Laura Paskus, journalist, author "At the Precipice"

Air Dates: May 15-17, 2021

This week's guest on REPORT FROM SANTA FE is environmental journalist and author Laura Paskus, speaking about her book "At the Precipice: New Mexico's Changing Climate," the severe drought in the American Southwest, and other critical climate and water issues.

In New Mexico and the larger Southwest, climate change has been silently wreaking havoc: average temperatures in the Upper Rio Grande Basin are increasing at double the global average, super fires like Las Conchas have devastated mountains, and huge sections of the Rio Grande are drying up.

Laura Paskus has tracked the issues of climate change at both the state and federal levels. She discusses some of the positive environmental legislation that came out of the recent 60-Day Legislative session, especially on issues like methane and the Gila River Diversion project. Another project she is working on is “Ground Water Wars, New Mexico’s Toxic Threat” about contamination of our groundwater with PFAS and other toxic chemicals.

Paskus offers this guidance, “The thing that I would ask people to do is remember, go outside. We live in the most beautiful place ever and we have so many beautiful things here. Whether it is our cultures and traditions or our landscapes. Enjoy those, relish those…. hold all of that to your heart.”

For two decades, journalist Laura Paskus has been covering water and environmental issues in New Mexico. As a freelance journalist, she has written for such publications as New Mexico In Depth, New Mexico Political Report, Santa Fe Reporter, New Mexico Magazine, New Mexico Independent, Audubon, and High Country News. She is the producer/host of "Our Land: New Mexico’s Environmental Past, Present, and Future," a monthly series on NMPBS’ series NEW MEXICO IN FOCUS. 


“As Laura Paskus makes clear, the stakes of climate change in the American Southwest couldn’t be higher. Deeply reported and vividly written, At the Precipice is an important contribution to the literature of our reckless age.” About "At The Precipice" -- Elizabeth Kolbert, author of The Sixth Extinction: An Unnatural History

“[Laura Paskus] has become one of the Southwest’s foremost chroniclers of climate change and ecological collapse.”

-- Nick Bowlin, High Country News