Covering Climate Now 2019

Has Climate News Coverage Finally Turned a Corner?

Read time: 6 mins

By Mark Hertsgaard and Kyle Pope

This piece is published in partnership with Covering Climate Now, a global collaboration of more than 380 news outlets to strengthen coverage of the climate story.

The US Is Exporting a Fracked Climate Catastrophe

Read time: 6 mins
Roughnecks on a drilling rig

This story is part of Covering Climate Now, a global collaboration of more than 250 news outlets to strengthen coverage of the climate story.  

According to climate scientists, limiting the worst impacts of climate change means weaning the world off of fossil fuels, not ramping it up. But two factors, the U.S. “fracking revolution” that helped boost domestic oil and gas production to record levels combined with lifting the 40-year-long ban on exporting crude oil in 2015, are complicating that vision.

Q&A: Michael Mann on Coverage Since 'Climategate'

Read time: 9 mins
Michael Mann

By Brendan Fitzgerald, CJRThis story originally appeared in Columbia Journalism Review (CJR). It is republished here as part of DeSmog's partnership with Covering Climate Now, a global collaboration of more than 250 news outlets to strengthen coverage of the climate story.

Michael Mann's work as a press critic began in earnest a decade ago. Ahead of the 2009 international climate-change summit in Copenhagen, hackers stole email correspondence between Mann and other climate scientists from a computer server at the University of East Anglia. Climate-change deniers used portions of the emails, freed from context, to attack the credibility of Mann, whose “hockey stick” graph charting the rapid rise of the Earth’s temperature since industrialization would become an emblem of the climate fight. Coverage of what news outlets called “Climategate” saved space for Mann’s critics; such choices emphasized conflict out of all proportion with the scientific consensus on a warming planet. In The Hockey Stick and the Climate Wars, his 2012 book, Mann called such false balance and sympathetic framing “a sweet victory for climate change deniers.” 

New York City Climate Strike in Photos

Read time: 3 mins
Climate Strike in New York City

This story is part of Covering Climate Now, a global collaboration of more than 250 news outlets to strengthen coverage of the climate story.  

Greta Thunberg, the 16-year-old Swedish climate activist, inspired millions of students worldwide to take part in climate strikes on Friday, September 20 to demand politicians take urgent steps to stop climate change. An estimated 250,000 strikers marched in New York City from Foley Square to Battery Park. 

The global climate strikes took place before the United Nations Climate Summit in New York City. The opening session of the summit is on September 21, with the fitting kickoff: Young People at the Frontlines. Greta Thunberg will be addressing the assembly on September 23.

Many of New York City’s student strikers expressed fear about their future when I asked them about their motivation for joining the strike.

Climate Strikers Demand Climate Justice On 'Historic' Day Of Protest

Read time: 8 mins

This story is part of Covering Climate Now, a global collaboration of more than 250 news outlets to strengthen coverage of the climate story.  

Millions of children and adults are expected to strike across the globe today, inspired by Swedish activist Greta Thunberg’s call for climate action. 

The strikes are happening ahead of the UN Climate Summit, which is taking place in New York on 23 September. 

How the Koch Network's ‘Social Change' Strategy Is Built to Kill the Electric Car

Read time: 17 mins
David Koch at an Americans for Prosperity event

This story is part of Covering Climate Now, a global collaboration of more than 250 news outlets to strengthen coverage of the climate story.  

If it feels like the oil industry’s attacks on the burgeoning electric car market are well coordinated, that’s because they are. The industry is following a blueprint laid out decades ago, and refined ever since, by Koch network insiders.

In a revelatory article, published in Philanthropy Magazine in 1996, an executive vice president of Koch Industries named Richard Fink laid out a three-tiered integrated strategy for promoting libertarian ideals and free-market principles, and, in doing so, protecting the Kochs’ sprawling petrochemical refining and shipping businesses. 

Fossil Fuel Companies Roll out a New Era of Spin

Read time: 4 mins
ExxonMobil Baton Rouge oil refinery

By , Grist. This story originally appeared in Grist. It is republished here as part of DeSmog's partnership with Covering Climate Now, a global collaboration of more than 250 news outlets to strengthen coverage of the climate story.

Forget “climate change” and “global warming”: Environmental advocates are increasingly using phrases that emphasize the urgency of our planetary pickle, such as “climate crisis,” “climate emergency,” and “existential threat.”

But do-gooders aren’t the only ones with savvy messaging techniques. Over the years, fossil fuel companies have poured millions into sowing doubt about climate science and burnishing their public image. Now, fossil fuel companies are reckoning with a different communications challenge: convincing their investors that the future of oil and gas companies is bright … or at least bright enough.

How the Rise of Populism is Fuelling Climate Science Denial Across Europe

Read time: 10 mins
In Europe, populism points one way, climate science the other

By Mat Hope, DeSmog, and Eduardo Robaina, La Marea/Climática. Lee en español en Climática.

This story is part of Covering Climate Now, a global collaboration of more than 250 news outlets to strengthen coverage of the climate story.  

In December 2015, European Commission President Jean-Claude Junker stood at a podium to hail the world’s first comprehensive agreement to take action on climate change, and told the world, “the Paris Agreement now reflects our ambition worldwide.” While the European Union’s leaders stand by that sentiment, a lot has changed since then.

The Union is facing a credibility crisis, threatened by Brexit and the rise of populism across the continent. Its leadership is facing calls to simultaneously increase its ambition to tackle climate change and cut the very regulations that would deliver reductions in globe-warming pollution.

Climate policy — a seemingly unlikely candidate for controversy back in 2015 — is suddenly at the heart of a European power struggle.

Mulling Run Against Green New Deal Sponsor Ed Markey, Joe Kennedy Is Heavily Invested in Fossil Fuels

Read time: 4 mins
Rep. Joe Kennedy, Sarah McBride

By Donald Shaw, Sludge. This story originally appeared in Sludge. It is republished here as part of DeSmog's partnership with Covering Climate Now, a global collaboration of more than 250 news outlets to strengthen coverage of the climate story.

Rep. Joe Kennedy III (D-Mass.), the grandson of former attorney general Robert F. Kennedy, has filed paperwork to challenge Sen. Ed Markey (D-Mass.), one of the Senate’s most progressive members and the chief sponsor of the Senate version of the Green New Deal resolution.

Op-ed: Geoengineering Distracts From Real Climate Solutions While Giving Cover to the Fossil Fuel Industry

Read time: 9 mins
3D rendering of Earth from space

This story is part of Covering Climate Now, a global collaboration of more than 250 news outlets to strengthen coverage of the climate story.  

In 2019, I think it's safe to say that humans are capable of wreaking great and terrible changes upon Earth's systems. To name a few: acid rain, deforestation, and climate change. Reversing such problems is, on its face, quite simple. Stop releasing smog-forming pollution. Stop cutting down forests. Stop burning fossil fuels.

In some cases, humanity has risen to these challenges, and for example, greatly reduced acid rain in North America since the 1970s, 80s, and 90s. But when it comes to climate change, there's a growing chorus, often bolstered by the fossil fuel industry, who support a controversial set of approaches to mitigating global warming, not by directly addressing the primary source of the problem — continuing to combust great volumes of oil, gas, and coal — but by further inducing massive changes to planetary systems.

I'm talking about geoengineering, and specifically solar geoengineering, which seeks to lessen global warming's greenhouse effect by reflecting sunlight, and heat, back out to space.

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