Friday, July 23, 2010

A Good Example of Environmental Investigation:

This three-part series on the fresh waters of the Great Lakes by the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel is an example of the kind of investigating reporting we need on our environment and what we may lose if we don’t find ways to increase thorough environmental investigations. 

Simple ad hock environmental stories when something big pop up and grabs our attention is not the way to report on our environment.  Usually, by the time an environmental issue gets so bad that it captures our local media’s attention; it’s too late to do anything about it. 

What we need from our media is to practice the Precautionary Principle and anticipate environmental issues and investigate them thoroughly before our ability to choose has vanished. 

Check out this series of three stories that try to anticipate the need for fresh water in the future and how that may jeopardize the health of our Great Lakes.  When a desperate nation demands fresh water from a water system that cannot tolerate water leaving it’s boundaries to remain the same that’s going to be too late to deal with the situation wisely.  Divided Over Water | Part 1: Fresh water is in short supply in many Milwaukee-area communities. Tap into Lake Michigan, right? Wrong. An invisible line divides those who can use the Great Lakes from those who can't touch a drop. And if exceptions are made, who might come calling for water next? Part 2: Struggling with tainted water, the southeastern Wisconsin community of Pleasant Prairie and the northwestern Indiana town of Lowell both sought permission to tap Lake Michigan water. Pleasant Prairie got it; Lowell did not. Their stories are classic examples of the power and politics of Great Lakes water. Part 3: People who think the Great Lakes can't be damaged should talk to some farmers in the Great Plains. For 30 years, they pumped with abandon from an underground reservoir the size of Lake Huron, never thinking they might hit "E" on the tank that fueled the economy. Now, in some spots, they've run dry. --from Milwaukee Journal Sentinel - Breaking news, sports, business, watchdog journalism, multimedia

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