Only Together

Investing in climate journalism is one of the easiest ways to take climate action.

Only Together
Photograph by Amy Durocher / Instagram / "We don't have to go to the poles or anywhere else to see the impact of a warmer climate, and perhaps, with this beautiful and surprising imagery, people can face it and not turn away," Durocher wrote to me about her photography. "The Earth is beautiful, even as the climate changes."

LISTENING: to Beyoncé because duh
FEELING: excited to see Ilana Glazer's show tonight
SEEING: my scanner update its firmware next to me

Do you ever feel unsure about how to support climate solutions? Well, you're here — and that's a start. May I offer a suggestion? Invest in climate and environmental storytelling and journalism.

Sure, there are foundations and philanthropy out there doing this, but as my fellow journalist Amy Westervelt wrote in February, they're not doing enough — especially compared to the millions of dollars the fossil fuel industry is pumping into corporate media institutions that have no issue taking their money.

I sat on a panel last week alongside Emily Atkin, founder of the HEATED newsletter, and she made a point I wanted to share with you all. Our journalism — and the spaces we curate in our independent publications — are critical foundations for the democracy we see slipping through our fingertips. We help inform the public and amplify voices that would otherwise go unheard. She urged attendees, who were mostly other journalists interested in replicating our efforts, to remind readers of this. This is how we grow.

We live in a time when major media institutions are cutting staff and shuttering altogether. As members of the public, you have the power to shift the tide if you invest in and support the publications and journalists you want to see succeed.

So, here I am, peeling back the curtain — to help you all understand why your support of this newsletter means so much to me.

Welcome to Possibilities, a creative climate newsletter on the possibilities that lie where crisis meets community. I’m Yessenia Funes, and I'm one of the few reporters dedicated to covering climate and environmental justice through an international heart-centered lens.

I'm keeping this newsletter free and open because I want to ensure everyone, even if you're not yet a subscriber, can heed my call. Ultimately, I'd love to keep most posts here public, but I need solid financial ground to justify that. I launched Possibilities nearly 10 months ago. That first month was amazing: I made about $1,000 in subscriptions. Since then, things have slowed down.

I make about $200 a month from my 84 paid subscribers. However, paid subscribers make up about a quarter of my entire base. That's a pretty impressive proportion compared to what most newsletters see every month. The lowest open rate I've seen for an edition was 54 percent. Again, impressive! My highest newsletter saw a 77 percent open rate.

I imagine that's the case because you all feel seen by my words. I hope that I voice much of what you all are thinking or feeling. I hope that I provide a perspective that's missing from the white-washed climate media that dominates our newscasts. More importantly, I hope to offer a community here — in my words, but also in the newsletter's comment section. I want this to be a long-term space we build together. I'd love to invite other writers to share their perspectives and pay photographers to use their images, too, but I need your help.

Now's the time to upgrade your subscription to paid if you can. And if you can't, could you forward the newsletter to a friend or two who might appreciate it? Can you share your favorite edition on your preferred social media platform?

If you're interested in advertising, I'd love to connect and find out what's possible. I love how culture writer Ann Friedman handles ads in her weekly newsletter. If there's enough interest, I would be so down to create the infrastructure to emulate something similar in mine. (Her newsletter really is my inspiration!) Or are you a foundation or philanthropist who wants to collaborate? Let's do it.

Your contribution to Possibilities powers my journalism. It fuels my creativity and leaves me inspired. Never hesitate to send me a tip or a message. You, my readers, make this work worthwhile. 🌀

Rest in Power

While we can't say for certain that climate change led to these specific weather events (we need attribution studies for that), we do know that the Earth's rising temperatures are already creating more disasters like these.

I was stunned by the footage that came out of China after a severe windstorm killed at least seven people last week.

Currently Reading

I so enjoyed writing this profile of artist Danié Gomez-Ortigoza for Atmos. I never cared much for braids, but I have a newfound respect for them after exploring the topic.

Ellen Ioanes at Vox reminds us that climate justice must include older folks, too. We love when people win.

Yeah, it's time we talk about news avoidance, y'all.


018. BALANCE by Yessenia Funes using mixed media, 2024.
What are you reading and seeing? Share in a comment.

See you next week. xx

- Yessenia