Award-winning Journalist and Author

I’m an independent journalist who covers international environmental issues in the public interest.front cover resized1

My work has been published in publications around the world including National Geographic, The Guardian (UK), Vice Magazine, Inter Press Service News Agency (IPS), Al Jazeera, New Scientist, Mo Magazine (Brussels), TerraGreen (India), Toronto Star, Maclean’s Magazine, China Dialogue, Earth Island Journal, The Toronto Star, Common Dreams, and DeSmog Canada.


Please click this link and fill out the form at the bottom.  Yes, this really works and I will reply — Stephen.



Climate News Mosaic Live Blog of Paris Climate Talks


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A historic climate change conference is taking place in Paris, France from November 30 to December 11th. World leaders from more than 195 nations will meet to work on a new international climate deal, with the aim of keeping global warming below 2 degrees Celsius.

The award-winning Climate News Mosaic (CNM) will provide a free daily live blog to track all progress, major announcements and events, latest scientific reports, as well as happenings in and outside of the conference halls with stories, photos, videos, soundbites from experienced journalists from different countries.

The live blog will also feature climate news updates, reactions and short reports from a variety of countries for a unique mix of global and local coverage.

The Climate News Mosaic (CNM) is the award-winning collaboration of independent environmental journalists from Canada, the Philippines, Germany, Italy, Costa Rica, Brazil and many more. In 2014 CNM won the international HostWriter Prize for its collaborative coverage of the UN Climate Change Conference in Warsaw (COP 19). The live blog was hosted on nine news sites including the Inter Press News Service, Climate Home, Earth Journalism Network.

Stay up-to-date. Follow @climatemosaic on Twitter for the latest news and information in follow-up to the summit and elsewhere (hashtag: #climate2015)

Host the CNM Live Blog

Would you be interested in hosting the Climate News Mosaic COP 21 live blog  your website? A small snippet of open source code from Germany’s Sourcefabric is all that’s needed. Please contact CNM co-founder Stephen Leahy 

Best Science Book of the Year: Your Water Footprint

Celebrating the Best in Canadian Science Writing

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Stephen Leahy won the prestigious Lane Anderson Award for the best science writing in Canada in 2014 for his book Your Water Footprint:  The Shocking Facts About How Much Water We Use To Make Everyday Products

In Your Water Footprint (Firefly Books), Stephen Leahy introduces readers to the Virtual Water Concept and to readers’ awareness of how much water is used in our everyday activities. Leahy is an environmental journalist from Uxbridge, Ontario.

The juries based their decision on the relevance of each book’s content to the importance of science in today’s world, as well as the author’s ability to connect the topic to the interests of the general trade reader.

“The Fitzhenry Family Foundation is excited to award two pieces of work that ultimately encourage protection of the earth’s resources and animal welfare,” said Holly Doll. “It’s important to us that Canadians are encouraged to read about science and the environment at both young reader and adult levels.”


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“…a brilliant and shocking exposé on precisely how much water we use…” — Publishers Weekly

“This book is unique in its handling of a complex topic…the content is timely, important, and fascinating” — Library Journal

…exceptionally lucid narration with arresting, full-page info graphics”  — Booklist,  starred review

“Leahy, an award-winning Ontario environmental journalist… makes it clear that the most innocent-seeming actions and products are far from water-neutral. — Toronto Star

Your Water Footprint: The Shocking Facts About How Much Water We Use To Make Everyday Products

Firefly Books, 160 Pages, 125 Unique Infographics only $19.95 Paperback (Also avail in hardcover) Order today at your local bookstore or online.

In US:  AmazonPowell’s Books; Barnes&NobleIndiebound

Canada:  Chapters-Indigo Signed copies avail at Blue Heron Books – Stephen’s home town bookstore; 

Global Warming Explained in 60 Seconds or Less

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Derek and Stephen Leahy at entrance to UN climate conference COP 15 in Copenhagen

One night in a bar a Russian journalist who I’d just met says:  “This global warming is too complicated for people to know if it’s real or not”.

“You don’t think climate change is happening?” I asked with surprise since we were both covering a big United Nations climate conference.

“No one has been able to give me a good explanation to prove it’s real,” said Yuri (not his real name).

“I can explain it to you in less than one minute,” I replied.

Yuri was sceptical but I went ahead and said:

“The moon has no atmosphere so it is scorching hot (+100C) during the day and bitterly cold (-150C) at night. The Earth has an atmosphere made up of oxygen, nitrogen, carbon dioxide (CO2) and other gases. Over 150 years ago scientists proved that CO2 traps heat from the sun. We also know without any doubt that burning fossil fuels like oil, gas and coal emits CO2.

Measurements, not computer models or theories, measurements show that there is now 42% more CO2 in the atmosphere than 150 years ago before massive use of fossil fuels. That extra CO2 is like putting another blanket on at night even though you are already nice and warm. The Earth is now 1.0 C hotter on average according to the latest measurements. Heat is a form of energy and with so much more energy in our atmosphere our weather system is becoming supercharged resulting in stronger storms, worse heat waves, major changes in when and where rain falls and more.

