Laura Paskus

Creative Commons, Wiki

 

New Mexico is one of the fastest-warming states in the country, according to a 2016 report issued by the Union Of Concerned Scientists. In this year’s legislative session several bills addressing climate change were introduced by lawmakers. Not all of the measures were rejected. They didn’t all pass, either.  KUNM caught up with environmental reporter Laura Paskus from New Mexico PBS about the urgency of climate change problems in our state and how local elected officials are responding .

Dylan McLaughlin

What is the sound of a river in crisis? That’s what a group of artists explore in an installation opening online at the University of New Mexico Art Museum on World Water Day, March 22nd.

NASA Global Climate Change / Public Domain

As much of the country suffers from the polar vortex that has brought record lows and winter storms, legislators at the Roundhouse are examining the Climate Solutions Act. House Bill 9 looks at New Mexico’s issues with climate change while implementing economic reform in addressing the state’s energy consumption. For Your New Mexico Government’s continuing coverage of the legislative session KUNM’s Khalil Ekulona spoke with Laura Paskus from New Mexico PBS.

Laura Paskus / NM PBS

Your New Mexico Government is continuing its coverage of everything that happens at the Roundhouse with an interview of Laura Paskus from New Mexico PBS. Paskus talks about the Clean Water Act, SB 86, which proposes regulations on oil & gas companies in regards to produced water. And she tells us all about the Climate Solutions Act, HB 9, which looks to find solutions to the climate change issues New Mexico is facing, while using those efforts to boost the state's economy.

University Showcase, Friday, 12/18 8a: New Mexico and the Southwest are grappling with profound impacts brought by climate change and those will only get worse, so how are we preparing? Journalist Laura Paskus has covered New Mexico’s environment for years and in her new book from University of New Mexico Press, “At The Precipice: New Mexico’s Changing Climate,” she explores the realities of climate change and the havoc it has been wreaking for years in the state.

No More Normal: We Need A Plan

Nov 1, 2020
Eric J. Garcia / El Machete Illustrated

The final presidential debate of 2020 got passing marks because the candidates managed to take turns. But rarely did they roll out the kind of action plans the moderator was looking for. She kept asking: If elected, what will you do about this big problem we are facing? Still, candidates did not venture into specifics. We think that was by design. The strategy was, make debate No. 1 so bad that by the time debate No. 2 comes around, expectations are so low, everyone will just be grateful it’s not incoherent shouting and call it good. But in a time with multiple crises pressing down on us, specific plans can pull people together, provide direction and alleviate anxiety. So that’s what this episode is all about. What do you want to hear candidates talking about? What kinds of plans and policies do you wish they were outlining before the public?

Laura Paskus

An overwhelming majority of scientists agree that human-caused climate change is real. And along with more heat, drought and wildfires, we are facing an increase in forced migration – people fleeing their home countries for U.S. borders when they lose their crops or conditions become unlivable. No More Normal host Khalil Ekulona spoke with environmental reporter Laura Paskus about how New Mexicans should be preparing for this future, especially when it comes to water use. She says the Albuquerque stretch of the Rio Grande is critically low and could even stop flowing this month.

No More Normal: What's At Stake

Oct 11, 2020
Bert Benally

Let’s take a breath. In episode 12, we try to fend off that wild pandemic election news cycle we’ve been living inside of, which can feel like a deluge of disorganized tragedies and failures. And we put the focus on what’s hanging in the balance these next couple of weeks as we cast our ballots.

No More Normal: Disappearing Acts

Jul 27, 2020
Leslie Granda-Hill / 2020

This week, we get into what has disappeared from our lives—good or bad—during the pandemic. Episode 2 is all about what’s going, going, gone, maybe for good. We learn of attempts to erase people from the Census. We talk to Sen. Martin Heinrich about the erosion of our civil liberties. We reflect on what’s fading from our relationships and mental wellness. We hear from a COVID-19 survivor, so the realities of the virus don’t slip away. We examine the consciousness of community and the loss of a collective future with an international futurist. We reflect on a disappearing chicken and what life was like pre-pandemic. And we try to see and hear a vanishing Rio Grande.

Reva G via Flickr

In New Mexico and across the country, emissions from the oil and gas industry are closely monitored and drinking water is regularly tested to make sure it is safe. Now, the Environmental Protection Agency is rolling back some of the regulations that ensure such protections – a move that went unnoticed by many as communities respond to the coronavirus pandemic.

