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Publisher: Journals Gateway
Daedalus (2020) 149 (4): 180–191.
Published: 01 October 2020
AbstractView article PDF
Reportage and essays are the first and most immediate way that citizens learn about climate change science, its causes and consequences, and the impacts that industry and consumerism have on ecosystems. For fifteen years, I have been reporting and writing stories on these topics. Growing up, I was drawn to the environment because I was fascinated by the diversity, the endless variety, of life on Earth. But early in my career, in my first reporting job for a newspaper in the Caribbean, I also saw the disastrous toll that contemporary civilization was taking on the natural world – specifically on coral reefs. And yet, the climate crisis was not widely reported as such in those days. That experience, and the dearth of mainstream climate reporting at the time, led me to seek out some of the leading thinkers on the subject, and made climate one of the central subjects of my work. Most often, in the field of journalism, the phrase “bearing witness” refers to war journalism, while my work, for years, had often felt like science translation, connection, and storytelling. But more recently, as the ecological and societal impacts of a changing climate have grown more extreme, widespread, and apparent, while greenhouse gas emissions continue to rise, climate journalism has, too, become a form of bearing witness.