A Manmade Catastrophe

Indonesia's fires emitted massive amounts of carbon, impacted the health of millions, and left a once biodiverse landscape in shambles. My pieces, written after conducting field research in Sumatra, were often the only story in that outlet about this disaster, and helped raised awareness about the unprecedented catastrophe.


  1. What's really happening?

  2. Step one: Combating the misinformation. I was in Riau, Sumatra, when the fires started, and saw clearly that this was not just a problem of "slash and burn" as many in the media were reporting it to be, but something far more complex. Years of environmental mismanagement, corruption, and big corporate interests had left, as one of the activists I interviewed told me, a ticking time bomb. El Nino set it off.
  3. Connecting Readers Across the Globe

  4. For many in the United States or Europe, the fires might as well have been taking place on another planet. They weren't breathing in the haze, but they were responsible for purchasing the crops - Palm Oil - that were ultimately responsible for the disaster. These pieces helped readers understand how they were directly connected to Indonesia's disaster, and what they could do to help prevent future fires.