Over the past few months, Climate Confidential has received a ton of story suggestions from our subscribers around the country. Mostly, they’re telling us about issues in their communities that aren’t getting the attention they deserve. Sometimes, the stories are big ones: overfishing in coastal communities, pressure on aquifers from industry and fracking, and such. And sometimes they are examples of success: communities that have adopted strategies for food system resilience in the face of a changing climate or forward-thinking restoration projects that can serve as a model for what others are doing.
I’ve loved hearing these examples, because they speak to the need I see (and that I believe my colleagues see) to tell environmental stories that are happening on the ground. Many environmental stories that get told are often abstract — mandates and policies driven by utilities and international organizations — or overhwhelming with big numbers that are outside the scope of our daily lives. But all of us are living the effects of these things every day, from the price of gas and food to the settings on our thermostat, the quality and availability of water, the jobs available in our communities. So why aren’t more environmental stories told this way?
We think that they should be, and that reporters in communities around the country are the best voices to tell those stories. But we also know that local media organizations — newspapers, community radio, TV, etc. — are strapped for cash and resources, making it hard for them to do so. That’s why we’re launching Local Edition, a new series of stories produced in partnership with local newspapers and media.
We’ll lend a hand to help communities get access to important stories, by providing peer-to-peer collaboration, an international platform, and a broader perspective. We’ll also make sure that the lessons learned at the local level are tied back to broader national and international trends.
Check it out! If you know about a story that needs to get told, let us know. We’d love to talk with your local newspaper and see if we can help.