2017 Environmental Journalism Award Winners’ Best Articles

2017 Environmental Journalism Award Winners’ Best Articles

A compilation of great articles by SEAL Award-winning journalists


Brad Plumer

We’ve wiped out 10% of the Earth’s wilderness in the last two decades. The past 20 years have seen the decline of more than 10% of Earth’s precious wilderness; can technological advances help to stave off future damage during this “information age”? Source: Vox (Approx. 5 minutes)

The hardest part of dealing with sea level rise will be the uncertaintySea levels are undoubtedly rising due to global warming. However, no one is exactly sure how far inland the tides will be reaching — and that makes it incredibly difficult to prepare for. Source: Vox (Approx. 11 minutes)

Damian Carrington

‘Shell knew’: oil giant’s 1991 film warned of climate change dangerFew surprises here: Shell Oil knew about global warming 26 years ago and did nothing — sacrificing global health and wellbeing to protect their bottom line. Source: The Guardian (Approx. 8 minutes)

The world’s most toxic townLead levels in Kabwe, Zambia are 100x higher than the recommended safety level — the full devastation of this mass poisoning is yet to be revealed. Source: The Guardian (Approx. 11 minutes)

David Roberts

Clean energy is now as big as pharmaceutical manufacturing in the United StatesMore than an environmental trend, the green economy has become a multi-billion dollar industry that is earning as much revenue as pharmaceuticals and consumer electronics. Source: Vox (Approx. 7 minutes)

The ludicrous gulf between our climate change goals and reality, in one chartAverage global temps are rising exponentially; reversing this damage will require us to re-absorb 10–25 years worth of carbon emissions while stopping current emissions in their tracks. Source: Vox (Approx. 5 minutes)

Robinson Meyer

The Atlantic Ocean & An Actual Debate In Climate ScienceWith all the faux “controversy” surrounding climate change, scientists have an actual debate on their hands regarding the Atlantic Ocean’s AMOC stability model — or lack thereof. Source: The Atlantic (Approx. 20 minutes)

Coal’s DevastationThe Social Cost of Carbon (SCC) per ton of coal encompasses not just the cost to the environment when mountaintops are removed, but also the economic impact due to declining health of the families living in surrounding areas where coal is mined. Source: The Atlantic(Approx. 20 minutes)

Adele Peters

Very soon, we’ll have blown the entire world’s carbon budget. Our Earth’s “carbon budget” is about to be blown through the roof — if we haven’t reached it already — some estimate that we have little more than one year before time is up and the damage will be far beyond reversible. Source: Fast Company(Approx. 7 minutes)

These two Kentucky coal mines could become a massive solar farmTwo coal mines in Pikeville, KY that have almost exhausted all of their coal could soon become the state’s largest solar farm — creating clean energy and jobs in the process. Source: Fast Company (Approx. 8 minutes)

Chris Mooney

Scientists have just detected a major change to the Earth’s oceans linked to a warming climateThe growing stratification of ocean waters coupled with the fact that warmer water holds less oxygen presents yet another threat to marine life caused by global warming. Source: The Washington Post(Approx. 6 minutes)

We’re trashing the oceans, and they’re returning the favor by making us sickAll of the trash that we’re letting flow into our oceans is coming back to haunt us in the form of toxic microorganisms. Source: The Washington Post(Approx. 6 minutes)

Rebecca Leber

A Scientist Just Spent 2 Hours Debating the Biggest Global Warming Deniers in Congress. Michael Mann stood alone against three climate change naysayers while he argued for the health of the climate and the environment in front of the House “science” committee back in March. Source: Mother Jones (Approx. 4 minutes)

Why are Democrats so bad at talking about climate change? We hear horror stories of gun violence and hate-crimes from the left on a daily basis, where are our democratic climate change advocates when we need them most? Source: Grist (Approx. 4 minutes)

Marianne Lavelle

China, India to Reach Climate Goals Years Early, as U.S. Likely to Fall Far Short. Greenhouse gas emissions from India and China are slowing down ahead of schedule thanks to renewable energy initiatives. Where is the United States in this race? Losing. Source: Inside Climate News (Approx. 9 minutes)

Trump’s EPA Halts Request for Methane Information From Oil and Gas ProducersThe administrator of the EPA, announced back in March that owners and operators of oil and gas operations no longer have to report info on their equipment to the EPA including methane, a potent greenhouse gas. Source: Inside Climate News (Approx. 8 minutes)

Elizabeth Kolbert

Greenland is meltingThe shrinking of the country’s ice sheet is triggering feedback loops that accelerate the global crisis. The floodgates may already be open. Source: The New Yorker (Approx. 30 minutes)

From Obama’s Top Scientist, Words of Caution on ClimateJohn Holdren has been instrumental in developing climate policy. In an interview with Yale e360, Holdren talks about the urgency of the climate challenge and why he hopes the next administration will not abandon efforts to address it. Source: Yale Environment 360 (Approx. 18 minutes)

George Monbiot

Trump’s climate denial is just one of the forces that point towards war. The failure to get to grips with our crises, by all mainstream political parties, is likely to lead to a war between the major powers in our lifetime. Source: The Guardian (Approx. 9 minutes)

No fracking, drilling or digging: it’s the only way to save life on Earth. The Paris climate change agreement is worthless. Politicians can’t possibly honor it unless we stop developing all new fossil fuel reserves. Source: The Guardian (Approx. 11 minutes)

For more information about these award-winning journalists, please visit our 2017 SEAL ENVIRONMENTAL JOURNALISM AWARD WINNERS page.