Multiple environmental crisis represent “the greatest challenge in the history of our species”.
–Thomas Lovejoy, professor, George Mason University, former chief scientist of the World Bank
IN 2011 major US TV networks did a total of 14 stories on climate change. Print media coverage was little better. I did at least 25 different climate stories in 2011 thanks, in part, to support from readers.
After 19 years as an environmental journalist published in many major media outlets like National Geographic, I now count myself lucky to get $150 to $250 for an in-depth article that took the better part a week to research and write. Magazines and news media rarely cover my expenses or travel costs.
There is little choice but to try a new form of public journalism called Community Supported Journalism.
People like you and me support independent journalists who craft honest and thoughtful articles about the major public issues of our time. This support enables me to do the reporting that is needed to make informed choices and find solutions.
Many people, including leading scientists, have told me:‘we need people like you to write about these issues‘. I’d like to do far more but it is impossible to continue without your help.
Please use the donate buttons below to ensure environmental coverage in the public interest continues. Thank you. — Stephen
IMPORTANT NOTE: All supporters and friends receive a weekly newsletter. Most importantly your contribution literally helps millions of people all around the world learn about these important issues. When I write an article for IPS that might have taken the better part of a week I get paid $175 ,(it’s a non-profit, global news service) it is read by millions of readers in different languages and often picked by news websites such as Reuters AlertNet, the Guardian, Al Jazeera, AlterNet, TerraViva, Tierramerica, Common Dreams, Truthout, Rabble, DeSmog, InfoSud and others. None of those sites pay me for the reuse my articles.)
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A Swiss journalist’s take on my approach:
Adopt a Muckraker? The Future of Journalism: “If we’re not willing to pick up the tab… who will?”
Letters of Support
“We need people like you. In tough economic times, where information flow is increasingly channelled and controlled, you perform a simply critical role. Hang in there. You are an admirable role model for the future.”
– E. Ann Clark, Associate Professor, University of Guelph.
“Stephen Leahy has done a superb job exposing the enormous sums the US government is spending on corporate welfare for big oil.”
Ross Gelbspan, Pulitzer-prize winning editor and author of The Heat is On
“Stephen has mastered the art of accurately and engagingly conveying complex scientific ideas to a lay audience; the feedback we get on his work tends to be glowing, both from readers and researchers — which is a rare thing.”
– Katherine Stapp, IPS Regional Editor, North America and the Caribbean
My continued appreciation to those who have contributed in the past.
6 thoughts on ““The Greatest Challenge in the History of Our Species””
Like your idea of self-supporting journalism!
I am inspired.
Stephen, why not get a proper job instead of begging for support. All that you offer here is biased instead of balanced reporting, which I suspect is why you can’t earn a living with a decent paper or journal. Perhaps you need to have a reality check.
Best regards, Pete
How does your reporting on Hurricane Sandy square with science?
Dr. Martin Hoerling, the climatologist who chairs the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s (NOAA’s) climate variability research program and who oversees NOAA’s Climate Scene Investigators, observed that “neither the frequency of tropical or extratropical cyclones over the North Atlantic are projected to appreciably change due to climate change, nor have there been indications of a change in their statistical behavior over this region in recent decades.”
Here’s what the IPCC has to say in it’s recent report: Managing the Risks of Extreme Events and Disasters to Advance Climate Change Adaptation (SREX):
“The uncertainties in the historical tropical cyclone records, the incomplete understanding of the physical mechanisms linking tropical cyclone metrics to climate change, and the degree of tropical cyclone variability provide only low confidence for the attribution of any detectable changes in tropical cyclone activity to anthropogenic influences. Attribution of single extreme events to anthropogenic climate change is challenging.”
Click to access SREX-SPM_FINAL.pdf
Was hurricane Sandy unprecedented or unusual? No. Between 1815 and 1938 the New York area was hit by five hurricanes more intense than Sandy – the 1938 storm alone caused approximately 700 deaths.
Are intense hurricanes more frequent today than in the past? No. It is now nearly seven years since category 3 hurricane Wilma came ashore with 125-mph winds near Naples, Fla. This is the longest period the U.S. has gone without a hit from a major hurricane since the government began keeping records in 1851.
My reporting is based on interviews with scientists. And I am afraid you did not read those articles very carefully based on your comments. And you are incorrect regarding the number of intense hurricanes–just because they have not hit the US does not mean they do not exist. Ask people in Mexico or the Caribbean.
Sorry , I was wrong , I want to edit , please use this comment :
I found a global environmental problem & hope Stephan Leahy can h\write about it To build a building on an area which grow grass , bush , tree we have to destroy the plants . After finishing , we never replant the same kind of these destroyed plants at others places . In reality , the environmental standard , LEED current version of all the countries on the world never force us to grow these plants again at others places . All of us , legislators , scientists forget to grow them . This error decrease legally CO2 sequestration ability of Earth . I asked Jan W. Dash Climate Science Rapid Response Team , he replied me : You have brought up an IMPORTANT ISSUE . People exploit forest legally will replant forest because we have policy for this . Even inside IPCC report , they have chapter about CO2 emission of urban development , not have chapters about destroyed plants inside a cities & replant them at others places .People exploit forest illegally will never replant forest . And US government policy , EPA policy , construction laws , land use policy both never replant destroyed plants of buildings , roads , all forget them , the consequences look like illegal forest exploitation , never replant , we don’t have policy for this , it’s rally bad . I need a help for an article to warn governments . If you click the link you will see some LEED , green Building experts sign their signatures , even LEED current version never force us to grow destroyed plants . The consequences look like illegal forest exploitation , never replant . I need a help .
Image of how serious wrong environmental policy can damage a environment , just like illegal forest exploitation :