December 14, 2018

NM Environment Review: sun-dimming and news-cutting

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Laura Paskus

All week, we look for stories that help New Mexicans better understand what’s happening with water, climate, energy, landscapes and communities around the region. Thursday morning, that news goes out via email. To subscribe to that weekly email, click here.

Here’s a snippet of what subscribers read this week:

• At the Santa Fe Reporter, Elizabeth Miller provides an update on Navajo farmers who are still seeking compensation from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency over the 2015 Gold King Mine spill.

• At KNAU-FM, Melissa Sevigny spoke with Northern Arizona University forester Nikki Cooley, a member of the Navajo Nation, about the Fourth National Climate Assessment and the impacts of climate change on tribes.

• The Silver City Daily Press offered updates on the Grant County Regional Water System.

• Another story in the Silver City paper noted that the Las Cruces Sun-News closed its Silver City office. According to that story, the news was announced via a note on the door of the former office. Christine Steele added, “The USA Today Network did not announce the news of its Silver City office closing on the Silver City or Las Cruces Sun-Newswebsite, or on the Sun-News Facebook page.” The contraction of media coverage has been happening since 2015 when Gannett (which owns USA Today Network) completed buying the Alamogordo Daily News, Carlsbad Current-Argus, The Daily Times in Farmington,Deming Headlight, Las Cruces Sun-News and Silver City Sun-News. Gannett also owns theEl Paso Times.

In other words, the next time you realize there isn’t much local reporting in New Mexico about border issues, rural communities, environment issues and local government, you’ll know why that’s the case. 

• Last month, Nature reported on a sun-dimming experiment by three Harvard researchers. According to the feature story by Jeff Tollefson: “The idea is simple: spray a bunch of particles into the stratosphere, and they will cool the planet by reflecting some of the Sun’s rays back into space.” Tollefson’s story also mentions that the first phase of this geoengineering experiment will take place 20 km above the southwestern U.S. in 2019.

• Editor Matt Reichbach noted this week that we launched NM Political Report’s  environment project on Dec. 12, 2016. Thanks for reading for two years now!

Don’t forget to subscribe to the weekly email, so you can read all the news. Just click here.