Please forgive us, this once, just a little bragging.
The cover story in this issue is the capstone of a
two-year special series about global warming, written by
High Country News Contributing Editor Michelle
Nijhuis. The series started with a story about tiny bark beetles
that are moving higher into the West’s mountain forests
because of warming temperatures. From the beetle-ridden woods of
Idaho, the series has taken Michelle to the University of
Arizona’s Laboratory of Tree-Ring Research in Tucson, to find
out what trees tell us about the region’s climate, and to
California’s Yosemite National Park, where she learned about
the changing ranges of small mammals. In the process, she has
brought a huge, tremendously complicated issue home to the
residents of the West.
In this issue, Michelle takes her
reporting one step further, asking, "What can we, as Westerners, do
to slow this trend?" Surprisingly, she’s found a whole
bucketful of answers, and a stack of inspiring stories to boot.
Once again, in the absence of leadership on the national level,
Westerners are stepping up to lead the charge themselves.
The "Hot Times" series has received rave reviews from our readers
— and it turns out that you aren’t the only ones
who’ve liked it. Michelle has won the 2006 Walter Sullivan
Award for Excellence in Science Journalism for the three issues in
the series published in 2005. The award, which in the past has gone
to such greats as John McPhee and Jon Krakauer, comes from the
American Geophysical Union, the world’s largest organization
of earth and space scientists. The award selection committee called
the series "an excellent example of science writing for the public;
engaging, informative, unbiased and easy to follow."
to Michelle, we extend a hearty congratulations — and to all
of you, a great thanks. The Hot Times Series has been funded in
part by a grant from the Engel Fund of the San Diego Foundation.
The rest of the funding has come from you, through your donations
to the Research Fund.
While this cover story may be a
wrap-up of sorts, it is not the last you’ll read about global
warming in High Country News. No matter how
farsighted some Western leaders have become, this issue isn’t
going away. And HCN will be here to keep an eye
To read the whole Hot Times series, go to our Web