I started The Phoenix Sun in May 2009 as a place to blog about renewable energy. It’s led to a number of fascinating projects. With this blog as a launchpad, I’ve written dozens of articles for online publications (including Mother Jones, Dissent, Popular Science, InsideClimate News, True/Slant) and print media, like Discover and Sierra magazines. I wrote a blog for Forbes on the subject called Edison 2.0, and had entries from this site reposted, cited, and, the internet being what it is, republished under someone else’s name. Expanding this blog into the twitterverse, led to a feed that now has more than 10,000 followers – some of them not bots!
What began with The Phoenix Sun culminated in a book, “Clean Break: The Story of Germany’s Energy Transformation and What Americans Can Learn from It,” published by InsideClimate News (thanks in part to a Climate Media Fellowship from the Heinrich Böll Foundation, and grants from several foundations). That project has, in a way, led to a new adventure.
While traveling around Germany researching the Energiewende, I photographed solar and wind installations and portraits of people I interviewed – some of which were included in Clean Break and in an online slideshow. I’ve been illustrating my freelance articles for 30 years, but after receiving positive feedback on my photos from Germany, and encouragement from readers, I began working to improve my photography, studying techniques and investing in better equipment. In particular, Krista Schlyer and her book, Continental Divide, documenting the environmental effects of the Southwestern border wall, were an inspiration. Over the course of 2016, with generous and patient advice from Krista and photographer Richard Hahn, I moved from being a writer who sometimes takes photographs to a photographer who also writes. In mid-2016 I was hired as lead photographer for the Central Arizona Conservation Alliance and conservation photography became my primary work.
You can find (and buy!) my photos at the new site, Desert Sky images, starting sometime in January.
Thanks for reading and supporting The Phoenix Sun for lo, these many years. Best wishes for a bright (and renewable) 2017!