“Our credo must be the exposure of the plunderers, the steerers, the wirepullers, the bosses, the brokers, the campaign givers and takers … So I say: Stew, percolate, pester, track, burrow, besiege, confront, damage, level, care.” — Wayne Barrett, 1945-2017
Accountability journalism for the climate crisis.
It is not your fault that the planet is burning. Your air conditioner, your hamburger, your gas-powered car—these aren’t the reasons we only have about a decade to prevent irreversible climate catastrophe.
No; the majority of the blame for the climate emergency lies at the foot of the greedy; the cowardly; the power-hungry; the apathetic. And that’s why I created this newsletter: to expose and explain the forces behind past and present inaction on the most existential threat of our time.
If you sign up, you’ll get original reporting and analysis on the climate crisis at the top of your inbox every morning, Monday through Thursday. I believe that’s where news on this emergency deserves to be: the top of your inbox, every morning. And I believe that news should arm you with the knowledge you need to effectively fight this crisis.
I also believe we should probably have a little fun while we’re fighting. So there will be some fun things, too. Maybe drag queens? IDK. TBD.
It’s time to get angry.
The environmental community has long debated the best strategy for engaging the public on climate. Should journalists convey messages of optimism and hope? Or should they stoke fear by writing about scientists’ dire projections of the future?
That debate is fine, but it’s missing a key emotion: Anger.
My late mentor, Wayne Barrett, was an angry journalist, furious about the blatant injustices New York City’s power brokers inflicted on the city’s most vulnerable. He used that emotion to drive his reporting. His mentor, Jack Newfield, once wrote that “Compassion without anger can become merely sentiment or pity. Knowledge without anger can stagnate into mere cynicism and apathy. Anger improves lucidity, persistence, audacity, and memory.”
To stop the forces that have been preventing climate action for the last 30 years, we’ll need all those things.
Praise for HEATED
"Impassioned [and] deeply reported” - New York Magazine
“Confrontational” - The New York Times
“Emotive and in-depth” - The Guardian
“Must-read” - Vanity Fair
“Engages audiences without overwhelming them” - Nieman Reports
“Deeply reported” - The Washington Post
“Very good” - John Kerry
“Excellent” - Vox
“Excellent” - The New Yorker
“One of the foremost climate journalists in the U.S.” - MSNBC
My political reporting career began in 2010, when I was a reporter for The Legislative Gazette in Albany, New York. I became one of Wayne’s research assistants in 2011, and we published pieces in The Nation, The Daily Beast, and Newsweek.
My climate change journalism career began in 2013, when I moved to Washington, D.C. for a climate reporter job at ThinkProgress. From early 2017 to late 2019, I covered climate change as a staff writer for The New Republic. My reporting on climate change has also appeared in publications like Slate, Mother Jones, Sojourners, CityLab, and The Hill. I’ve talked about my climate work on MSNBC, CSPAN, and NPR.
You can find more about me, including writing samples and media appearances, here.
“Pick an issue. Study it. Figure out who the decision makers you want to influence are. Name the guilty men. Make alliances with experts. Combine activism with the writing. Create a constituency for reform. And don’t stop till you have achieved some progress. This is what I mean by the Joe Frazier method. Keep coming forward. Be relentless. Don’t stop moving your hands. Break the other guy’s will.” — Jack Newfield, 1938-2004