Jeremy Morris via Unsplash
This story was supported by funds from the Economic Hardship Reporting Project
As a child, Ashley Hernandez remembers pretending that the oil pumpjacks that loomed over her neighborhood were dinosaurs. Other children in her community called them giraffes, or horses. The strange metal animals pecked rhythmically at the earth, sandwiched between homes, next to playgrounds, in the parking lots of grocery stores, sucking the oil from the sediments beneath her neighborhood of Wilmington in southern Los Angeles.
Alto Crew via Unsplash
Points of No Return, Grist
Winner: Topical reporting (climate change)
Finalist: Feature (small newsroom)
As the world warms, these Earth systems are changing. Could further warming make them spiral out of control?
Understanding the risks of tipping points requires a radical reframing of the climate challenge [...] “If we’re right about the tipping points, they’re not marginal,” Lenton tells Grist. “They’re existential risks.”
Mercury in Our Waters: The 10,000-Year Legacy of California’s Gold Rush, KCET / PBS SoCal
“Here we have California, which is thought of as one of the most environmentally forward-thinking states,” said Monohan of the contamination, “yet this is maybe the longest neglected environmental problem in the world. And we’re not even talking about it yet, honestly.”
“Wild rice is our life. Where there’s Anishinaabe there’s rice. Where there’s rice there’s Anishinaabe. It’s our most sacred food,” said Anishinaabe activist Winona LaDuke. “It’s who we are.” [...] Now, LaDuke and Bibeau are facing a new battle for the future of wild rice: the so-called Line 3 pipeline.
I'm currently contributing freelance production and research to PostScript Media podcasts, including Season 2 of the Big Switch in collaboration with Columbia University. A sample of an episode I helped produce and report is linked below.
I've written about the intersection of climate change and housing, public health, managed retreat, oil and gas extraction, and more.
Defending Wild Rice, Atmos, September 2021
In a new lawsuit against the DNR, the wild rice itself is striking back.
Could oysters save California from drowning? Grist, Slate, June 2021
The unassuming bivalve could be a key part of helping coastlines adapt to the impacts of climate change.
This Louisiana neighborhood is retreating in the face of climate change, Grist, June 2021
Sometimes, the best way to build back better might be to just pick up and build elsewhere.
L.A.’s Echo Park was an oasis for the unhoused during the pandemic — until the city forcibly removed them.
“It was a living nightmare for everybody.”
"Who better to mobilize the community than people who are already in the community?”
[...] many more could soon find themselves pinned between heat waves, concerns about the virus, and fears of street sweeps as the pandemic and climate change continue.
“We’re seeing that these senators are serving the interests of the oil and gas industry and not the public”
Any conversation about defunding or abolishing the police in Minneapolis would be incomplete without a discussion of the Minneapolis parks system, which maintains its very own force of police officers to patrol more than 6,000 acres of park land within the city — one of whom was present at Floyd’s killing.