We’re Kicking Off a New Q&A Series With Journalists Covering Climate

First up, Amy Westervelt talks about covering climate misinformation, and shares some tips.

Environmental activists protest outside of Google headquarters in London, demanding they address climate denial on their platforms. (Photo by Ollie Millington via Getty Images)

When we started Covering Climate Now in 2019, one goal was to foster communication and camaraderie between journalists telling the climate story. It’s a difficult and sometimes lonely beat, and so we wanted to provide a forum for journalists to share their highs and lows, as well as tips of the trade. We do this in part through our Talking Shop webinar series and also a CCNow Slack workspace, where journalists from across the world exchange information and stories. As we get ready to head into a new year, though — CCNow’s third — we want to take even better advantage of the hardwon insights and expertise of journalists in our collaboration.

So, we’re kicking off a series of Q&As with journalists who cover climate. These will be published regularly on our website, in addition to our biweekly media analysis that publishes in Columbia Journalism Review and The Nation. As always, you can keep an eye out in this newsletter for the latest.

This week, we spoke with Amy Westervelt, founder of the Critical Frequency podcast network and the host of “Drilled.” Westervelt discussed getting started on the climate beat, how journalists can keep up with a fast-moving disinformation ecosystem in the climate space, and the many joys of archival research.

Read our Q&A with Amy here.

From Us

Essential Stories

Forests under threat. NBC News is running a special investigation this week on a crucial part of the climate story: forests, and what’s required to keep them standing around the world. They include: How the rise of electric cars endangers the ‘last frontier’ of the Philippines, Crude reality: One U.S. state consumes half the oil from the Amazon rainforest, and Corporations are turning to forest credits in the race to go ‘carbon-neutral.

Electric pedal to the metal. President Joe Biden signed a series of executive orders directing the US federal government to be “net zero” by 2050, with climate-friendly milestones along the way. The plan includes phasing out the use of gas-powered vehicles and procuring energy from clean-energy sources. By Oliver Milman at the Guardian…

“Critical energy theory.” The American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) is pushing model legislation that portrays climate policies as discriminatory against fossil fuel companies. Encouraging state lawmakers to adopt such legislation is seen by ALEC as a “fight back against woke capitalism.” By Kate Aronoff at The New Republic…

New platform, old tactics. Following its tactical embrace of social media platforms, the fossil fuel industry is now targeting podcasts at some of the leading names in news with ads that climate experts portray as greenwashing the industry’s climate actions. By Amy Westervelt for the Guardian…

Media responsibility. Leading climate scientist Professor Michael Mann is urging YouTube to take down climate denial and misinformation videos the way it removes Covid-19 misinformation videos. By David Vetter for Forbes…

No relief for the newest nation. Following a civil war that ended last year, South Sudan is experiencing extreme drought and rainfall, which together conspire to form “biblical” floods. Clarissa Ward at CNN…

Republication Recommendations

The following story deserves special consideration for republication by CCNow partners:

For partner outlets: To submit stories for sharing, please use this form. Instructions for republishing and the full list of stories available for republication can be found in our Sharing Library.

Odds & Ends

Happening soon. Join The 19th and Grist in a conversation about community-led climate action, climate science, and the urgency of this moment. Thursday, December 9 at 12:50 pm US Eastern Time. RSVP.

WAPO world emissions event. Washington Post reporter Chris Mooney describes a months-long investigation into the world’s climate-warming emissions, which found that countries are dramatically under-reporting their climate impact. Friday, December 10 at 12 pm US Eastern Time. RSVP.

Jobs. Monument Lab is looking for reporters and producers for its ‘Plot of Land’ podcast. The Uproot Project is hiring a newsletter writer. High Country News is recruiting a climate justice fellow.

Welcoming new partners. Covering Climate Now welcomes new members Green TV and People’s World to the collaboration.