Letter From The Desert: Update

Howdy all!

After the 2016 election, I decided to remake this email newsletter as an explicitly activist tool. That didn't last long: I spent a few hours on each of the few messages I sent out, and saw only a very few people — sometimes fewer than five — clicked through to read links or take actions. I decided it wasn't a very efficient use of my time and I just, well, stopped.

Not long after that I left my job at KCET; in July 2017, I became the California Desert Program Manager for the National Parks Conservation Association, so getting people to take action is my full time job now instead of a sideline to a theoretically mainstream journalism job. That means there was even less impetus to keep going with an inefficient email newsletter.

But in the wake of continuing revelations about how corporate social media does not have our best interests at heart, a lot of my writerly friends have been returning to email newsletters like this one as a way of communicating with their readers, since Facebook is a wholly unreliable method and perhaps dangerous to democracy to boot. So my friends, through a combination of peer pressure and inspiration and FOMO, have inspired me to give it another try.

So take this message as a public service announcement: I'll be sending out sporadic emails — certainly less than weekly — consisting of writing, occasional calls to action, and possibly random pictures of the desert and this one dog I know that lives there. If that's not what you signed up for here, I won't take it amiss if you unsubscribe. Link for that is at the bottom of this message.

Hope y'all are well. More soon,

Chris Clarke