Abrahm Lustgarten


Abrahm Lustgarten

Abrahm Lustgarten is an award-winning Investigative reporter, author, filmmaker and public speaker specializing in human adaptation to climate change, and an educator training journalists in cross-disciplinary communication about the climate crisis.

He is a senior reporter at ProPublica, where his recent work focuses on global migration, conflict and demographic change in response to a warming climate, and he frequently works with the New York Times, as well as The Atlantic and PBS Frontline.

Lustgarten’s work delves into wide-ranging and nuanced subject matter, building on his scientific expertise and deep reporting, and seeking to provoke change on the issues he targets. His 2022 investigation into the International Monetary Fund and a pattern of global finance institutions keeping 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 nations crafted by Barbados’ prime minister Mia Mottley.

 In 2020 Lustgarten published a three-part cover series in the New York Times Magazine on climate-driven migration, a project which influenced President Biden’s establishment of a climate migration study group in advance of the COP26 conference in Glasgow, and which later became the subject of his book, On The Move. Lustgarten’s other investigations include an examination of the global palm oil trade, BP’s Deepwater Horizon oil spill and the consistent mismanagement of and conflict over the waters of the Colorado River. His 2015 series about water scarcity in the American West, “Killing the Colorado,” was a finalist for the 2016 Pulitzer Prize and received the top journalism honor from the National Academies of Sciences. It 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, revealed one of the oil industry’s most dangerous environmental legacies and an ongoing threat to America’s drinking water. The work received the George Polk award for environmental reporting, a National Press Foundation award for energy writing, a Sigma Delta Chi award and was a finalist for Harvard University’s Goldsmith Prize.

Before ProPublica, Lustgarten was a writer at Fortune. He earned a master’s in journalism from Columbia University and a bachelor’s in anthropology from Cornell. He was a 2022 Emerson Fellow at New America, and is the author of two previous 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.”

 He spends his free time backcountry skiing and mountain biking across the American West, and nurturing the relics of his past career as a documentary photographer. You can have a look at that work here.