Pulitzer winning climate news

Katherine Bagley

Katherine Bagley is a reporter for InsideClimate News who covers the intersection of environmental science and politics and policy, with an emphasis on climate change. Her print and multimedia work has appeared in Popular Science, OnEarth, YouBeauty.com, Audubon, The Scientist and Science Illustrated, among others. She holds master's degrees in journalism and earth and environmental sciences from Columbia University.

You can reach her by email at katherine.bagley@insideclimatenews.org.


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Articles

In Key Midterm Races, Democrats Sound Like Republicans on Climate Issue

For Democrats 'the pressure to stop climate action comes almost entirely from oil and gas interests that play a role in their states' economies.'

Oct 21, 2014

Democrats are justifiably worried about holding onto control of the United States Senate in the midterm elections Nov. 4. Most forecasts have Republicans winning seven seats for a 52-48 advantage, which would almost certainly spell doom for any action on climate change.

But here's the real catch: Even if Democrats win the Senate by a slim margin, climate action could still be foiled for the next few years by members of their own party.

In several critical races, particularly in energy-producing states, Democratic candidates' stated climate change beliefs somewhat echo their Republican opponents'. Most toe the party line and accept the idea that the world is warming, but resist action that could theoretically harm their home-state economies, such as cutting fossil fuels.

"In races like these, climate advocates don't have a candidate to root for," said RL Miller, chair of the California Democratic party's environment caucus and founder of Climate Hawks Vote, a superPAC helping to elect climate-conscious candidates. "They are lose-lose scenarios for us. Sadly, there are more of these races than there should be at this point in the climate fight."

5 Lose-Lose Senate Races for Climate Advocates

In several critical midterm races Democratic candidates' stated climate change beliefs echo their Republican opponents'.

Oct 21, 2014

Anti-climate action Democrats are running in elections from coast to coast. With most of the attention focused on the U.S. Senate midterm races, here are some of the politicians to be aware of, based on conversations with several experts:

READ: In Key Midterm Races, Democrats Sound Like Republicans on Climate Issue

State: Kentucky

Candidate:  Alison Lundergan Grimes, Kentucky secretary of state

Views on Climate Change: Grimes has said she believes climate change is happening, but that the Obama administration "has taken direct aim at Kentucky's coal industry." She has said multiple times in interviews that she will fight for "what keeps the lights on." Kentucky gets nearly 93 percent of its electricity from coal.

What's at Stake: Despite the fact that coal mining accounts for less than 1 percent of Kentucky jobs, the industry's centuries-old legacy means it is still considered vital to the state's livelihood.

Opponent: Mitch McConnell, minority leader in the Senate; the 30-year veteran could become majority leader if Republicans win enough seats in the elections.

Coal-Fired Politics: In Kentucky Senate Race, Bitter Rivals Woo a Dying Industry

Incumbent Sen. Mitch McConnell and challenger Alison Grimes are fighting over an industry that provides just .6 percent of Kentucky's jobs.

Oct 8, 2014

Coal has been an ever-present part of one of the most expensive and high profile midterm elections this year—the Kentucky Senate race between Republican incumbent Mitch McConnell and Democrat Alison Lundergan Grimes—despite its rapidly declining economic significance. 

Kentucky's newspapers and airwaves are full of ads from both candidates pledging to protect the industry and fight the Environmental Protect Agency's attempts to regulate its carbon emissions. Each candidates' statements have become popular political fodder for attack ads by SuperPACs on both sides of the aisle. As one local news channel put it, coal "has become the hot issue in the country's hottest political contest." 

But the industry that Grimes and McConnell have spent so much time and money fighting over is a bit of an illusion, several experts said. Coal has been dying for decades within Kentucky.

FEMA Will Require States to Examine Climate Risks in Disaster Planning

Two of the top three states to receive FEMA disaster grants through 2012 are led by governors who aren't convinced that climate change poses a threat.

Oct 1, 2014

The Federal Emergency Management Agency is about to make a significant shift in the way it handles climate change.

FEMA will soon require states to examine the impacts of global warming on their communities as a condition for receiving federal disaster preparedness funding, according to draft guidelines released by the agency earlier this month.

The move bucks the 35-year-old agency's longstanding trend of reacting to disasters fueled by climate change rather than preparing for them in advance, said policy analyst Rob Moore of the Natural Resources Defense Council. The decision could save FEMA a lot of money in the long run. Every dollar spent on disaster mitigation saves four dollars in disaster recovery, according to the National Institute of Building Sciences. FEMA's budget has been stretched thin in recent years because of the increasing number of large-scale natural disasters, such as Superstorm Sandy and Hurricanes Katrina and Irene.

"This decision by FEMA is the first time any federal agency has made the consideration of climate impacts a requirement for planning," said Moore, who is director of the NRDC's water and climate team. "Hopefully this is a sign of things to come and that other agencies will soon follow suit."

5 Big Announcements For Cities at Climate Week

Though much of the Climate Week spotlight was on nations, the world's cities will continue to implement the most innovative climate change policies.

Sep 26, 2014

Even as nations gathered in New York this week to discuss global-level action on climate change, there was strong recognition that cities, not countries, have so far played the pivotal role in the world's fight against climate change—and will continue to do so in the decades to come.

Urban centers house 54 percent of the world's population and account for approximately 75 percent of global greenhouse gas emissions. But they are also where most of the most innovative emission reduction strategies and adaptation measures are being implemented. These programs, as well as the question what needs to be done to further this work, were the topic of events throughout Climate Week New York City, from the United Nations to hotel conference rooms to the Empire State Building.

"We need to drive the global economy toward zero carbon by the second half of the 21st century," said Rachel Kyte, Vice President of the World Bank. "And we don't get there without cities acting differently."

Faith Leaders Pledge Climate Action in NYC

Meeting as part of an interfaith summit, dozens of religious leaders promise to engage communities across the globe on the climate debate.

Sep 23, 2014

Dozens of faith leaders from across the globe gathered in New York City on Tuesday to discuss how to engage their constituents in the climate change debate. All acknowledged that religious groups are in a powerful, influential position to push forward climate action in their communities.

"Our political leaders are failing," said Ajarn Sulak Sivarksa, one of the founders of the International Network of Engaged Buddhists. "What sane people would see all of these signs, but not act? We must demonstrate how the world must be."

The Crowd Grows as More Enter the March

After waiting patiently, it's time to go.

Sep 21, 2014

ICN is live-blogging the People's Climate March. Here's a field update from 1:40 PM EDT.

Kids at the Climate March

There are a lot of kids at the march today.

Sep 21, 2014

ICN is live-blogging the People's Climate March. Here's a field update from 12:35 PM EDT.

NEW YORK CITY, New York—Some of the most excited people at the march are kids: they're sitting in strollers, on their parents' shoulders, and walking with school and church groups.

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