On Writing About Writing About the Environment

Photo by inkhong. Some rights reserved.

Photo by inkhong. Some rights reserved.

Every Tuesday at around noon PST, I open a bookmark folder titled “Green Mien” and browse through stories on every page that opens, hoping to find fodder to write about on here later that afternoon (I’m no environmental expert, and these ideas have to come from somewhere!). This morning, I opened my bookmark folder same as any other day, but to my surprise and dismay, the first post on my first bookmark (and one of my most trusted go-to sources) wasn’t a story about the Keystone pipeline, fracking, food scarcity or even a one sentence blurb with a link to an EPA report – instead, it was a short blog post titled “A Blog’s Adieu.”

Yes, I’m sorry to say that as of Friday, March 1, 2013, the New York Times pulled the plug on its Green Blog, the go to place on the New York Times’ labyrinthine website for sharp and direct energy and environmental coverage since it was launched in the spring of 2010. To quote the blog post in question, the site was discontinued in order to “direct production resources to other online areas.” It’s a disappointing loss, and not just for those of us who looked to the Green Blog for something to write about every Tuesday.

After the decision to cancel the blog was made in January, the Scientific American writer Bora Zivkovic explored the possibilities of what this means for environmental coverage in the New York Times – for instance, he makes an interesting point about beats vs. obsessions, that perhaps this will lead former Green Blog writers now free of their responsibility to the environmental beat to covering whatever aspect of environmental news they are most passionate about. Read that here, as well as some more thorough and worthwhile thoughts about the demise of the NYTimes Green Blog at Slate and Grist.

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