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Published on March 19th, 2018 | by Zachary Shahan


Why Cleantech Needs More Media & Citizen Support

March 19th, 2018 by  

If you’re reading CleanTechnica (which you are), there’s a good chance you already “get” the key points of this story, but it seems that much of the population doesn’t benefit from your understanding, so the following article was inspired by a mixture of 1) my constant rumination about the value of CleanTechnica and what we should be doing to offer society more value, 2) timely questions about democracy and the media, 3) our observations of how cleantech is covered in the media, and 4) the many anti-cleantech myths that get pushed over and over and over again.

The fact is, citizens in the United States, Europe, Australia, South Africa, India, Canada, and elsewhere are largely uninformed or even misinformed about important energy and technology matters. The mass media’s coverage of these topics is extremely limited, often poorly staffed, and sometimes hugely misleading (perhaps even for nefarious reasons).

If citizens don’t have information on important energy and technology matters — or have bad information on such matters — they are likely to make poor decisions or not require that their representatives in government make good decisions.

The Wild West of the internet is not much better. While we have sites like CleanTechnica, there are dozens if not hundreds of sites that are almost fully focused on hypotheses and stories that mislead the public.

“Today’s web has no proof of validity or even editorial selection process. It’s just links between whatever anyone puts out there. And so I would posit that it has morphed into the World Wide Wobble,” Jack Rickard of EVTV writes. “And in this deluge, how are normal humanoids to sort through this maelstrom of lies and errors to discern truth from lie, fact from fiction, accuracy from error? I don’t have an answer and fear this drives quickly to a societal inability to process. ALL sources, (including this one) claim to have the REAL story. So how to develop trusted sources? Good luck with that…”

CleanTechnica exists specifically to fill a void in the coverage of energy and technology matters. One thing helps us to do our job better and reach more people is you sharing our stories (the good ones) with more people. Another big area of support is pitching in financially once a month — or at least via a one-time payment. Thirdly, an option we are eager to push more and more, you can write letters to the editor of major media outlets whenever you see a good opportunity for that. We’re setting the stage a bit via the CleanTechnica Answer Box and Reality Check series, but the more originality, the more individual initiative, and the more educated and insightful letters to the editor, the better!

To recap: we think that both the media and individual humans need to push the cleantech story more fully and more frequently, and a few ways you can help with that are:

  1. Share our work!
  2. Donate to CleanTechnica.
  3. Write letters (emails) to the editors and producers of major media outlets.


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About the Author

Zach is tryin' to help society help itself (and other species). He spends most of his time here on CleanTechnica as its director and chief editor. He's also the president of Important Media and the director/founder of EV Obsession and Solar Love. Zach is recognized globally as an electric vehicle, solar energy, and energy storage expert. He has presented about cleantech at conferences in India, the UAE, Ukraine, Poland, Germany, the Netherlands, the USA, and Canada. Zach has long-term investments in TSLA, FSLR, SPWR, SEDG, & ABB — after years of covering solar and EVs, he simply has a lot of faith in these particular companies and feels like they are good cleantech companies to invest in. But he offers no professional investment advice and would rather not be responsible for you losing money, so don't jump to conclusions.

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