New Yorker's Elizabeth Kolbert on her 'depressing' beat
Elizabeth Kolbert makes a living documenting catastrophe.
Elizabeth Kolbert makes a living documenting catastrophe.
As the partial government shutdown grinds to the two-week mark, federal employees are suing the Trump administration for requiring certain "essential" employees to work without pay.
Jonathan Jarvis witnessed rocky times at the Interior Department during his 40-year career there.
Philip Shabecoff, a longtime environment reporter, has covered Richard Nixon, Bill Clinton and every president in between.
Alden Meyer, who's been going to U.N. climate conferences since 1990, noticed something unusual at the gathering that began this week in Poland.
Climate scientist Robert Kopp's phone has been ringing off the hook this week.
She's only in her 20s, and she's already the face of an ambitious push for Congress to tackle climate change.
Gavin Schmidt didn't want his climate predictions to become reality.
Meet the "valve turners," the scrappy environmental activists who drew attention to Canada's oil sands industry.
If Democratic Sen. Jeff Merkley decides to run for president, he'll be trumpeting the threat of climate change — and his prowess with a hammer.
Bob Inglis knows it's hard to sell Republicans on climate change action.
Rep. Bobby Rush would be a full-time pastor if he weren't a congressman.
Occupational hazards for Weather Channel meteorologist Mike Bettes range from deadly tornadoes and flying debris to intense public scrutiny.
When world leaders gather in Poland this winter for the next round of U.N. climate talks, they'll be hearing the footsteps of a new generation.
Former Sen. Jeff Bingaman is watching the days of big energy bills fade in his rearview mirror.
President Trump's tweets on wildfires struck a nerve with Eric Kennedy.
Jon Wellinghoff, the longest-serving head of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, worries politics are seeping into the agency he once led.
Mary Nichols, California's "queen of green," is her state's standard-bearer in the legal fight over the Trump administration's regulatory rollbacks.
President Obama's former Interior chief Ken Salazar supports the Trump administration's plan to reorganize the agency he once helmed.
Rep. Don Beyer is a car guy.
D.J. Gribbin thinks infrastructure is vitally important to the country. He's also "very interested in boring things that affect lots of people."
Kim Cobb is just as comfortable in a coral reef as in a classroom.
Neil Chatterjee doesn't like it when people refer to him as Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell's "coal guy" on the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission.
Karenna Gore takes a more spiritual approach to green issues than her famous father.
The House Science, Space and Technology Committee's top Democrat is weary of the panel chairman using his gavel to undermine climate science.
Abigail Dillen never dreamed she'd be in an all-out legal fight against an administration hostile to climate protections.
Sen. Joni Ernst goes bold. She'll sport camouflage high heels, spin yarns about castrating hogs and bluntly criticize embattled EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt.
If you can convince him that climate change isn't real, Todd Tanner will give you his prized shotgun, his expensive fishing rods and maybe even his beloved pickup truck.
A regular day at the office for Gene Karpinski — one of the most politically savvy greens in Washington, D.C. — includes flagging down lawmakers in the basement of the Capitol.
At 91, John Dingell doesn't get around the way he used to, so he's letting his fingers do the walking — and the talking.
Whitney Tome still remembers the day she walked into her first meeting of a regional fishery management council.
Trammell S. Crow may be one of the most influential environmental and energy players you've never heard about.
Andrew Yang is running for president on a campaign of preventing the robot apocalypse.
They called her the "dragon lady."
The head of EPA's largest employee union figures his boss, Administrator Scott Pruitt, has about six more months — max — at the agency's helm.
Long before his book tour discussing solar power's future, Varun Sivaram was a Rhodes scholar, an adviser to Democratic New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo — and a former underwear model.
President Trump's regulatory rollback is facing some big legal hurdles.
Barry Worthington, the U.S. Energy Association's executive director, appears at a glance to be in sync with the Trump administration.
Rebuilding a hurricane-ravaged electrical grid isn't what Julia Hamm had in mind when she began working in the utility sector.
S. David Freeman, the self-described "green cowboy," sees a messaging problem on the left.
Michael Bardee, one of the nation's top electricity experts, is ready to unplug.
Heidi McIntosh grew up hiking and backpacking in the West. Now she's fighting to protect the kinds of places she once explored.
