2022 Journalists Forum

April 1, 2022 - April 2, 2022

Cambridge, MA United States

Free, offered in English

The Lincoln Institute’s 2022 Journalists Forum, held April 1–2 in Cambridge, Massachusetts, explored the central role of land in addressing the climate crisis, with thought leaders identifying trends, underreported stories, and fresh angles to guide journalistic storytelling at this pivotal time. The Forum investigated how land policy can contribute to an equitable net-zero transition amid competing pressures, including market-driven speculation for higher ground and land that will be newly viable in a warming world. The Forum also included two “Practicing the Craft” sessions, during which the invited journalists shared perspectives on the challenges of covering the story of the century.


2022 Lincoln Institute Journalists Forum: A Recap on the Land Matters podcast

In Petaluma Neighborhoods, the ‘Extravagant Life’ Is Over as Climate Activism Grows
“Bill McKibben, who most recently founded an environmental movement for people older than 60 called Third Act, said in an interview that privileged Americans, specifically those near or at retirement age, must muster their wealth and influence to push governments and corporations to divest in fossil fuels.”
—Julie Johnson, San Francisco Chronicle 

Biofuels Are Accelerating the Food Crisis — and the Climate Crisis, Too 
“Our food and climate crises are largely land crises. We need the limited land on earth to produce massive amounts of food and store massive amounts of carbon.”  
—Michael Grunwald, author 

How Can We Change Land Use at a Time of Climate Crisis and Competition? 
“Changing the way we use the land will be perhaps one of the greatest opportunities we will have to mitigate climate change, only if we do it early, only if we do it.” 
—Tais Gadea Lara, RedAcción  

The Colorado River is in Crisis, and It’s Getting Worse Every Day 
“Demand in the fast-growing Southwest exceeds supply, and it is growing even as supply drops amid a climate-change-driven megadrought and rising temperatures.” 
—Karin Brulliard, Matt McClain, and Erin Patrick O’Connor, with John Muyskens from the Washington Post 


Welcome and Opening


George W. “Mac” McCarthy, U.S. CEO and President, Lincoln Institute of Land Policy

Brian Golden, former Director, Boston Planning and Development Agency

Further Reading


Land in Competition

Land can help address the climate crisis, but it is under tremendous pressure from market forces running far ahead of planning and regulation, while competing demands—agriculture, renewable energy, carbon sequestration—are leading to relentless conflicts.


Patrick Welch, Climate Strategies, Lincoln Institute of Land Policy

William Moomaw, Tufts University

Ona Ferguson, Consensus Building Institute

Amanda Kolson Hurley, Bloomberg Green (moderator)

Further Reading


Land, Water, and Agriculture

The world will need hundreds of millions of additional acres of agricultural land to feed its people—but the same amount needs to be kept in conservation, to soak up carbon and save water. This discussion explores the shift in agricultural and water and land management practices with the Colorado River Basin as case study.


Bruce Babbitt, former governor of Arizona, Secretary of the Interior

Jim Holway, Babbitt Center for Land and Water Policy

Naveen Sikka, CEO, Terviva

Mike Grunwald, Politico (moderator)

Further Reading


Land in Conservation

Deforestation and land clearing are accelerating despite research showing natural areas do an extraordinary job sequestering carbon. Pledges by the Biden administration and governments around the world are complicated by equity issues in developing world economies, and by a gaming of the system to claim exaggerated carbon offsets.


Jim Levitt, International Land Conservation Network

Chandni Navalkha, Sustainably Managed Land and Water Resources, Lincoln Institute

Mark Anderson, The Nature Conservancy/Lincoln Institute Kingsbury Browne Fellow, 2021–22

Anthony Flint, Lincoln Institute of Land Policy (moderator)

Further Reading


Practicing the Craft I

A brief overview of climate coverage collaboratives, and a discussion of emerging institutional structures and journalistic approaches to match the enormity of the climate story.


Nancy Gibbs, Shorenstein Center on Media, Politics and Public Policy, Harvard Kennedy School

Andrew McCormick, Covering Climate Now

Amrita Gupta, Earth Journalism Network

Further Reading


State of the Biden Climate Agenda

A discussion of the prospects for meaningful national climate policy in the United States in the context of political polarization and legislative gridlock.


Bill McKibben, Middlebury College

Andrew Wishnia, Deputy Assistant Secretary for Climate Policy, US Department of Transportation

Further Reading


Land and Climate Finance

Public investments in both climate mitigation and adaptation increase land values—and therein lies a source of revenue to finance climate action, which is being tested in Boston and around the world.


Enrique Silva, Vice President of Programs, Lincoln Institute of Land Policy

Erwin van der Krabben, Radboud University, The Netherlands

Lourdes German, Executive Director, The Public Finance Initiative, faculty, Harvard University Graduate School of Design

Meghan Stromberg, Planning magazine (moderator)

Further Reading


Land Vanishing

Managed retreat is increasingly part of the policy conversation. Yet climate migration is fraught with fairness and equity issues, even as some Americans move to, or remain in, areas at high risk of flooding, fire, and drought.


Amy Cotter, Director, Climate Strategies, Lincoln Institute of Land Policy

Daryl Fairweather, Chief Economist, Redfin

Rachel Cleetus, Union of Concerned Scientists

Lanor Curole, United Houma Nation

Alexandra Tempus, freelance journalist and author (moderator)

Further Reading


Land From Above

Technological advances are enabling a global dashboard for monitoring the planet’s land use changes—whether deforestation, inundation, or drought—that can facilitate policy measures in real time, and provide data visualizations for powerful, interactive storytelling.


Jeff Allenby, Center for Geospatial Solutions, Lincoln Institute of Land Policy

Peter Colohan, Internet of Water Initiative, Lincoln Institute of Land Policy

Further Reading


Practicing the Craft II

Even as media organizations establish climate teams, covering the climate crisis has entered a new phase of complexity. This discussion of political and cultural challenges explored the task of presenting technical material for audiences coming to a consensus for the need for action.


Trish Wilson, The Washington Post



April 1, 2022 - April 2, 2022
Registration Period
February 10, 2022 - March 1, 2022
Cambridge, MA United States
Registration Fee
Related Links


Climate Mitigation, Land Use Planning, Mapping