Not Cool


“No sweat,” this well-groomed model must be thinking, “I’m used to working under hot lights.” For the rest of us, however, things aren’t looking too cool. Despite the oil, gas, and coal industries’ “Tobacco Institute Strategy” of pretending there’s great scientific uncertainty, almost all climate scientists are convinced that industrial carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions and other greenhouse gases are trapping ever greater amounts of heat in our atmosphere.

In just the past hundred years of industrialization, the CO2 content of our atmosphere has climbed by more than a third, so that today there’s more CO2 in our air than at any time in the past 160,000 years. Partly as a result, average world temperatures have risen about 1 degree Fahrenheit in this century, and are projected to rise another 2 to 6 degrees in the next century. The geological record suggests that changes like these can have dramatic impacts on rainfall, storm size and duration, glaciers, droughts, the rising sea level, the spread of tropical diseases, and the survival of threatened species. Already the last 15 years have been the warmest of the past 200 years, and the 4 hottest years on record all occurred in the 1990s. The 1980s were the hottest decade on record — and the 1990s are well on the way to breaking that record.

DOES IT FEEL LIKE POLITICS IS AT A BREAKING POINT?

Headshot of Editor in Chief of Mother Jones, Clara Jeffery

It sure feels that way to me, and here at Mother Jones, we’ve been thinking a lot about what journalism needs to do differently, and how we can have the biggest impact.

We kept coming back to one word: corruption. Democracy and the rule of law being undermined by those with wealth and power for their own gain. So we're launching an ambitious Mother Jones Corruption Project to do deep, time-intensive reporting on systemic corruption, and asking the MoJo community to help crowdfund it.

We aim to hire, build a team, and give them the time and space needed to understand how we got here and how we might get out. We want to dig into the forces and decisions that have allowed massive conflicts of interest, influence peddling, and win-at-all-costs politics to flourish.

It's unlike anything we've done, and we have seed funding to get started, but we're looking to raise $500,000 from readers by July when we'll be making key budgeting decisions—and the more resources we have by then, the deeper we can dig. If our plan sounds good to you, please help kickstart it with a tax-deductible donation today.

Thanks for reading—whether or not you can pitch in today, or ever, I'm glad you're with us.

Signed by Clara Jeffery

Clara Jeffery, Editor-in-Chief

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