Abrahm Lustgarten writes about climate change and works frequently with The New York Times Magazine, The Atlantic and PBS Frontline, among others. His forthcoming book, “On The Move,” explores how climate change is uprooting American lives and where people will go.
Lustgarten’s recent reporting focuses on global migration, demographic change and conflict in response to a warming climate. His 2022 investigation into how the International Monetary Fund and global finance institutions have kept Barbados and other climate-vulnerable nations paralyzed by high levels of debt led in part to the introduction of the Bridgetown Initiative, a global effort to reform climate finance for developing countries crafted by Barbadian Prime Minister Mia Mottley. In 2020 Lustgarten’s three-story cover series on a great climate-driven migration, published in partnership with the Times Magazine, helped prompt President Joe Biden’s formation of a climate migration study group and research report in the run-up to the COP26 conference in Glasgow, Scotland.
Lustgarten’s other investigations include an examination of the global palm oil trade, the climate drivers of pandemics and BP’s Deepwater Horizon oil spill (which led to the Emmy-nominated “The Spill” with Frontline, a project he worked on). His 2015 series examining water scarcity in the American West, “Killing the Colorado,” was a finalist for the 2016 Pulitzer Prize for national reporting, received the top journalism honor from the National Academies of Sciences and was also the basis of the 2016 Discovery Channel film “Killing the Colorado,” which Lustgarten co-produced. His early investigation into fracking, starting in 2008, exposed one of the oil industry’s most dangerous legacies — its ongoing threat to America’s drinking water. The work received the George Polk award for environmental reporting, the National Press Foundation award for best energy writing and a Sigma Delta Chi award; it was a finalist for the Goldsmith Prize.
Before joining ProPublica, Lustgarten was a staff writer at Fortune. He holds a master’s in journalism from Columbia University and a bachelor’s in anthropology from Cornell, and was a 2022 Emerson Collective Fellow at New America. He is the author of two books: “Run to Failure: BP and the Making of the Deepwater Horizon Disaster” and “China’s Great Train: Beijing’s Drive West and the Campaign to Remake Tibet.”