Stories

The IRE Resource Center is a major research library containing more than 27,000 investigative stories.

Most of our stories are not available for download but can be easily ordered by contacting the Resource Center directly at 573-882-3364 or rescntr@ire.org where a researcher can help you pinpoint what you need.

Search results for "environment" ...

  • Sprawl Developer Won't Take No For an Answer

    This was a two-person investigation into political corruption, environmental damage, public danger and regulatory capture presented by a developer’s attempt to build a suburban sprawl project in rural San Diego County. We spent two months diving into lawsuits, environmental reports, wildfire warnings and campaign finance disclosures to understand how billion-dollar real estate developments take shape outside of public eye, even if they contradict adopted regulatory guidelines. It resulted in an elected official, poised to enrich himself by voting in favor of the project, being forced to recuse himself from voting, which led to the project’s indefinite suspension.
  • The Global Crisis of Vanishing Groundwater

    The historic agreement reached in Paris in December that will curb carbon emissions is heartening, but oil isn’t the only resource being pumped out of the ground at an alarming rate—with catastrophic consequences for the planet. In an eye-opening series for USA Today, The Desert Sun of Palm Springs, CA, and other Gannett newspapers, Pulitzer Center grantees Ian James and Steve Elfers investigate the consequences of groundwater depletion, an overlooked global crisis. “Groundwater is disappearing beneath cornfields in Kansas, rice paddies in India, asparagus farms in Peru and orange groves in Morocco,” writes Ian. “As these critical water reserves are pumped beyond their limits, the threats are mounting for people who depend on aquifers to supply agriculture, sustain economies and provide drinking water. In some areas, fields have already turned to dust and farmers are struggling.” Climate change will only exacerbate the crisis, yet few seem to be taking this existential threat seriously. “Even as satellite measurements have revealed the problem’s severity on a global scale, many regions have failed to adequately address the problem,” says Ian. “Aquifers largely remain unmanaged and unregulated, and water that seeped underground over tens of thousands of years is being gradually used up.”
  • Big Oil and Climate Change

    Even as major oil companies were publicly casting doubt on climate change science, they were quietly taking steps to protect their businesses from its effects.
  • Dallas' Evil Genius

    In recent years, Texas has shifted responsibility for the disposition of radioactive waste from state agencies to a private entity, Waste Control Specialists (WCS), owned by billionaire Harold Simmons, a major Republican donor.
  • Environmental Justice, Denied

    The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s Office of Civil Rights has one mission: to ensure entities that receive EPA funding do not discriminate against communities straddling industry fencelines. Yet time and again, communities of color living in the shadows of sewage plants, incinerators and landfills have found their claims of harm denied or ignored by the EPA’s civil-rights office, a first-ever analysis by the Center for Public Integrity shows. In its 22-year history, the office has never made a formal finding of a civil-rights violation by regulatory agencies or companies operating in U.S. communities. Since our publication, the agency has worked to revamp this program and promised to track progress.
  • American Coyotes

    American Coyotes is a series of stories about the human smugglers -- or "coyotes" -- who bring undocumented immigrants from Mexico into the United States via vehicle and on foot, often utilizing stash houses, in return for payments that vary depending on where the immigrant is coming from and where they are crossing the border. The stories look at how the coyotes operate, the impact they have on Americans who live along the border and the environment as well as the Border Patrol agents, law enforcement and even Texas National Guardsmen assigned to prevent undocumented immigrants.
  • The Outlaw Ocean

    Lawlessness reigns on the high seas, with kidnapping, indenturing and even killing among a largely invisible global work force, and environmental crimes rampant as porous laws, questions about jurisdiction and lack of enforcement have failed to stem abuses. http://graphics8.nytimes.com/video/players/offsite/index.html?videoId=100000003630578 http://www.nytimes.com/video/world/100000003697113/five-men-killed-at-sea.html http://www.nytimes.com/video/world/asia/100000003660720/drugged-kidnapped-and-enslaved.html http://graphics8.nytimes.com/video/players/offsite/index.html?videoId=100000003675414 http://graphics8.nytimes.com/video/players/offsite/index.html?videoId=100000003675416
  • Exxon: The Road Not Taken

    Our investigation reveals an early, little-known chapter in Exxon's history, when the company conducted rigorous climate change research from the late 1970s to mid-1980s. Not only did Exxon accept the reality of global warming, its scientists and executives recognized the risk global warming posed to the planet and to its core business. This posture toward climate change contrasts sharply with the company's role as a leader, funder and architect of climate disinformation in subsequent decades.
  • Blood Lions

    BLOOD LIONS is a journey to the heart of darkness that lies within the predator breeding and canned lion hunting industries in South Africa. The film follows Ian Michler, a South African environmental journalist and safari operator, and Rick Swazey, an American hunter as they explore the reality of the multi-million dollar canned hunting business. It is a story that blows the lid off the claims made by operators in attempting to justify what they do in the name of conservation. https://vimeo.com/137413334
  • Coal Concerns

    Dozens of families living near a power plant say a giant pile of coal outside the plant is making them sick. In a year-long investigation the I-Team's Jermont Terry looks into the families' claims and takes their calls for better regulation to both the power company and state regulators. https://youtu.be/wVwesrOMT4M