March 6, 2021

Circle of Blue is “Changing the Face of Journalism”

Bob Giles, a son of the Midwest, former Pulitzer Prize winning editor at the Akron Beacon Journal, and then again as editor and publisher of The Detroit News, has been the curator since 2000 of the Nieman Foundation for Journalism at Harvard University. A working newspaper journalist and editor since 1958, Giles knows a thing or two about reporting. He just published a piece in Daedalus, the Journal of the American Academy of Arts and …

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Multi-Media Environmental Journalism at Circle of Blue

Since the day back in 1981, when Inquiry Magazine dispatched me to the mountains of Cherokee County to find out why a popular defoliant was causing so much trouble in the forests and small towns of western North Carolina, I’ve been an environmental reporter. Today, Circle of Blue, where I serve as a senior editor and producer, posted “Reign of Sand,” an online multi-media report on the transition from grass to dust that is occurring …

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A Driving Rain in Northern Michigan; Rings Around Southwest’s Deepening Drought

The era of global climate change has produced such rainy and warm conditions in northern Michigan that a winter’s worth of snow and ice melted completely here over the last two days. Meanwhile it’s dry, desperately so, in several huge and significant regions of the country. The striking contrasts are putting strains on the culture and economy in ways we’re only starting to understand. Yesterday I stood in a driving January rain talking to Jim …

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A Journalist Turned Environmental Activist in China

My new MacBook has a video camera and communications features (okay, don’t laugh all you Apple freaks) that enables me to dial up sources on Skype and also see who I’m talking to on my screen. On Friday morning I used these tools to interview John D. Liu, an American-born videographer, soil scientist, and founder of the Environmental Education Media Project for China, a 10-year-old environmental organization based in Beijing. My questions concerned the growing …

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Was Jim Kunstler Right About “The Long Emergency”?

  In 2005, when Jim Kunstler published “The Long Emergency,”  an unsettling synthesis of major market trends (peak oil), environmental conditions (global warming, water scarcity, disease), and what he called the other “converging castastrophes of the 21st century,” I was among the skeptics who was convinced that Kunstler’s analysis was uncharacteristically hyperbolic. Nearly two years later the shine on my bubble of optimism has dulled a bit.  Essentially, Kunstler predicted that soaring oil prices would generate enormous economic, political, and cultural …

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Lake Michigan Nears Lowest Level Ever Recorded

  Tom Kelly, who directs the Inland Seas Education Association in Suttons Bay and is among the state’s foremost authorities on the Great Lakes, showed me a number of very interesting graphs earlier this week about the falling water levels in the Great Lakes. Much of the nation’s attention this summer was directed to Lake Superior, where evaporation, much lighter winter snows and unusually dry spring and summer seasons had produced miles of shoreline nobody had ever …

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