The American Midwest is at a turning point as it confronts the global climate crisis. It's a landscape of opportunity, where investment is starting to pour into renewable energy, farmers are turning to climate-friendly practices, and automakers are introducing new electric vehicles. But its path forward is still cluttered with obstacles.
The region is already feeling the environmental and economic tremors of climate change. It's still a rare day when Chicago's thermometers hit 100—hot enough to be deadly. But the latest science predicts that by mid-century heat waves will routinely strike the region with temperatures much hotter than was common just a few decades ago. Summers will warm faster in the Midwest than in any other American region, according to the National Climate Assessment.
Today, in a collaboration of newsrooms from nine states, 14 reporters are publishing articles on three climate-related themes: agriculture, transportation and the electric grid. The reporters brainstormed together at a two-day workshop in March in Nashville at the First Amendment Center of Vanderbilt University. It was led by InsideClimate News as part of ICN's National Environment Reporting Network. We challenged ourselves to create a project that would offer readers in the Midwest local perspectives on climate change, at a time when climate policy is becoming a defining issue in national elections.
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Learn more about the National Environment Reporting Network and the Midwest hub, led by ICN reporter Dan Gearino, who coordinated this project.