Hot Take started as a podcast, from climate essayist Mary Annaïse Heglar and climate reporter Amy Westervelt (now on Crooked Media!). In 2020, we added this newsletter as a place to curate the great climate content we were seeing. It still delivers that curated digest every Sunday, and Mary and Amy (and occasionally guest contributors!) also write everything from media criticism to personal essays to explainer pieces in the newsletter. We've even broken some scoops up in here!
Paid subscribers get access to all content, free subscribers get the digest plus one full story a week, and previews for all the other stories. You can also follow us on Twitter throughout the week for recommendations on what to read.
Mary Annaïse Heglar In addition to her work on Hot Take, Mary is an accomplished climate justice essayist whose work has been integral to getting the climate movement to understand climate change as a justice issue that intersects with every other justice issue. As one of the few Black women to become a public figure in the climate space, Mary is clear that she’s more interested in being Black people’s climate friend than the climate movement’s Black friend, and she’s very intentional about writing for and appearing in outlets that reach beyond the climate choir. Mary also coined the term “greentrolling” and is known for cyberbullying fossil fuel companies on Twitter. Some of her recent pieces include:
- 2020: The Year of the Converging Crises in Rolling Stone
- The Whole World Is On the Ballot in The New Republic
- Seeing Hurricane Katrina in 2020 Vision in Earther
- In a Shrinking World What Will We Pass on to Our Children? in Boston Globe
- We Don't Have to Halt Climate Action to Fight Racism in HuffPost
Amy Westervelt is the founder of the Critical Frequency podcast network, named AdWeek's 2019 Podcast Network of the Year. She is also an award-winning investigative journalist who has contributed to The Washington Post, The New York Times, The Guardian, NPR, and many other outlets. In 2007, she won a Folio for her feature on the potential of algae as a feedstock for biofuel. In 2015 she was awarded a Rachel Carson award for "women greening journalism", and in 2016 she won an Edward R. Murrow award for her series on the impacts of the Tesla Gigafactory in Nevada. As the head of Critical Frequency, she has executive produced more than a dozen podcasts aside from Hot Take, including her investigative show Drilled -- a true-crime style podcast about climate change—which was awarded the 2019 Online News Association award for "Excellence in Audio Storytelling" and the 2021 Covering Climate Now award for audio. She has also led production teams for Critical Frequency's work on Unfinished: Short Creek (with Stitcher) and This Land S2 (for Crooked, nominated for a 2022 Peabody award). Her book Forget Having It All: How America Messed Up Motherhood, and How to Fix It was published in November 2018 by Seal Press, and received a starred Publisher's Weekly review. Some of her recent pieces include:
- How Oil Companies Rebranded Deceptive Climate Ads as "Free Speech," in The Guardian
- Documents Show How Polluting Industries Mobilized to Block Climate Action, in The Intercept
- Big Oil Is Trying to Make Climate Change Your Problem to Solve. Don't Let Them in Rolling Stone
- There Can Be No Compromise On a Burning Planet, in The Nation
- There's a Big Hole in the Argument that Ditching Fossil Fuels Will Kill Jobs in HuffPost
- The Case for Climate Rage in Popula