I’m Alexander Charles Kaufman, a writer and reporter covering energy and climate change. I’m a senior staff reporter at HuffPost. This is my personal newsletter.
My reporting has taken readers all over the world, from China’s first atom-smashing lab to the Netherlands’ only nuclear reactor, Greenland’s ice sheet to the Munduruku people’s homeland in the Brazilian Amazon. I strive to understand the nuances of the energy transition and explain how decisions made in faraway capitals affect ordinary people in places like Mississippi, Puerto Rico and Taiwan.
My stories have been syndicated by Wired, Mother Jones, Slate, Grist, and Canada’s National Observer, and I have been a regular guest on the BBC World Service, NPR, and a variety of podcasts. Before joining HuffPost as a business editor in 2014, I worked for the International Business Times, The Wrap, and The Boston Globe. I started in journalism at 15 years old, writing for The Long-Islander, a weekly newspaper Walt Whitman founded nearly 200 years ago.
During the early months of the pandemic, I wrote a children’s nonfiction book about aquatic ecosystems and the threats they face. It’s called Earth’s Aquarium, and it’s available here and in at least four languages.
My wife Amanda and I live up the avenue from where she grew up in Bay Ridge, Brooklyn, in an apartment we share with a cat named Ashitaka and several dozen of plants.
Three facts which I delight in telling people about this neighborhood:
It was once called Yellow Hook, until 19th century officials changed the name to avoid associations with yellow fever.
In the first half of the 20th century, the Norwegian diaspora community was so big that a resident told The New York Times in 1971: “Bay Ridge is the fourth largest city of Norway. First is Oslo, second is Bergen, third is Stavanger—and fourth is Bay Ridge.” There’s still a Norwegian Day Parade here every May 18, and the “Mad Men” character Peggy Olson is from here.
Despite colloquially being referred to as part of South Brooklyn, it is in fact the westernmost portion of southern Brooklyn. The distinction traces back to before the Dutch colonial village of Brooklyn, née Breuckelen, grew and annexed neighboring New Utrecht. South Brooklyn denotes Brooklyn’s original southern border and includes Sunset Park, Cobble Hill, Gowanus and Red Hook. Southern Brooklyn, by contrast, was formerly the western half of New Utrecht, stretching from modern-day Bay Ridge, through Dyker Heights, Bensonhurst and Coney Island, all the way to Gravesend and perhaps a little beyond.
It’s that kind of trivia and passion you can expect from subscribing to this newsletter.
Contact me via my website, alexanderckaufman.com.