We often hear from readers (sometimes, painfully, former readers) that they wish we covered climate change more, among other issues. And we do, too. It’s one of the most important political stories of our lifetimes.
Historically, TPM has favored news and investigations on which we can break ground where other outlets haven’t. We’ve been less likely to cover larger, slower moving, but ultimately existentially critical stories.
But last week, we devoted a significant amount of our resources to focusing on the climate story. And it was our membership model that allowed us to do it.
So please take a moment to join if you’re not already a member.
Because we have the support of our most dedicated readers, we have greater flexibility in what to cover — including issues like climate that may not always pull in huge numbers of readers, and, thus, are difficult to to monetize with advertising.
But as we move further toward drawing the vast majority of our funding from readers, we will be free to devote more resources to covering important issues that you care about, even where the business economics may not make sense.
Last week was a taste of that. As part of the Covering Climate Now coalition, a network of 250 news outlets worldwide, we devoted quite a bit of resources to the issue.
And it was a key week. The United Nations convened in New York to figure out how to move forward, globally, on its efforts to reduce climate change-causing emissions even as the U.S. flouts its commitments under the Paris Agreement.
Meanwhile, on Tuesday, news broke that the Trump administration would block California from setting its own, stricter vehicle emissions standards than what were required nationwide. As TPM’s Nicole Lafond reported, moves by the Trump administration such as this to allow cars to pollute more are particularly damaging: Power-generation is getting cleaner, but while the economy is good and gas is cheap, transportation is staying dirty.
Then, on Friday, we had the climate strike, seeing millions of people — particularly young people — walk out, around the globe, to draw attention to a problem that the U.S. government continues to punt on.
We want to do more of this. We want to simply cover what we think is important and what our readers think is important. And, luckily for us, those things are often in line. The key to making this a reality is memberships.
Memberships are the engine not just for sustainability, but growth and and expanded coverage of issues. If you’re not a member and have never felt the need to be a member, please consider that this is the single best way to improve TPM editorially.
You can rest assured your dollars are well spent — TPM is a union shop with no corporate overlords. We pour the money into the work.
If you’re not already a member, please consider joining today.