BOBBY MAGILL

Journalist • Photographer

Bobby Magill is a senior science writer for Climate Central in New York and a journalist who has covered fracking and the environment in Colorado and New Mexico since 2001. 

MY APPROACH TO ENVIRONMENTAL JOURNALISM

Arches National Park, Utah ©Bobby Magill

Arches National Park, Utah ©Bobby Magill

Environmental issues are elemental. Not to oversimplify matters, but the reality of the world in which we live seems to be this: If you can't drink the water and breathe the air, or if your city is going to be under water in the coming decades as the sea level rises, all other things seem secondary. 

That much seems obvious. Ensuring that the public is made aware of the prevailing issues affecting their air, water and climate is the fundamental goal of my career. As a journalist, I'm particularly interested in how the hundreds of millions of acres of public lands throughout the U.S. are part of the country's ability to be resilient in a warming world. In other words: How are public lands a part of the solution to climate change? This question is rarely discussed, and it's one that I'm plan to explore in greater depth. 

Beyond that, these are other unfolding environment and natural resources issues I believe are critical for the public to be kept abreast of:

• The role of climate change, energy and the environment in the 2016 election

• The public health, seismic and environmental effects of hydraulic fracturing and the proliferation of crude oil and natural gas development across the U.S. and Canada

• Sea level rise, melting Arctic permafrost, desertification and the countless other ecological and environmental impacts of climate change

• Global greenhouse gas emissions and rising atmospheric carbon dioxide concentrations

• Public lands management and funding

• Water availability challenges across the U.S., but especially in the West, where climate change is projected to further strain water supplies both for the cities that depend on them and aquatic species dependent on in-stream flow allocations

• Offshore oil and gas leasing and development in the Arctic and East Coast of the U.S. 

• New innovations in alternative and renewable energy sources and, most importantly, energy efficiency and conservation

• The long-term environmental health of Appalachian coal country

• Federal climate and energy policy

• State-level renewable portfolio standards

• The ecological and geological impacts of drought and groundwater pumping, primarily in the West

• Changing wildfire regimes and their effects on forest ecology

• The legacy of the 1872 Mining Law on public lands, wildlife habitat fragmentation and surface water pollution

These are only a few of the most pressing environmental issues the U.S. faces today. Environment reporting on these topics serves to fuel informed debate. That is the goal of my career.