not important for us to cut greenhouse gasses. EPA is suggesting that climate change is an issue that doesn’t need much attention.”
Magill expects things will get a lot worse before it gets better.
Last year, we featured 11 news sites delivering out-of-this-world environmental coverage. More and more news agencies are dedicating sections and resources to this beat.
Here are 11 more we’re watching.
1. For that checks and balances thing.
Vox – Energy & Environment digs deep into the discussions overtaking the climate. Not surprisingly, many of the leading stories on Vox Energy & Environment take on items like the “ecological disaster that is Trump’s border wall” and the “real reason to worry about Trump’s climate policy rollbacks.”
Vox says it simply “explains the news.” Says Vox: “We live in a world of too much information and too little context. Too much noise and too little insight.”
Stories to read right now: At long last, Flint, Michigan, will get clean drinking water and A beginner’s guide to the debate over 100 percent renewable energy
2. For a fun take on tough topics.
Complete with video, GIFs and emojis, the site’s uber-consumeable stories range from the saving the Great Barrier Reef to the controversy over coal mines. BuzzFeed typically is known for snackable takes, but here you can find some fairly in-depth reporting.
“We strive to connect deeply with our audience, and give them news and entertainment worth sharing with their friends, family, and the people who matter in their lives,” says BuzzFeed, on its site.
3. For a data-driven approach to earthly matters.
Nate Silver’s FiveThirtyEight has captured a lot of attention with its scary-accurate data and analysis around politics, and more specifically elections. A few years ago, ESPN secured the brand from The New York Times to dive in on sports data. The site is taking on the environment and science, too.
With its original mission to cut through the clutter of our data-rich world, 538 breaks down the environmental calculus, so we don’t have to.
Stories to read right now: NASA Is Digging In The Snow To Help The West Manage Its Water and A Weaker EPA May Not Mean The Environment Goes To Hell
4. For global reporting that gives a voice to the environment.
Mongabay “seeks to raise interest in and appreciation of nature and wildlife, while examining the impact of emerging trends in climate, technology, economics, and finance on conservation and development.”
The site was launched in 1999 by Rhett A. Butler, out of his passion for rainforests.
Today, the site is widely recognized as an accurate and trustworthy source of environmental news reporting and analysis. Some stories even have sparked protests. If you want to get inspired by quality environmental journalism, this is a must-visit.
5. For science-y news, with a tech lens.
Wired – Science wants to make sense of a world that’s in constant transformation, thanks to technology.
That’s why you’ll see so many of its environmental headlines talking the future of robotics, supercomputers, apps, and other electronics.
From CondeNast’s site on the Wired brand: “The breakthroughs and innovations that we uncover lead to new ways of thinking, new connections, and new industries.”
Stories to read right now: The Busy Little Robot on a Quest to Help Humanity Feed Itself and Oh Great. Climate Change Will Make Flying Worse, Too
6. For an Ivy-league perspective that connects the dots.
Yale Climate Connection aims to educate everyone from individuals to the media and government on how climate change already affects us. The site is an initiative of the Yale Center for Environmental Communication, directed by Dr. Anthony Leiserowitz, of the Yale University School of Forestry & Environmental Studies.
“Through articles, radio stories, videos, and webinars we ‘connect the dots’ between climate change and energy, extreme weather, public health, food and water, jobs and the economy, national security, the creative arts, and religious and moral values, among other themes,” says YCC.
7. For a deep dive into stories that impact every one of us.
The stories on this site kind of leave you breathless about what the future holds.
Headlines cover the gamut, from the bottled vs. tap water debate and how drones keep an eye on wildlife in Africa to the decline of polar bears and what life is like in China’s expanding deserts.
Stories to read right now: How Americans Think About Climate Change, in Six Maps and Antarctic Ice Reveals Earth’s Accelerating Plant Growth
8. For that climate change reality check.
You know Mashable.
It’s known for its hard-hitting stories on tech, digital culture, and entertainment. It’s also got the traffic to prove it with 45 million monthly uniques, 28 million social media followers, and 7.5 million shares per month.
So Mashable’s Climate features more of what Mashable is known for — with an environmental spin.
9. Because what’s happening out there is complicated.
The Verge – Environment covers some interesting green stories.
The Verge itself is an “ambitious multimedia effort founded in 2011 to examine how technology will change life in the future for a massive mainstream audience.”
Original editorial content centered around technology. Now, it’s got a host of news categories, including science, culture, cars, reviews, and videos.
Says The Verge: “We live in a dazzling world of screens that has ushered in revolutions in media, transportation, and science. The future is arriving faster than ever.”
Stories to read right now: Welcome to the post-apocalyptic National Parks and Who killed the penguins? Thousands of years of poop point to a volcano
10. And sometimes you just want an explanation.
Mother Jones – Environment really breaks things down, whether it’s antibiotics in our food production system or the states fighting to save the planet.
MJ itself is a reader-supported nonprofit news agency. It also recently won 2017 Magazine of the Year from the American Society of Magazine Editors.
Stories to read right now: Here’s why water in the west goes from drought to deluge and The real reason coffee has gotten so fancy
11. Because healthy living is worth it.
Green Living is a site of Green Living Enterprises, a leading cause-marketing agency in Canada.
GLE focuses on social and environmental program development, connecting “conscientious consumers to brands that stand for more than maximizing profits, who understand the importance of sustainability and who strive to spread this message.”
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Authors Christine Cube and Anna Jasinski work in audience relations at PR Newswire. You can catch them sharing journalism and blogging news on @BeyondBylines, or you can follow them on their personal handles at @cpcube and @annamjasinski.