If you’re an Energy Mix subscriber, you received an extra email this week, asking you to fill out our 2021 reader survey. If you haven’t clicked through yet, I want to ask you—please—to take a few minutes and do it now.
As we said in yesterday’s mail, “the Energy Mix team has big plans this year to expand our coverage, reach a wider audience, and maximize our contribution to climate action. But we need your advice to make sure we get it right.”
24 hours later, we’re astonished and humbled (I mean it) by the response we’ve received so far. But we need to hear from you, too.
Here’s the link again. Please tell us what you think!
The survey is the leading edge of an expansion plan we’ve been cooking up for three or four months. That plan connects directly to the huge but achievable job we all have to get done in this pivotal decade—to deliver on the transition that will cut global greenhouse gas emissions 45 to 50% by 2030, and set a course for 1.5°C climate stabilization by 2050.
It’s the decade when we all have to do all we can and hold nothing back. For The Energy Mix, that means it’s time to up our game. We’re reasonably pleased with what we’ve produced so far (and from the initial survey results, it sounds like you are, too). But we think there’s so much more we can do. And 2021 is the year to get on with it.
Until now, we’ve taken perverse joy in calling ourselves an “extreme non-profit”, putting most of our emphasis on chasing the news and far less on chasing dollars to keep the doors open. Our digest and archive have always been free. Our fundraising has been minimal. And I’ve been proud to volunteer my time as publisher and managing editor, while having my small consulting firm fund the rest of the operation. (That’s neither a complaint nor a boast—I’m grateful every day that I get to do this, grateful every time someone subscribes or amplifies one of our stories.)
But we realized some time ago that we’d hit the limit of what we can deliver without expanding our operation.
To reach a wider (far wider) readership, we need to bring a subscription manager onboard.
To stabilize our news operation—anyone involved with climate change knows about resilience!—we can’t have our funding depend almost entirely on a single source, even when that source is in-house.
To cover the important stories that we know are out there, that demand sharply-written news analysis and painstaking investigative research, we need to be able to pay freelancers for the hard and necessary work we’ll be asking them to do.
And what about the special reports, feature interviews, webinar summaries, and in-depth issue reviews that we know we can produce, that will help drive demand for faster, deeper carbon cuts and better adaptation to climate impacts? We’ll have to pay for those, too.
The survey (yep, we’re overdoing it with the bold/italic links, but you know what to do…) helps in a few ways. It tells us what you like best about what we’re doing now and, even more important, what you think we can do better. It gives us your guidance on the subject areas you most want us to cover, and why you’re interested.
And we’re asking whether you would consider a Pay What You Can model for our digest. The Mix will always be a free publication, but we need to know how many of you would be willing to help us fund our work…and, roughly speaking, how much per month you might be willing to pay.
We hate excess email as much as anyone (that’s the sound of the publisher who scans 1,000 or more headlines per week to maintain our story lineup), and we always try to err on the side of not sending you too many of them. But we also know that we’ll do better and be better with your guidance.
So please fill out the survey. Enter our draw for one of six copies of Seth Klein’s fabulous A Good War: Mobilizing Canada for the Climate Emergency. And most important, thank you for being a part of our community, and for all that you do.