The Monitor believes the solution to climate change doesn’t come from speaking more loudly or citing even more peer-reviewed science, but from recognizing why people come to climate change from such vastly different perspectives – and meeting them where they are. Changing minds to find paths forward starts with a deep commitment to humanity and respect, not from frustrated finger-pointing.
That perspective has drawn the attention of some philanthropists interested in supporting media outlets bringing light to this divisive topic. The Monitor’s science desk is the proud recipient of a special grant from the Energy Foundation, a philanthropic organization dedicated to “serving the public interest by helping to build a strong, clean energy economy.” You can read more about the Energy Foundation here. These funds are specifically to bolster the Monitor’s approach to coverage of climate, energy, and the environment during the coming year.
Among the themes that we expect to explore:
- Moving beyond the siloed thinking that pits the environment against the economy. Does environmental protection really kill jobs? Is there economic opportunity for blue-collar workers in renewables? Where are corporate interests driving sustainable innovation?
- Disrupting the divisive narrative that places conservatism and environmentalism in opposition. In much of the media, environmentalism is too often painted with a solely liberal brush. In actuality, a great number of conservatives care deeply about the natural world and welcome the role of stewardship of the land. Conservative fishermen on the Chesapeake and ranchers in the West see themselves as active participants in the survival of the local ecosystem, for instance. By helping these communities to share their stories with the rest of the country, this grant will help us shift the nature of dialogue around environmental stewardship from a battle between opposing teams to a more collaborative approach with a diverse set of ideals.
- How faith shapes views of climate action and how climate change became a question of faith. Religious communities and values play an outsized role in shaping how Americans view the world and their role in it. Though ideologies differ widely, many of the underlying values found in America’s religious are rooted in complementary, if not similar, ideals. Shedding light on these ideals can open minds to explore the possibility of finding common ground.
For more than a century, the Monitor has brought humanity and insight to the problems of the day, helping readers to understand others and recognize the advances that are constantly reshaping the world. Through its generous support, the Energy Foundation is helping us expand and promote that mission. Stories funded by the Energy Foundation’s grant will include a short tagline at the bottom to recognize the organization’s commitment to Monitor journalism.