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Environment and Outdoors

Why Maine Public Has Joined Covering Climate Now


Maine Public is participating in an international reporting initiative, #coveringclimatenow, to highlight the effects of climate change in the week leading up to the United Nations Climate Action Summit on Sept. 23, in New York City.

More than 300 media outlets have agreed to offer and, in some cases, share climate change stories of global, national state and local significance.

The unusual collaboration is co-funded by Columbia Journalism Review and The Nation, with additional support from The Guardian. It is considered one of the most ambitious reporting efforts ever undertaken by world media on a single topic.

Among the public media news outlets that have signed on are PBS NewsHour, the Climate One podcast, KPCC in Los Angeles, KQED in San Francisco, Marketplace Tech, Science Friday, WBEZ in Chicago, WHYY in Philadelphia, WNYC in New York, WBUR in Boston and PRI’s The World.

Dozens of newspapers, magazines, radio and television stations, online and independent journalists are also taking part. In Maine, the Portland Press Herald has announced that it will be joining the project, which leaves the number and types of climate change stories tackled up to individual media outlets.

Maine Public News Director Mark Simpson says climate change has been and will remain a priority for the newsroom after the Covering Climate Now initiative concludes.

“As one of the top issues facing Maine and our global ecosystem, climate change resiliency is one of the main things our audience members have told us they want to hear more about,” Simpson says. “We’re committed to showing many facets of this urgent global challenge.”

Among the stories and interviews that Maine Public will roll out beginning Sunday, Sept. 16, is a look at how coastal communities are preparing for sea level rise, what the ramifications are of rising temperatures in the Gulf of Maine, the surge of new tick-borne diseases, tribal perspectives about confronting climate change, the rise of algal blooms in Maine lakes, a massive effort to repair stream crossings to prepare for future flooding and how the presidential candidates are — and are not — making climate change part of their campaign platforms.

On air, we’ll hear from scientists, doctors, Gov. Janet Mills and from a group of students who working to power their high school by solar.

Our weeklong coverage will conclude on Friday, Sept. 20, when hundreds of Mainers are expected to participate in a nationwide climate strike at noon.

For more in the series, visit mainepublic.org/climatenow.