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Our Favorite 2022 Climate Coverage. (Some of It’s Even Good News!)

In a year of groundbreaking news from the frozen (but warming) Arctic to the shores of the Red Sea, The Times’s Climate Desk produced hundreds of articles, covering multibillion-dollar legislation, clandestine obstructionism, even a “shrinkflation” expert.

Here are selected pieces that the journalists who write about climate found most memorable this year, in their own words.

“Many American cities have set ambitious climate goals, but slashing planet-warming emissions within their borders is often easier said than done, especially when it comes to transportation. My colleague Nadja Popovich and I went to Portland, Ore., a city that considers itself a climate leader, to find out why. What we found was a bitter fight over official plans to expand several major highways.”

— Brad Plumer

“Where and how you live changes your climate impact. Mira Rojanasakul, Brad Plumer and I published a series of maps that show how much households across the United States contribute to climate change, on average, by driving, powering their homes, taking flights and more. You’ll notice some clear patterns.”

— Nadja Popovich

“At every step of his political career, the senior U.S. senator from West Virginia helped a local power plant that is the sole customer of his private coal business. Along the way, he blocked ambitious climate action.”

— Christopher Flavelle

“Around the globe, the wild places that animals depend on for life are shrinking. This article, with stunning graphics by Lauren Leatherby, shows you some of the animals most at risk and tells about a crucial global effort to preserve habitat.”

— Catrin Einhorn

“Climate change cases in the courts are coming up against a coordinated, multiyear strategy by Republican attorneys general and conservative allies designed to kill environmental regulations.”

— Coral Davenport

“A team of scientists is trying to make a map of all that we cannot see: the fungal networks under our feet and that may hold some answers to the climate crisis.”

— Somini Sengupta

“Hundreds of airstrips have been secretly built on protected lands in Brazil to support the criminal mining industry. My colleagues and I examined thousands of satellite images to locate more than 1,200 of these illegal airstrips across the Brazilian Amazon, many of them part of criminal networks that are destroying Indigenous land and threatening people.”

— Manuela Andreoni

“Saudi Arabia is working to keep fossil fuels at the center of the world economy for decades to come by lobbying, funding research and using its diplomatic muscle to obstruct climate action.”

— Hiroko Tabuchi

“It’s harder than it should be to know which item goes in which bin. But it’s never too late to learn. Hiroko Tabuchi, Sean Catangui and I built a guessing game and explained how recycling chaos is almost by design.”

— Winston Choi-Schagrin

“Sometimes, the disasters we need to be planning for aren’t the first ones we expect. Mira Rojanasakul and I look at a big one.”

— Raymond Zhong

“The Irish botanist, biochemist and author Diana Beresford-Kroeger has devoted her life to saving forests and cultivates native trees that are resilient to climate change in the woods around her home.”

— Cara Buckley

“The monsoon plays a critical role in the lives of nearly two billion people in South Asia. How will they cope as it changes in a warming world? Don’t miss the explanatory graphics by my colleagues Zach Levitt and Jeremy White.”

— Henry Fountain

“The Congo Basin rainforest is second only to the Amazon in size and importance for absorbing planet-warming carbon dioxide, but the illegal logging along the Congo River is taking a toll as logs are tied into rafts and floated down the river.”

— Dionne Searcey

“A crucial aquifer is running low after decades of groundwater overdraft, so officials are pumping in treated sewage water to replenish it. It’s an increasingly common strategy as heavy demand and climate change strain water supplies.”

— Elena Shao

“Even as the Biden administration moves to promote renewable energy, Republicans at the state level, especially a group of well-organized and well-funded state treasurers, are pushing back and promoting fossil fuels.”

— David Gelles

“A new crop of leftist leaders in Latin America has fashioned themselves as climate change crusaders, arguing that fossil fuels haven’t lifted enough people out of poverty to justify their contribution to global warming. Colombia’s leader, Gustavo Petro, is perhaps the most strident. He wants to make his oil-producing country the first to fully decarbonize its economy.”

— Max Bearak

“Under a new climate and tax law, the federal government will lease hundreds of millions of additional acres for offshore drilling in the Gulf of Mexico in the next decade, even as it invests $370 billion to move the country away from fossil fuels and develop wind, solar and other renewable energy.”

— Lisa Friedman

“Some 35 to 40 percent of all food ends up going unused, experts say. And food production accounts for more than a quarter of global emissions. A few new apps are trying to fix that.”

— Clare Toeniskoetter

“Is San Francisco’s fog disappearing? Maybe. Some research has suggested as much. Other research says maybe not. Fog is so elusive that it is hard to say how foggy it has been in the past — never mind trying to predict the future. What is climate change doing to fog? And why does it matter? Scott Reinhard and I break down the complexity. ”

— John Branch

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