Ahead of the fast approaching United States midterm elections and the COP27 global climate summit, Covering Climate Now is airing an unprecedented TV special that asks the most urgent question of our time: Will humanity act in time to preserve a livable planet? Co-hosted by Al Roker and Savannah Sellers of NBC News, ‘Burning Questions’ takes viewers to the frontlines of the climate crisis, from flooded coastal cities to the corridors of power. The one-hour program premiers on public television stations across the US next Tuesday, October 25, at 8pm US Eastern Time. (Find your local station at WORLD Channel.) “Burning Questions’ will also stream at CoveringClimateNow.org, where it will remain available for viewers worldwide.
Never before has reporting from so many major news organizations been brought together to tell the climate story. Featuring winners and finalists of the 2022 CCNow Journalism Awards, ‘Burning Questions’ includes journalists from the Guardian, The Nation, Columbia Journalism Review, Agence France-Presse, the Los Angeles Times, Al Jazeera English, PBS NewsHour, TIME, Sesame Workshop, Channel 4 (UK), The Post and Courier, and more.
The program travels from Senegal to Samoa, India to the United States, and Greenland to Scotland, highlighting families who are losing everything to drought, fire, and rising seas while politicians posture and wrangle and companies lie and obstruct. ‘Burning Questions’ invites viewers behind the scenes as the featured journalists recount the stories they covered and how they went about reporting them.
Especially relevant as newsrooms prepare to cover what are expected to be contentious COP27 negotiations,‘Burning Questions’ explores how poor countries are fighting an uphill battle against worsening climate impacts. Rich countries are legally obligated under the 2015 Paris Agreement to provide $100 billion a year to help poor countries transition away from fossil fuels and boost resilience to extreme weather events. Rich countries have not fulfilled this obligation and now face calls from poor countries not only to pay up but to provide “loss and damage” compensation for the growing costs of dealing with the climate destabilization caused predominantly by rich countries’ emissions.
‘Burning Questions’ also shows journalists increasingly investigating climate solutions. “There isn’t one thing that’s really going to save us,” says Justin Worland, Covering Climate Now’s 2022 Journalist of the Year. “It’s about taking everything we know, all of the different tools in the toolbox, and using them the best that we can. There’s a lot that can be done and should be done.”
We hope journalists everywhere, especially CCNow partners, will help spread the word about ‘Burning Questions.’ This social media toolkit with sample posts, copy, and the trailer, makes it easy. And, of course, watch the program and talk to your friends, family, and colleagues about it!
Watch the preview:
CCNow Q&A. Each month, CCNow speaks with exemplary journalists about their experiences on the climate beat. Our latest Q&A features Jeff Berardelli, the chief meteorologist and climate specialist at WFLA-TV in Tampa, Fl. He speaks about Hurricane Ian, his shift from a national to local stage, and the imperative of building trust with local audiences. Read the Q&A at CJR.
We’re hiring! Covering Climate Now is looking for an energetic, experienced managing director to oversee its day-to-day operations and provide strategic leadership for the organization. Learn more.
Debt-for-nature. Twenty highly climate vulnerable countries might stop repayment of $685 billion in debts to the World Bank and IMF, according to Mohamad Nasheed, the former president of the Maldives. The countries’ finance ministers see it as a debt-for-nature swap, in which part of a nation’s debt is forgiven and invested in conservation. By Lisa Friedman at The New York Times…
Repressive. Human Rights Watch (HRW) says Egypt has silenced environmentalists ahead of United Nations climate talks in Sharm El-Sheikh next month. HRW’s environment director Richard Pearshouse said failing to address human rights abuses will impede progress at COP27. “We need people in the streets, independent environmentalists and human rights activists, strategic litigation and independent courts to generate change.” By Nina Lakhani at the Guardian…
Dom and Bruno. In June, Dom Phillips, a British journalist, and activist Bruno Pereira, were murdered while investigating illegal poaching in Brazil’s Amazon rainforest. Phillips’ friend and fellow journalist traveled to the scene of the crime to find out what happened. By Terrence McCoy at The Washington Post…
Nature-based solutions. While much of the Mississippi River Basin is in drought now, climate change is also boosting the chances of extreme rainfall and flooding there. The Mississippi River Basin Ag & Water Desk talked to experts who want to make room for more water. Read it at Northern Public Radio. Part four of a five-part multimedia series, ‘When It Rains.’ (All stories in the series are available for republication by CCNow partners.)
“Extremely concerned.” A new poll commissioned by Green 2.0, a nonprofit watchdog group, finds that people of color in the US are much more likely to make climate change a priority when voting than white people. They are “extremely concerned” about climate change and more adamant that the US needs to take action. By Dean Scott at Bloomberg Law…
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The Peasant and Indigenous Press Forum will hold a press event, “Beyond Carbon: Food Systems, Climate and Greenwashing at COP27.” October 25. RSVP.
Open Access Australasia will hold a webinar “Look at the Evidence: Climate Journalism and Open Science” examining the intersections between climate journalism, open science, and climate justice. October 26. More about the event and RSVP.
The Institute for Journalism & Natural Resources is holding a two-day virtual workshop called “Climate Justice + Environmental Racism.” They will select up to 25 applicants who represent diversity in geography, outlet, race, gender, experience, and journalistic medium. Starts November 1. Apply here.
Climate column. Capital & Main has launched STEAL THIS (Climate) STORY, a bi-weekly column examining the climate emergency through the lens of media coverage. Read it. (Available for republication by CCNow partners.)
Damaging imagery. A new study from the University of Kansas suggests that newspaper images included in coverage of Hurricane Harvey contributed to the perpetuation of damaging racial and gender stereotypes. Read more.
Jobs. Politico is recruiting a Congress reporter, specializing in environment and energy. Bloomberg Intelligence is looking for an ESG climate analyst. WINK News is Southwest Florida is looking for an environmental reporter.