Alexander C. Kaufman: SEAL Award Winner 2018

A selection of this year’s best environmental journalism

Fracking Water Use Skyrockets, Creating 1440% More Wastewater

In regions where the warming climate is drying sources of fresh water, fracking intensifies pressure on an already-strained system, producing huge volumes of wastewater laced with cancer-causing chemicals and naturally-occurring radioactive material. Source: Huffington Post (Approx. 6 Minutes)

Trump’s Immigrant Crackdown Is Worse Than What Climate Dystopian Novelists Imagined

It’s hard to know how many migrants are driven by environmental crises, as there is nearly no legal framework for designating climate change as the reason someone has been uprooted. But in many parts of the world, the links are clear. Source: Huffington Post (Approx. 9 Minutes)

The Real Missing Villain In The New York Times’ Climate Opus

The rise of neoliberalism―a form of laissez-faire capitalism that preaches prosperity through privatization―tracks the period covered in the New York Times analysis of the evolving climate crisis, yet the system fails to land a starring role or even a significant mention in the 31,000-word narrative. Source: Huffington Post (Approx. 9 Minutes)

Fossil Fuel Industries Outspend Clean Energy On Lobbying By 10:1

If you’re looking for a reason why climate bills fail even though most Americans think global warming is happening, look no further than the fact that climate hawks and clean energy advocates are outspent by fossil fuel lobbyists by a factor of ten. Source: Huffington Post (Approx. 8 Minutes)

Insurgent Progressives Are Reclaiming The ‘Green New Deal’

Originally coined by Thomas Friedman in 2007, the term was later added to Barack Obama’s presidential platform — but the concept quickly fell to the wayside in mainstream politics. Today the phrase is making a comeback among progressive activists and left-leaning midterm political candidates. Source: Huffington Post (Approx. 12 Minutes)

Miami’s Displaced Puerto Ricans Offer A Glimpse At America’s Looming Climate Crisis

Roughly 136,000 Puerto Ricans fled to the mainland United States in the months after the storm. That figure, based on school enrollments as of last February, is expected to surge well above 200,000 when states release new data this fall. Almost half of them stayed in Florida — but few are settled. Source: Huffington Post (Approx. 15 Minutes)

Vietnam Is A Test For What Happens When The U.S. Abandons Climate Diplomacy

Nearly a year after President Donald Trump announced plans to withdraw the United States from the Paris climate accords, Vietnam has effectively become a canary in the coal mine for how closely other nations will stick to the global goals as the US abandons them. Source: Huffington Post (Approx. 9 Minutes)

The Savior Of Iraq’s Garden Of Eden Says He Knows How To Stop The Next Big War

Azzam Alwash — Iraq’s most famous environmentalist — helped bring the country’s ancient marshlands back from the brink. But Alwash says climate change and water politics are putting the region on edge, and he worries that an arms race over water will make the region even more of a tinderbox. Source: Huffington Post (Approx. 8 Minutes)

The Warped Environmentalism Of America’s Biggest Meat Producer

Tyson Foods hired their first Sustainability Chief last May, but the surface-level changes the company plans to make fail to address the catastrophic effects of industrial meat production on energy usage, greenhouse gas emissions, and ocean dead zones, to say nothing of their dismal track record for animal welfare. Source: Huffington Post (Approx. 12 Minutes)

Democrats Lack A Bold National Climate Change Plan, And It Shows

The US Republican Party is the only major political party in the developed world to question the scientific realities of manmade global warming as a platform issue. Yet Democrats, at least on a national level, remain scattered, without a strategy to deal with what they regularly call the most pressing issue of a lifetime. Source: Huffington Post (Approx. 13 Minutes)

GreenReads: 
Your must-read guide to environmental issues, published by the SEAL Awards (an environmental advocacy organization that hosts environmental journalism awards and business sustainability awards).