|Dear FCIR Supporter,
Global warming. Climate change. We’re all affected.
Yet Gov. Rick Scott has not allowed state staffers to use those words in official communications. In 2015, the Florida Center for Investigative Reporting revealed that Scott had instituted an unwritten policy that prohibits state employees from using the terms “climate change” and “global warming.”
Scott has denied that the policy exists. But FCIR found plenty of evidence. And so did the Washington Post, NPR and other news media, which followed up on our groundbreaking reporting. FCIR’s coverage sparked a national conversation about climate change denial as public policy — but nothing changed in how Florida state government responded to the environmental threat.
In September, after Hurricane Irma devastated parts of the Caribbean and Florida, killing at least 26 people and causing an estimated $100 billion in damage in the Sunshine State, Scott still wouldn’t acknowledge climate change and man’s impact as concerns for Florida.
In the United States and around the world, from the Arctic Circle to the beautiful beaches of Florida, there is scientific consensus that our planet is warming: 97 percent of actively publishing climate scientists agree that climate change is happening and that century-long warming trends are likely due to human activity.
Climate change threatens all of us in Florida. An August 2016 report from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency estimated that in Florida rising temperatures will cause sea-level rise, retreating shorelines, stronger tropical storms, ocean acidification, and contamination to our freshwater aquifers.
That’s why, in 2018, FCIR will focus its coverage on climate change in Florida. We need a much broader conversation about how climate change is affecting Florida and endangering Floridians and what can be done to protect the future of the nation’s third most-populous state.
We plan to invest in individual climate change projects, from print stories to TV and radio reports and documentary shorts, and then partner with state and national media to reach as large an audience as possible. It’s an impact model that has worked for FCIR during its seven years of operation as a 501(c)(3) nonprofit.
Over the next 125 days, ending Feb. 3 2018, our goal is to raise at least $125,000. We’ll devote that money to FCIR’s new Climate Change Reporting Fund. Even a small donation — $5, $10, whatever you can give — would make a big difference during this campaign.
And there’s more incentive to support this effort: As part of News Match 2017, which is being funded by the Knight Foundation and Democracy Fund, any donation made by December 31 will receive a dollar-for-dollar match, up to $1,000 per individual donor.
Please, consider donating today to the Climate Change Reporting Fund.