Daily Kos has been a moderate platform for Climate Crisis news and opinion. It has attempted to have climate focused writers in the past. It provides some climate news from the paid staff such as some articles by Mark Sumner. It provides a platform for community writers such as Pakalolo (amongst others) to publish climate news and opinion. But even as the climate crisis deepens, it has removed paid support for reporting on it and has no special sections for it on the front page.
The Climate Crisis is not just any issue. It is a problem which threatens global society as we know it. Even in the best case scenarios before us, there are a multitude of significant problems headed our way in terms of sea level rise, famine, forced migration, political instability, heat waves, and so much more. And should we do nothing, the worst case scenarios do threaten humanity itself.
In the past, Kos has stated that running stories on Climate Change has not been popular enough with readers to justify continued paid staff focusing on it. He has essentially said that we as a readership will need to force him to cover it. (I am currently unable to locate the reference, I’m happy to retract the statement if wrong but if someone can find it please let me know). Frankly, Daily Kos is a business and this business is run by clicks, posts, time on stories, and other metrics showing readership engagement in order to sell advertisement.
Some of us have appealed directly to Kos before to rectify the situation. His response has been one of business. So let’s move the business. This story is not here to criticize Kos, nor appeal to his sense of morality. It’s here to appeal to you the readership to support climate news. The cause/effect here is rather simple. The more you read, recommend, and comment in climate related articles, the more Daily Kos will be forced to cover it. And if we succeed in moving the needle on site metrics towards climate change and nothing happens, well then we’ll have to explore why not. But the first step is moving our reading habits.
Many of you reading this will tell me reading climate news is depressing. Well, you don’t have to actually read it if it’s too much for you. Open the article, hit recommend, scroll down slowly at the speed of a speed-reader, then leave a “Thank you” in the comment section. Of course you should do more if you can. But just that simple bit before you go off to read whatever else you wish to read will send a strong message to Daily Kos where our priorities lie.
This is not idle theory. The readership made continued Ukraine coverage possible because we ate up the Ukraine based articles and drove all the metrics to the point where people got upset when an Ukraine Update was missed for a single day. I think in the 18 months of coverage the number of days with no staff article about Ukraine could be counted on one hand. By recollection it’s two, but I’m not positive. Kos provided great writing on it so he is very much responsible for it. But our interaction with the content made it a valuable source of metrics which has kept Daily Kos going in an otherwise down period for Liberal blogs.
Well, It’s time to do it with the Climate Crisis. It’s not that hard. When you log in, look for the hashtags #Climate, #ClimateChange, #ClimateCrisis or whichever other one may become popular. Check out the stories and if it will make you too sad, don’t read. But the time and the clicks will register anyway.
It’s sad to me that this is what we have to do to force liberal blogs and news sources to cover this crisis, but here we are. The economic system we have inherited has forced us here. If we’re going to have a chance with Climate Crisis we need to increase people’s engagement with it. If the stories being published about it don’t connect with you, then get busy and write some that will. If you don’t feel the writer type, message me and I’ll do my best to write to your style.
It’s way past time. So let’s buckle down and do what has got to be done.