Over four decades, attorney Jay Silberg has sued the government dozens of times for breaching a contract with utilities by failing to complete the Yucca Mountain, Nev., nuclear waste repository.
When President Trump said last month that Earth is "too cold," Keith Seitter couldn't help but offer the president his tutoring services.
Richard Painter could be living a quiet life right about now.
Nick Shapiro never imagined he'd be salvaging streams of disappearing scientific information under the Trump administration.
Robyn Wilson never dreamed she'd be locked in a court fight with U.S. EPA.
Susannah Weaver is on the front lines of a major test of President Trump's March "energy independence" executive order.
Maya van Rossum — best known as the Delaware Riverkeeper — has been punched and verbally abused while fighting hydraulic fracturing and pipeline projects in Pennsylvania.
When Dina Kruger and Jason Samenow helped draft the 2009 endangerment finding for greenhouse gases, they knew they were doing important work.
Attention, beer drinkers: There's a good chance your beverage of choice will soon be made with wind or solar power.
Remember the Bone Zone?
Richard Ayres has devoted 37 years to shaping the nation's bedrock environmental laws. Now he's watching the Trump administration try to dismantle his legacy.
Shelving President Obama's signature climate rule remains a crowning moment in Elbert Lin's meteoric rise in the legal world.
When most people think of Patagonia, they think of outdoor apparel and gear. Challenging the Trump administration doesn't immediately come to mind.
Ingrid Newkirk once told The New Yorker, "We're complete press sluts."
Rep. Frank Pallone, an unassuming congressman who likes Native American art and Motown, doesn't stand out as a formidable opponent for President Trump or his Cabinet members.
Jim Connaughton — President George W. Bush's top White House environmental official — talks a lot these days about needing a "serious" response to global warming.
Adrian Grenier has gained an outsized reputation for his role on "Entourage," but his environmental activism has flown under the radar.
Cara Mund had to tackle an unexpected topic during this year's Miss America pageant: climate change.
If you're looking to talk to someone in Washington about regulations without getting bored, look no further than Jim Tozzi.
On paper, American Petroleum Institute President and CEO Jack Gerard is a Washington lobbyist straight from central casting.
Howard Gruenspecht is a familiar face in Washington energy policy circles, but the native New Yorker says his wife is the real celebrity of the family.
Miles Keogh still considers himself a "surfer kid."
John Graham has written a paper that swayed a Supreme Court decision, earned tenure at Harvard University at age 34 and testified before the European Parliament.
Kathy Jacobs has been connecting science and decisionmaking for most of her life.
Texas Tech University climate scientist Katharine Hayhoe gets hate mail and wrangles with Twitter trolls on a regular basis.
The natural beauty of New York state, with its abundance of woods, mountains and lakes, formed the canvas upon which Lydia Weiss crafted a career in conservation.
Melanie Kenderdine, a star of the Obama-era Energy Department, is on the outside looking in these days.
Lois Gibbs has been called many names — the mother of Superfund, the toxic avenger and even the dump lady — though she's not particularly inclined to any of them.
Life in the Trump administration has been anything but ordinary for Dan Simmons.
Nikki Martin is not the typical oil and gas industry trade association executive. The 34-year-old Alaskan leads the Houston-based International Association of Geophysical Contractors, making her the first female president in the group's history.
Environmental lawyer Rob Verchick isn't optimistic about the state of global efforts to slash carbon emissions, but he still has hope.
Military veterans have vocally protested recent pipeline projects, but some, like Garett Reppenhagen, have also worked more quietly behind the scenes, lobbying lawmakers on issues from national monuments and the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge to methane flaring restrictions.
Jane Zelikova helped launch a grass-roots science advocacy group in the wake of President Trump's election last fall that has attracted more than 20,000 women.
Jerry Taylor was raised in a household of Republican activists. The eldest of three sons, he moved to Washington in 1991 with the dream of becoming the next Lee Atwater, then the "flavor of the day" for campaign consulting.
Sen. Michael Bennet's office coffee table is neatly stacked with dozens of books that, from their well-worn look, don't appear to be merely set pieces.
Stuart Pimm, one of the world's leading researchers on species extinction, is appalled by the Trump administration's attitude toward science.
