Covering climate change where it’s happening (in your backyard)

Written by Lisa Hayden on . Posted in Learn

One reporter who covered the Cancun climate change conference argues that in order for people to care about climate change, it has to hit home.

An article in The Columbia Journalism Review by Laura Paskus, an Earth Journalism Network Climate Media Fellow, honed in on the shortage of “on-the-ground reporting” about climate change.

At the recent Cancun talks, she profiled Joydeep Gupta of the Indo-Asian News Service, who also runs the Third Pole Project, dedicated to covering the impacts of climate change in the Himalayas and downstream countries whose water supplies and systems are already being affected by glacial melting.

Local coverage of climate change is what’s lacking, says Gupta in the article:

“If I’m sitting in Denver and someone says to me, ‘Bangladesh is going to lose half its land,’ I will say, ‘Oh, that’s very sad’ and turn the page,” he says. “But if I’m sitting at my home in Denver, and I’m told that the glacier above my home in the Rockies is losing water, and I’m going to lose my ski slope, then I’ll be worried and I’ll try to do something about it.”

Telling those kinds of local climate change stories is one of the goals of this site – Planet Change.

How is a warmer planet – and the constellation of effects that goes along with it – affecting real people in real places? And, perhaps most importantly, what are they doing about it?

For example, in the Great Lakes region, The Nature Conservancy is studying what warmer temperatures and lower projected lake levels will mean for the people and wildlife living there.

To learn more about how your city or state’s climate has already changed, and how it may continue to change in the future, check out the http://www.climatewizard.org/, an interactive tool that lets you select regions on the map to study historic and projected climate changes.

Now that the United Nations climate conference has ended – with a promising agreement for the world to act together – the ongoing, smaller-scale work of individuals, organizations, cities, regions, and countries will continue in earnest to find solutions.

And The Nature Conservancy will continue working in those places, and sharing our stories of challenge and success.

Lisa Hayden is climate change writer for The Nature Conservancy

Photo by: Mark Godfrey/The Nature Conservancy

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About Planet Change

Planet Change is a Nature Conservancy blog site designed to share stories about actions the Conservancy and others around the world are taking to fight carbon pollution and the impacts of climate change, and to help people feel the connections between climate change and their daily lives and understand actions they can take.

The Nature Conservancy