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Crowdfunding: Nearly 70 percent there!

The Rocky Mountain Climate Ranger Project needs your support

It's getting warm around here!

It’s getting warm around here!

Love the Rockies? Support our independent journalism project.

Love the Rockies? Support our independent journalism project.

By Summit Voice

FRISCO — With NOAA reporting yet another record high global temperature for June, and afternoon temperatures soaring into the 80s here in Frisco, there’s every reason to believe that we’re heading for uncharted climate territory in the Rocky Mountains. Already, the birds and bees are out of synch with wildflowers, the snowpack is melting weeks earlier than it used to, and spring dust storms are blackening the Rocky Mountain snowpack more frequently each year.

It’s really important to know what those changes mean for us, and especially for future generations — our kids and grandkids — because they will have to live in the greenhouse-gas warmed world that we’ve created with just a few decades of fossil fuel consumption. That’s why once again I’m asking you, faithful Summit Voice readers and subscribers, to support our Rocky Mountain Climate Ranger project my making a pledge right now at Beacon, our crowdfunding partner: http://www.beaconreader.com/projects/rocky-mountain-climate-rangers.

And just to be clear, the Beacon-backed Climate Ranger project won’t have any negative effect on Summit Voice. In fact, your support will help enrich the Summit Voice news and photo feed.

Some of you already responded to our grassroots appeal in the last few months. It was your generous response that encouraged us to pursue funding for this two-month father-son climate journalism trek. And right now, Beacon is generously matching every pledge dollar for dollar, so when you support us, your money will be doubled. We’re only about a week away from the end of our pledge drive (July 31) and we’ll only be funded if we get the full amount, so your support is critical.

You can support the project for as little as $5 but we have some great incentives for larger pledges, including a free harvest dinner at the popular Sunshine Cafe in Dillon. A $100 pledge includes dinner for two, along with a climate journalism presentation at the Sunshine Cafe. It’s a great deal, and you’d pay almost that much just to have a nice dinner for two, so why not support homegrown environmental journalism at the same time.

For $200, you’ll be invited to the dinner AND you’ll be eligible for a large-format fine art print from one of Summit Voice’s acclaimed online galleries, or an image from the reporting trek — and I’m sure we’ll get some great shots!

With our deadline approaching, please consider making a pledge now, and if you can’t, please pass along this post via email to anyone who might be interested. Thanks for reading and your continued support.

Donate to the Rocky Mountain Climate Ranger project

mtnYour contribution to this independent journalism project will be matched dollar for dollar by Beacon. Click to learn more and make a donation.

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The Rocky Mountain Climate Ranger project

Crowdfunding project includes matching funds

By Bob Berwyn

FRISCO — The generous response to last month’s call for grassroots donations has encouraged us to tap into a great fundraising opportunity with Beacon, a cool new journalism incubator and crowdfunding platform.

More than 20 people, from California to Pennsylvania, responded with donation. We know there are more Summit Voice readers and subscribers ready to step up, and this could be the best time, with a generous sponsor willing to match every dollar you donate. Continue reading

Fundraising update: So much love for indie #journalism!

Grassroots support helps fund independent environmental reporting


Most months, Summit Voice has readers from all over the world!

Independent journalism isn’t free. Support Colorado Environmental Reporting!

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By Bob Berwyn

I’m posting a HUGE round of thanks to readers from all over Colorado and the West for responding to our fundraising call the last two weeks. Thanks to supporters like Linda Johnson, Tad Foster, Catherine Shafroth, Peter Hall and others, we’ll be able to report more in-depth environmental stories.  We’ll soon update our permanent sponsor page with the names of our new supporters and at the same time thank past sponsors like the Colorado Division of Wildlife, the Colorado River Water Conservation District and Innovative Energy.

Summit Voice leads the way on coverage of issues like the  U.S. Forest Service ‘pay-to-play’ recreation fee program.  And there aren’t many other sources offering sustained coverage of Colorado and Rocky Mountain wildlife and endangered species issues, including the ongoing recovery of lynx in Colorado, and efforts to bring back wolverine.

We need your support to keep documenting the environmental stories of the Rocky Mountains. We welcome any size donation and would really appreciate you spreading the word via email and virtual social circles.

Your support also enables me to broaden the environmental coverage by publishing intelligent journalism in other independent publications. Today (June 15), for example, I was able to provide the very first glimpse at Denver’s new climate adaptation plan, set to be published this week. Last week I wrote about a Boulder-based climate researcher who saw first-hand the effects of Colorado’s Sept. 2013 floods.

Reader and contributor Linda Johnson asked about a crowdfunded study on winter ozone formation and that story is in the works. Meanwhile, we’re happy to report that the team did reach its $12,000 fundraising goal, which means more good science to help guide policies on energy development.

And supporter Peter Hall suggested some educational stories about Colorado’s “split estate,” a quirky mineral law that does nothing but heighten the tension between property owners and fossil fuel companies. Peter was kind enough to even suggest a few specific sources, so we should be able to report a story or two in the next few weeks.

Thanks again for all your support!


Fundraising update: Thanks, readers and supporters in Utah, Montana and Colorado!

Support Colorado Environmental Reporting!

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Support independent journalism.


