Welcome back to our weekly behind-the-scenes glimpse at what’s getting our team talking. Let us know what you think at [email protected].

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Greener pastures

We all know that spending time in nature is good for us. But when it comes to green spaces, not all neighborhoods are created equal. A story from the Washington Post that Contributing Editor Michaela Haas shared this week digs into local “NatureScores” and what they reveal.

Michaela says:


How green is your city? We’ve written about how access to nature improves health. This new app lets you enter your address and you can see for yourself how much nature surrounds you.

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Fighting fire with fire

Planned, carefully controlled fires, known as prescribed burns, are used across a wide range of landscapes to prevent more destructive wildfires. This week, Editorial Director Rebecca Worby shared an Inside Climate News story about the successes and challenges of using this practice in Texas, a state where it isn’t widely accepted. 

Firefighters igniting a prescribed burn on private lands in Texas.
Firefighters igniting a prescribed burn on private lands in Texas. Credit: Colin Shackelford / Flickr

Rebecca Worby Slack avatar

Becca says:


Texas is different from many other states that face high (and increasing) wildfire risk in that the vast majority of its land is privately owned, which means lots of individual landowners have to get on board for something like prescribed burns to work.

What else we’re reading

🌳 Brazil and Colombia see “remarkable” decrease in forest destruction after leadership changes, data show — shared by Contributing Editor Peter Yeung from CBS News

🐋 New technology can keep whales safe from speeding ships — shared by RTBC founder David Byrne from The Economist

💡 The US Urgently Needs a Bigger Grid. Here’s a Fast Solution — shared by Executive Editor Will Doig from the New York Times

Elsewhere in our channels…

This week’s episode of The Journalism Salute — a podcast of interviews with journalists about who they are and what they do — features RTBC Editorial Director Rebecca Worby.