Happy Friday, hot stuff. I’m writing you because it’s been two months since HEATED transitioned from a daily to weekly newsletter. And during that time, the dispatches have looked similar to past dispatches: one original story, one picture of Fish.
This format made sense when the newsletter was a daily. It also made sense while I was coping with burnout. But we are a weekly now, and my brain is much better. So starting on Monday, I’m switching up the format.
Moving forward, the weekly free version of HEATED will have four sections:
Section 1: a round-up of climate victories. Our primary purpose has always been to help people understand how powerful people and institutions are failing the climate. But that information is useless if readers don’t also understand change is possible. So each week, we’ll start with brief string of updates on meaningful climate movement wins. And no, your company’s greenwashing climate pledge doesn’t count.
Section 2: a round-up of climate bullshit. After the good news, we’ll have a round-up of what you need to know to hold feet to the fire. In this section, you’ll find the week’s most important stories about how governments, corporations, media, and powerful individuals are falling short on their climate responsibilities. It’s basically what we wished we could have covered but didn’t have the time.
Section 3: an original climate story. This will be the plant-based meat of the newsletter—basically, what we’ve done for the last two years. It’ll be an original piece of reporting, commentary, or a Q&A on the climate subject of this reporter’s choice.
Section 4: a palate cleanser. More often than not, a picture of our emotional support official mascot, Fish—a section otherwise known as the Catch of the Day.
The weekly newsletter will not change much in length. If anything, it might actually be shorter. Though we are adding more sections, the first two will essentially be a long paragraph each. If you want to learn more about the stories in those sections, there will be links in the text you can follow.
Original stories moving forward will also be under 800 words. This will keep things speedy for weekly readers, and ensure tons of bonus material for paid subscribers. The exception to this rule will be special editions, which will only be one story. These will generally be deeper investigations and reported features, as well as our crowd-sourced lists of ways to get involved in climate activism.
Today’s announcement marks the first significant format change to HEATED since I launched it in September 2019. When I wrote the first post, titled “Coming soon: HEATED,” the novel coronavirus had not yet been discovered, and I had never been in charge of anything in my life. Back then, I believed I could consume a near-limitless stream of horrible information, and still remain passionate and fiery and big. I also believed my readers could do the same.
I’ve since learned the importance of limits, and this transition comes as a result of that lesson. My goal isn’t just to create a better, more sustainable work experience for myself. It’s to create a better, more sustainable climate news experience for you.
I might only be in your inbox once a week now, but hopefully when I’m there, it will really matter. If we’re successful, you’ll start every Monday with the knowledge you need to effectively fight the most existential threat of our time—no more, no less. If you have thoughts on how best to do that in addition to steps outlined here, e-mail me. Better yet, become part of the community of paid subscribers that makes this 100 percent reader-funded news source possible, and leave a comment.
See you Monday.
Fish wants to give a special shout-out to the paid subscriber community. Without them, Emily would not have had the time or space to recover from her burnout, and figure out a new format for the newsletter. If he could, he would send them all 100 bananas, and a limitless spring of mineral water. Alas, he can only give them this face.