Marc Cooper via Flickr CC

In episode 37, we're talking about companies and federal officials squeezing through changes to environmental regulation, oil and gas leases, and laws about anti-pipeline demonstrators while the nation's been focused on the pandemic.

Airman B. Snyder via The National Archives Catalogue / public domain

Holloman Air Force Base is the site of some incredibly high levels of groundwater contamination. Laura Paskus broke the story for NMPoliticalReport.com this week.

Kevin MacDonald of our media partner New Mexico PBS asked her his top questions in a Facebook Live chat on Wednesday. 

Rivers Struggle Around The State

Jul 5, 2018
Marisa Demarco / KUNM

People around the state are used to seeing the flows in local rivers fluctuate. But this year, sandbars have started to widen and connect, and riverbanks are growing by yards. In some places down South, it’s completely dry for miles. KUNM caught up with journalist Laura Paskus of the New Mexico Political Report in a dry patch of the Rio Grande on Thursday morning. 

Take A Hike

Aug 2, 2017
Creative Commons, Wiki

8/5  On this edition of The Children’s Hour, we found out about Senator Martin Heinrich's favorite hikes with kids in New Mexico, and how he's trying to get all 4th graders unlimited access to parks, monuments and wildlife refuges across the country. 

State Agency "Wins" National Black Hole Award

Mar 17, 2017
NASA Goddard Space Flight Center via Wikimedia Commons / Creative Commons License

A state agency won national recognition this week for its pattern of failing to provide information to the public.

The Society of Professional Journalists selected the New Mexico Interstate Stream Commission as the winner of the 6th Annual Black Hole Award which highlights public agencies that display a contempt for the public’s right to know.

LISTEN: Your Right To Know

Mar 13, 2017
Wikimedia commons via CC

KUNM Call In Show 3/16 8a: President Trump has called the press the enemy of the American people. But that attitude from government leaders is nothing new here in New Mexico. It's Sunshine Week, so we’ll be talking about the essential local stories that reporters had to fight to get, and sunlight as a disinfectant in the dark corners of power.

Audit Questions How N.M. Handles Disaster Funds

Jan 18, 2017
Laura Paskus / KUNM

When disaster strikes New Mexico, the federal government sends money to New Mexico’s Department of Homeland Security and Emergency Management. Journalist Laura Paskus of NMpoliticalreport.com reported a few months ago that the state did not release tens of millions of dollars to local contractors.

Rio Grande Hydrologists Worried After July Heat

Aug 3, 2016
Laura Paskus/New Mexico In Depth

During the irrigation season in New Mexico, the Rio Grande is allowed to go completely dry in some stretches. Even Saturday’s intense thunderstorm in Albuquerque hasn’t sustained flows in some regions of the river south of the city.

Agency Downsizes Gila River Diversion Plans

Jun 27, 2016
Kevin Dooley via Flickr

It looks like state officials have scrapped a $1 billion proposal to divert water from the Gila River in southwestern New Mexico – but they’re still looking to spend $80 million to $100 million to take water from the river for towns and farmers.

Preparing For Climate Change In New Mexico

Apr 17, 2016
Kari Greer / US Forest Service Gila National Forest

KUNM Call In Show 4/21 8a: 

You probably noticed that this February and March were much warmer and drier than normal. In fact, this year New Mexico got only 12 percent of the rainfall it usually gets in March. The unusually warm weather prompted mountain snow to melt faster and earlier than usual, while winds whipped up wild fires, stripping land that then becomes vulnerable to flooding.

N.M. News In 2014

Dec 18, 2014
Marisa Demarco / KUNM

 

KUNM Call In Show 12/18 8a: 

New Mexico was in the national spotlight a lot this year. What are the story threads journalists followed? Local reporters join us in the studio to talk about topics like: the Albuquerque Police Department shootings, the immigration center in Artesia, transparency, the Roswell school shooting and mental health. 

What do you think are the top stories of 2014?

NM's Top Environmental Regulator Diminishes Protections

Nov 14, 2014
jacilluch via Flickr

It will come as no surprise that we don’t always know what is going on behind closed doors in government. KUNM’s Elaine Baumgartel chatted with reporter Laura Paskus about what public records have revealed about New Mexico’s top environmental regulator.

Environment Secretary Ryan Flynn was appointed by Republican Governor Susana Martinez. Lawmakers confirmed his nomination earlier this year, but even before his cabinet tenure he presided over reductions in the regulation of polluting industries here in New Mexico.