Bill Becker ends his nearly 37-year run next Friday as executive director of the National Association of Clean Air Agencies.
Jennifer Rokala is a Westerner through and through.
Mustafa Ali is busy.
Utah Republican Rep. Rob Bishop knows that timing is everything in theater, music and politics.
Land Tawney knows public lands.
Earl Devaney has a way with words.
Kathleen Sgamma has a hint for people unable to pronounce her last name: Replace the Sg with an Sk.
Richard Lazarus is known as the "dean of environmental law," but he'd rather be called the "solicitor general for environmental law."
Rep. Earl Blumenauer loves "Portlandia," the parody of his hometown that skewers hipster Pacific Northwest culture with sketches featuring raw vegan restaurants, feminist bookstores and allergy pride parades.
Carol Browner is an aspiring beekeeper.
Jim Moran doesn't expect the Trump administration to get much of its budget wish list.
Mike McKenna isn't embarrassed by anything.
Long before he was a top House watchdog patrolling energy and environmental agencies, Rep. Blake Farenthold was a disc jockey in the Lone Star State.
Kathleen Hartnett White — rumored to be a contender for a key energy job in the Trump administration — says carbon dioxide has gotten a bad rap.
Coal executive Robert Murray sometimes spends time at his second home near Tampa, Fla., but it's never a vacation.
Former U.S. EPA Administrator William Reilly is keeping a close eye on his former agency.
President Trump has made chopping down government regulations a big priority.
Lincoln Chafee thinks Bernie Sanders should have been on the Democrats' 2016 ticket.
Die-hard Hillary Clinton supporter Jennifer Granholm helped lay the plans for an administration that never happened.
Rep. Ted Lieu wishes he could veto President-elect Donald Trump's pick to lead U.S. EPA.
North Dakota Republican Rep. Kevin Cramer didn't get picked to be the next Energy secretary, but he's in a prime position to help shape energy policy during the Trump administration.
Michael Brune thinks Democrats should nominate Oprah for president in 2020.
Gina McCarthy swears more than she likes.
Tom Carper is a jokester.
For Ray LaHood, being a Republican in a Democratic Cabinet never got awkward.
Former U.S. EPA boss Christine Todd Whitman thinks President-elect Donald Trump is going to make the George W. Bush administration's environmental record look "pretty good."
Sen. Barbara Boxer, who has gained a reputation as the Senate's staunchest environmentalist during her more than two decades in the chamber, is ready to hand off the baton.
Climate scientist Michael Mann thinks a Donald Trump administration might be "game over" for climate change.
Green Party presidential candidate Jill Stein isn't offended that some have called her campaign a fairy tale.
Before she was dubbed the "Keystone Killer" by Rolling Stone, environmentalist Jane Kleeb was called Midget, Janie or sometimes even Jane the Pain by her family.
Former Interior Secretary Gale Norton flirted with both the Democratic and Libertarian parties before becoming a Republican.
Bill Ruckelshaus — who led U.S. EPA under Presidents Nixon and Reagan — thinks Donald Trump is "scary."
Ed Whitfield, a Kentucky Republican who served in Congress for more than 20 years before stepping down last month, launched his political career as a Democrat.
Since energy guru Byron Dorgan left the Senate five years ago, he's penned two action-packed eco-thriller novels.
Mike Leavitt has been Utah's governor, U.S. EPA's boss and the head of the Department of Health and Human Services.
Environment and Public Works Chairman Jim Inhofe is the Senate's best-known global warming skeptic — and he's proud of that.
Jane Lubchenco has been called "the bionic woman of good science." She'll also answer to J-Lu, a play on the pop star Jennifer Lopez's nickname, J-Lo.
Dave McCurdy got fired from his first job as a grocery bagger.
Former Congressman Sherwood Boehlert (R-N.Y.) goes by Sherry, "like the wine," he tells people.
Michael Bean, the Interior Department's Endangered Species Act guru, is known for taking creative approaches to wildlife conservation and sporting a signature mustache.
Rhea Suh has been at the helm of the Natural Resources Defense Council since January 2015.
Republican Rep. John Shimkus is having a big year.
John Cruden has been the Obama administration's top environmental attorney since late 2014.