Brad Plumer: SEAL Award Winner 2018

A selection of this year’s best environmental journalism

The Biggest Climate Story No One Is Talking About

Germany, which has long cast itself as a global leader in the fight against climate change, is facing a moment of reckoning — its continued reliance on coal power means the country may miss its ambitious targets for cutting planet-warming emissions. Source: New York Times (Approx. 7 Minutes)

How Brett Kavanaugh Could Reshape Environmental Law

During his 12 years on the United States Court of Appeals, Judge Kavanaugh voted in a number of high-profile cases to limit Environmental Protection Agency rules involving issues such as climate change and air pollution. Source: New York Times (Approx. 5 Minutes)

How More Carbon Dioxide Can Make Food Less Nutritious

The extra carbon dioxide that humanity is pumping into the atmosphere isn’t just warming the planet, it’s also making some of our most important crops less nutritious by changing their chemical makeup and diluting vitamins and minerals. Source: New York Times (Approx. 6 Minutes)

Exxon Studies Climate Policies And Sees ‘Little Risk’ To Bottom Line

Exxon Mobil’s shareholders demanded last year that the company give a more detailed accounting of the consequences of global warming. Exxon’s conclusions? Oil and natural gas will “continue to play a critical role in meeting the world’s energy demand,” signaling their intention to continue selling fossil fuels as a mainstay of their business model for decades to come. Source: New York Times (Approx. 5 Minutes)

You’ve Heard Of Outsourced Jobs, But Outsourced Pollution? It’s Real, And Tough To Tally Up.

Over the past decade, both the United States and Europe have made major strides in reducing their greenhouse gas emissions at home. But those efforts look a lot less impressive once you take trade into account. Many wealthy countries have effectively “outsourced” a big chunk of their carbon pollution overseas. Source: New York Times (Approx. 6 Minutes)

Trump Wants to Bail Out Coal and Nuclear Power. Here’s Why That Will Be Hard.

When Mr. Trump came into office, he vowed to revive America’s coal mining industry by rolling back Obama-era environmental regulations. But coal keeps getting edged out by cheaper and cleaner alternatives. For many utilities, the decision to abandon coal is not set by presidential policy — it comes down to simple economics. Source: New York Times (Approx. 6 Minutes)

Pruitt Is Gone, But These Five EPA Policy Battles Are Still Ahead

Andrew Wheeler, the new head of the Environmental Protection Agency, will likely resemble his predecessor Scott Pruitt. But Mr. Wheeler’s low-key style and deep familiarity with Washington could make him more effective at deregulation than Mr. Pruitt. Source: New York Times (Approx. 6 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).