April 27, 2007
Emily Lenzner/Leah Yoon, NPR
 | Ellen Stanley/MJ Jacobsen, National Geographic


New Project Explores How People and Climate Affect Each Other;
Centerpiece Is Yearlong News Series Spanning All NPR Programs

WASHINGTON (April 27, 2007)—On Tuesday, May 1, NPR and the National Geographic Society embark on a new, long-term, multiplatform initiative focusing on how the environment changes people and vice versa. Its centerpiece is a yearlong news series, “Climate Connections,” focusing on climate-related issues. The initiative spans all NPR News programs and NPR.org, as well as National Geographic’s many media platforms, including National Geographic magazine and nationalgeographic.com.

The “Climate Connections” initiative will launch with coverage from radio, television, magazine and online elements and will incorporate diverse, shared resources of National Geographic and NPR. It also marks the expansion of a 15-year content relationship between the two organizations.

The project kicks off May 1 on “Morning Edition” with host Renee Montagne reporting from the Prime Meridian in Greenwich, U.K., where coal, iron and steam started the Industrial Revolution that set the world on the path toward global warming. Each month over the next 12 months “Climate Connections” on NPR programming and NPR.org will focus on a different international region and numerous themes to explain how what happens in distant places is directly connected with life in the United States.

“From our new green.nationalgeographic.com Web site and the acquisition of The Green Guide to the June 2007 issue of National Geographic magazine’s cover story on climate change to the continuing coverage on our public television series ‘Wild Chronicles,’ National Geographic is committed to covering the environment,” said Mark Bauman, vice president for media programs in National Geographic’s Mission Programs. “National Geographic and NPR share as partners the same high standards for science and public-interest journalism.”

“We are proud to be a partner in the first media project of this scale to look specifically at the relationship between human behavior and climate,” said Ellen Weiss, vice president for news, NPR. “Through this effort we seek to show how every aspect of our lives — from the food we eat to the homes we live in to the clothes we wear — are intimately shaped by climate. NPR and National Geographic have worked together editorially for 15 years, and a new, more comprehensive, wider-reaching partnership is a natural next step for us.”

A central element of “Climate Connections” is the wide-ranging slate of NPR News coverage that will air within all NPR programs, including the news magazines “Morning Edition,” “Day to Day” and “All Things Considered” and in NPR talk shows “Talk of the Nation,” “News & Notes” and the new daily series “Tell Me More” with Michel Martin. The NPR coverage, directed by the NPR News Science Desk, will involve reporters from NPR’s science, foreign, arts and national desks, bringing a wide variety of U.S. and international perspectives. NPR Member stations around the country are also expected to contribute to the series throughout the year.

The first week of “Climate Connections” reports will begin with Montagne’s weeklong reporting from the United Kingdom, where she will explain how the power of carbon emerged as the key to commercial, economic and political success and continues to drive the world’s economies and warm the planet. Concurrently, midday newsmagazine “Day to Day” launches its coverage from Hawaii, where host Madeline Brand profiles American scientist Charles Keeling, who discovered the “greenhouse effect” and global warming. “Day to Day”’s coverage throughout the rest of the week will introduce the major theme the daily program will follow through the year: climate change’s impact on food, tourism and lifestyle.

Afternoon newsmagazine “All Things Considered” will participate in the project by weaving together stories about how the Earth’s climate shapes people and how people are shaping the Earth’s climate. It begins with a report from NPR science correspondent Joe Palca on how humans have responded to climate change over time and face the same options as their ancestors. NPR science correspondent Robert Krulwich will look at how the chemistry of the carbon atom gives our planet life and inevitably produces the gas that is now trapping the heat on the Earth. The program will follow a carbon-counting family in North Carolina and profile those making a difference around the world to raise awareness and improve the conditions of climate change.

NPR.org will offer a significant online presence for the project that incorporates audio and video podcasts, streaming audio and links to National Geographic editorial content and image archive.

“Climate Connections” will be featured through monthly coverage in National Geographic magazine. The initiative will be covered by Nationalgeographic.com through news.nationalgeographic.com, podcasts and green.nationalgeographic.com, nationalgeographicmagazine.com and TheGreenGuide.com. The initiative also will be a monthly segment on “Wild Chronicles,” a weekly television series airing on public television stations nationwide and supported by National Geographic Mission Programs.

About NPR News
Since its launch in 1970, NPR has evolved into a leading media company, primary news provider and dominant force in American life. NPR currently produces and/or distributes nearly 1500 hours of programming weekly for an audience of 26.5 million listeners weekly. This includes more than 150 hours of news and information, talk, entertainment and cultural shows for the 800-plus NPR Member stations around the country. NPR also programs two 24/7 channels for Sirius satellite radio; five 24/7 music multicast channels for digital HD Radio, in which it has served as an industry leader in research and development; nearly 80 podcasts, and the 24/7 NPR Worldwide program stream that reaches listeners in more than 100 countries. www.NPR.org offers hourly newscasts, audio streaming of current and archived NPR programs and extensive original online content. More information is available at www.NPR.org.

About National Geographic
The National Geographic Society is one of the world’s largest nonprofit scientific and educational organizations. Founded in 1888 to “increase and diffuse geographic knowledge,” the Society works to inspire people to care about the planet. National Geographic reflects the world through its five magazines, television programs, films, radio, books, DVDs, maps, interactive media and merchandise. National Geographic magazine, the Society’s official journal, published in English and 29 local-language editions, is read by more than 40 million people each month. The National Geographic Channel reaches over 290 million households in 27 languages in 164 countries. National Geographic Digital Media receives more than 9 million visitors a month. National Geographic has funded more than 8,000 scientific research projects and supports an education program combating geography illiteracy. For more information, visit nationalgeographic.com.