I authored this piece on Lake Powell. pessimism, optimism and the age of climate change…
Hey everyone. Thank you for sticking around my blog these past few years. I’ve covered a wide range of topics from tourism in Cuba to National Monuments to Finland, Photography, Ecotourism in Costa Rica and more. Now I’m setting off on a new climate journalism project. I call it Reimagining Climate Change. And I’m asking for your financial help. Just a little bit every month really helps. Please read on.
On board already? Go here.
Why am I doing this Climate Journalism?
Climate change is happening. And at this point I see it as unstoppable. But that doesn’t mean we give up. By not acting on climate change we devalue the lives of our children and future generations. It is time to break free of old and de-railing arguments, set aside roadblocks and instead take steps to directly imagine and create the future we would rather see. I’m talking about resiliency and adaptation to climate change.
Using Patreon, I aim to crowd fund independent climate journalism and writing so that I can help reimagine climate change for myself and my children and for you and yours.
Climate change will harm future generations in numerous ways. They will see increased financial hardship and lost productivity. Our children will see increased challenges to their physical health. Then there are the mental health challenges they will face from climate change. They may face displacement and conflict like we’ve never experienced. They may simply have less opportunity that we did.
But there is hope. As a journalist I want to tell the story of how people are adapting to climate change. How are they preparing? What changes are they making? How are they reacting? How are they adapting? And what happens when people are forced to move due to climate change? This is my climate journalism.
What Will Your Contribution Enable Me To Do?
Specifically, I will analyze and report on actions such as urban tree planting projects in Illinois, river restoration in Los Angeles, flood plain restoration to deal with floods, coastal communities preparing for sea level rise in New York and New Jersey and urban agro ecology initiatives. Over time I’d like to move further afield to report to you about people re-growing coastal mangroves in the Philippines and China, the Blue Carbon Initiative, indigenous people preparing their forests for Climate change in Central America and more. I will combine all this detailed reporting with stunning photography. In the end, my goal is to put all these examples together into a book. climate journalism
To start, I’m working on an article about the idea of the “rigidity trap”. This is the idea that certain cultures get stuck and are unable to deal with major environmental changes. From this I will look at how societies might avoid this trap. That is already underway and looks to be published early this summer.
Second up. A close look into how climate change is altering the forests of my home turf, the American southwest. I want to give folks an idea of just how massive and profound this change is and what a totally new landscape might look like. I’m currently raising just $500 for this. You kicking in just $5 to $10 a month is a massive help.
Third, I’d like to return to Panama to report on the work the Wounaan people are doing to build resiliency to climate change into their land management and forestry practices. I’ll be planning the fourth project here very soon once these move forward.
I’ll be fundraising project-by-project. First the reporting on the southwestern forests. The money I raise goes to support the reporting I will do, specifically travel costs and research. Go here to help out. Small amounts every month.
What, Exactly, Will You Support?
This project offers you the opportunity to join similarly-minded people who support my work. Here is what I’ll do:
1. Long-Form Climate Journalism
I will provide reliable and accessible in-depth climate journalism that brings solutions and adaptations to climate change to you. I will do the in depth research you don’t have time to do. I’ll give you the tools to change the future. I will publish my articles in both print and online publications. Ultimately I will put them into a book and ideally, build out a website for these solutions.
2. Photo Journalism
Conservation photography utilizes images to make people aware of environmental issues. Visual images have a profound impact when it comes to preserving wild spaces or telling the story of change. Photography also allows us to come face to face with our fellow human beings being impacted by climate change.
My blog allows me to provide frequent accessible content directly to my readership.
4. Impactful Fiction
Art has the ability to set the narrative and actually change the future. Imagination allows us to explore our future both as a warning upon which to reflect and a possibility that we can work towards.
How Will I Spend the Money?
Reporting costs. Much of this will involve travel. I plan to report from my home in New Mexico as well as places farther afield. To start with, my focus areas will be the southwestern USA and Central America. Other costs include research, fees, equipment, conference costs, phone, internet, website hosting…
Who Do I Think I Am?!
If you’re a regular reader here you have a good idea of who I am. I’m someone with a proven track record of quality work.
I was born and raised in southern Colorado (USA) and now call Taos, New Mexico home. I am a proud father to two wild and adventurous children. I earned my Bachelor’s Degree in Archaeology and Master’s Degree (MCRP) in Community and Regional Planning from the University of New Mexico.
Several years as an itinerate archaeologist (and occasional undocumented farm worker) introduced me to much of the United States and over 40 countries on five continents. As a conservation advocate I co-authored and helped push two landscape protection laws through the United States Congress. In 2009 I published my first book, “Notes for the Aurora Society: 1500 Miles Across Finland on Foot”. I’m head monkey at the award-winning blog Around the World in Eighty Years. My photography is at Jim O’Donnell Photography.
In 2015 I held the Jack Williamson Endowed Chair for Literature at Eastern New Mexico University. My journalism has appeared in Sapiens, Sierra,Yale Environment 360, National Geographic Maps, BBC Travel, Trend, New Mexico Magazine, Matador, Peaks and Plains, Traveler’s Tales, Perceptive Travel, Vrai Magazine and more. My fiction has appeared in a range of publications including From the Grand Canyon to the Great Wall, Facing the Change and Hyenas Laughed at Me and Now I Know Why.
How is this going to work?
You decide what will work for you on a monthly basis. Patreon allows a supporter to donate whatever they want per month and the donation is recurring each month after that. So anything is big time helpful to me as I embark on this work. You can pay me as much or as little as you like. It’s entirely up to you.
Thank you for coming on board and helping with my climate journalism. Your support is priceless.