That’s it.

After a long silence Yuri says “I guess that makes sense…”.

I’m not sure he was convinced but the truth is that climate change is not that complicated.

One additional thing to know is that CO2 is forever. Every little CO2 molecule we add to the atmosphere will continue to trap the sun’s heat for hundreds and thousands of years.

Road to Paris: Plain Talk Briefing on the UN Climate Treaty Negotiations

What:    A candid, 15 minute explanation on why the UN climate negotiations are so difficult and the likely result in Paris. Intended for a general audience.

Who:     Stephen Leahy is an independent, environmental journalist who has covered climate negotiations around the world. He is co-winner of the 2012 Prince Albert/United Nations Global Prize for reporting on Climate Change.

Where: Part of a public forum in Toronto June 2014 titled CLIMATE CHANGE EMERGENCY.

Thanks to Peter Biesterfeld for making the recording.

Costs You $50-75 To Drive 100 Km (62 miles) – Don’t Blame Gas Prices


Smartest Thing You Can Do Is Dump Your Car

By Stephen Leahy

Uxbridge Cosmos, Feb 2013

Cars and trucks are extraordinarily expensive. The full cost of driving 100 km is between between $50 and $75 when fuel, wear and tear, insurance, depreciation, and repairs are included. The cost of owning and operating a car, van, SUV or truck ranges between $9,000 to $15,000 a year depending on the purchase price of the vehicle according to automobile clubs like the CAA . That’s a big chunk of aftertax income spent each and every year. Double this for two-car families.

If you pay $50 at the pump about $33 will go directly to oil companies. The gas station gets around a dollar and the rest is for provincial and federal taxes.

Finally ask yourself how many hours a day your vehicle isn’t being used? Most are parked 22 hours a day.

Why not give your car a day off once a week? A ‘No Car Day’ is easy to do, saves money and reduces emissions of climate-heating carbon dioxide (CO2). The average passenger vehicle emits around 4.8 tonnes of CO2 a year.

The biggest savings by far is to get rid of one vehicle. When you consider the full costs of ownership, the $9 000 to $15,000 saved will let you rent vehicles or taking taxi as needed with plenty of cash left over. For maximum savings use the bus or train. A bus from Uxbridge is only $10 to downtown Toronto — 75 km one way. Using your car that 75 km trip really costs $45 not including parking.

New study – drive less lose weight guaranteed: If drivers nationwide traveled 1 mile less by car each day, not only would fuel consumption fall, but annual health care costs could drop by billions of dollars as fewer people would be classified as obese or overweight, Jacobson estimates.

My related articles:

EcoMobility Gaining Ground As Cars/Roads Become Too Expensive

Cars Kill More Children Than Malaria — Leading Cause of Death Ages 5 to 14

Lend Your Car, Save, and Save the World

Bike vs Car on a Hot Planet

Special Event: The Virtual World of Water and 8 Other Outstanding Talks About Water

cropped-screen-shot-2014-09-20-at-8-46-03-pm.jpgThe Walrus Talks Water

Eighty minutes of lively, thought-provoking ideas about the impact, use, and health of water in Canadian and global society

MONDAY, MAY 25, 2015, 7:00 P.M.


  • Stephen Leahy, International environmental journalist, author of the critically acclaimed book Your Water Footprint: The Shocking Facts about How Much Water We Use to Make Everyday Products.Your Water Footprint.  Stephen will talk about The Virtual World of Water
  • Dave Courchene (Nii Gaani Aki Inini – Leading Earth Man), founder and leader, Turtle Lodge
  • Susanna Fuller, Ecology Action Centre
  • John Geiger, Royal Canadian Geographical Society
  • Angela Giles, Council of Canadians
  • Chris Henderson, Lumos Energy
  • Kevin McMahon, Documentary director and producer
  • Alanna Mitchell, Science journalist and author
  • John Smol, Canada Research Chair in Environmental Change

More details here

    STUDENTS: $12

Arctic Ice Gone By 2015 – First Time in One Million Years


This is what a few Arctic ice experts were saying in 2008 when I covered a special meeting in Quebec City. The ice had reached shocking record lows in September of 2007 + 2008.  Turns out the Arctic ice is more resilient and will still be there in September of this year. However it will likely be the lowest amount of ice in the past million years. – SL]

Originally posted on Stephen Leahy, International Environmental Journalist:


By Stephen Leahy

We’re going to see huge changes in the Arctic ecosystem

QUEBEC CITY, Canada, Dec 13 2008 (IPS)

In just a few summers from now, the Arctic Ocean will lose its protective cover of ice for the first time in a million years, according to some experts attending the International Arctic Change conference here.

A summer ice-free Arctic wasn’t due for another 50 to 70 years under the worst-case climate change scenarios examined by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC).

“Things are happening much faster in the Arctic. I think it will be summer ice-free by 2015,” said David Barber, an Arctic climatologist at the University of Manitoba.

Such a “dramatic and serious loss of sea ice will affect everyone on the planet,” Barber told IPS.

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