“My author bio says I cover energy, environment, and reproductive rights,” said Kate Sheppard of Mother Jones in an interview with ECSP. “One of the biggest challenges in covering that beat is even just articulating what that means.”
Fundamentally, Sheppard said she is interested in covering how policy decisions shape the future, which involves examining the intersections between these key issues. She spoke at a November 1 Wilson Center event on the challenges of reporting on population and environment, especially this year, when a great deal of media covered the world population reaching seven billion.
Sheppard is currently reporting on adaptation to climate change, looking at how human societies are responding to the changes that they are already experiencing, whether it be changes in migration patterns, resource availability, or food security. “I’m seeing this as a really ripe area where these things intersect, when we are talking about just how many people we are going to have in the future, and where they are going to be, and whether we can meet their needs in a society that is constantly changing,” she said.
Energy is another important area of intersection, said Sheppard. Access to energy is critical to ensuring a better future for the world’s inhabitants, but policy decisions must also take into account the fact that our fossil fuel resources are finite, she said. “We need to start thinking about ways we are going to do this sustainably for the world population in the future.”