e360 digest


Video Report: Americans on the
Front Lines of Climate Change


28 May 2014



A fire chief in Colorado whose department is battling increasingly intense blazes in the American West. A Texas rancher struggling to operate in the face of years of drought. Oyster farmers in Washington state scrambling to adapt to increasingly acidic waters that are damaging their harvests. These Americans are the subjects of videos created by The Story Group, a non-profit journalism initiative. The videos are meant to put a human face on the science behind the recently released National Climate Assessment, which stressed that global warming is already having a major impact on the United States. The first video features Elk Creek, Colorado fire chief Bill McLaughlin, whose department fought a major 2012 wildfire that killed three residents and burned 4,140 acres. “Climate change is very real,” says McLaughlin. “It’s changed my entire life.”



This video focuses on rancher Clay Igo of Plainview, Texas, which has been experiencing a prolonged drought that has taken a heavy toll on ranchers and farmers. “It seems like it’s doin’ nothing but getting hotter, drier, and less rain yearly,” says Igo.



Brittany and Dioni Taylor of Shelton, Washington are fifth-generation oyster farmers now coping with a major threat from ocean acidification, which impedes the ability of oyster larvae to form shells. “This farm has kept our family together — it’s our glue,” says Dioni Taylor. “It would be devastating to lose such a big part of our history.”




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