Twenty years after the attacks on 9/11, the war on terror has left many risks in the built environment under a cloak of secrecy. For WatchDog Opinion, keeping vital information about such preventable hazards under wraps from the public and journalists is not just wrong, but bad policy. Here’s why. Plus, a rundown for environment reporters of where exactly this secrecy reigns.
Recent images of flooded-out homes are a potent reminder to environmental reporters that where and how houses are built are major factors in how they will survive increasingly common extreme weather-related flooding. The latest TipSheet takes a look at how construction and zoning codes play a role, with story ideas and resources to cover the issue in your region.
"Afghanistan embodies a new breed of international crisis, where the hazards of war collide with the hazards of climate change, creating a nightmarish feedback loop that punishes some of the world’s most vulnerable people and destroys their countries’ ability to cope."
"A morning mist filled the valley near Hatgal, a small village at the southern tip of Lake Khovsgol in north central Mongolia. Glancing at the figures between the fragrant pines and larches, I could hardly distinguish the silhouettes of the reindeer from those of their herders."
"Numbers of the country’s carrion-loving birds dropped by over 97% in the 1990s. Now, a successful breeding scheme is giving them a boost".
For years, public information about some of the deadliest chemical security risks has been limited. But now that the Biden EPA is exploring the issue, our latest WatchDog opinion column explains why this is such an important open information issue for environmental reporters and other journalists.
"China’s breathtaking economic growth created cities ill-equipped to face extreme weather. Last week’s dramatic floods showed that much will have to change."
"Unusually heavy rains and massive flooding have hit China’s Henan province, bursting the banks of rivers, overwhelming dams and the public transport system and upending the lives of tens of millions."
"New research indicating Russia’s vast forests store more carbon than previously estimated would seem like good news. But scientists are concerned Russia will count this carbon uptake as an offset in its climate commitments, which would allow its emissions to continue unchecked."
"It is the world’s largest forest, and it has been soaking up carbon dioxide from the air at an unprecedented rate. So why are climate campaigners growing anxious about it?
"Up to 100 turtles and 20 dolphins have washed up dead on Sri Lanka’s beaches in the past month, as experts fear a link to the leak of toxic chemicals from a sunken freight ship."