Sending out postcards to Summit Voice supporters today! Every single Summit Voice story — more than 7,000 — has been written on this 2009 MacBook. It needs to be replaced, soon, so we’ve set our initial fundraising target at $1,000. Stay tuned for updates!

By Bob Berwyn

FRISCO — Just 10 days into our fundraising drive, we’re sending out handwritten postcards to loyal readers and Summit Voice supporters in Utah, Montana and around Colorado. What a great first show of support for independent journalism in the Rocky Mountains!

We’re hoping to do more stories like last summer’s in-depth series on Colorado’s different forest types.

You won’t get this kind of reporting anywhere else, so help us sustain in-depth environmental journalism.

Regular readers also know we offer a great overview of important climate-change research, and we try to cover Colorado water and endangered species and biodiversity like the critical, serious issues that they are – with sustained, ongoing coverage.

Help support professional and intelligent reporting on the environment with a donation of any size, and leave a comment at the end of this post to tell us which environmental stories you’d like to see covered. (Snail Mail: Bob Berwyn, P.O. Box 340, Frisco, CO 80443). Continue reading

Climate: Scientist more certain, reporters more confused?

Study looks at use of ‘hedging language’ in newspaper climate stories


The science is unequivocal, but the reporting is not.

Staff ReportFRISCO — Scientists may be more convinced than ever that greenhouse gas emissions are gradually frying the planet, but journalists just can’t seem to shake the habit of using “hedging language” that leaves room for doubt, according to a new study by researchers at the University of Colorado Boulder.The study compared newspaper coverage of climate science in 2001 and 2007, finding in that snapshot view that the use of wimpy, ambivalent words was more common in 2007, even though scientific certainty about the causes and impacts of global warming has grown. Continue reading

Independent journalism isn’t free — donate now

Support Colorado Environmental Reporting!

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Support independent journalism.

FRISCO — After almost five years and more than 6,500 stories, Summit Voice is still going strong. With your grassroots support, we’re going to renew our dedication to Colorado environmental news.

You won’t find better reporting on forest, water, endangered species and public lands. But independent journalism isn’t free. It involves a sustained commitment of time and energy. Direct funding by readers is the best way to avoid pressure from advertisers and to ensure continued in-depth and unbiased reporting.

Readers often ask how they can support Summit Voice, so we’ve added a PayPal button for donations.

Any amount is welcome. For $50 or more, pick out a set of three note cards from our selection at Fine Art America. Donate $250 or more, and choose a medium-size fine art print. Click here to see our artwork.

You can also donate the old school way by sending a check to Bob Berwyn, P.O. Box 340, Frisco, CO 80443.

Thanks for your continued support and please spread the word!

Opinion: My 2 cents worth of guacamole

Bob Berwyn.

Bob Berwyn.

Many journalists spread their dip pretty thin when writing about climate

By Bob Berwyn

Chipotle’s guacamole is threatened by global warming. Or not, depending what you choose to believe.

Immediately dubbed the “Guacalypse” by some climate pundits, the news that Chipotle acknowledged potential global warming threats in a formulaic report to investors raised a stir.

You can melt the Arctic ice cap, raise sea level by 20 feet, but don’t mess with my guacamole, some would-be climate warriors said. But by the next day, NBC news was — almost snarkily — reporting that there’s no immediate threat to the world’s supply of avocados — at least not yet. Continue reading

Global warming deniers are loudest in the U.S. and UK

New study analyzes climate media coverage in six major countries

Regardless of the facts, some newspapers give prominent voice to global warming deniers. Graphic courtesy NASA.

By Summit Voice

SUMMIT COUNTY — Researchers taking a close look at media coverage of climate science came up with some interesting results, finding that the political leanings of a newspaper don’t always influence the news stories, but definitely color editorials.

The survey analyzed climate stories published in newspapers in Brazil, China, France, India, the UK and the U.S. Overall, the results suggest that global warming skeptics have a more prominent, and sometimes uncontested, voice in UK and US newspapers compared to other countries around the world.

The study covered 2,064 newspaper articles during a three-month period in 2009-2010 during the so-called Climategate episode, and a second period spanning the release of the IPCC’s Fourth Assessment Report in 2007. Continue reading

Op-ed: Climate science debate hits local media

Bob Berwyn.

Local gadfly called out for using ‘libelous language, lies and distortion’ on climate science

By Bob Berwyn

SUMMIT COUNTY — The national discourse over climate science and global warming took a local twist recently, as a local resident was called out for his commentary published in the Vail Daily trying to convince readers that global warming is not caused by human activities.

Long-time Copper Mountain resident Martin Hertzberg  has frequently penned opinion pieces and letters to the editor that are full of misleading statements, inaccuracies and distortions,  presenting them all as scientific fact. Continue reading

Media: FCC holds hearing on community info needs

The FCC will discuss local online media at an Oct. 3 hearing.

Local media stakeholders advocate for a shift in federal advertising dollars

By Summit Voice

SUMMIT COUNTY — Acknowledging breathtaking progress in the realm of information technology, a recent Federal Communications Commission working group report concluded that those changes in the media landscape have resulted in significant deficits in local news coverage.

In some cases, there are “alarming tendencies to allow advertisers to dictate content,” the report found, concluding that the independent watchdog function that the founding fathers envisioned for journalism is at risk. Continue reading


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