World leaders are gathered this week in Glasgow, Scotland, for a conference on climate that most have dismissed in advance as another lost opportunity for meaningful action on the global warming that threatens us all. Here’s a contrarian view: that we’re close to turning a corner on climate, perhaps not this week, but soon, and that a big part of the reason is the sort of reporting we support.
Two examples from recent Pulitzer Center projects:
First, the investigative series by the Indonesian magazine Tempo, detailing a failed agricultural project involving the country’s president and its defense minister that is poised to deforest supposedly protected lands equal in size to half the capital city of Jakarta.
Second, a multipart series by McClatchy newspapers in the Carolinas, Georgia, and Mississippi on looming threats from climate-induced sea-level rise to Atlantic and Gulf Coast salt marshes that are crucial to habitat, fisheries, tourism, and billions of dollars of economic activity.
The Tempo series, part of our Rainforest Investigations Network, is a powerful, fearless example of holding the powerful to account. The McClatchy series, part of our Connected Coastlines initiative, is chock-full of news you can use, from infographics and animated explainers to solutions-focused exploration of potential fixes, told by superb local journalists and drawing on the work of experts close to home.
Over the next two months, as part of our End of the Year Campaign, you’ll be hearing from journalists like those involved in the Tempo and McClatchy projects, sharing in their own words the difference that Pulitzer Center support has meant for their work. You’ll also be hearing from our student Reporting Fellows, from the teachers making use in their classrooms of our curricular materials, and from other Pulitzer Center partners and friends.
I think you’ll be inspired by their stories—and I hope it will lead you to consider supporting this work yourselves. We need your help, and with that help we can ensure the breakthroughs we need, on climate and so much else.
Connected Coastlines grantee Michaela Haas won first place in environmental reporting at the LA Press Club’s SoCal Journalism Awards for her Pulitzer Center-supported project Never Turn Your Back to the Sea, which explores the fight to save California’s coastline. The judges described the series as "a masterful exploration of the near-impossible situation facing Malibu homeowners."
This message first appeared in the November 2, 2021, edition of the Pulitzer Center's weekly newsletter. Subscribe today.