May 10, 2021
By Kelby Clark
The network’s senior national and environmental correspondent Ben Tracy discusses the dire need for education on climate matters.
If you’ve tuned into CBS News at all this week—on mobile, broadcast, radio, or streaming—you probably have seen Ben Tracy, reporting on the state of the planet.
Along with colleagues Mark Phillips, Debora Patta and Jeff Berardelli, and more, the senior national and environmental correspondent is part of the network’s extensive climate coverage, Eye on Earth: Our Planet in Peril. Launched earlier this week, Eye on Earth highlights the multiple measures being taken to preserve the planet at a crucial time in history.
“There are big decisions to be made about a variety of things that need to happen right now, like whether or not we can keep building homes along certain coastlines,” says Tracy. “CBS News is looking at this as something we need to educate the public about. There is no doubt that there are going to be massive changes to the way we live and how society looks in the decades to come.”
Previously, CBS News tackled the topic of climate change with special series like Climate Watch on CBSN and network-wide initiatives like the ongoing joint media venture Covering Climate Now. But recently, the division has put an even greater emphasis on environmental and climate coverage with Tracy now serving as senior environmental correspondent.
Since joining CBS News in 2008, Tracy has reported from 18 countries on five continents on major natural disasters and more. He spoke with the ViacomCBS Newsroom about how he approaches the topic of climate change from a human lens and why environmental coverage is critical to CBS News’ relevance.
"I think if we're not covering this story extensively, we really risk losing some credibility. It would be like saying we're not going to cover the White House anymore."
"One day I might be sitting at home or in my office, researching stories and making phone calls… other days, I’m on a boat in the Gulf of Maine."