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MPR | APM cover the changing environment

Impact Report—October 2023


MPR News

  • Minnesota officials have set an ambitious goal for the state to be carbon-neutral by 2050. Reaching this goal will require generating electricity from clean sources such as wind and solar, and electrifying vehicles, homes, office buildings, factories and farms that currently rely on fossil fuels. “Getting to Green: Minnesota’s Energy Future” is an MPR News series that started in August 2023 and will dig deep into stories of the clean energy transition—and the opportunities and obstacles to reach that milestone. MPR reporters from around the region explore the opportunities—and the challenges—the state faces as it moves toward more climate-friendly energy sources. This video offers a quick overview of this new reporting project.
  • Wildfires were at the forefront of everyone’s minds in the summer of 2023, and MPR News deployed a new SMS service that provided updates on Minnesota wildfires along with information regarding the impact of wildfires in other regions on our local air quality.
  • North Star Journey Live (formerly known as In Focus) is a live event series and a recurring topic on MPR News with Angela Davis centered around what Minnesota’s diverse communities need to thrive. North Star Journey brings awareness, dialogue and potential solutions to persistent racial disparities through a mix of community-engaged reporting, live discussions and original digital content. The program has explored some of the meaningful and culturally specific ways environmental justice is being addressed in the state, including “environmental justice and Minnesota’s climate future.” This particular conversation prompted a more in-depth story, How to get involved in environmental justice efforts in Minnesota.

APM Research Lab

  • One of the most unique projects lab staff has done related to the environment is a major nationwide public opinion survey called “Water + Us,” which uncovered a lot of concern about various water-related issues but clarified that many Americans lacked knowledge about the topic and most took only moderate steps to address their concerns about water.


Hosted by Amy Scott, Marketplace’s podcast “How We Survive” explores solutions to the climate crisis amid the worsening effects of a warming climate. The third season of “How We Survive” will launch in October 2023 and will explore water in the western part of the United States. The second season covered how South Florida will survive rising seas, and why the most vulnerable coastal city in the world is one of the hottest real estate markets in the country. And the inaugural season addressed electrifying our cars, our power grids, our homes and businesses, one of the simplest solutions to get the planet off carbon-emitting fossil fuels. In September 2023, the team launched a pop-up audio and video conversation series, Burning Questions, that explores the real questions we ask ourselves every day about climate change and life as we know it.

APM Reports

The Water Main and APM Reports investigated a specific impact of climate change in the documentary “In Deep: One City’s Year of Climate Chaos.”
In Deep is a podcast about water, climate and environment that offers a portrait of how after suffering two hurricanes, a winter storm and devastating flooding in less than a year, Lake Charles, Louisiana, is still waiting for help. Over two seasons, the podcast offers a troubling view of the wrenching, disturbing and inequitable effects of climate change.


How We Survive
was included on The Economist’s
“best podcasts of 2022” list

To date, the APM Research Lab’s
report on desalination has had

page views

have subscribed to the MN wildfire SMS list

Largest monthly unique downloads
in one month of How We Survive:


Average monthly in-season downloads
for How We Survive:


have been published by “Getting to Green”
on its website in its first two months.
To date, there have been 6,877 total
of those stories with
5,365 unique users. On average,
users are spending 4 minutes and
56 seconds
on those pages, notably
higher than the average time on pages across
all over the same period.

Numbers reported reflect data through 9/15/2023

Water + Us

How We Survive

In Deep

As a college geoscience professor, I use the ‘How We Survive’ podcast in my courses. They are invaluable in helping students understand the significance of climate change.”

– Cheryl from East Peoria, IL

The [APM Research] Lab’s mission is to bring facts into focus on some of the most important issues facing the nation, and the environment is certainly one of those issues. It is very rewarding to be able to supplement the narrative reporting and storytelling skills found in other parts of APMG with our particular expertise in the areas of data analysis and visualization to help provide useful information to the public.”

– Craig Helmstetter, APM Research Labs Managing Partner

We are only six weeks into this series [Getting to Green] and it’s clear to us we will be reporting on this transition for years to come. From the potential creation of tens of thousands of clean energy jobs to the challenge of finding cost-effective ways to decarbonize farms and industry, there’s a lot at stake and a lot to cover.”

– Lorna Benson, MPR News Deputy Managing Editor

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