After a summer of continuous high temperatures, climate change continues to become more common in the daily vernacular of Rhode Islanders. For Barrington’s Tim Faulkner, climate change is one of many subjects he has written about as a senior staff writer for ecoRI News, which he joined 10 years ago this month. The nonprofit news site is devoted to publishing comprehensive, in-depth stories about the environment and social justice issues in Southern New England.
Tim, who spent a number of years in financial services and was a newspaper reporter at The Daily Gazette in Taunton, Massachusetts, has a master’s degree in journalism and publishing from Emerson College and a bachelor’s degree in English from Hobart and Williams Smith Colleges. The married father of two is an active volunteer with the Barrington Land Conservation Trust. To stay up-to-date on environmental news, check out ecoRI News online.
"EcoRI News is in a really good geographic area, which makes our work relevant to everybody in the state. With a population of one million and 1,200 square miles, everything we write about has an effect on everyone in the state one way or another. Whether it be sea level rise or climate change, [while] coastal areas may be more impacted, climate change is still impacting tons of people with precipitation and extreme weather.
I write about renewable energy, government legislation, climate change, and a lot of it overlaps. When we [ecoRI News] began, a lot of the environmental issues were in the planning stages and people were calling for policies and different ways to address climate change and advance energy. Ten years later, all of those things are coming to fruition with a whole huge industry taking shape that has gotten so big so fast. I thought it would be easier to write about one topic like the environment but it is almost like being a general assignment reporter.
Barrington and Warren are probably the two communities in the state that will be impacted the most by climate change, sea level rise, and storms. Even though places like South Kingstown, Charlestown, and Westerly have more ocean exposure, Barrington and Warren are so low lying that many areas in the towns are at a high risk to be underwater if a storm surge comes up Narragansett Bay. The towns are working together to address the issue. It’s going to require a lot of education about understanding that the infrastructure of roads, water, and sewage need to be protected and it’s going to require a lot of money, which may come from the state and federal level.
Writing requires a tremendous amount of discipline and mental focus, even if you are writing short journalism pieces. My attention shifts a lot so journalism really fulfills that; It is new, different, there is always something intriguing to write about, some story to tell."